Building Stalin’s “Flying Tank”: The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik

The Il-2 Sturmovik was designed to assist Soviet floor forces and packed a stable punch. A giant, broad wing gave the airplane the carry it wanted to hold sufficient rockets and bombs to hunt German panzers throughout the broad plains round Kursk in July and August 1943. The bottom-attack airplane’s heavy armor and stable building helped it survive each flak and encounters with the Luftwaffe’s greatest. 

The Equipment

The Academy 1/72nd-scale Sturmovik was launched as each a single-seat Il-2 and as a two-seat Il-2M. The package has very good element and good match, needing a minimal quantity of filling and sanding. 

First Issues First

Begin with the cockpit, becoming the seat, the rudder pedals and a big gasoline tank located behind the pilot’s seat and an armored bulkhead. A few strips of painted masking tape can work as a set of seat belts and shoulder harness. The cockpit meeting sits on the middle part of the decrease wing. The wing/cockpit meeting suits into the 2 fuselage halves once they’re glued collectively. Don’t overlook to put in the management panel earlier than cementing the cockpit and decrease wing into place.

The finished cockpit meeting sits on prime of the middle part of the decrease essential wing. The rockets and bombs are tiny items, watch out to not lose one!

At this level the directions name for the engine exhaust (elements F9) to be glued from the within of the fuselage halves. A more sensible choice is to attend till the fuselage is painted, trim the elements and set up them after portray. The route sheet additionally exhibits the place wing-mounted machine weapons (elements F96) match into the wing. Once more, wait till later so as to add these tiny elements.

Make Positive The whole lot suits

Take a while to dry-fit the remainder of the wing. Regulate the match on the wing root. With the wing hooked up to the fuselage, add the touchdown gear bays to their positions on the underside of the wing. Fill and sand the fuselage and wings; easy out the seams across the touchdown gear, wing root and fuselage; after which set the meeting apart. 

Put collectively the tires, portray them flat black with aluminum-colored hubs. Assemble the 2 500-pound bombs, portray them black as properly. This Il-2 can also be armed with eight unguided rockets on launch rails beneath the wing. Paint the rockets darkish grey with silver suggestions and the person rails metal. After assembling the propeller, paint the blades black and the spinner darkish inexperienced. 


Now it’s time to masks off the cockpit and paint. The Academy package has a selection of 11 completely different plane markings in a wide range of camouflage schemes. This one can be painted with a medium olive drab and a really darkish, greyish-green sample on the higher surfaces with gentle blue on the undersides. 

Beat up the paint job somewhat. Chipped paint to indicate put on and tear on an airplane that noticed loads of use will be created with a tremendous brush and coloured pencil.

As soon as all of the masking has been peeled away to indicate the finished camouflage, various “tiny bits” should be added. The trim tab actuators are separate items that require particular care when gluing every (very tiny) piece onto the wings and tail surfaces. Contact up the camouflage and spray the mannequin with a coat of clear gloss to organize it for the decals. This Sturmovik had the phrases “За Отраднова” (For Otrandova) painted down the aspect of the fuselage in honor of a fellow pilot named Otrandov, most likely killed in battle. Observe that the long-lasting purple star insignia doesn’t seem on the highest of the wing, solely on the undersurfaces and tail.


A modest quantity of weathering lends some authenticity to this Il-2. These plane spent a variety of time within the area and would have seen loads of use. Chipped paint alongside the left wing root exhibits the place crew and maintainers hung out getting out and in of the airplane. Exhaust stains and soot below the wing mark the place rockets had been launched at earlier targets. All this stuff will give the mannequin loads of curiosity.

Beneath ought to see somewhat weathering too. streaks of oil and soot from many a fired anti-tank rocket will be created with artists oil paint thinned to a lightweight wash.

It’s time to put in the touchdown gear. Watch out clipping these items from the “elements tree,” as they’re delicate and may simply break. Rigorously cement the 2 braces that make up the touchdown gear struts into the “pods” beneath the wing. The match is tight­—dry-fit a few occasions earlier than last meeting. As soon as they set totally, add the tires, which match neatly on the ahead struts. The tires come barely flattened to indicate the burden of the plane as soon as it’s accomplished. Be sure the airplane sits accurately earlier than including a small little bit of cement to the tires, finishing the touchdown gear.

Including the Little Particulars

At this stage you possibly can insert the 2 exhaust stacks into place. Rigorously slip these tiny machine gun barrels and longer cannon barrels onto their positions on the wing’s forefront. Paint them a lightweight gunmetal colour. Add the propeller and set the practically accomplished mannequin apart. 

With a really sharp knife masks the three-part clear cover. Modeler’s masking tape is an effective selection for these with a gentle hand.  Pre-cut masks are another choice and will be obtained from various retailers. With the clear elements painted, use white glue, or a cement formulated for clear elements, and add the cover. 

Time to load this tank killer up. Connect the eight unguided rockets and launch rails to their positions below the wings. Bomb braces have positions between the touchdown gear and fuselage. Add the braces after which connect the bombs. 


Lastly, mount the radio antenna simply behind the cockpit and this Il-2 is able to hunt for German panzers throughout the Russian steppes.


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