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1/48 Polish Il-2KR Shturmovik


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The first of the figures for the diorama have also arrived. This set comes from Poland, a company called Scibor Miniatures. This 3 figure set is of Polish pilots in 1939-40, however, looking at photographs of pilots from the 43-44 time frame, there isn't too much that needs changing. They also lend themselves well with the long coat, and scarf for the rear spotters/gunners, and a lighter jacket for the pilot (who had the convenience of a sliding canopy and effective cockpit heating):

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As well as this figure of a Russian pilot from Ultracast. He may be Russian now, but I have a feeling that by the time this build is done, he will be happy as a converted Polish pilot figure:

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Thank for looking!

Mark.

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Thank you very much Joel. I appreciate your compliments and yes, this Tamiya kit is really something else. The smaller details are more than expected - for example, the sighting post on the nose cowl for the aiming system is pretty darn good! There is that line that you know that only AM companies can make, or rather, details that would have pushed this injection molded kit into the $60-$70 range. For the cost of this kit, compared to what you get inside, it is a fantastic value for the money.

There are a few other details that Tamiya got spot on, and with the tail feathers for example, they're spot on, where both the Accurate Miniatures and CMK dropped the ball - I'll focus on this when the CMK pieces arrive - and I'm still a bit choked at not having the two horizontal stab pieces... but, such is life.

I hope that by the end of today I can have the tail wheel completed, as well as the flaps started. Depends on how much more reno's I get done today, so, hopefully I stop procrastinating and get to work.

Thanks for looking.

Mark

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Still waiting for the CMK tail feathers, I decided to go ahead and take care of the tail wheel.

Not much for pieces and parts, here are the steps shown from Tamiya, as well as Eduard:

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The kit pieces certainly are great, and will need very little work:

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The pieces were glued together, and test fit - there was some trimming needed on the stem to get the tail wheel to sit properly, but very little - again, the engineering of this kit calls for no paint on contacting surfaces! Wow it's tight!

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I didn't want to have just the static look of the tail wheel looking like it's locked straight, as if it were on the take-off run. The diorama will have it in place where it was brought in after the last sortie, and so I wanted to have it look as though it was turned into place on the grass. Wanting to have the tail wheel slightly turned to show this, I needed to first cut just above the fork:

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Along with a few other smaller details drilled in that the forks were missing, I also glued in a small piece of brass wire:

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A test fit with the tail wheel glued back onto the strut:

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And with the Eduard brass piece:

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A quick shot of the same primer setup used on the mains:

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And the 50/50 mix of grey with dull-coat airbrushed on.

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From here it was a matter of pastels. The same application process was used for the tail wheel as was for the mains:

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The rubber tire was brush painted, and then a mix of pastel chalks were added. I used black, along with 80% black/grey, and a grey/brown. Trying to get a bit more of a gloss look, rather than flat, I rubbed the pastels in with a pointed Q-Tip - these are AWESOME when wanting to focus on a particular piece or section, like just the rubber:

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Paint chips and other silver details were also added:

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And the finished tail wheel, just needing mud added later on:

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Thanks for looking!

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Thanks Joel. It's a lot of fun to try and add those extra things to the kit. Coming home late tonight, I don't think there's going to be much of a chance to get anything done. But, hopefully there's going to be new rocket rails to go onto the wings, along with a few other smaller details. It's also coming time to scratch up a radio as well for this thing, and that, if memory serves right, is going to be the last of the interior details (except for the canopy frame, antenna mast, and wiring going down the edge of the canopy frame. The big thing I'm waiting for isn't so much just the horizontal stabs, but, once they're on, then it's a matter of preparing to paint the kit! So, yes, not much left on this one, aside from figures and the diorama base (but mind you, the diorama wont be happening for a bit still).

Again, thanks for looking. More updates soon hopefully.

Mark.

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The Red Rockets...

When researching exactly what ordnance to put onto this KR, I had come across a number of references that stated that they seldom carried heavier bomb loads. This being the FAB-100 and 250, ZAB-100ZhG and 250ZhG, BRAB-220, and the drop tanks (PLBG-150). They did carry the FOTAB-50 and 100 for illumination (they were basically night illumination munitions to bring daylight to the fight at night), but this was a daytime raid. So, the initial hope of having a bomb load was out. That left me with rockets. The KR's did quite often carry rockets, being the RS-82 and RS-132. So, I started to look into those.

