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  1. Single seater canopy, of course. What type of a single seater canopy considering its framing and armour protection evolution? I am well aware of that resolution. Let's continue to explore it a bit further. Unless a resolution or order is fulfilled, it's just a piece of paper. Resolution was issued on 9 Sept 1942. A month later, it was reported, that Factory No. 381 has not yet started with wooden wings production due to lack of wood-working facilities. Some of the late production Factory No.381 aircraft had the wooden rear fuselage section, but none had the wooden outer wing parts. Simply said, Factory No.381 did not fulfill the resolution signed by J.V. Stalin himself. Why do you expect that Factory No.18 did that? Any photographic evidence of real produced aircraft followin the resolution from 9 Sept? Factory No.18 was equipped withe metal-working facilities well enough. The conversion to wooden wings production would cause delays and dropouts in production. That was something that the factory director was referring to in one of his letters, if I remember correctly. If we say "wooden" wings or fuselages, we need to understand it was not a pure natural wood, but a special sort of ply-wood with enough complicated production technology. Even a "wood-experienced" producer, such was the Zavod No.30, was facing numerous production defects due to violations in the production technology. OK, let's continue with resolution based path as you suggest. There's another one, from May 1941 if I remember correctly, to replace ShVAKs with VYa-23. How it turned out we already know. Not fulfilled due to lack of 23mm cannons. Now, I'm a bit lost in how you propose to understand the resolutions. Wooden wings from Factory No.18 yes, because there was a resolution? VYa-23 no, despite there was a resolution? So is an issued resolution a determining factor we can fully rely on? I would suggest to apply the same approach to all resolutions. Firstly let's check what is a certain resolution about and then double check if, how and when it was fulfilled. There were no guns? Who said that? It's definitely not my thesis. Apologies if I have formulated my thoughts in not enough clear way. Lack of VYa-23 cannons means that their production was unable to deliver as many cannons as needed to equip all planes with. Again, let's keep in mind, that Factory No.18 was the head producer. From the limited amount of VYa-23s at hand, there was enough 23mm cannons to supply the Factory No.18, but not enough to do the same for Factories No.1, 30 and 381. Similar cases could be seen through the war also in other industry segments. For example enough rubber bandages for T-34 tank road wheels in Factories No.183 and 112, but critical lack in Stalingrad, so the Stalingrad Tractor Plant must to develop their own road wheels with inner amortization, not using rubber bandages. And that was just a one example of many others. As you can see, deficit of various kind, and often of a local scale, was a quite common thing, especially in the first half of the war. BR Viktor
  2. Fridrih, thanks for sharing the photo. I see couple of questionable points, mainly due to the canvas covering. What is the canopy type? What type is the gun-sight? PBP-1b in the cockpit? VV-1 in front of the windscreen (seems not)? Or maybe no gun-sight at all? What type of fuel tank is behind the cockpit? The only thing we more or less clearly see is the "later type" metal wing introduced since August 1941. Speaking of the Il-2 production and shortages of various kind. Yes, there was a shortage of VYa-23 cannons. There was also a shortage (in the aviation industry at all, not just in connection with Il-2) of light metals. What did that mean for the Il-2 production with keeping in mind that the Factory No.18 was the head producer? Factory No.18 was producing Il-2s as close to the desired state as possible. Despite the lack of metals, this factory limited the wooden replacements to rear fuselage sections only. Never built wooden wings for single- and two-seat machines. Factories No. 1 and 30, due to lack of metals, were "forced" to introduce also the wooden wing outer parts. Despite the lack of VYa-23 cannons, Factory No. 18 has never switched to ShVAKs. Factories No.1 and 30 were "forced" to replace VYa-23s with ShVAKs, even the two-seat Il-2s with straight wings (btw also wooden) built in those factories were armed with 20mm cannons until summer 1943, as you have pointed out already. It was the late war period, the