Kit - 1/72 scale IL-2M3 Stormovik from Toko
Kit Number 101
I have always liked the IL-2 Stormovik. It is an excellent example of an aircraft that was designed to do one thing and it did it well. The airplane was designed to kill German Tanks and it did that. Because of the usual Luftwaffe air superiority, the Stormovik was well armored and defended so that Luftwaffe pilots had to be very good or lucky to shoot it down. More Stormoviks were built during WW II than any other aircraft so it is only fitting that one be added to my model collection. Based on availability and my good experience with the Toko LaGG-3, I chose the Toko kit to build.
As reported on the "Modeling the Soviet VSS" web site, the Toko kit is reasonably accurate in outline but does not offer much cockpit detail and what is available is wrong. To correct this, I used the Neomega resin cockpit set. It fit well with only a minor amount of trimming required. The Toko canopy is very thick would not show off the detail of the Neomega set. To fix this, I smash molded a new sliding part of the canopy and used the windshield and the rear portion of the Toko part. I also used a set of Moskit exhaust pipes and some parts from the Eduard photo etched accessory set.
The model assembled well with only minor amounts of filler being required. The engineering of the cooling air intake scoop on the top of the nose is well done and avoids a glue joint that would be hard to finish. I did have some problems with the radiator outlet under the wing but some filler and additional scribing took care of the situation. Also, the Eduard parts added realism in this area. Finally, my kit did not include the rudder mass balance. The plans and the box drawings show this part to be molded to the right fuselage half. It could have broke off or been a molding short shot. In any case, I was able to add this feature with a little stretched sprue.
The decals provided by Toko looked good but I could not find any confirmation of the markings that they provided. I was able to obtain a set of Travers decals from Russia, which included a set of markings of the 566 ShAP. This aircraft is depicted on the cover of "Red Start in the Sky, Part 2" from Tietoteos. The national markings were good although they had to be assembled like the old HisAirDec decals. The "Za Leningrad" emblem was excellent and made the model. Unfortunately the "Mestí za Khristenko" inscription and the number "07" were much too small to be used. As a result, I built aircraft number 17, flown by double HSU V. I. Mykhlik, the squadron commander. I got the numbers from an old E.S.C.I. sheet and assumed that his plane did not have the Khristenko inscription. When will one of the western decal providers add the Stormovik to their line of 1/72 products?
I had been following the various articles on the web site regarding IL-2 camouflage and colors and decided that the proper scheme for my IL-2 would be AII Green and AII Ochre over AII Blue. I used Model Master interior green to depict a worn green and used a 50/50 mix of Floquil Desert Sand and Aeromaster Japanese Brown Primer with a touch of red to depict worn ochre. For the blue, I used Testors square bottle blue with a touch of yellow. It is brighter than it should but not too much so. When using the Moskit exhaust pipes, it is important to pre-paint the fuselage before adding the exhausts. I didnít and tried to carefully mask the exhausts with liquid latex. I spent hours removing bits of latex after painting and had to touch up the fuselage by the exhausts anyhow.
In summary, I am pleased with the resulting model. The kit went together without major problems and it has the look of the Stormovik. Recommended with the noted reservations.