Xuntong Model 1/48 Tu-2T

KIT #: B 48003
PRICE: $48.95 SRP
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Tupolev Tu-2 (development names ANT-58 and 103; NATO reporting name Bat) was a twin-engine Soviet high-speed daylight and front-line (SDB and FB) bomber aircraft of World War II vintage. The Tu-2 was tailored to meet a requirement for a high-speed bomber or dive-bomber, with a large internal bomb load, and speed similar to that of a single-seat fighter. Designed to challenge the German Junkers Ju 88, the Tu-2 proved comparable, and was produced in torpedo, interceptor and reconnaissance versions. The Tu-2 was one of the outstanding combat aircraft of World War II and it played a key role in the Red Army's final offensives. The Tu-2T was the torpedo-bomber variant, was tested between February and March 1945, and issued to Soviet Naval Aviation units in the last days of the war in Europe.


This kit has gotten some good press regarding its accuracy and how nicely it fits. This is always nice to hear before starting on a project like this. I was impressed to see that the first order of business in the kit instructions were to open the various holes and remove some tabs in order to model this variant. I can tell you from experience that I've missed/forgotten things like this when the instructions have you do this later in the build. Since this is a torpedo plane, you are to remove the hinge tabs from the bomb bay and you are also to remove the tabs that allow the engine cowlings to be open. This is a bit odd as the engines are quite detailed.

Interestingly, the first build steps are to construct the lower rear defensive gun. The others are dealt with later in the build. Then one begins assembling the cockpit bits. There are a lot of controls of various sizes and shapes that fit into a left side console, though the instructions neglect to show this part being installed. A full radio suite is provided for the rear gunner. Both the pilot and bombardier have their own seats, though the one for the bomb/torpedo aimer looks very uncomfortable for long flights. The instructions provide alignment diagrams throughout for things like the tail section and for the interior bits.

There are two different cockpit canopies, one open in the rear and one closed. Same goes for the upper aft transparency with the open version specified for the Chinese Air Force. You can also have the rear cover open or closed as you choose. Interestingly, the lower gun position has its own doors which are to be posed open. All this will make masking a bit difficult when it comes time to paint so you will have to either pre-paint sections or leave off some parts installation until painting is done.

Fuselage inserts include a stand piece, a section just aft of the cockpit and the closed bomb bay doors. Engines are quite detailed and include not only an accessory section but also the various formers into which the engine is mounted. It is too bad this will be hidden behind the cowlings, but you need to at least assemble all these pieces in order to get the cowling to fit and to provide a mount for the prop and engine fan. These and the nicely done landing gear will all fit into a multi-section wheel bay/nacelle piece later on. You can model the cowl flaps open or closed.

Engine cowling is in several pieces and includes an upper carb intake that has a small door on it that can be posed open or closed. Closed is on the ground so air goes through a sand filter. The props have separate blades. Each of the two torpedoes is a small kit in and of itself. The kit provides separate elevators, ailerons and flaps though the rudders are molded solid with the fins. The final of many construction steps is the installation of torpedo mounts, torpedoes, props and other small bits.

Instructions are well done and beside the omission mentioned previously, seems to cover it all. There are color call-outs throughout the building process in several paint companies as well as generic names. The majority of planes are in the dark green over light blue scheme as shown on the box art. The two soviet options are in a variegated schemes with one in an olive drab and dark grey upper and the other in an ocean grey and light blue upper. Though not shown in the instructions, you can also do the box art plane as the white 2 is included on the sheet. Then there are Chinese, Bulgarian, Polish and North Korean planes. All the markings options are post war. The decal sheet is large and looks to be well printed.

A weekend build this one will not be. There is a lot of detail packed into the box and getting it all together will be a rather time consuming endeavor, but then that is what makes it modeling. If you want quick, get a snap kit or die cast. The end result will be a very nice model of a little-modeled immediate post war Soviet aircraft.



May 2016

Thanks to me for picking this one up.

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