1/144 Zvezda IL-2 Strumovik

Gallery Article by S K Loh on June 22 2016

The Invasion of Russia - Operation Barbarossa 1941



This is basically a simple kit containing only 12 parts. Decals were pretty lacking with only the red stars and black numerals to go with. I did my research and came across this particular single seat early variant with markings of one flown in 1942 by Pilot Chuvikov of 606 ShAP, 214 ShAD. I like the slogan on the fuselage which meant “For Otradnov”, a fellow pilot from the same unit.

To make the build more realistic, I added scratchbuilt parts to enhance its look. Examples are the landing lights, fuselage reinforcement stiffeners on the upper and lower surfaces. The anti-flutter stabilizer on the fin tip was added, a standard feature on all Strumovik variants. I improved the shape of the intake at the front of the canopy on the nose as well as the oil cooler on its belly. I replaced the antenna mast with a metal one in order to run the aerial wire. Lastly, I added the aiming device on the nose in front of the canopy.

As the canopy is one solid molded piece, I had to contend without any crew for the inflight mode built. 

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Decals were custom made that included the aiming lines on the nose. I used Tamiya and Mr Hobby basic acrylic colors to mix to get the closest shade for the colour scheme and airbrushed them handsfree without masking and only touch up with fine brush to get the feather edge effect. 

As this year marks the 75th Anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union under the code name “Operation Barbarossa”, I decided to create a diorama to commemorate the event. I paired this built with a Zvezda Ju-87 I built last year with bore markings in the Eastern Front campaign for the diorama. I then went in search for 1/144 scale ground vehicles to complement the diorama built. Unfortunately, choices were limited as I could only get a F-Toy Russian T34/85 Tank and a German Sd.Kfz.7 half track vehicle from the local shop. Perhaps a Panzer would have been a better choice. I repainted both kits with my mix of colours and custom made the decal for the T34 for a 1942 variant. 

Nevertheless, these provide a fair depiction of the long drawn conflict on the Eastern Front. Enjoy the photos.

S K Loh

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Photos and text © by S K Loh