Xuntong Model 1/48 Tu-2VS Bat Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2013||Manufacturer||Xuntong Model|
|Kit Number||48001||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First Tu-2 kits in styrene in this scale||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$59.98|
The name Andrei Tupolev would become synonymous with Soviet bomber aviation. The first design that would bear his name as part of his own design bureau was a twin-engined medium bomber that was inspired by the German Ju 88. Powered by the ASh-82 series radial engines rated at 1850 horsepower each, the Tu-2 would be adapted to a number of bombing, torpedo, reconnaissance, and interception roles. The aircraft would prove to be agile and rugged in combat and would serve with distinction during World War II. The aircraft not only remained in production through 1948 and remained operational with the Soviet Air Force through 1950, the aircraft would go on to serve in a number of air arms including the PLAAF (China) where a number remained operational through 1982.
I was visiting the War Eagles Museum in Santa Theresa, NM a number of years ago and spotted a strange shape on the ramp outside the museum. The aircraft appeared to be nearly complete, missing only its cockpit and nose section. Walking into the bomb bay revealed an interesting mix of placards with instructions in Chinese but with weapons designations in Cyrillic. I was told that this aircraft was one of five found at a cave in China and were all brought back to the US. The one missing its nose was otherwise left intact as had appeared when it was hastily stored and whoever taxied the aircraft to the cave had a propeller strike on a boulder with number two engine (and the damaged propeller was still there). The museum team intended to restore one aircraft for display and another to airworthy condition.
Xuntong Model is a new brand of kit maker (to me) from China and made their debut with the Tu-2VS which features dive brakes and wing-mounted rocket launchers in addition to the centerline bomb bay. This release is their first which is the Tu-2VS medium bomber configuration with the bomb bay and two external hard points for additional bombs. A third version is also available depicting the Tu-2T torpedo bomber.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 13 parts trees and one tree of clear parts. According to the kit box, there are 389 parts in this kit. Among the kit's features and options:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Nicely detailed radio compartment
- Choice of radio antenna types
- Detailed ASh engines
- Cowling covers can be left off to reveal engines
- Choice of open or closed cowling intakes
- Choice of open or closed bomb bay doors
- Detailed bomb bay
- Choice of open or closed forward dorsal gun window
- Choice of open or closed dorsal gun window
- Choice of open or closed ventral gun doors
- Two detailed dorsal guns
- Detailed ventral gun
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable flaps
External stores included for this version:
- 1 x large FAB bomb
- Choice of 10 x small caliber or 10 x large caliber undering rockets w/launch rails
This kit provides markings for three examples:
- Tu-2VS, Omsk, 166th Plant, 1942
- Tu-2VS, 3rd Air Army, Kalinin Front, 1942
- Tu-2VS, Bort 9, 3rd Air Army, Lalinin Front, 1943
I've been wishing for a kit of this distinctive aircraft in 1/48 scale and I'm quite pleased with this model from Xuntong Model. I'm curious to see what subjects they have in the future!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!