Does the Ilyushin Il-2 ‘Sturmovik’ need an introduction? Deemed as important for the Red Army as air and bread by Stalin it was the flying T-34 of its time. Well armed and armored it was produced in massive numbers as a ground attack aircraft, seeing considerable success during World War 2.
What the T-34 tank was for the Red Army, the venerable Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik was for the Red Airforce. It was a well-armed and armored ground attack aircraft and was built in massive numbers, over 36,000 in total. This made it the most produced military aircraft of all time and one of the most produced aircraft of all time, ranked #2 between the Cessna 172 (50,000) and Polikarpov Po-2 ‘Kukuruznik’ (20,000-30,000). But these were produced between 1941 and 1945, which makes it an even more impressive number. Development started in 1938 by Sergey Ilyushin at the Central Design Bureau.
This is kit is obscure enough, it wasn´t even listed on Scalemates.com, so when this one popped up at my local hobbyshop I just had to have it. (And I only popped in to buy some paint, I swear!). It was cheap, the artwork looked pretty nice and the last MisterCraft kit I´ve reviewed was cheap and pretty good. So what´s the worst that could happen, right?
Upon opening the box the canopy dropped out of it. The canopy is scratched as if they tried to wash off the release agent with a sandblaster and features a blob of release agent on the sprue. A nice start of the review.
out come the other sprues. And they bear all the hallmarks of a sixties-era kit. Probably better than the earliest Airfix kits, but not by much. Raised panel lines, flash, you name it, it’s there. Details? Phah! No-one needs details. The exhausts are moulded onto the fuselage halves and look terrible. Did I mention raised panel lines? This kit has them, in spades. And I’m no Il-2 specialist, but there seems to be something off with the general shape of the aircraft. Not to mention the likely fitting issues you’ll encounter when building this kit. I really do hope you like using putty and sanding sticks..
You get the point, this kit is terrible. The only saving grace are the instruction sheet and the two sheets of decals. The instructions are in full color, are well laid out and show the marking options quite clearly.
Decals and color schemes
So yes: this kit is saved by its color schemes and extensive decal sheets, offering markings for four variants, including the ‘Der Schwarze Todt’ (The Black Death) one pictured on the box (I would honestly think of returning it if it didn’t) But for €9.95 it was a tad too expensive for a set of decals and some pictures in a manual.
I feel a bit conflicted about this kit: it is quite bad and it was far too expensive for what’s in the box, even at €9.95 ($10). But the decals look decent enough. But if you’re in the market for a Il-2 you probably want to skip this one. But it’s perfect for those shitty model groupbuilds. The fact that this kit isn’t even listed on Scalemates.com and even the manufacturers own website (www.mistercraft.eu) is perhaps indicative enough..
Vehicle: Il-2m3 Sturmovik
Number of parts: 56
Length: 161 mm
Width: 203 mm