A number of the same reference books and sites I listed in the first post of this thread listed the RS-82 and -132 as common rockets, although there was very little information on the specifics of them. But, Tamiya does provide you with the RS-132's:

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There is one problem though - the rockets they provide are not the RS-132!

I'll start with the RS-82, which there is plenty written about. The best sources for information I found were the 4+ Publication for the written information, and a few shots from the Il-2 section of the MiG-3 website (the reference is also listed on the first post). There is also a fantastic write up written about them on the VVS Hobbyvista website, written by Mr. Pilawskii:

Rockets, Bombs, and Other Ordnance of the VVS - Part I: The RS Rocket

This was an interesting read, but it did not answer all the questions. Looking at a few Russian and Polish websites, along with a good ole Google Search, it all started with the RS-82. The key things to note are the measurements, and here they are:

RS-82

Body Diameter: 82mm

Length from Tip to Trailing Edge of Fin: 620mm

Length from Unfused Tip to End of Rocket Motor (no tail fins): 600mm

Fin Wingspan: 200mm

This is the base starting point for the RS Rocket Series. They were designed in 1937, and later developments saw a more pointed nose. Used mainly as a kind of flying fragmentation grenade, they were replaced with the -132, which was developed in 1939 and was soon seen on aircraft, becoming a standard rocket by 1942. The newer -132 was similar to the -82, but had these measurements:

RS-132

Body Diameter: 132mm

Length from Tip to Trailing Edge of Fins: 935mm

Length from Unfused Tip to End of Rocket Motor (no tail fins): 845mm

Fin Wingspan: 300mm

So... total length from the tip to the end of the rocket motor in 1/48 scale would be 17.6mm. The kit rocket was a bit different:

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So, two questions - what was in the kit... and what did I need on the wings.

In going further into the rocket question, I did find out what exactly was in the kit... which also matches the colour call outs. Without going into any great detail - but if you want it, just ask - the closest thing I could find given the shape of the nose, and the overall length of the fuselage, with the molded bands (more on that later), is M-13 Rocket - a fragmentation/demolition rocket, with a shaped HEAT nose to also allow for some armour piercing capability (something that the standard RS-132 didn't have). The M-13 Rocket - which Armoured fans might be familiar with on the Katiusha - measured a total length of just over 1410mm, which, in 1/48 comes to about 29.3mm - ad those tail fins to this picture, and that's what you have.

The bands as well on that picture are also very prominent on any M-13, ROFS-132 (a later Rocket also very similar to the M-13), but not seen on any body of the standard RS-132. The last thing as well, is the rail.

The earlier styled rail was nothing more than a T-shaped rail, with a couple of mount points, and a fuse block in the end, where the pigtail connected to the aircraft, these were RO-82 rails. The later variants with the flush sides (for aerodynamic reasons) was the RO-132, becoming standard issue after mid 1943, so going with that, I also found a few good photo's showing the rails with the rockets, but I wanted to show this one especially:

A quick little zoom in shows the RS-132 under the wing on the newer RO-132 rails. Note the distance from the tip of the rail, to the tip of the fuse exists:

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On the Tamiya setup, there is no way that this is an RS-132:

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So, is this a big time botch? Heck no! The kit supplies some great, late war rockets, with some pretty good fins and details, that are perfect if you want to show a Shturmovik ready to go after some hard armour targets! Really, they are nice. But they aren't the RS-132 rockets that I would need for this build - which the standard RS-132 rather than the armour piercing was important. They were going on a run at larger stationary targets on their march onto Berlin for this one - honestly, there is a story behind this diorama scene - so what options are out there?

Well, there are a few AM sets available. There is the set from Eduard (Brassin -Il-2 Weapon Set (FAB 50, RS 132)), but as I will not be putting the FAB load on, nor did I want the "pineapple grenade" look, those are out. As well, I really didn't want to spend the money on a set and have to shave down the bands and overdone fragmentation pattern on the nose of the rocket. Vector makes the -82's, but that's it, which is a shame. Aero Bonus make a great line of Bombs, but no rockets, and so on, and so on, and so on...

Well, as luck would have it, I happen to have an aluminum pipe now, that measures almost the scale diameter (after paint I'm sure it will), and there's quite a bit that can be salvaged from the Tamiya rockets! Wish me luck, I'm going to my workbench to build me some rockets! Pictures to follow soon.

