Zvezda 1/144 Il-76MD Candid Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2018||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Kit Number||7011||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$44.99|
During the late 1960s, the Ilyushin Experimental Design Bureau (OKB) developed a four-engined, turbine-powered, heavy-lift cargo aircraft to supplement and eventually replace the An-12 (NATO Codename: Cub) turboprop airlifter. Designated as the Il-76 (NATO Codename: Candid), the aircraft entered service in the mid-1970s and bears a strong resemblance to the C-141 Starlifter that entered service almost a decade earlier. Unlike the C-141, the Il-76 remains in service and many have received the PS-90 engine upgrade. The Il-76 airframe has been adapted by the Ilyushin OKB for a variety of special mission configurations including the Il-78 (NATO Codename: Midas) air refueling tanker and Il-76PP electronic warfare platform; as well as by the Beriev OKB including the A-50 (NATO Codename: Mainstay) AWACS and A-60 airborne laser laboratory.
Zvezda continues to turn out some interesting kits as well as evolve their kit engineering capabilities. Here's one of their latest masterpieces, the Il-76MD Candid military airlifter. While Trumpeter first released the Il-76 in 1/144 some 15 years ago, good things come to those who wait. Like the Trumpeter kit, this kit has some nice exterior details, but unlike the Trumpeter kit, this release also has an impressive interior as well. Let's take a closer look:
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus two parts for an optional in-flight display stand, and one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed flight deck
- Nicely detailed and fully enclosed main cargo bay
- Upper wing half is molded as one part with wing anhedral molded into the part
- Positionable flaps and slats
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable cago bay ramp and doors
- Optional drive-up ramps included
- Positionable crew entry doors
- Optional in-flight display stand
Markings are included for three examples:
- Il-76MD Candid, Bort 01, Russian Air Force, 'Marshall of Aviation Skripko'
- Il-76MD Candid, RF-78837, Russian Air Force, 'Marshall of Aviation Skripko'
- Il-76MD Candid, RA-78796, Russian Air Force
One interesting feature on legacy Soviet airlifters including the An-12 and Il-76 is the tail gunner's position in the tail. It resembles a B-17F tail gunner's enclosure, and while the position remains on the updated Il-76MD Candids, you rarely see guns installed. The kit provides the guns, but you'll want to check your references to see if the aircraft you're modeling is armed.
This is another impressive addition to the 1/144 scale flightline, and while some modelers may not consider 1/144 too seriously, I would dread giving up enough display shelf space for a larger scale model, especially given the size of this aircraft in this scale. Zvezda is also turning out some impressive modern airliner subjects in this scale including the new Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 737-800. The Boeing kits are produced under license and look just as nice as this gem and we'll do first-looks in the near future.