Il-2 "krilo so strelkoy" (arrow wings), when the situation in the industry got back to normal shape. Hence, also the Factories No. 1 and 30 started with introducing the metal wings production (still, the first "arrows" built there had wooden wings) and with VYa-23s installed. The final step was taken after the war. Some 350 aircraft turned into full metal planes after their wooden rear fuselage sections were replaced with metal ones produced as conversion kits by the Factory No.30. Most of them, about 300, were trainer modifications, since the ground attack role has been taken over by more advanced Il-10s. When speaking of various production nuances, those can be rarely applied globally. Instead, we need to take a look on specific factory and time period. Il-2 from the photo shared by Fridrih is definitely and interesting subject. If to rely on the date information Nov 1941, we can "reconstruct" all the details not visible on the photo. Well, and the short barrels? Maybe more an exception rather than rule. That would be my best guess. Fridrih, do you have more photos of other Il-2s with metal wings and ShVAKs? By any chance any photo of painting/marking options 3 & 4? One more comment on Zvezda kit. The instructions advise to attach aileron mass balance weight (parts D13) to ailerons (parts D2 and D3). Aileron weights have been used with the early metal type wings and should not be used when building this kit. There is a couple of good photos for the painting/marking variant 2 available, one of those clearly showing there are just the wing tip mass balance weights. Despite the photo kindly shared by Fridrih is not absolutely clear, at least to me it shows no aileron weights as well (due to the wing type I would not expect them to be there, tbh). BR Viktor
  3. Metal wings of the type present in Zvezda kit, let's call them the "later type" (approx. since August 1941), were typical for Il-2 built in the Factory No.18 solely. This Factory was the only one installing the 23mm VYa-23 cannons since they were introduced (ShVAK cannons installed by Factories No. 1 & 30, however both Factories switched to wooden wings). There's so far no evidence that Factory No.18 has ever switched to ShVAKs even just for some period, neither with single-seaters, nor two-seaters. Hence the "later type" metal wings and 20mm ShVAK cannons do not go together. Would be interesting to see any photographic evidence confirming ShVAKs in metal wings (except of very early production Il-2s, with metal wings of "early type" with 20mm guns in inner position and no fairings, as built in Factories No. 18 and 381). Can you please share such photos? BR Viktor
  4. Sean, loading through upper openings was used only for small bombs, for example PTABs. So feel free to keep bomb bays open on the ground, ok for loading standard 50-100kg bombs. "Arrow" could carry up to 600kg of load, compared do straight-winged with max of 400kg. Hence, no faux-pas if bombs and rockets at the same time Despite not related to "arrows", but rather straight-winged 2-seaters, worth to mention that if small bombs were carried in KMB containers, bomb bay doors were removed. KMB was split into six sections, each with single door. Since the KMB was a bit shorter than the bomb bay itself, there was a gap in the rear part, covered with metal sheet. Good to keep that in mind when building a two-seater taking part in the Battle of Kursk, where PTABs were massively and with great success used for the first time. While Il-2s with NS-37 cannons over Kursk is a myth, PTABs were a real Soviet secret weapon. With a rain of tens of small cumulative bombs falling down, just a single Il-2 was able to kill three German tanks in a column. BR Viktor
  5. Sean, all Il-2 modifications had four bomb bays in position as you mention, intended for bombs up to 100kg in each. Later, Il-2 could carry various types of small bombs, incendiary capsules, etc as well. Those were initially carried in dedicated KMB (Kasseta Melkikh Bomb = Small Bombs Container) containers, which were loaded into the bomb bays through bomb bay doors, "from the bottom", similarly to standard 100kg bombs. Such containers, however, proved themselves not fully reliable (certain number of small bombs could stuck inside, sometimes ending with explosion while landing). A change was made therefore. They omitted containers at all and small bombs were to be loaded to bomb bays directly, "from the top", not through bomb bay doors, but through special openings with covers on wing upper surfaces where the bomb bays are. When on the target, pilot simply opened the bomb bay doors and all that deadly load fell out. Please refer to the scale drawing in the original book, page 46 (p. 45 shows the "old" wing center section) and all following two-seat modifications. BR Viktor
