Academy 1/48 Ilyushin Il-2
By Greg Goheen
Please see my First Look from earlier this month.
Construction and Painting
As previously mention, the Academy kit provides instructions for a ski equipped Il-2. However, parts are included for a wheel-based aircraft and require no real instructions for the builder to figure this out. Included are two sets of wheel halves that need to be glued together and a tail-wheel assembly that is one-piece. All that is required is to glue the strut assemblies as shown on the instruction sheet and then simply cut the spacer at the bottom of the struts that would normally attach to the skis. There are two sets of folding bay doors too that are different for the wheel attached aircraft but again this is quite easily figured out when looking at the sprues.
General construction of the kit is well laid out and quite simple. I'd read the reviews of the earlier Accurate Miniatures Il-2 many years ago and braced myself for some fit issues that frankly never surfaced in the least. Every bit of the construction went extremely well and posed no problems in the least and the only putty used was a small about at the wing joints.
This was truly a fun kit to build and one that offered no real fit problems in the least. While I am sure the Tamiya Il-2m3 might be even engineered a bit better, the minimal amount of putty used and very straight-forward instructions give the builder what we always long for...a truly enjoyable kit to build. Little more needs to be added to achieve show quality results other than perhaps some photo-etched seatbelts and replacing the wing mounted 20mm cannons with hypodermic needles as I did for this build.