While the Il-2 never received the official name, apart from the Il-2 designation, Shturmovik, as it was unofficially known, was the main attack aircraft of the Soviet Air Force on the Eastern front. With more than 36.000 built aircraft, it is the second most produced aircraft of all time (behind Cesnna 172).

Production of the Il-2 started in May 1941 and they got their first taste of combat just a few days after Germany invaded Soviet Union. Unfortunately due to the lack of training of pilots as well as ground crews, initial losses were high. However as more and more of the Il-2s were made, the tactics developed, making it extremely deadly opponent and nightmare of German panzer divisions. Throughout the war, hundreds of tanks were claimed by Il-2 while the survival rate was rather high due to heavy armor it was equipped with. This in turn meant that due to high weight the bomb load it could carry was quite low. Despite the shortcomings, Il-2 was named ‘The Flying Tank’ and ‘The Black Death” by German soldiers. Due to initial heavy losses to enemy fighters, the rear gunner was introduced. At first, just by cutting a hole in the rear fuselage and adding a machine gun, but soon after, in March 1942, a two-seater variant was introduced. While the fuselage was lengthened and canopy added over the gunner, his position was not armoured and 4 times as many gunners died compared to the pilots. Eventually, the gunners received a minor armor upgrade while the aircraft received engines in 1943. Out of 36.000+ built aircraft, a little over 10.000 were lost in combat.

Ivan F. Pavlov

Ivan F. Pavlov was born in June 1922 in a small village in today’s Khazahstan. He joined Red Army in 1940 and graduated from Military Pilot’s School in 1942. Soon after he was thrown into battles of Kalinin and Baltic Fronts, having been awarded Hero of the Soviet Union in October 1943 and the Order of Lenin in February 1944. When the news of the awards reached his compatriots at home, they raised funds for four aircraft, one of which, bearing the slogan “To our compatriot Hero of the Soviet Union I. Pavlov – from the workers of Kostanay“, was presented to him personally. Until October 1944, he completed another 77 sorties, receiving another HSU award that month. In 1949 he completed the Frunze Military Academy and became the commander of 947th Assault Aviation Regiment. Pavlov was killed in a plane crash in October 1950.

The kit

This is, believe it or not, the first time I’ve built a Tamiya kit and I’ve had bad luck at the beginning of it. The fit was generally really good but had some problems joining the fuselage to wings. Other than that, it was a pleasurable build and even the usually thick Tamiya decals behaved perfectly.

Link to the in-progress article: https://vvsmodelling.com/2022/11/03/tamiya-172-il-2m3-shturmovik-build-article/

Special thanks to Mr.Paint for continuous support!

Model Data
Company: Tamiya / 60781
Scale: 1:72
Aftermarket: Quinta Studio Interior 3D decal, Eduard resin wheels

Paints used: Mr.Paint
Camouflage: MRP-015 AMT-1 Light Brown, MRP-016 AMT-4 Camouflage Green, MRP-020 AMT-12 Dark Grey, MRP-018 AMT-7 Grey Blue, MRP-041 Red

Metallic surfaces: MRP-147 Burnt Iron