Mark.

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Mark,

Most impressive research on the rockets. It's something that I wouldn't have given much thought to. This is one area of my modeling that needs more focus and improvement. To some extent more then upping my skill levels.

Joel

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Thank you both. Joel, the research for me is the biggest enjoyment of this hobby. Although I found the numbers, I botched the first rocket - the aluminum pipe proved to be both very difficult to sand down and as well as being just the wrong diameter. I'm going to make a second attempt in a bit, using plastic rod. Here's hoping it works!

Merry Christmas folks!

Mark.

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Thank you both. Joel, the research for me is the biggest enjoyment of this hobby. Although I found the numbers, I botched the first rocket - the aluminum pipe proved to be both very difficult to sand down and as well as being just the wrong diameter. I'm going to make a second attempt in a bit, using plastic rod. Here's hoping it works!

Merry Christmas folks!

Mark.

Mark,

I've never had any luck with metal rod or tubes. I've always ended up with Evergreen rods or tubes as you can sand, file, and shape them so much easier. I'm sure with your skills you'll succeed with the next attempt.

Joel

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Joel,

I'll definitely be going the route of plastic rod for this one. No doubt about that!

So, a bit of good news, the control surfaces arrived today! I couldn't wait, so it was right to getting them attached and glued on!

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Parts in this pack include ailerons, elevators, rudder, horizontal stabs, the counterweight on the rudder, and a nice feature, separate trim tabs for the tail pieces. Why they didn't offer this on the ailerons, well, who knows:

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Right away I saw a difference in the kit pieces to the CMK set - the number of hinges. Further to that, I really do like the surface detail offered by Tamiya over the CMK set, but let us call a spade a spade - I didn't buy this set for the details:

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All of my reference material shows the horizontal stabs connecting to the elevators with three hinges, precisely as Tamiya has done. This being said, where the CMK fell short a bit (in my opinion, and others may well disagree with me), they definitely did have crisper panel lines and access panel over the Tamiya kit piece:

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The internal detail of the horizontal stab was also a bit interesting. Here is the resin piece:

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And here is a great reference photograph taken by Bill Spidle, over on Prime Portal:

Photo of Horizontal & Vertical Stabs without Elevators or Rudder

:dontknow:

Anyway, not much of it would be seen as it is. The biggest question was how do these pieces size up, one being meant for the AM kit, while I needed it for this Tamiya. All in all, not too bad. It looks bad in this first picture, but the tab midway down needed a slight trimming, and the leading edge of the stab needed to be sanded back a few mm's. That's about it:

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The Elevators needed to be sanded a bit as well. The inside edge (against the fuselage) was a bit too far in, and needed to be sanded, with a little more pressure on the trailing edge to get the right angle. Here's the unsanded piece on the left, and the ready piece on the right:

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Here is the second test shot, getting a bit closer with both pieces together:

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Once everything fit just right, it was time to add the third hinge:

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The pieces dry fit with the new hinge and the angle I want on the elevator:

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Edited by Aurora Mark
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As the guide and slot didn't line up, I needed to shave off the guide off the CMK piece, and used a bit of a wooden stir stick. I was cut into the horizontal stab about 1 cm, and that is an hour of my life I will never get back, and glued in place:

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And, here it is - the CMK horizontal stab and elevator on the Tamiya kit:

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Now it's time to go and take care of the other side.

Thanks for looking!

Mark.

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Well... not every aftermarket set makes life better... while I was gluing the second horizontal stab on, and checking alignment, I saw this...

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I said "WTF?" and looked at it again...

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Yeah. I haven't seen a pregnant horizontal stab before, but this is a first... it's not warped - it's bulged at the bottom about 2/3 out from the fuselage join...

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So, I cleaned up the glue, filled in the access hatch on the horizontal stab that I had from the kit, moved the elevator the other way, and here we go...

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The funny thing... the only CMK stab that was any good was the one that I already had. There's something about that starboard side. Anyway, mismatched tail, but the stabs are on none the less. I'm hitting that point where it is time to finish this one up, and move onto the Aurora.

Thankfully, all that is left to do for this kit, remains at scratch building the radio, completing the canopy and tail stinger, building the flaps, prepping the guns, rockets, flaps, doors, and prop, painting it all up, and then she's done!

