Zvezda 1/72 Petlyakov Pe-2

KIT #: 7283
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 199 parts


The Petlyakov Pe-2 (Russian: Петляков Пе-2) was a Soviet light bomber used during World War II. It was regarded as one of the best ground attack aircraft of the war and it was extremely successful in the roles of heavy fighter, reconnaissance and night fighter. It was one of the most important aircraft of World War II, similar in many respects to the British de Havilland Mosquito. Pe-2s were manufactured in greater numbers (11,427 built) during the war than any other twin-engined combat aircraft except for the German Junkers Ju 88 and British Vickers Wellington. (Fourth in production numbers was the American Lockheed P-38 Lightning with 10,037 built.) The Pe-2 was fast, maneuverable and durable. Several Communist nations flew the type after the war, when it became known by the NATO reporting name Buck. Six captured Pe-2s were also transferred from the Germans to the Finnish Air Force during the German invasion to the Soviet Union, with the serial code PE- and the unofficial nickname Pekka-Eemeli.

The aircraft was widely used post war by Soviet 'client' states and many survive as museum examples.


I ordered this kit a few weeks prior to the 1/48 version and it arrived about a month after the previous kit made it here. Probably a victim of the sketchy transportation issues that accompany international mails nowadays. One thing is that it does allow me to make a comparison between this one and its larger companion.

First off, it is still a fairly parts intensive kit as nearly 200 pieces is a lot for a 1/72 scale twin. However, the parts reduction from the over 400 parts in the 1/48 kit comes from several sources. One is that this kit does not provide full engine detail. Secondly, where the 1/48 might use six or seven small parts to make up a small subassembly, this one combines all those pieces into a single part. It also does not have things like an opening upper gun hatch, which all help to reduce the parts count.

Assembly is pretty much the same with this as with the 1/48 kit in that you start by building up the wings/engine nacelles/main gear, then the interior, followed by closing the fuselage and finally attaching the tail planes and wings. While the wings still have separate leading edge inserts and ailerons, the rudders and elevators are molded in place. Depending on the markings option, you have either covered or open exhaust for the engines. Unlike the 1/48 kit, the open exhaust are not separate pipes, but a full insert. This kit also provides crew members if you wish to display the plane in flight. Zvezda does offer a display stand as a separate purchase item. Like the 1/48 kit, the bomb bay can be modeled open as can the boarding hatch.

Instructions are well done with paint numbers provided for various bits. Unlike the 1/48 kit, the color guide is not included in the instructions, but in a separate full color markings guide. Interestingly, this kit provides Tamiya paint references along with some sort of Russian paint line. There are markings for five aircraft. Four of them are wartime Soviet planes with the three color upper surface of dark grey, brown and green with light blue undersides. The fifth one is a post-war Polish aircraft with the upper surfaces in green and lower in light blue.


Based on the 1/48 kit I'm building as of this writing, you can expect some close tolerances and some fairly good fit of parts. For sure, it will not be something most of us can build in a week, but the end result should be a great model and a huge improvement over the old Airfix kit.



October 2020

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