UM 1/72 Pe-2 series 1

KIT: UM 1/72 Pe-2 series 1
KIT #: 101
PRICE: $
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Nathan Stevens
NOTES: Get yours today!

HISTORY

From kit instructions:

Pe-2 was the most common Soviet dive-bomber during WWII.  It was in production from December 1940 to December 1945.  11070 bomber, reconnaissance and training aircraft were made during this period.  Pe-2 was twin engine monoplane with low positioned wing and double tail.  Propellers had ability to be positioned.  Wingspan 17.13 m; Length 12.66 m; Take-off weight (normal) 7700kg, Speed 506 km/hr; Range 1250 km.  Crew of 3 included pilot, navigator and radio operator, which manned machine gun.  Aircraft had bomb bay inside main fuselage and bomb bay in rear of each nacelles.  There were also 4 attachment points for external load.  Normal bomb load was 600kg. Maximum 1000kg.  Dive-bombing was done only from external attachments.  Power plant consisted of 2 M-105R engines rated at 1100 H.P.  Early PE-2s had four 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns.  Navigator operated one of them out of the TSS-1 turret.  Two others were permanently fixed in the nose part.  Radio operator manned fourth gun in MV-2 turret under the fuselage.  Pe-2 participated in combat on Eastern Front from the first to the last days of war.  They were also used in short campaign in Far East to defeat Japans Imperial Army in the summer of 1945.

THE KIT

This is one of at least 3 (that I know of) versions of the Pe-2 that UM has released.  All new tool and of a quality I wasnt prepared for until seeing it myself.  The box is even well represented with a sturdy overlapped bottom half.  All the sprues are bagged together, the decals are separate though the clear sprue fits nicely in with the decal bag for safe keeping.  The bulk of the kit is molded in 4 sprues and a small PE fret is included.

 Panel lines are engraved though some are a little heavy, similar to older Italari.  There are also a number of prominent ejector pin marks throughout the fuselage interior and a number of sink marks where the plastic gets thick such as the rear of the nacelles and wing trailing edges.  The surface has a slight but even texture to it though not as pronounced as a DML kit.

 You get a 24 step instruction sheet on what amounts to 8 full pages.  Each step is printed large, precise and clear with callouts for Humbrol colors and generic names.  In most cases the diagrams are bigger than the actual kit and the paint instructions are given for each part.

 The decals are well printed though largely devoid of color (due to subject matter) and include stencils and several pieces for the various instrumentation.  They appear rather typical of decals from the region meaning extremely thin and often translucent.  Ive generally had great luck with decals of this type as they settle to the finest of details without the slightest tough of solvent.

 Clear parts are quite thick and the bracing is a little heavy but otherwise reasonably clear with a slightly grainy texture.  Some of the bracing is actually molded to the inside of  the part though Im not sure why.  I looks like a dip of future could do a lot for the glass but Id really like to see Squadron release a vac replacement.

 The instruments are molded as clear parts with raised detail and an additional decal is given for each of the various panels.  You get a very complete interior including a fully loaded and well detailed bomb bay.  There is full interior ribbing in the fuselage, moveable machine guns and mounts, well detailed cockpit and landing gear, etc.  The tail gear and bay alone account for 9 parts!  The prop blades are molded separate, landing gear and bomb bay doors can be posed up or down.  All the access hatches are separate.  Full bomb load inside and out, separate dive fences, a small fret of PE covers the bomb wing braces and some interior pieces, etc, etc, etc.  This plus the myriad of extra parts not applied to this particular version including a second set of nacelles!

 Markings are for 2 different aircraft:

            HQ of 18th Close Range Bomber Regiment.  Kutaisi, May 1941.  Colors are light green over light blue.

            40th Regiment Black Sea Fleet, Summer 1941 in typical typical 3 tone dark gray/light green/light earth over light blue.

CONCLUSIONS

 All in all, this was well above and beyond my expectations.  I bought this version and the 205 series second hand, still sealed for what I now know was quite a bargain.  Obviously someone didnt know what they had.  So all you VVS fans like me who are just itching for new tool, definitive kits of their favorites to replace the aging ceiling hangers that just arent up to par, Id like you to meet UM!  A toast to them for stepping out of brail scale armor for a bit and into the mad nitpicking world of brail scale aviation.  You wont be disappointed, go buy a couple and convince them we still need Yak-9s, LaGG-3s, La-5s, and so on..

 Review kit courtesy of sneaky hide-the-cash-in-a-mayonnaise-jar-so-the-wife-wont-see-it tactics!

Nathan Stevens

August 2008

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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