I hope it is that easy at least.

Thanks for looking.

Mark.

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Mark,

That horizontal stab really does look weird. Doesn't seem to be a casting problem, so CMK just accepted it for what it is, which makes no sense since there supposed to be corrected detail parts. Go figure. The only real difference between the two different horizontal stabs is the width of the hinges, which no one will ever notice.

Joel

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Mark,

That horizontal stab really does look weird. Doesn't seem to be a casting problem, so CMK just accepted it for what it is, which makes no sense since there supposed to be corrected detail parts. Go figure. The only real difference between the two different horizontal stabs is the width of the hinges, which no one will ever notice.

Joel

Joel, yeah, it is something odd. I asked around and no one else has had the same issues that have used this set - so... a new kind of warping that I have not seen, or anyone else? I hope the hinges aren't going to be that different once done. I really don't have it in me right now to redo the hinges on the kit pieces. I'm just going to continue as is for now.

You're doing a great job with this Sturmovik. Tamiya kit looks very nice. I think I need one :)/>

Kstruz,

This is by far one of the most enjoyable builds that, for the most part, is out of the box. If anyone wants to build it straight from the box, it will be a fantastic kit. Given what you are doing with the Fulmar, I can't wait to see what you can do with a Shturmovik! There are so many schemes that work for this aircraft, both war time during the Great Patriotic War, and post war schemes - although post war most went with the standard olive drab looking scheme with the blue underside.

If I were to make another one, which I think down the road I just might, it would involve a single seater variant of the earlier Shturmovik line, although I would love to try a conversion to the radial engine prototype as well. The Il-2 family is one of my favourite aircraft families, and there's so many I want to make!

You will really enjoy this kit!

Cheers,

Mark.

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  • 2 months later...

Now that I'm back home, work will progress on this one. My hope is to at least get this one done as a static model, and then when I get home I'll get to the diorama aspect of it. But, the next step will be scratch building the radio for the back, finishing up the lower flaps, and getting everything ready to be painted up.

More to come soon - very soon - I hope.

Cheers,

Mark.

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  • 4 years later...

Bringing this one back from the dead...

 

Hello everyone. Long time no talk! I'll save all the time and details for another post, but here I am at the desk with this model in hopes of finishing it off. It's been... what...  carry the one, add the remainder, divide by the square root of the suns location.... over 3 years! Well, this project has been dusted off and a few things have come to light with trying to make sure I can accurately represent this Il-2 KR in Polish markings. 

 

First off, the very first black & white photo posted that was confirmed to be an Il-2KR is in fact... not. Although the antenna on the top of the canopy, style of wings, and a few other items (including a confirmation from a museum) pointed at this being an Il-2KR, a (now seemingly large) missed item in the picture makes it a UIl-2... the lack of 23mm VYa-23 cannons in the wings:

 

uil-2_zpsutakw8mc.jpg

 

Although there is a barrel just sticking out ever so slightly, it is a 7.62 ShKAS machine gun that was employed with the trainer variants. Specifically this picture is of a UIl-2 from Zjednoczona Wojskowa Szkola (Military Aviation School) in 1945. What the wing should have is the pronounced hump and large barrel as shown below (photo from Massimo Tessitori's fantastic site that talks about Il-2 camo evolution): 

 

il-2kr_zps8d5tid7t.jpg

 

I do apologize for the erroneous information in the first post and I wanted to correct this before going on any further. 

 

So, what does this all mean? Rather than talking in circles, there has been a lot of discussion had over the last few months with regards to Polish Il-2 schemes (for the Il-2M3s and Il-2KRs) during war years (and not post-war). My hope for the war time scheme is to have a camouflaged aircraft (as soon after the war they went to a very blan brownish-green and greyish blue scheme). I liked the initial scheme as it gave some interesting factors, mainly the overpainted Soviet stars with the purely white checkerboard pattern rather than the red and white.

 

A large lack of images along with numerous speculations that have continued to circulate over the years has lead to both a lot of confusion, but thankfully, a few answers as well. So, separating subjective opinions from objective facts, here's what we have: 

 

-Polish units were created in late 1944 with the Soviet 611th, 658th, 382nd and 384th units being converted to Polish units (3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th regiments respectively). These units were still largely comprised of Soviet aircrew as Polish crews were being trained and posted in, effectively replacing them one-for-one. The aircraft had Soviet markings with Polish checkerboards painted on the noses. 

