1/48th IL2-m3 Sturmovik by Accurate Miniatures
The Sturmovik was known as "flying tanks" to the Russian ground forces of WWII. Presumably built in greater numbers than any other aircraft, these planes made an idellible mark on their enemies. Heavily armed with cannon , bombs and rockets, she was also the original armored bath tub (inspiration for today's A-10 Warthog). Oddly, only the pilot sat inside armor, leaving the gunner at risk as they perched on their leather strap seat. Another oddity is the Russian gunners were often women! (Daddy told me that's no way to treat a lady!)
I thought the Accurate Miniatures kit was just superb -- second only to the TBF and SBD by Accurate Miniatures -- until a competitor came out with their own version which was widely acclaimed as "better." Maybe, but I am well pleased nonetheless. The interior is well detailed. The armament is petite and offered in a variety of combinations. This model was built with 40 mm guns in under wing pods, plus wing guns, bombs and rockets. And then there's that rear gunner -- it is a miniature masterpiece.
Surprisingly, considering the prevalence of Russian monochromatic green, the Sturmovik can be painted in one, two or three color camo. I chose the three. My only quibble is that the machine isn't dirty enough! Sturmoviks were literally flown into the ground and were treated as disposable commodities -- little time was spent on paint touch up. She should be one dirty bird!
This model is well worth your time if you can still find one.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.