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Il-38 Kit

Amodel 1/72 Ilyushin Il-38 May Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review September 2008 Manufacturer Amodel
Subject Ilyushin Il-38 May Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72010 Primary Media Styrene, fiberglass
Pros Nice detailing Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $185.00

First Look

Il-38 Kit
Il-38 Kit
Il-38 Kit

The Il-38 is a variant developed out of the Il-18, a civilian airliner design which itself goes back to the mid 50's. The Il-38 Anti Ship Warfare (ASW) design required extensive modifications to the base Il-18 airframe. The modifications include equipment such as the large search radar under the forward fuselage (Wet Eye), which shifted the airframe's center of gravity forward to the point that the rear fuselage had to be lengthened for about 4 meters and the wings had to be moved forward.

A long Magnetic Anomaly Detector MAD was added in the rear of the fuselage and two internal weapons bays were added, one forward and one aft of the wing. The weapons bay houses a complement of torpedoes, depth charges, free fall bombs (FAB 250) and sonobouy active and passive detection equipment.

The May is manned by a flight crew of three and there are 9 operators for the ASW and radar equipment. The Russian Navy operates about 50 Il-38s and more are on order. The Il-38 has also been exported to India for patrolling the Indian Ocean for submarine activity.

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. For the Il-38, Amodel designed a new longer fuselage that includes the MAD and also incorporates the forward wing move modification. 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 tiny 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 include some warning stencils, numbers and red stars but also include an interesting looking squadron logo showing a seabird snatching a shark. No Indian Navy parts or decals are included.

This is a pretty interesting model of an aircraft that is active and has been playing an important ASW role since 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.

I purchased my sample from Linden Hill Importsfor $185 and it can also be purchased for $137.50 (includes shipping) from Hobbyterra.