Hobby Boss | Il-2 Single-Seater
Reviewed by Jason Moore
Since I covered the ski-equipped single-seater in considerable detail earlier on this site, and since this kit shares most of the same components, I will concentrate on the differences in this review.
The obvious difference between this kit and the ski-equipped version is the presence of the wheeled undercarriage. Not only is the undercarriage different, but the nacelles are different. This is the only sprue in the kit which is different, containing the new nacelles, the wheel hubs, some additional tailwheel struts, and the tailwheel itself.
The wheels themselves are nicely done in vinyl, with no prominent moulding ridge apparent. They just slip over the glued together wheel hubs and look quite authentic. The tailwheel is another story as in an attempt to have parts commonality between their various Il-2 kits, Hobby Boss use the larger tailwheel as used on the two-seater versions. Hopefully someone will come along with a replacement resin tailwheel, but until then you have the choice of adding the oversized tailwheel as is, or trying to make it smaller. In smaller scales this is easy, as you simply sand down the solid plastic piece until you reach the appropriate size. In this case, the tailwheel is composed of two pieces and is hollow. One way around this problem might be to fill the empty space with putty, glue the two pieces together, then sand as much of the plastic as you need to get the correct diameter. Since the part will be filled with putty, if you sand some of the plastic completely away, this shouldn't be (too much of) a problem. I haven't tried this yet, so I hope it works! I suppose you could also try this with glue, since if the plastic is melted by the excessive glue it doesn't matter as you need to sand the wheel down anyway. I'm definitely going to have to make the tailwheel smaller as it's noticeably larger than it should be. If you have experience in casting resin, you could make a resin copy of the kit tailwheel, then sand down the resultant solid resin casting to reproduce the correct smaller tailwheel. The correct tailwheel should be around 75% the size of the kit tailwheel.
The nacelles themselves look good, and have the correct asymmetrical appearance as on the original. The gear doors are well-moulded, and feature accurate looking interior detail. Photographs show the wheel wells as being rather busy with a number of struts which aren't present on the kit, but with the exception of a couple of missing actuator rods on the landing gear (as detailed in my review of the ski-equipped version), I plan on basically building the entire landing gear assembly as is.
A nice touch is that the landing gear legs are not only present in plastic, but are also now present in metal, giving you the option to build them either way, with the metal legs providing more support for what will be a rather large model.
As with the ski-equipped single-seater, this kit comes with the integrally moulded carburettor filter intake on the starboard wing leading edge which will need to be removed to be appropriate for "Red 8", the summer-camouflaged example. If you build the winter-camouflaged example you can leave the carburettor as is. In addition, whichever plane you build, you will need to add the anti-flutter balances and the internal PBP-1 gunsight. These long anti-flutter balances ran nearly the length of the wingtip and were found on all metal-winged single-seaters (but not on the metal-winged two-seaters). Accurate Miniatures did a good job representing these balances on their single-seater kits. You couldn't go too wrong scaling these up to 1/32nd scale and using them as a guide (I have a picture of them in my ski-equipped version review).
With the winter-camouflaged version, you should probably also add the aiming lines (in black) on the cowling, as detailed in my review of the ski-equipped version. These are not provided on the decal sheet so you will have to make your own.
The fuselage once again represents the metal rear fuselage, which is apparently incorrect for the two examples you can build from this kit. I say apparently, as at least one source has "Red 8", with the summer camouflage, as having the rare metal fuselage. However, examination of photographs of the original "Red 8" aeroplane have lead me to believe that it featured the standard wooden fuselage so once again you are in for sanding/filling in of the panel lines and rivets on the rear fuselage. Basically, the additions/corrections that apply to the ski-equipped single-seater also apply to this kit. You may refer to my previous review to see how to do these additions/corrections.
Once again Hobby Boss have presented us with a good model of this very important WWII aeroplane. As with the ski-equipped single-seater, with a little bit of work the wheeled single-seater can be turned into an excellent model. Definitely recommended.
© Jason Moore 2011
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Thursday, August 18 2016