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Petlyakov Pe-2

Zvezda 1/48 Petlyakov Pe-2 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2017 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject Petlyakov Pe-2 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4809 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $37.99

First Look

Petlyakov Pe-2
Petlyakov Pe-2
Petlyakov Pe-2
Petlyakov Pe-2

As the Blitzkrieg spread around Europe, Soviet planners were looking for a high-speed light bomber design which would provide them with a capability similar to the German's Ju-88. Ironically, two key aircraft designers had been imprisoned in the late 1930s who would help to transform Soviet tactical aviation. One of these designers, Vladimir Petlyakov, was given the opportunity to transform the design of an earlier aircraft to meet the light bomber requirement while still in prison. The result of his work would become the Pe-2 and was also notable for being constructed from wood, like the de Havilland Mosquito. The other designer, Andrej Tupolev, developed the Tu-2 which had a similar appearance to the Pe-2, but that aircraft's history is another story.

To the casual observer, the Pe-2 and the Tu-2 were similar in appearance. Both were twin, engined, twin-tailed, slender fuselage, monoplane aircraft. The Pe-2 has a low-mounted wing while the Tu-2 has a mid-mounted wing. The engines of the Pe-2 were liquid-cooled resulting in fighter-like streamlined engine nacelles, while the Tu-2 was powered by radial engines that were open in the front similar to the Lavochkin La-5. While the Pe-2 was the faster aircraft, the Tu-2 had a greater payload, greater range, and better defensive armament.

Zvezda released this kit in 2015 and was widely hailed as one of Zvezda's best kits. While the kit requires some modeling experience to build, it offers some nice details and options right out of the box. A few things of note, where most aircraft kits start construction in the cockpit, this kit starts out with the engine, nacelles and wings. The instructions guide you through the construction of two variants, a detailed aircraft sitting on the ground, or a buttoned-up aircraft in flight. The in-flight example requires a display stand (sold separately) but can just as easily be hung from the ceiling.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Detailed M-105 engine
  • Port engine has option for open access panels or buttoned-up
  • Both engines offer rear engine detail visible from main wheel wells
  • Detailed cockpit
  • Optional seated pilot figure
  • Detailed navigators station
  • Detailed gunner's station
  • Detailed bomb bay
  • Positionable bomb bay doors
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable dorsal gunner's hatch
  • Positionable landing gear
  • 4 x bombs provided bomb bay
  • 2 x bombs provided for underwing bomb racks

Markings are provided for three examples, Bort 01, Bort 7 'Zabiyaka', and Bort 26 which also carries the slogan 'Leningrad-Kenigsberg' on the port side.

As much as I like the distinctive Soviet Air Force subjects, I had initially passed on this kit until recently - Begemot Decals released set 48041 which provides some very colorful examples from the Great Patriotic War (WWII) as well as aircraft in post-war service. When I saw these decals, I had to get the kit.

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