-Aircraft types were a mix of Il-2M3s and Il-2KRs numbering approximately 178, but the actual breakdown is not truly known (open source references).

-By 1946 they received about 230 total Il-2 aircraft (ref: Michulec, 1999, pg. 28). 

-It was common practice nearing the summer of 1945 to overpaint the Soviet insignia and paint the Polish checkerboard in their place (numerous references). More on that later. 
-Although no distinct reference or order was determined as to what the date was, by fall of 1945 all Polish Il-2 aircraft had checkerboards and no longer had the Red Star (ref: TBiU 010 - Il-2 Samolot Szturmowy).

-Il-2KR aircraft did have a non-standardized practice of removing the rear gunners windscreen to provide greater visibility over target areas for spotter duties (ref: Iljusin IL-2, Oleg Rastrenin, and numerous open source photographs of the Il-2KR). 

 

Very interestingly about the markings: 

-In October of 1944, NKAP Order No. 5590/0207 gave specific orders with regards to colours and markings. New aircraft after January of 1945 would have new camouflage schemes, where existing aircraft would keep the 3 colour upper scheme. More importantly, it was imidiately to be adopted that the insignia was standardized, specifically speaking about number of Soviet Red Stars and their locations. 6 stars - 2 on the vertical fins, 2 on the fuselage, and 2 under the wings) were to be had by all aircraft. Combining this order with Polish Il-2s all being ex. VVS inventory, and bore the checkeboards in the same locations as the stars (4+ Publications, Il-2 Sturmovik, pg. 25), it is safe to say that these aircraft should show signs of the old insignia of the Red Star being over-painted.

 

To what degree, well, that's a case by case basis it seems. Some were over-painted very closely to the original paints, and are barely noticeable in any reference picture due to the low quality of the images. Others (such as the UIl-2) are blatant and can be seen being over-painted with whatever paint was available. 

 

So, here I sit, looking over both the Montex mask set and the colour schemes. You'll notice that although both have the 3 colour upper scheme, the pattern is quite different (as the starboard wing has the typically seen puzzle-piece layout between colours: 

 

il-2kr2_zps4y01qiws.jpg

 

The question of national insignia can wait for now. The camouflage scheme was the first thing I wanted to determine with at least a greater amount of certainty. Thankfully again, Massimo Tessitori has a great site and on the page referencing colours utilized on Soviet aircraft from 1937-47, where he goes into great detail on NKAS order 2389/0133 from July 1943 that gives a good break down of non-fighter aircraft and the newly created camouflage schemes. Of particular note here is the Il-2 (screenshot from Tessitori's site): 

 

il-2%20schemes_zps54wntjho.jpg

 

So which variant was used? Thankfully it seems that all Soviet and Polish crews loved the same bloody pose looking onto the port forward section of the aircraft, and suffice to say, if there is any indication of a dark grey, it's Variant 2. Now, before I or anyone goes and says that this means someones paint scheme call out is incorrect, lets take this with a bit of a historical grain of salt. This was an order put out. There were a number of factors that also came into play. Zavod 18 (factory 18) had a reputation of following rules better than Zavod 1 did... field modified paint schemes... availability of paint, mixing of colours, etc, it all played a part. So ultimately, unless there is a particularly clear image of a specific aircraft at a specific time that can objectively show the paint scheme, it's all subjective isn't it? 

 

Alright, I've gone on about this long enough without really talking about the model. So where does this leave me? I need a subject now don't I? 

Due to the modifications to this kit, and the unique nature of the variant, I want to continue making an Il-2KR, with Polish markings (and no Soviet markings), no rear windscreen for the rear gunner/observer, during the late war period of April/May 1945 with the 6th PLSz, on the advance towards Berlin. Can this still be done? Yes, I hope, but a few things need to be truly answered: 

 

1. Is there a reference to an aircraft that would have been used during this period of time? 
2. What will the paint scheme be? 
3. What would the load out be for this aircraft? 

 

More to follow shortly. 

