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I present the RusAir resin IL-18 finished as CCCP-75717 an early “Salon” IL-18V. Built in 1961, the real aircraft was initially used for transporting VIPs, who apparently included Premier Nikita Krushchev and pioneering cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, until that role was taken over by jets. In 1975 it suffered an undercarriage collapse and never flew again, probably being broken up for spares Although I tend to avoid resin kits I make an exception for RusAir. Their IL-18 is absolutely gorgeous and a joy to build. I really can’t speak too highly of the moulding quality and attention to detail which are streets ahead of any other 1/144 IL-18 kit on the market. In the normal style of Russian resins the fuselage is split vertically like a conventional injection moulded kit and not solid like Authentic Airliners or Welsh Models. Rus-Air thoughtfully provide holes to drill for locating pegs to assist with fitting the wings and tailplanes. They even give you slots for plastic tabs to help align the engines. Very little filler was required, in fact one wing root and the number 2 engine needed none at all. The only slightly fraught part of the build was assembling the separate propellor blades and hubs. These need really careful handling. The blades must be sawn off the casting block, trying to use a knife risks breakage as I found out the hard way. It’s also quite easy to get the blades back to front, another thing I found out the hard way. The original plan was to use Revaro decals. They were designed for the Eastern Express kit and preliminary checking with photocopies suggested there would be minor fit issues on the RusAir model but nothing unfixable. However when I actually came to use them the Revaro decals flatly refused to soak off the backing sheet and they really aren’t a product I could recommend. The upshot was that I had to use the kit decals - shock, horror! Slightly to my surprise these turned out to be pretty decent and I ended up wishing I hadn’t wasted money and effort sourcing the Revaro sheet. With the liberal use of Microscale Liquid Decal Film and plenty of strong (red label) DACO solvent around the nose the kit decals coped stoically with many indignities. The end result is by no means perfect but if you want an early Aeroflot IL-18 it’s the only way to go once Revaro is ruled out. White paint is Halfords and natural metal is AK Interactive. There is very little weathering on the model - it's reasonable to assume that an aircraft used for transporting the Premier would be kept clean! I enjoyed the Rus-Air IL-18 so much that I’ve bought another one which will probably end up in Malev livery. I’ve also pushed the boat out and bought their limited edition Tu-114 which I wanted to grab before it went off the market. That should be a challenging, fun build. Thanks for looking and as always constructive criticism is welcome. Dave G
High Resolution and Detailed Artworks of • Ilyushin IL-18B/V/D/E • Ilyushin IL-62/62M Click for more artworks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/79923060@N04/sets/