Welcome back readers (both of you) to the final installment of the IL-2N build. In this section I’ll discuss briefly how I created the final details on the kit before it was painted.
The main feature of this model was the A/I radar. I wanted something resembling the wing mounted units on US Navy nightfighters from late in WW II. To do this all you really need is a pod shape. A drop-tank, bomb, or anything else somewhat conical and with a rounded front will work. You can even use a marker cap in a pinch.
I decided to use a wing mounted slipper tank from an Airfix mosquito. This required the least amount of work.
I just glued the pod onto the wing at approximately the same location where the bomb racks would typically go, and let it dry. There were A LOT of large gaps all around, so I filled them with epoxy putty. Epoxy putty can be sculpted like modeling clay, and is very useful for modelers interested in creating new parts. I applied a good dollup of the stuff all over the slipper tank to get more of a “pod” shape. At this stage I made I wasn’t too careful about keeping it neat, as it would be sanded later.
This stuff takes about 24 hours to cure, so I came back to it the following night with some wet sandpaper and began to shape it. Things were smoothed out with fine grit paper when I had the shape I wanted.
The cannons were even simpler. I took the rear canopy section, filled it with epoxy putty, and then shaved one end at about a 50 degree angle. I glued a piece of sheet plastic to this end, and trimmed it to match the canopy profile. A short length of rod was split lengthwise (like for the exhaust shrouds in Pt II) and glued onto the flat plate, parallel to eachother. Finally, the kit’s 20 mm wing guns were stuck into the ends of the tubes. These were later painted dark gray and rubbed with ground pencil graphite.
The only work left now was standard modeling stuff. I painted and inserted one of the stiff crew figures, masked and applied the canopy and began painting. My camo choice wasn’t too inspired; just a green over gray mottle over a black bottom. For decals I used some Yugoslavian markings from a Fujimi Mig-21. The prop spinner in the kit was much to small, so I replaced it with a random spinner I had in my spares box. Don’t ask me what its from.
A little bit of weathering and detail painting and it was all done.
There you go then. The kit is one of Airfix’s ancient relics, and really not a very nice model. Some who buy this will turn their nose at it, and to be honest, I almost did too. But even the worst kits can still be useful. I had a lot of fun building this fictional little night-fighter and now it hangs proudly from my ceiling, flying next to a Lancaster and Miles Magister. Go ahead, find your worst kit and try it. You may find yourself having fun.