‘As essential to the Red Army as Air and Bread'
Scale Aircraft Modelling|December 2021
As a Russian I always await a new model from Zvezda with anticipation. This is because, as a rule, they kit our own indigenous aircraft, which other companies ‘generate’ very rarely.
Aleksandr Schastniy

Soviet attack aircraft IL-2 Shturmovik

Kit No: 4825

Scale: 1/48

Type: Injection Moulded Plastic

Manufacturer: Zvezda www.en.zvezda.org.ru

Many modellers thought this kit would be a re-packaging of the old Accurate Miniatures kit, as Zvezda did with the Yak-1B. However, this model is a completely new tooled kit.

Like the T-34 tank, the IL-2 was one of the key tools of Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War, and like its tracked cousin, it took a while for the Russians to develop tactics to get the most out of these basic, but excellent, machines. During the war, 36,183 Il-2s were built, and in combination with its successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 42,330 were made, making it the single most produced military aircraft design in aviation history. Contrary to popular belief, the Il-2 was never given an official name. 'Shturmovik' is actually a generic Russian word meaning ground attack aircraft. When factories fell behind on deliveries, Joseph Stalin told the factory managers that the Il-2s were ‘as essential to the Red Army as air and bread.’

Zvezda have designed the components of their new model so that other variants of the Il-2 can be released later (they have just announced a two-seater — Ed), but this kit seems to represent an Il-2 manufactured by Voronezh aircraft manufacturing plant No.18 in the period from August 1941 up until the end of 1942. At that time the aircraft was manufactured with an all-metal wing and a VISh-22 propeller. It is not possible to narrow the timescale any further since aircraft produced at different manufacturing plants could greatly vary. Any modeller who is making a model of an Il-2 in markings not in the kit needs to study photographs of their chosen subject, because there were a huge variety of field and factory modifications.

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