1/48 Tamiya Il-2 Shturmovik

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Nov 21 2012



For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Russian Il-2 Shturmovik.  The Il-2 was a WWII heavily armored Russian ground attack aircraft. Il-2 armorment was integrated into the airframe to protect vital areas such as, the engine, fuel tank, and cockpit.  Armed with two 23mm cannons and up to 600kg of bombs and rockets, it devastated German tank units. A 12.7mm machine, mounted behind the pilot, protected the rear of the aircraft.

The Germans called the Il-2 the “flying tank”, Stalin regarded the Il-2 to be as important to his army as bread and water.  Production of the Il-2 totaled over 36,000.

The construction of the Il-2 kit was straight forward—the kit pretty much fell together because the parts fit was so good. Very little filling and sanding were required. The kit gives you the options of a closed or open cockpit. I went with a closed cockpit. The only issue with the closed cockpit is that you can’t see much of it. The four piece canopy fit like a glove and the Tamiya precut masks fit perfectly.


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All paints used for this model were Model Masters and Floquil enamel paints. The painting instructions illustrated basically two paint schemes. I chose to use the paint scheme for the 566th Shap 1944 Leningrad. I deviated somewhat from the paint colors the instructions called out. I tried to match the colors shown in the box art. Here are the paints I used:

  • Landing Gears and Wheel wells - RLM 02 Grau

  • Fuselage underside - RLM 78 Hellblau

  • Fuselage top camouflage pattern - RLM 66, Dark Tan, and Italian Olive Green 

  • Prop Blades, Bombs, Rockets - Weathered Black.

  • Spinner - Signal Red

  • Cannons and Machine Guns - Gun Metal

  • Engine Exhaust stacks - Burnt Metal

  • Tires Grimy - Black

Once the paint dried and cured, I hand brush two coats of Future on the model, in preparation for decals. The kit provides decals for three aircraft. I chose to use the decals for the 566th ShAP 1944 Leningrad. The decals performed well, settling down in the panel lines with no silvering. I did use a bit of Solvaset on each decal just to make sure the decal snugged down to the surface.

If there were an award for the kit that had the best parts fit, this kit would win hands down. The quality of molding and fit of this model is outstanding, you almost don’t need any glue the fit is so good. Additionally, the detail is excellent. Building this Tamiya Il-2 model was a most enjoyable experience.

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson