According to the instruction sheet, the Su-6 AM-42 was Sukhoi's answer to replace the ageing Il-2. They took their Su-6, mounted the more powerful AM-42 engine on it and entered it into competition. In all truthfulness, the Il-10 was the better machine so it beat out the Su-6 AM-42. There were six Su-6 AM-42s made.
Valom is a new kit manufacturer out of the Czech Republic. The Su-6 AM-42 is their first of two releases (the other being a Japanese-type) and is extremely well done in the "short range" variety. If the level of quality is this high in all of their kits, then Valom is a kit manufacturer to watch.
The Su-6 AM-42 kit consists of 45 injected molded kits in gray, a vac formed sheet consisting of two canopies (in case one is ruined during assembly - thank you for the spare Valom!) and covers for the leading edge lights, a sheet of nickle steel photoetch and a decal sheet consisting of six stars. Overall the plastic is extremely well done and the decals are in register. While the panel lines may be a little deep, it's nothing to be concerned about, as a coat or two of paint will help fill them.
Construction starts with the very well done cockpit. The cockpit consists of a tub which has the floors for both the pilot and the rear gunner; plastic seat, control column, rear bulkhead and instrument panel backing. Photoetch provides the seat belts, instrument panel (along with the usual - and much appreciated - clear film providing the instruments); and the tops for the side consoles.
The cockpit doesn't have to be inserted into the fuselage before closing the fuselage halves - the underside of the fuselage is cut out for the wing to sit in. This means the cockpit will be able to be placed almost perfectly after all (if any) seam removal is done on the fuselage. Photoetch helps out here in the form of the "sling" for the rear gunner to sit on as well as the gun sight and its mounting "bracket". While the instructions show you mount the exhausts now, there is no need as the area behind the exhausts are blanked off, meaning you can add them after the model is painted. An extremely nice touch. However, it is here the plastic components appear to be not as nice as the rest. The exhausts aren't that well molded and will require some judicious cleaning and defining. I'm not sure if there are any Moskit exhausts that could be substituted for the kit exhausts, but it's something one might want to research.
Once the fuselage and internals are all finished the kit's main construction continues. Gluing on the wing's undersurface as well as the wings' uppersurfaces; gluing on the horizontal tails (which is a butt join which may require some sort of pins), adding the landing gear and other external details. The undercarriage is an area that Valom has used photoetch to good advantage. All landing gear doors are photoetch which means they're nicely in scale. An "bumps and protrusions" are provided for in plastic.
Construction continues with the addition of the canopy and other small details including the chin scoop. I would only add the chin scoop and photoetched grill and leave the other small parts off until last. One aspect where the plastic shines is the rear-facing gun. An extremely nicely molded and detailed piece of plastic. With the right wash and drybrushing the gun will definitely seem life-like.
Bombs are catered for in the kit, the bodies being plastic with the fins coming off the photoetch fret.
Since the Su-6 AM-42 was only a prototype, colors would be mainly A-24m Green uppersurfaces with AII Blue undersurfaces. In addition, since it's only a prototype there would have been no markings except for stars in the usual places.
This is an awesome first model from Valom! While the subject may seem odd to some, being a prototype, I personally thank Valom for taking the chance and producing the Su-6 AM-42. It's a very handsome aircraft. This kit is highly recommended and I'm looking forward to seeing more - especially more VVS - from Valom
Our thanks to Valom for providing the review sample.
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