Zvezda 1/200 Lusinov Li-2
KIT #: 6140
PRICE: $4.95 SRP
DECALS: Several generic options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Wargaming kit

HISTORY

The PS-84 had flown with Aeroflot primarily as a passenger transport before World War II. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 many of the PS-84s were taken into military use and redesignated the Lisunov Li-2 in 1942. The military models were equipped with a 7.62 mm (.30 in) ShKAS machine gun, and later with a 12.7 mm (.50 in) UBK heavy machine gun. The aircraft were used for transport, partisan supply, bombing, and as ambulance aircraft. A version designated Li-2VV (Vojenny Variant = military variant) had a redesigned nose for extra defensive armament and could carry up to four 250 kg (551 lb) bombs under the wings. Smaller bombs could be carried inside the fuselage and thrown out the freight hatch by the crew.

A total of 4,937 aircraft were produced of all Li-2 versions between 1940 and 1954 and it saw extensive use in Eastern Europe until the 1960s. The last survivors in use were noted in China and Vietnam during the 1980s. There were many versions, including airliner, cargo, military transport, reconnaissance, aerial photography, parachute drop, bomber, and high altitude variants. The Li-2 also saw extensive service in the Chinese Air Force in the 1940s and 1950s.

Several airlines operated Lisunov Li-2s, among others Aeroflot, CAAK, CSA, LOT, MalÚv, Polar Aviation, TABSO and Tarom.

There is only one Li-2 restored to airworthy condition. Hungarian registered HA-LIX was built in 1949 in Airframe Factory Nr.84 (GAZ-84) of Tashkent, as serial number 18433209 and still flies sightseeing tours and regularly participates at air shows.

THE KIT

This is one of Zvezda's growing line of wargaming kits. The Li-2 is something that has not been kitted at all by the usual injected plastic manufacturers, and one does have to wonder why. This one is a very simple snap kit. The kit comes with a nice stand and can be built with wheels up or down. A very interesting touch is that all of the clear bits are a single piece that gets trapped between the fuselage halves. Now this is something I would like to see on large scale kits, at least as an option.

Typical of the series, there are is a movement card and in this case it goes over onto two cards. There is a set of decals included that are obviously meant for wargamers as there are only four insignia (six were normally worn), and the aircraft numbers are rather large. I should also point out that the rudder just does not look right. It is either too large, not curved enough at the top or both. The kit does, however, include the upper turret and the shuttered engine cowlings. 

CONCLUSIONS

Considering what it will be used for, it is a nice kit. It is also something that would be good for youngsters or those just wanting a 1/200 Li-2.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-2

May 2012

My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local hobby shop.

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