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To answer the first question, I did some digging around in a few amazing publications. The primary source being  Lotnictwo Polski Ludowej 1944-1947 by Izydor Kolinksi. In this book, the author speaks to great detail about the 6th PLSz, and a few interesting notes come up. The unit flew 134 combat operations in support of the Berlin offensive. Of that, the missions specifically on the 2nd of May were cited as the ones tasked with conducting reconnaissance flights in the region of Fehrbellin and Lentzke. The information provided - including photographic information - was key for both damage assessments of the previous days raids and in planning future operations. As the 6th had Il-2KR aircraft (30 Il-2s with at a minimum of 2 of those being KR type), I believe it is fair to assume - and I intentionally use the word assume - that the Il-2KR aircraft would have flown this mission. 

 

 

The second questionmarkings. The post-war Polish schemes were the brown-green over blue and the Polish were consistent with their painting. One thing to look at is the break between the upper colour and lower blue colour - it WAS NOT a thick feathered edge. Not on the Il-2s, Il-10s or any other aircraft of the sort. Were there exceptions to the rule? Unfortunately caused by a single Il-2 museum piece that had a non-standard scheme applied to it after a restoration in Warsaw. However, in digging into this as well, it was interesting to learn from that very same museum, that the scheme should be a hard line and have a lower "swoop" under the horizontal stabilizer as well as under-painted leading edges (as with the Il-10 shown below). This was recognized as the appropriate scheme. (photo from http://www.airvectors.net/avil2.html😞

 

il-10scheme_zpsqyyzg1bc.jpg

 

So why mention the post-war schemes if I'm looking to do a wartime camouflage scheme? Simply put there are a couple things I'm looking for with regards to whether an aircraft was a war-time image or a post-war image. First, are there any aircraft around it that sport the post-war scheme? Second, is the finish a warn, dirty, dull scheme or is it clean and showing some gloss? The latter of the two again indicates a post-war image (as again, the Il-10 pictured above). Examples of warn aircraft, and some great detail shots for weathering this warbird below have no references. I found these images back in 2015 and I sincerely do apologize to the source for these as I cannot find where it was I got them). The first is of an Il-2M3 in early 1945: 

 

il-2A_zpswzr8rt0m.jpg

 

This is of a UIl-2 sometime in the spring of 1945: 

il-2B_zpsd91m77yd.jpg

 

 

Right, so what does this all mean for the scheme for an Il-2KR? Well, here's the honest answer - I have not been able to confirm with any single photo, or solid reference of what an Il-2KR in the 6th in April/May looked like, or was numbered. However, given the number of interesting points I learned while digging into this, it may not have helped me, but perhaps something about the Il-2 mentioned here can help someone else out there. 

 

But not all is lost. Going back to some of the references there are smaller details that have been answered. For instance, the colours of the spinner and upper fin. Going from 4+ Publications, Il-2 Sturmovik, pg. 25, aside from what was already mentioned, "aircraft ID numbers were one or two digit numbers on the rear fuselage, in front of the insignia, or on the fin, with numerals in various shapes. The spinners and top fins were frequently painted in squadron colours (Yellow, Blue or Red)."

 

So, which squadrons had which colour? Initially I went with the idea of Red with Montex Mask having red with their scheme for the 6 PLSz, but the red 28 threw me. Looking further into it, this scheme has also been shown on other decals as a yellow fin with white spinner, and with a yellow spinner.... so what is what? 

 

Kwartalnik - Jesien 3/98 (numer 4) - Ilustrowany Magazyn Plastikowego Modelarstwa Lotniczego (Illustration Magazine (of) Aviation Plastic Models) has 3 profiles that show yellow tail and yellow spinner tip being yellow for the 6th, as well as the museum in Warsaw with their original Il-2M3. The 3rd has been shown with red tail fin and spinner from numerous sources which also have shown to be the same for the Il-10s. So, for the 6th, this model will have the yellow spinner and upper fin section. 

 

What about the insignia? They were all war horses used by the Soviets, so the Red Star would have been overpainted. My approach with this will effectively be a 2 stage paint job. Paint the entire model in a camouflage scheme, without the red stars being painted on, and then weather the model as effectively as I can. Once that's done, using a more fresh coat of appropriate colours I will 'over-paint' where the red stars would have been, and then apply the checkerboards as a more 'fresh' looking paint. 

 

Tail number? the 6th had 30 Il-2s, and knowing that at least 2 were Il-2KR types, I've got about a 1 in 15 chance of getting the number right, right? All I know is that it won't be 28. That I'll figure out later on. 

