MPM 1/48 Pe-2T






Three aircraft


Allan Wanta


Short Run multimedia kit


(By Scott Van Aken)

The Pe-2 was probably the most successful medium bomber produced by the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War (WWII to the rest of us). Designed in the late 1930s as a high-altitude bomber interceptor, the requirements were for a twin-engined, pressurized two seater. This resulted in the VI-100 programme. The design was later changed to be a high altitude bomber, which required the addition of extra defensive armament and a third crew member. Before that could materialize, the specifications were changed again to be a close air support aircraft; a dive-bomber. Talk about a fall from high to low!

The prototype first flew in late 1939 and after much modification, the aircraft, now called Pe-2, entered service in 1942. Eventually over 11,000 were built and at one time comprised over 75% of all twin engined bombers in the Soviet inventory. After the war, those that remained in the Soviet Union were used as trainers, though many bomber variants were used by Soviet satellite countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia. It was also exported to China.

Reference: Profile #216 (Bound Volume 10), Petlyakov Pe-2 and Variants, 1971, Doubleday


Hello Comrades. Welcome to the Central Aircraft Assembly Formation where we are directed to hold our position to the last man and aircraft. In our meager but improving arsenal we have the Pe-2, more so we have the training version, which differs from our standard bomber, in that it has extra resin pieces included in the kit. While the original kit parts are familiar to those brave enough to accept responsibility for assembling it, addition support is included for the conversion. The resin pieces are very well done by our friends in the Czech Republic and will certainly be acceptable to most, some room for extra detailing is allowed. As with most projects of this nature, careful understanding of the assembly stages and preparation of parts is imperative to success.


The original parts of the Pe-2 are a mixture of dark gray and light gray parts. Molding gates are substantial on all parts and careful cutting is needed. Hardly any flash is present with the acceptation of some which was put on the parts on purpose. With the low-pressure molding it's second nature to find these differences, my suggestion is to treat the assembly of this kit and all similar kits as one would treat a vacuform kit. Sand the larger parts such as the fuselage halves and wings on a large plate glass surface to which 180 grit sand paper is taped. Lightly sand them, the plastic is very soft and it won't take much to undercut the parts.

You all should familiarize yourselves with the placement of the cockpit components, and emergency placards are placed in locations easily recognized. The first such area in need of help are the bulkheads, dry fit is the key word, sand to fit is another term commonly heard around the Assembly area. You should all be fluent in 'Super glue-ese', a lesser dialect in the Czech-Republic. Figuring out placement of the bulkheads is somewhat shown in exploded assembly sketches; much room for improvement could be used here. But for the most part, the extra resin pieces fit much better than originally anticipated. Getting them off the pour blocks however is another Russian bedtime story.

Fit all the resin and plastic cockpit parts in as best as interpreted. The rear instructor cockpit tub needs to side all the way forward to the first bulkhead, lest the center of gravity makes the plane more unstable than it already is. And for those in the class, who fancy flying without instruments, we have the blank student instrument panels. The instructor has at least the luxury of some dials and gauges on his resin dashboard. Some small plastic and resin bits decorate the walls which do have a nice pattern of stringers and stations, however not much of this is going to be seen once the belly of the ship is closed up.

Resin machine guns are included, molded in such a way as to invite breakage, these are training aircraft Comrades, no weapons will be needed. Seats are the standard type, hard tan resin minus seat belts, you would think Moscow would include belts molded to the seat? Some of you may experience broken resin parts, seeing that all of them are placed in one bag and the larger parts tend to need more space at the smaller one's expense. Not to fear my Friends, your "Super Glue-ese" is becoming much improved at this stage of training.

Glue the fuselage together, if all is correct, the forward 8/10th's of the parts will match up perfectly. The last 1/10th is a new design introduced on the assembly line in order as to not slow done production. The flair of the parts is normal and requires strong clamps. Remember Comrades, what will not kill you, will make you STRONGER! That said, placement of the stabilizers would need to be altered because the shape of the tail has been permanently changed.

Little in the way of putty is needed if one carefully plots out his course. The wings can be joined to the fuselage in this manner that eliminates most corrective action. Step one, glue the lower fuselage/wing root piece on, mind you to match up the underside profile and not putting it on as far as it will go. Then attach the left or right upper wing to the fuselage sides, this will require sanding to get the two pieces to match up. When they do match, tack glue them so the angle of dihedral can still be altered. The lower parts of the wings can now be matched to the uppers, watch those panel and aileron lines. Using this method will eliminate a lot of cosmetic destruction usually associated with sanding the unsightly joints. You may, as I did, experience gaps in the upper/lower wing joints, not to worry babushka, putty and bondo will fill those seams. In my long years in the VVS Assembly Hall this has proven better than gluing the upper wing to the lower wing and dealing with the mis-matched cord thickness.

Ahhh, now the Pe-2 UT is looking almost like the stalwart workhorse we will all learn to love! We have sanded the stabilizers to fit on our glass surface, matching up perfectly to the flawless rudder plates. Mind the angle at which they are to be glued, Comrade Vishenkov made the mistake of not aligning them and he flew in circles for hours. Look at the aircraft straight on and determine their correct position.

While the above parts are curing, perhaps attending to the landing gear assemblies is in order? All parts are in the softish plastic and are good representations of the landing gear. Wheels are a two-sided affair, which are glued together easily; the tail wheel has a two piece strut and is a tad bit fiddely. I'm not sure how well the landing gear struts will hold up the aircraft over the coming years in service to the Homeland, but we are told that a number of belly landings will be included in our training. Be prepared to alter the construction techniques when installing the landing gear. The engine nacelles in which our landing gear is installed can now be assembled. The inner bulkheads will need much dry fitting for the two halves of the nacelles to meet up; otherwise they require little attention and putty. Fit of the engines to the wings will be dependent on how patient your wing was assembled. Some, but not a lot of putty was used in this area on my plane, a testament to the precision planning in the Moscow office. They have also given us some wonderful resin exhaust pieces that are very nicely molded, they too will require deft fingers and a keen eye to sand and apply.


Our assembly of the small bits and pieces come after the finish work of the airframe. I understand by my orders that we will finish this airframe in the usual green upper surface and bright blue undersurface for use by our liberated friends in the Polish Airforce after the conflict. All Polish markings are supplied by Cartograph in Italy and go on easily as long as you place them on a gloss surface. I believe we also have a few students here who will be assembling their aircraft for the Czech Airforce and our Illustrious Comrades in the VVS. Upon the installation of the markings, a liberal coating of Future floor wax is applied; I believe, as do our Superiors, this reduces air friction and will cause great grief to our enemies. Overall, I think this aircraft is well done, it perhaps has lapses of detail in some areas. For us it is all good, We will make this design worthy of our struggle against the Fascist.

Congratulations to all. Those of you who have made it this far can certainly be proud, as your families are also, of your completion of this course. Many have failed and faltered, they are serving the Homeland in other capacities on the Western Front. You are the few, the proud, We Salute You!


Our many thanks to MPM for even considering to produce this series in injection plastic, it only lacks better planning and continuity in some parts that would have made it a super kit for everyone to make.   

Allan Wanta


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