Overall Rating: [1-100] 80
This kit sports 65 gray plastic parts on 3 sprues, and optional parts for depicting the canopy open or closed. It also contains 36 photo-etched detail parts, replacing or supplementing injection molded pieces, and seven nicely done resin parts as well. A short color pictorial page is also included, showing key areas of what I assume is a restored aircraft.
Decals are provided for four subjects and look thin and in good register; however, there are not enough national markings to do all four (there are only enough common national markings for one a/c).
I am by no means a VVS expert; in fact, this is my first Russian plane! So please take my technical and historical notations with a BIG grain of salt Ö
The kit presents the swept metal-winged two-seater version. Panel lines are recessed and nicely done, though I canít speak to the absolute accuracy of their placement. Based on comparison to the Squadron-Signal In Action book drawings, the outline and shape appear to be at least acceptably accurate.
"Out of the box" takes on a different flavor when "the box" includes traditionally after-market accessories. The photoetch parts add nice detail to an otherwise rather bare cockpit, and the trim tab actuator arms promote a 3-D appearance for the wings, tailplanes and rudder. The resin parts include weighted wheels and a really nice Berezin UBT 12.7mm machine gun and mount for the rear gunnerís position.
The clear parts are perhaps a bit thick, but they look pretty good when installed. Their clarity can be enhanced with a dip or two in Future floor wax prior to painting and installation.
The biggest construction issue for me was the fact that there are no locating pins or ledges on the fuselage or wing halves, reminiscent more of a limited run kit than what I assume will be a long-term major offering. The wing root needs just a bit of filling, and I had to shim the lower cowl seam with .015" card stock to get the best fit. Be careful working the plastic parts as they are rather soft.
Two other less-than-joyful area were the landing gear struts and the installation of the photoetched fins to the underwing RS-82 rockets. The instructions, while generally easy to follow, are not entirely clear in some respects. The landing gear positioning needs to fully understood before you go forward with glue in hand. There are only three pieces each side, but the location points are not positive and I had a devil of a time getting everything in correctly.
The photoetched rocket fins require removal of two molded-on fins on each rocket, then slitting a 90 degree "X" in the back end. In 1/72 scale, these things are pretty small and the slitting is a pain (literally; I sliced my thumb doing this!). If I were to do it again, I might consider using the finest saw I could find in a Dremel, though that still might be too thick.
Other than that, the kit went together nicely, but really study the instructions and your references to clarify parts locations and such.
Special note: The kit-supplied ring sight for the cowl appears to be the wrong type of sight. All the pics I have where a cowl sight can be seen appear to be a post sight (I installed a post sight on this kit).
Finish & Markings:
As noted previously, the decals are nice quality and to all appearances are accurate. However, given available references and research there is some doubt as to their applicability to the metal-winged version the kit presents. For example, It appears that at least one of the offerings, J. Pavlovís bird, was really an earlier, wooden-winged aircraft and therefore not properly represented by the eduard kit.
The painting guide is a three part affair: in-process references to interior color, prop blades, etc.; a general guide to camouflage patterns and colors (questionable at best); and decal placement diagrams for the four offerings. With the exception of the snow-camo subject, the modeler is left to choose the pattern for the subject.
Generally speaking I liked this kit. The challenges offered were fairly easy to address, but I would hesitate to recommend it for newer modelers or those without experience working with limited run kits and photo-etched parts.
Whatever the experts may say about the dimensional, configuration or historical accuracy of this kit, the finished product cannot be mistaken for anything other than a Stormovik; it adds an interesting dimension to my collection, and it sits on my desk for all to see! Thanks to Squadron Mail Order for the kit.