Amodel 1/72 IL-40 'Brawny' (1st Prototype)
|PRICE:||$ Not yet posted at http://www.scale-model-kits.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run kit.|
The Ilyushin Il-40 (NATO reporting name: "Brawny") was a two-seatSoviet jet-engined armoredground-attack aircraft. The first prototype flew in 1953 and was very successful except when it fired its guns, as their combustion gasses would disturb the airflow into the engines and cause them toflameout or hiccup. Remedying this problem took over a year and involved the radical change of moving the engine air intakes all the way to the very front of the aircraft and repositioning the guns from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the fuselage, just behind the nose wheel. For all that the aircraft now resembled a double-barreled shotgun from the front its problems had been cured and it was ordered into production in 1955. But only five production aircraft had been completed before the entire program was canceled in early 1956 when theVVS discarded its close air support doctrine in favor of tactical nuclear weapons on the nuclear battlefield.
Amodel has garnered quite a reputation for providing interesting kits of Soviet and Russian prototype aircraft. This one is no exception, providing us with the first prototype of the IL-40, which almost made it into full scale production.
Typical of Amodel's other subjects, the kit is a relatively low pressure injection molded kit that provides good detail, though it does take some careful construction. There are six grey plastic and one clear sprue provided. The clear sprue is bagged separately. This sprue has both the forward and aft clear sections in somewhat thick plastic. My sample also had some detritus embedded in the forward section, but it appears to be on a non-window section so shouldn't be an issue. I also found some sink marks in the upper engine housing section, but nothing that cannot be fixed. Flash is basically non-existent.
This a not a small aircraft. The engine section is split horizontally, while the rest of the aft fuselage is vertically divided. We are provided with an engine compressor blanking plate for the front and another for the exhaust. Since the rest of the IL-40s had a different nose section, this part is separate. Cockpit section is minimalist but adequate since little will be seen through the transparencies anyway. This consists of two seats (one for the gunner), stick, rudder pedals and instrument panel. The wings are molded with most of the gear doors closed so there is little wheel well detail to be seen.
I can appreciate that Amodel has provided some fuselage bulkheads for the front and rear of the two crew areas. These should add some stiffness to this assembly. Pretty much standard stuff for Soviet swept wing jets of this era are wing fences and these are supplied separately. Landing gear is well formed and sturdy. There is no indication of any nose weight needed, though I'd add some just to be sure.
Instructions are well drawn and provide10 construction steps. As is typical, there is no interior color information given a trend that seems to be prevalent amongst several Ukraine model companies. Why this is so is a mystery. The markings are your standard Soviet prototype colors of the time; unpainted metal with insignia. Not even a Bort number to liven things up. Decals are fairly well printed and should provide no problems.
We have to thank Amodel for another kit of an interesting Soviet subject. I know that this one will find its way on to the shelves of many of you who like prototype aircraft.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. You can find yours at the link and at a discount.
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