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Building the
Lavochkin Il-2

The all-white prototype
The first prototype in a rather extreme winter camouflage

I started working on the Il-2 in Summer 2009, right after the La-5. I chose the Il-2, because I always thought it was a tough looking, ruggedly handsome aircraft. I could never find a useful plastic kit of it, when I was young. I build a very bad paper version then, and a so-so plastic kit by some small east-european brand. Both models were rather unsatisfying. I also thought, that the Sturmovik was an easy-to-design WW2-aircraft.
The creation of the prototype model was very easy and straightforward. The only tricky part was the landing gear gondola.When building the prototype I already created both versions of the canopy.

The prototype seen from the side   the prototype with single-seater canopy
   
The prototype with added panel lines   The prototype after the cockpit was modified to single-seater
The first beta included not only the landing gear and the panel lines on the wings, but also the detailed machine gun, which was created entirely on the computer by measuring.
Even though it can’t be seen clearly in photos of it, the first beta had huge fit issues, especially on the nose parts and the canopy. Most were corrected in the second beta, but the canopy once again turned out to be the most tricky part. Another issue in the beta phase was the big air intake on the top of the cowling, and the spinner, which each went through several corrections.
A winter camo Il-2 standing on a white background
The First beta. Note the messy canopy


The second beta was build in double size, to allow more accurate preparations for the shark-mouthed Kostylev-version and the camo-versions, but it turned out to be not as big a help as expected. The Kostylev-cowling also went through numerous corrections.

A tiny gun in my hand   \An Il-2 and a wing on top of a 3-view
   
The beta build of the detailed gun. This is rather fiddly in 1:60   The second beta next to the new swept-back wing.
 
After the second beta, I produced the swept-back wing for the late Il-2’s. The center section was the same, only the swept-back outer section was added. The third beta was the first with those wings. The wings fitted quite well from the beginning, the only issue here was the alignment of the panel lines across the glue edges of the leading edge.
Another important thing was the modification to the M-82 version. When I build the La-5, I wasn’t aware of a Sturmovik-version with the same engine. It was a lucky coincidence, because now I simply had to attach the cowling from the La-5 to the Il-2. Unfortunately, it still turned out to be rather painful, as the connecting part needed seemingly endless corrections to be at least acceptable, yet far from perfect.The additional rear canopies, that is the one of the M-82 and the one of the UT fortunately didn’t make too much trouble.
A half-finished Il-2   A white Il-2 with hand-painted red stars
   
The third beta during the test build   This is the finished third beta.
     
corrections of the panel lines are seen on this modified Il-2    
     
The prototype for the M-82 modification    
 
Because of the Sturmovik being the most produced military aircraft of all time, I wanted to do it justice by doing many nice versions. But I exaggerated in my initial choice, and dropped six versions, which were too similar to others. The number of versions was still quite big, and most of them were camo-versions. This required the production of three separate lines of colour-betas. I called them the “early”, “late1” and “late2” versions. The “early” did the most trouble and required the most revisions, while the “late2” was pretty much done after two test builds, with only two small inaccuracies, that could be tested by only building a part of the fuselage. With the Il-2, this phase of the production stretched endlessly and was often rather depressing.
Two colour-betas. Left an “early” and right a “late1”
 
Another problem was, that I put myself under the pressure of releasing the Il-2 for Christmas. This turned out funny, as the Il-2 was ready for release more than one week before Christmas. But I had totally underestimated the work load of producing the necessary web pages for the release of three models at the same time. While Idecided not to do the info pages for the release and add them later, the production of all main pages, preview pages and gallery pages alone took almost two weeks.
After the Il-2 was released, I felt very relieved, and decided I need a break from designing paper aircraft for some time.
 
All surviving betas and testbuilds on new year's day 2011
 
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