Eduard 1/72 Academy Il-2M Zoom Photoetch
By Matt Bittner
One aspect I like about Eduard's Zoom photoetch sets is that they contain just the right amount of detail to enhance the kit they're designed for. They tend not to be "over the top" (which isn't a bad thing) and are excellent for adding items to a stock kit to make it just a bit more detailed. This is definitely the case with this Self-Adhesive Zoom set (SS 486) for the Academy 1/72 Il-2M.
The first step on the instruction sheet has you add seat belts to the stock kit seat; additions to make the control column more accurate; and levers and other items to the separate side wall piece. Next up is adding additional items to the cockpit floor, replacing rudder pedals with more accurate, fold-up photoetch ones, and adding the "talk-through small door" to the pilot's head rest. You'll then have to sand down the kit's instrument panel so you can add the photoetch pieces, cut off various molded-on items on the cockpit sidewalls to replace them with photoetch pieces (along with adding additional items) and then adding more items to the gunner's rear cockpit area. You'll add a new site to the rear gun along with an ammo belt, and end with adding a photoetch sling-seat for the gunner. Finally, there are items to be added to the forward fuselage and canopy.
As I mentioned, just enough detail to add interest to an out-of-the-box build. With the canopies left open you'll have enough to generate interest. Many thanks to Eduard for allowing me to review this set.