1/72 Airfix Il-2 M3 Sturmovik

Captain Efimova's fighter

by Tigre del Aire

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Greetings from Colombia! This it is the famous Sturmovik, a plane feared by the crew members of the German tanks for its efficiency at the moment of hunting them and precision at bombarding them.  Heavily armed and armored it was the tip of the lance in several operations in Russia and then in the rest of Europe; here its history: (from Wikipedia)

The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik (Russian: Ил-2 Штурмовик) was a ground attack aircraft in the Second World War, produced by the Soviet Union in huge numbers. In combination with its successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 36,163 were built, making it the single most produced military aircraft design in all of aviation history as well as the third most produced aircraft in history behind the Cessna 172 and the Polikarpov Po-2. It was the leading aircraft for tank kills with its accuracy in diving bombing.

To Shturmovik pilots, the aircraft was simply the diminutive "Ilyusha". To the soldiers on the ground, it was the "Hunchback," the "Flying Tank" or, the greatest of compliments, the "Flying Infantryman." The Il-2 aircraft played a crucial role on the Eastern Front, and in Soviet opinion it was the most decisive aircraft in the history of modern land warfare. Joseph Stalin paid the Il-2 a great tribute in his own inimitable manner: when a particular production factory fell behind on its deliveries, Stalin sent the following cable to the factory manager: "They are as essential to the Red Army as air and bread"

Among the pilots who gained fame flying the Il-2, was Senior Lieutenant Anna Yegorova, a female pilot who flew 260 missions. She was decorated three times, the last "posthumously", as she was presumed dead after being shot down. In fact, she managed to survive imprisonment in a German concentration camp. Jr Lt Ivan Grigorevich Drachenko, another Il-2 pilot, was reputedly one of only four men who were both decorated as Heroes of the Soviet Union and also won all three of the Orders of Glory. Pilots Begeldinov, Mylnikov, Alekseenko and Gareev received two gold stars of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the last of them received both stars in one day.

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Hero of the Soviet Union T. Kuznetsov survived the crash of his Il-2 in 1942 when shot down returning from a reconnaissance mission. Kuznetsov was able to escape from the wreck and hid nearby. To his surprise, a German Bf 109 landed near the crash site and the pilot began to scrounge around the wrecked Il-2 for souvenirs. Thinking quickly, Kuznetsov ran to the German fighter and used it to fly home, barely avoiding being shot down by Soviet fighters in the process.

Typical of Soviet Second World War aircraft, many Il-2s were "gifts" presented to specific pilots and partially paid for by organizations like hometowns, factories or comrades of another fallen pilot. The most famous of these was an aircraft purchased with the savings of a seven-year-old daughter of the fallen commander of the 237th ShAP. Learning of her father's death, the girl sent 100 rubles directly to Stalin asking him to use the money for an Il-2 to avenge her father. Remarkably, Stalin actually received the letter and 237th ShAP received a new Il-2m3 with the inscription "From Lenochka for father" on the side. (from Wikipedia)

This aircraft was flown by Captain A.N. Efimova, of that I did not find major indications, nevertheless, they can estimate that conserve divides from the winter camouflage in the fuselage; it used it at the end of 1945.

This is the Airfix kit, with excellently detailed pieces and no major fit issues.  I added detail to the fuel tank, the wings, floor and pilots instrument panel.  In the gunners compartment I added boxes of ammunition.  Not bad for a weekend project!

COLOMBIA ES PASION!

Tigre del Aire

Saludos desde Colombia, la tierra de Juan Valdez!

Greetings from Colombia, the land of Juan Valdez!

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Photos and text by Tigre del Aire