Xuntong Model, 1/48 scale
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|Catalogue Number and Description:
Xuntong Model Kit No. B48003 - Tu-2T Soviet Torpedo Bomber
|Contents and Media:
||260 parts in grey and 18 parts in clear; decals for six options.
||USD$25.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
||High quality mouldings; good level of detail; first time this subject is available as a mainstream 1/48 scale kit.
||Overdone fabric surface detail; curved upper nose profile.
||Xuntong has delivered a very nicely detailed 1:48 scale Tupolev Tu-2 as its debut offering.
Reviewed by Brett Green
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Everyone can name a few British or American or German bombers. However, such is the veil of mystery over the Great Patriotic War in the west that most people would be hard pressed to name a single Soviet WWII bomber.
The most numerous Soviet bomber of the Second World War was the Petlyakov Pe-2 dive bomber. Similar to the Junkers Ju 88 in its intended role and eventual flexible service, the Pe-2 also served as a heavy fighter, reconnaissance aircraft and night fighter. More than 11,000 Pe-2s were built.
Designed in response to a Soviet requirement for a high-speed daylight bomber, the Tupolev Tu-2 was the second most important two engine Soviet bomber. It was produced in relatively small numbers – 2,257 being built between 1942 and 1948 – but it was nevertheless an outstanding aircraft. The Tu-2 entered service in 1942, and performed the roles of conventional bomber, dive-bomber and torpedo bomber. It was also built in interceptor and reconnaissance versions.
With a crew of three and an impressive bomb load of 3,770 kg (internal and external), the Tu-2 boasted a top speed of more than 500 km/h.
In addition to Soviet service, the Tu-2 saw widespread post-war service with other Communist nations and Warsaw Pact partners including China, North Korea, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The Indonesian Air Force also operated the Tu-2.
The torpedo bomber variant was the Tu-2T. This carried one or two 500 kg or 1,000 kg torpedoes, and was produced from February 1945 until 1947.
Xuntong Model is a new company out of China. Their first offering is a 1:48 scale Tupolev Tu-2T Torpedo Bomber. In fact, this is the first ever mainstream injection moulded 1:48 scale Tu-2 kit.
Xuntong’s 1:48 scale Tu-2T comprises 260 parts in grey and 18 parts in clear. Moulding quality is very high. Panel lines are recessed and reasonably restrained – I’d say medium sized in the current field of model companies. The surface of the main plastic parts has a very slight orange peel effect. Light sanding will smooth this down, but take care not to eliminate the nice non-slip texture at the wing roots.
The only surface features that I do not like are the heavily sagged fabric control surfaces – deep recessed ovals moulded into the plastic parts. In my opinion these are not only over scale but they do not really represent any fabric effect that I have ever seen. I plan to spend a little time filling and sanding these capsules.
The cockpit and interior are well equipped with all-plastic parts. Harness straps are not included but the rest of the interior should look great with nothing more than a careful paint job.
The engines are also very well detailed, each being made up from more than 20 parts.
Controls surfaces are moulded separately expect for the rudders and inboard flaps.
The clear parts look great – thin and sparkling clear.
On HyperScale’s “Plane Talking” Forum, Sergey Kosachev has pointed out that the top profile of the nose is too curved. It should be almost a straight line from the front of the windscreen to the front of the fuselage. Correcting this should be a relatively simple matter of backfilling the nose and sanding the top to a flatter profile.
If you want to build a WWII conventional bomber version, you are (mostly) in luck. Xuntong supplies an alternative canopy, Part E13, that features the wartime German-style machine gun position. Also, wartime aircraft were not fitted with filters on the intakes (Parts D41). You’ll need to fill the recessed filters in the sides of the intakes. With this work done, just omit the torpedoes and you will have yourself a WWII bomber. Thanks to Sergey Kosachev for this information too.
Markings are provided for six varied schemes from the Soviet Union, China, Poland, North Korea and Bugaria.
The decals seem to be nicely printed but, being a new company, I’ll be testing an unwanted option on some painted scrap plastic before committing the decals to the finished kit.
Xuntong has delivered a very nicely detailed 1:48 scale Tupolev Tu-2 as its debut offering. A modeller with moderate experience will be capable of tackling the kit’s couple of shortcomings – the overdone fabric surfaces and the curved upper nose – and of backdating the torpedo bomber to a wartime day bomber.
I’ll look forward to seeing what Xuntong has in store for us next.
Purchased by the reviewer from Lucky Model
Text and Images Copyright © 2012 by Brett Green
Page Created 24 July, 2012
25 July, 2012
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