 

And lastly, what about the paint scheme (with regards to the camouflage)? Well, as the sliding canopy and center portion of the protective windscreen have already been painted dark green, I'll go with the safe route and continue along by using Variant 1 (from above) which is very similar to the colour call out from Montex (minus the dark grey on the fuselage) and pretty spot on with the April 1945 (Berlin) scheme (C) that Tamiya included in the instructions: 

 

scheme_zps9yyxbr70.jpg

 

 

 

Lastly, load out. As this mission with the KR was written up as a reconnaissance mission, and there aren't any scores or kills listed for the unit from that day (where others were recorded in great detail), I'm going to opt not to have rockets on the wings, but rather going with just the rails. 

 

 

So, that's pretty much where I'm at now. All that being decided now I just need to get at building again right? First step will be to complete the internal details of the radio assembly that would have been mounted just above the fuel tank and the front windscreen with the wiring for the antenna mast that will be attached later on. 

 

 

Cheers!
Mark.

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The Il-2 was not an elegant aircraft in the slightest. The smooth skin of the Tamiya kit is going to be beaten up accordingly as best as I can to show how these aircraft were put together and flown in combat. Starting with the canopy there is nothing really overly clean about it. It was thick glass, glued together, and held inside a solid frame. It was made to fit. Here is a picture (that again I wish I had the reference for) showing a factory worker putting final touches on the front windscreen: 

 

canopy1_zpsdbrrqewc.jpg

 

Even museum pieces show the made-to-fit construction (images from: http://vvs.hobbyvista.com/Research/Ilyushin/Il-2/Walkround/Serbia/

 

canopy2_zpsabgtoeum.jpg

 

canopy3_zpsstjh2gaz.jpg

 

 

These images and sites were my primary reference for the front windscreen. One can see from the first picture that the outside frame held the glass in place, and the rear frame (google search of Il-2 cockpit will show numerous images), well... the rear frame was the strength of the windscreen to hold it in place from any impacts. The glass effectively floated being glued together and being easily replaceable when damaged. 

 

On this kit I started with smoothing out the mounting location on the fuselage, and then adding light ghost grey in the areas where the glass of the windscreen would sit. I drilled a hole for the antenna mast on the inside of the canopy at this point. Adding a light ghost grey first in order to give that lighter colour seen in the reference picture on the bench, before going and adding the darker cockpit grey to the frames: 

 

1A_zpswtimzys2.jpg1_zpsrit03skm.jpg2_zpsbkrvj6t4.jpg

 

 

The next step was to add paint chips and pastel chalk, primarily to the port side as this was the primary side that pilots would climb in and out of the Il-2: 

 

3_zpslr6qetfy.jpg

 

 

A small PE plate was added at the base of where the antenna for the Il-2KR would be mounted on the frame and the Montex masks were removed from the interior:

 

4_zps9mvxadyy.jpg

 

 

 

The windscreen was then glued to the fuselage. Once the glue was cured, the edges were sanded down and smaller dabs were added to the front two frame posts to simulate how the frame was overlapped and mounted on the real thing. Once dried the same light and then dark grey was brush painted on. I opted for brush painting because it would help give some shape to the frame and a thicker coat would really emphasize the frame rising over the glass: 

 

5_zpsqbyyhv4g.jpg

 

 

 

Once that was dry I applied two coats of medium green (FS34102): 

 

6_zpsg7954o7a.jpg

 

 

Once this had dried I went at adding paint chips and using some grey and brown pastel chalk to bring the colour closer to the green paint chips of the AMT-4 Dark Green samples. Paint chips were also added. You can see the hole that was drilled in for the future placement of the antenna mast: 

 

7_zpslxwbvurd.jpg

 

 

The next step was to carefully remove the paint masks, and exposing the "glass" from below. I tried to get a good angle to show the depth of the canopy frames giving the impression of thick windscreen glass: 

 

8_zpsf7uixyhb.jpg

 

 

 

The last step was to take thickened medium green paint with a toothpick and fill the gap in the glass along the lower edge to seal off the windscreen. Once this was applied a quick run with a paintbrush was applied to smooth the paint out, and the same pastel and paint chip application applied: 

 

9b_zpswlnt2uem.jpg

 

 

 

The canopy will sit overnight to dry out and then progress is going to continue with the radio to be added into the aft section just over the fuel tank. Thanks for looking,

 

 

Mark.

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