Amodel 1/72 Ilyushin Il-20 Coot A Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||September 2008||Manufacturer||Amodel|
|Subject||Ilyushin Il-20 Coot A||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||72013||Primary Media||Styrene, fiberglass|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$185.00|
The Il-20 is a variant developed out of the Il-18, a design which itself goes back to the mid 50's.
The Il-20M Coot-A (NATO designation) has as a primary mission the acquisition of all types of ELINT COMINT, Radar and Optical intelligence. As SIGINT platform it carries under the forward fuselage a 26 ft long Igla-1 Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR), two A-97P panoramic cameras housed in special outboard fairings, and antennas for ELINT collection. The aircraft uses the Vishnya COMINT suite which is manned by a crew of eight operators. The aircraft is operated by a flight crew of five.
There Soviets built twenty Coot-As which they operated around the borders of the Soviet Union and from East Germany. It is not clear if the aircraft is still operational.
The Amodel kit is the standard fair of a combination of glass fiber parts for the wings and fuselage and injected plastic for all the remaining parts.
Just like with the real aircraft, Amodel designed first the Il-18 and then added all the extra parts that make the numerous variants derived from the base airframe.
The quality of the glass fiber part is pretty good but it will need clean up and maybe a bit of rescribing. The front of the fuselage has fiberglass that needs to be removed and its only purpose was to aid with the molding and demolding process. The nose of the model comes in two plastic pieces and it includes a full cockpit. I did a test fit and the plastic front fuselage fits the fiberglass pretty good but I have the suspicion that it is a bit misaligned and when I looked at it from the front it looked like the fuselage seam was maybe a degree off from the tail. Stand by on this until I start assembly and verify it.
There are numerous sprues with all the parts for the engine nacelles and landing gear as well as special sprues with parts specific to this variant.
The clear parts are pretty good and lots of tinny clear parts are provided for all the navigation and landing lights. Some plastic parts do have sink marks which will need to be filled. Amodel has improved their quality a lot but there are still areas where they can improve further.
The decals are pretty simple with some warning stencils and just numbers and red stars.
This is a pretty interesting model of an aircraft that played an important role during the cold war and it will fill a gap in any modeler's collection of Soviet aircraft. It will take some work on the modeler's part but i do not imagine that any one else is going to tackle such a subject.