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An early Aeroflot Ilyushin IL-18 in 1/144


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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

 

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Beautiful Dave-the NMF on that Coot is amazing! 

I have a bottle of the the AK Interactive airframe aluminium, but am a little nervous about using it. Can I ask what base coat did you use/was there any other prep needed?

Nick.

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Excellent Dave!!!!!  It doesn`t carry bombs, rockets, or missiles and it still looks intimidating!!!!! 

Congratulations!!!!! 👍

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Hi Dave,

Superb job again, you're really pushing them out at the moment, it's going to be a full line up at the Scottish Nationals this year that's for sure!

It'd be interesting to compare it with the Eastern Express kit as from what I've seen it's one of their better ones. Also be interesting to compare it size wise with a Vanguard, they look similar aircraft.

Do you know what the little tabs are on the wings?

My only criticism, if pushed, would be the grey windows. Maybe Martijn could design some photo realistic ones for your Malev build I know he's a fan of Russian subjects.

Cheers,

Ian

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Brilliant ,well done !

46 minutes ago, Turbofan said:

Do you know what the little tabs are on the wings?

Good question .. Not noticed them before until these photos . Aerials or something to affect the airflow over the Ailerons ? Like to know too . I'll go for aerials. Could be an Aileron mechanism housing though.

 

46 minutes ago, Turbofan said:

compare it size wise with a Vanguard

pretty much ish the same  as you said but had to look it up … You could always tell an IL18 coming in , smoke and quite a bit of it too . I only ever saw 1 Aeroflot IL18 at Heathrow, usually TU104s then IL62s did the LHR route ,that was a VIP ,can't remember if it was Krushchev, Kosygin or Brezhnev.

IL18 span   122ft 8 inches    length 117ft 9 inches

Vanguard span 118 ft               length 122 ft 10 .5 inches

Edited by bzn20
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Thanks for your interest and encouragement everybody. It's greatly appreciated.

 

3 hours ago, Chanex said:

Beautiful Dave-the NMF on that Coot is amazing! 

I have a bottle of the the AK Interactive airframe aluminium, but am a little nervous about using it. Can I ask what base coat did you use/was there any other prep needed?

Nick.

 

Thanks Nick. 

 

AK Interactive Xtreme Metal (not to be confused with their True Metal) is very easy to use. I could never get along with Alclad but AK is a whole different experience and much more paint-like. There are several excellent videos on YouTube which are well worth a look,  particularly one by Flory Models.

 

For what it's worth I primed the IL-18 with Halfords Grey Primer which I rubbed down lightly with 1200 wet and dry then polished with 0000 grade steel wool. I then masked everything that wasn't white and sprayed the upper fuselage with Halfords Appliance White decanted into my airbrush. Once that was dry I masked the white and sprayed the natural metal areas with Tamiya TS-17 Polished Aluminium straight from the can. I find it makes a good base for the AK - it's very tough and being metallic it shows up any flaws I have missed. Once it was dry I polished it with Micromesh starting with 3600 grade and finishing with 12000. Then I sprayed the AK gradually building up several light coats until I was happy with the result. That's really about it. I stress that's only my own rather idiosyncratic way of going about things, other ideas are available!  

 

AK is very forgiving - if you find you've missed a bit of orange peel or another flaw, just rub it down lightly (I'd probably use 6000 grade Micromesh) and re-spray the affected area. It's also very resistant to handling and it can be masked without any ill-effects although Tamiya yellow tape sometimes leaves a sort of greasy residue which needs to be removed. (Use a cotton bud moistened with saliva). 

 

My advice would be to have a look at YouTube then experiment with an old model or a cheap kit before tackling your masterpiece.

 

1 hour ago, Turbofan said:

Hi Dave,

Superb job again, you're really pushing them out at the moment, it's going to be a full line up at the Scottish Nationals this year that's for sure!

It'd be interesting to compare it with the Eastern Express kit as from what I've seen it's one of their better ones. Also be interesting to compare it size wise with a Vanguard, they look similar aircraft.

Do you know what the little tabs are on the wings?

My only criticism, if pushed, would be the grey windows. Maybe Martijn could design some photo realistic ones for your Malev build I know he's a fan of Russian subjects.

Cheers,

Ian

 

Thanks Ian.

 

I've never hidden my dislike of all things Eastern Express (Tristars excepted) but I have heard good reports about their IL-18. Over on Airliner Cafe Al Lees has done a very nice Aero Caribbean one. I know he rates the kit but even Al's advocacy won't tempt me, certainly not as long as the RusAir kit continues to be available.

 

Size-wise the IL-18 is very similar to the Vanguard. I agree with @Sky Keg that even in airline livery there's something faintly menacing about it, I'm not sure exactly what it is but RusAir definitely capture the feel of the real thing.

