From the beginning, the U-2 became the basic Soviet civil and military trainer aircraft, mass-produced in a "Red Flyer" factory near Moscow. It was also used for transport, and as a military liaison aircraft, due to its STOL capabilities. Also from the beginning it was produced in an agricultural aircraft variant, what earned it its nickname Kukuruznik. Although entirely outclassed by contemporary aircraft, the Kukuruznik served extensively on the Eastern Front in World War II, primarily as a liaison, medevac and general supply aircraft. It was especially useful for supplying Soviet partisans behind the front line. Its low cost and easy maintenance led to a production run of over 40,000. Manufacturing of the Po-2 in the USSR ceased in 1949, but until 1959 a number were assembled in Aeroflot repair workshops.
In the box
Packed in a sturdy hinge lidded box with an extra lid for the artwork, ICMs U-2/Po-2 with pods is well protected.
The four brown plastic sprues are bagged in one cellophane bag with the small clear sprue bagged separately. A colour instruction booklet and a small decal sheet complete the boxing.
Casting is good with no flash present and pin marks in places that shouldn't be seen or much trouble to fill.
External detail is very good with some fine rib detail on the wings, and nice thin trailing edges. The elevators like the previous boxing's, reviewed by Rowan here
, are plain and un- ribbed, for some reason.
Internal detail is pretty good with raised detail for the cockpit sidewalls. The cockpit instrument panels have raised bevels and come with decals. The majority of the cockpit fits onto the lower wing center section and slots into the bottom of the cockpit. The seats are missing harness's, but the do sport a nice framework. The control yoke and rudder pedals complete the nicely detailed cockpit.
The exposed engine although quite well detailed does lack a little finesse, and is a little simplified in places, but a bit a scratch building or replacing with a resin will set it off well, ( I have ordered the Vecter resin engine for this kit).
Now this being the ambulance version, no weapons are supplied, but two different types of pod are. One set fits underneath the lower wing with the other set fitting above the lower wing. The first set is well cast with a nice bit of engraved detail present. The second set sports a good ribbed detail. There is a small open hatch in this set, but nothing inside the pod.
Two choices for the undercarriage are given, one with ski's and one with wheels. Depending on what pods you choose depends on what undercarriage you use, or vice versa lol.
Both sets of undercarriage are detailed enough, and look pretty robust.
Decals and instructions
The instructions are a A4 size semi- coloured booklet, with the usual black and Grey on white line drawings for the build sequence. The front cover gives you a history of the aircraft, with the paint numbers for ModelMaster paints, along with the various symbols found during the build. The second page holds the part tree map, with the nine page build sequence following. The build sequence takes place over 34 steps and is easy to follow. Optional parts and internal paint colours are clearly highlighted in red.
The one small decal sheet holds 4 large and 2 small Soviet stars, two serial numbers, 2 letters and the instrument panel dials, so not a great deal. The decals are in register, and only have a little carrier film.
The box artwork only shows the one decal option, but there is actually two. The first is the winter 1942 version, with the skis and under wing pods, which has blue undersides and white side and tops. The second option is the Summer 1943 version with wheels and over lower wing pods. This option has a black and green disruptive camo scheme with blue undersides. This option uses the serial numbers and letters.
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