  6. @BushBrit66 Sean, there are also some new ones, not included in the original. BR Viktor
  7. As you've well pointed out, the very early metal wings had cannons with no fairings in inner position. I would expect new sprues with fuselage halves, corresponding outer wings, set of mass balance weights and cannon&machine gun barrels. So hopefully no issue. BR Viktor
  8. Jason, thanks for your kind words. Let's hope that with Il-2, Zvezda will sooner or later go the same way as with Peshka, and after 1/48th also the 1/72nd scale will be announced. Still there's a huge gap on the market in this scale... Meanwhile, in 1/48th scale, we would get obviously also the early production machine I've mentioned previously. What would be the reason to have 2 landing lights and early type canopies otherwise? BR Viktor
  9. Definitely worth to build. Big portion of those who will buy and build this one will simply follow the instructions and don't bother themselves with hunting for every detail. Is there outside any 100% perfect kit? I would dare to doubt that. So, what I've done in my previous post was just to draw anyone's who's interested attention to some points, where one would need to pay more attention if trying to get as accurate replica as possible. Take what you want and leave the rest With almost no extra effort (just that wing center section) you'll get a nice Factory No.18 built Il-2. With a little more effort you can get "all-wooden" Il-2 built in Factories 1 and 30. And a little bit of effort more to get even the Il-2I fighter prototype (no wing mounted machine guns, larger tail wheel and a piece of re-scribing on the fuselage). Dunno how you guys, I'll get myself at least 2 kits and looking fwd to see the two-seaters
  10. Gentlemen, I'm also happy to see Zvezda has not decided just to re-pack the good old (rather old than good) AM kit. On the other hand, kindly let me cool down the overall optimism a bit. The new Il-2 kit has a couple of restrictive limitations when it comes to choosing the option to build. Firstly, the wing center section is not suitable for any of single seaters. It has openings for direct small bombs loading. This feature appeared since December 1942 on two-seat Il-2s. So pick your filler and sand papers Second thing, outer wing sections. Directly OOB you get full metal late wings mounted only by Factory No.18 (we're talking about single seater's wings, two seater's wings are a different topic). Hence, forget to use ShVAK cannons (shorter barrel). Consequently, we would need to follow the Factory No.18 pattern in the rest of the aircraft construction. Forget early type canopies, gun sight in the cockpit and bullet-proof glass behind pilot's seat. Don't forget to add the primitive gun sight in front of the wind shield. Unless Zvezda releases a dedicated early production Il-2 with metal wings of very early type and metal rear fuselage, early canopies and PBP-1 gun sight will not be used at all. Sure, devoted Il-2 enthusiast can do a little sanding and re-scribing magic, a piece of surgery to modify the cannons vs machine guns position, re-position rocket rails, add second landing light and lower the fuel tank behind the pilot I see no major problem to convert new Zvezda's Il-2 into a Shturmovik with wooden wings. Fill and sand the panel lines, don't use mass balance weights, use ShVAKs instead of VYa-23s and you're good to go. Since June 1942 (if I remember correctly), reinforcing metal tapes were applied on upper and/or lower wings surface (depending on period and factory). And last but not least, when choosing which decal option to build, always check your references and do not rely solely on instruction sheet (I mean in general, not just towards Zvezda). Single seat Il-2s were built by Factories Nos. 18, 381, 1 and 30, so not each single seater would match the Factory No. 18 pattern offered by this obviously nice kit. Anyway, if you want to build an accurate Il-2 from Zvezda's kit, it's the right time to add the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik book by MMP to your resources, if you still don't own one Enjoy your hobby! Viktor
  11. Hello, if you are interested in the Il-2, please visit these sites: Viktor Publishing ViktorĀ“s Model Catalogue
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