iModeler Review: Tamiya 1/72 Ilyushin IL-2 Shturmovik
A few months ago, Tamiya released what is, most likely, the new standard for 1/48 IL-2 Shturmovik. The kit has thus been lauded for its engineering, beauty, and ease of assembly. There was also, as I remember, a bit of controversy regarding the armored windscreen. At least, there was among one or two self-proclaimed "experts". I mention this not as a warning (the windscreen is fine), but for the sheer comedy gold, should one decide to search the Google for the criticisms. This month brings us the release of the scaled-down version, the ubiquitous 1/72 IL-2 Shturmovik by Tamiya.
Like its quarter-scaled predecessor, this kit has raised the bar to a new standard. Sharing the elders box-art, the kit is comprised of four gray sprues and one clear, a small bag with two polycaps, a decal sheet with options for three machines, directions, and an informational pamphlet. The directions are typical of what is expected from Tamiya, as are the color callouts. The parts breakdown is similar to the 1/48 kit, with some differences accounted for by the smaller scale. The parts themselves are magnificent. Finely engraved panel lines are executed with restraint, and the raised details are appropriately petite. Of particular note is the rear-mounted machine gun and pilot's instrument panel, with instruments and bezels discreetly seperated. One can either use the provided instrument decals, or apply delicate drybrushing for the desired results. The weapon is highly detailed, as you can see in the photos. Care will be required upon removal of this part from the sprue. The simulated fabric on the flying surfaces is restrained. The clear parts are flawless, and should respond well to clear acrylic if that's your thing...or look just fine without. The windscreen has the dive-angle framing very neatly molded into it. Ordinance is provided in the form of two 500kg bombs, and for 100 kg bombs, with separate mounting hardpoints. The main wheels are each two-part affairs, which will require seam cleanup. Take care, to preserve the finely molded tread pattern. The main undercarriage is highly detailed. The only concern I have at all, really is, the high number of very petite parts is going to require a lot of care during removal. The decal sheet is in perfect register, and the colors are rich. Sadly, canopy masks are not included, as they are the 1/48th kit. This looks to be a wonderful modeling experience, whether you're a fan of VVS subjects or not.
Highly recommended. My thanks to iModeler for the review sample.