 

I've also wondered what the little fences/tabs are for but they aren't mentioned in the otherwise comprehensive Aerofax book and will have to remain mysterious! They are visible in every photo of a civilian IL-18 that I've seen, irrespective of airline.

 

I totally agree about the plain windows. PAS have produced nice window decals for several Eastern bloc aircraft (I used them when I built an An-72 several years ago) but for some reason they have omitted the IL-18. The main reason I wanted to use the Revaro decals was because their windows, although not fully "photo real", were a lot better than the kit items but as I said at the start that didn't exactly go as planned. I really must learn to make my own.

 

Still trying to finish one more model for the Scot Nats next weekend but it isn't even painted yet and it's looking less and less likely!

 

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That is another beauty Dave,  Thanks for the explanation on how you use the AK paint, it is something I still need to try,

It really does have a sort of 'menacing' presence doesnt it! love it.

 

Cheers

 

John

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18 hours ago, Skodadriver said:

Thanks for your interest and encouragement everybody. It's greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thanks Nick. 

 

AK Interactive Xtreme Metal (not to be confused with their True Metal) is very easy to use. I could never get along with Alclad but AK is a whole different experience and much more paint-like. There are several excellent videos on YouTube which are well worth a look,  particularly one by Flory Models.

 

For what it's worth I primed the IL-18 with Halfords Grey Primer which I rubbed down lightly with 1200 wet and dry then polished with 0000 grade steel wool. I then masked everything that wasn't white and sprayed the upper fuselage with Halfords Appliance White decanted into my airbrush. Once that was dry I masked the white and sprayed the natural metal areas with Tamiya TS-17 Polished Aluminium straight from the can. I find it makes a good base for the AK - it's very tough and being metallic it shows up any flaws I have missed. Once it was dry I polished it with Micromesh starting with 3600 grade and finishing with 12000. Then I sprayed the AK gradually building up several light coats until I was happy with the result. That's really about it. I stress that's only my own rather idiosyncratic way of going about things, other ideas are available!  

 

AK is very forgiving - if you find you've missed a bit of orange peel or another flaw, just rub it down lightly (I'd probably use 6000 grade Micromesh) and re-spray the affected area. It's also very resistant to handling and it can be masked without any ill-effects although Tamiya yellow tape sometimes leaves a sort of greasy residue which needs to be removed. (Use a cotton bud moistened with saliva). 

 

My advice would be to have a look at YouTube then experiment with an old model or a cheap kit before tackling your masterpiece.

 

 

Thanks Ian.

 

I've never hidden my dislike of all things Eastern Express (Tristars excepted) but I have heard good reports about their IL-18. Over on Airliner Cafe Al Lees has done a very nice Aero Caribbean one. I know he rates the kit but even Al's advocacy won't tempt me, certainly not as long as the RusAir kit continues to be available.

 

Size-wise the IL-18 is very similar to the Vanguard. I agree with @Sky Keg that even in airline livery there's something faintly menacing about it, I'm not sure exactly what it is but RusAir definitely capture the feel of the real thing.

 

I've also wondered what the little fences/tabs are for but they aren't mentioned in the otherwise comprehensive Aerofax book and will have to remain mysterious! They are visible in every photo of a civilian IL-18 that I've seen, irrespective of airline.

 

I totally agree about the plain windows. PAS have produced nice window decals for several Eastern bloc aircraft (I used them when I built an An-72 several years ago) but for some reason they have omitted the IL-18. The main reason I wanted to use the Revaro decals was because their windows, although not fully "photo real", were a lot better than the kit items but as I said at the start that didn't exactly go as planned. I really must learn to make my own.

 

Still trying to finish one more model for the Scot Nats next weekend but it isn't even painted yet and it's looking less and less likely!

 

Thanks for the info and recommendations Dave, and I’ll certainly check out the You Tube videos.

cheers,

Nick

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Very nice. For those of that era, this brings me back wonderful memories of these machines in and out of Gatwick, Heathrow and other UK airfields clad in Malev, LOT, Interflug, Tarom, Balkan and other schemes. :). That sound! :)

 

Martin

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Stunning work, Dave! 👍 Excellent painting and decaling.

 

On 19/04/2019 at 13:58, Skodadriver said:

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.

This build would be a very interesting, I’m looking forward for your Tu-114 - it’s a big and unique airframe!

 

Cheers! 🙂

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Beautiful build Dave! I've build the Il-18 from Easter Express years ago and while not a bad kit by any means, your build convinced me to buy the Rus-air kit as well (together with their An-24 and Be-200). The Il-18 is a great looking aircraft and deserves a kit to match. I will be looking to your build for inspiration.

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