Trumpeter 1/72 IL-28 Beagle

KIT #: 01604
PRICE: $3.00 'Used'
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1999 boxing


The Ilyushin Il-28 (Russian: Илью́шин Ил-28 NATO reporting name: Beagle) is a jet bomber aircraft of the immediate postwar period that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Force. It was the USSR's first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. It was also licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5. Total production in the USSR was 6,316 aircraft, and over 319 H-5s were built. Only 187 examples of the HJ-5 training variant were manufactured. In the 1990s hundreds remained in service with various air forces over 50 years after the Il-28 first appeared. The only H-5s in service are approximately 30 aircraft which operate with the Korean People's Air Force.


The turn of the century was when we first started hearing about Trumpeter kits and so I'm thinking this one must be one of their earliest products. This kit was bought with the wings glued together so qualified as 'used' at the LHS. Still, it is complete and so a preview seemed in order.

Molding is quite good with engraved panel lines that are probably more pronounced than one would see in other kits of the time, but not really all that bad. Prior to this kit, we had the quite old Airfix version and much later, Bilek kitted the aircraft. This latter kit has been seen in a number of other boxes, including Italeri.

The kit offers a usable cockpit and bombardier's section, complete with (as appropriate) seats, control sticks, consoles and a bombardier's seat in the very nose. Instrument panel detail is raised. Two  four piece seats are provided with belt detail molded in place. Two crew members are also provided.

The builder is provided with a full bomb bay and an option for one large bomb in the middle and either two or four smaller ones on the outer walls. All look very much like German WWII bombs. A tail turret is also provided and is nothing really to write home about, though it does offer a crew entry hatch that can be displayed open if one wishes.

On the engine nacelles there is an engine face to fit  along with a splitter that is trapped between two forward engine housings. On the back there is just a cap with no tail pipe. A wheel well fits into the two nacelle halves. I should mention that there is no nose gear well with the nose strut simply gluing to the bottom of the bombardier's station. Landing gear are adequate though seem rather simplified. Gear doors are separate after one cuts them apart. Main wheels are two pieces with nose wheels a single molding. Detail is somewhat generic on the wheels. Tip tanks are provided for the wings should you wish to use them.

Instructions are nicely drawn and use Tamiya paint references. The lone markings option is for a Chinese version in olive drab over a mixture of light blue and grey. Decals in my kit have a rippled surface to them and since the backing paper is white, it is difficult to make out the white numbers, much less photograph them. Fortunately, there are aftermarket decals that one can use. I should point out that the marking option plane does not use the tip tanks.

I am not sure how this one stacks up against the Bilek kit as I've not seen it, but it does appear to be an improvement over the venerable Airfix version. One does wonder if Hornby will include a new tool IL-28 sometime in their revamping schedule. Regardless it looks to be worth building, especially if one can pick it up for a reasonable price.  


July 2014

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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