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Zvezda Petlyakov Pe-2

Build review of the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with a full interior
The Petlyakov Pe-2, nicknamed Peshka, was the most widely used Soviet medium bomber of World War II with over 11,000 being produced. It was fast, maneuverable, and durable, making it a favorite of crews.

There have been a few kits of the Pe-2 available in 1/72 scale from the ancient Airfix kit dating back to 1968 to the most recent from HobbyBoss in its “Easy Assembly” line. 

This new tool from Zvezda replaces its earlier effort and is sure to top the list as the best of the bunch. The kit includes 199 parts molded in light gray with fine recessed panel detail, full interior detail including three figures. The 8-page instruction booklet covers 28 steps with clear drawings and adequate color callouts. A color sheet shows the five marking options.

The first step is to decide which version you intend to build as there are minor differences. 

Assembly starts with the main wing in typical upper/lower halves with separate outer leading-edge pieces, ailerons, and inserts for the landing light and intakes. Remember to open up the holes for the dive brakes. Next, I assembled the lower nacelles and main landing gear. The main gear is a bit fiddly to assemble and some of the components fragile so I decided to leave them off until the end to minimize breakage.

Construction of the interior is next. There are a few ejector-pin marks inside that quite honestly won’t be visible enough to worry about on the completed model. The pilot seat and associated framework is a model in itself. About all you need to add is seat belts if you don’t use the pilot (who is really well-molded). 

Some of the parts are a little fragile and care is needed when removing them from the sprue. I painted everything as instructed using the recommended Tamiya colors. The radio-operator’s compartment isn’t quite as comprehensive but you really can’t see much of it. I left off the side gun until final assembly to avoid breakage and ease masking. I only installed two bombs in the bay so some of the detail would still be visible. 

The fuselage halves fit together and only needed a dab of filler here and there along the seam.

I attached the main wings next. The front and rear bulkheads for the bomb bay extend out to support them making for a strong join and the fit was excellent. 

Then I added the tail making sure to keep the proper dihedral and the rudders vertical.

For the camouflage, I started with a base of Model Master dark tan then free-handed the pattern using Tamiya dark green and panzer gray. Tamiya light blue was used underneath, then lightly post shaded with some smoke. 

All of the stencil decals were applied first followed by the main markings. There is a mistake, with stencil No. 40 being called out 17 times on the placement guide but only 10 are provided. All decals worked flawlessly and covered well.

The finished model scales out spot-on. I spent about 30 hours on the kit, pretty much normal for me for something of this complexity. Some parts may be a little too complicated for a beginner but someone with a few kits experience shouldn’t have any problems. Definitely recommended!   

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2020 issue.


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