Ilyushin Airliners
Ilyushin Il-14 – Ilyushin Il-62M – Ilyushin Il-96-300

Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin worked his way from ditch digger to the creation of his own design bureau in Soviet Russia in 1933. His Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft was the most produced combat aircraft in history with over 36,000 aircraft produced (and second most produced aircraft after the Cessna 172). After the war Ilyushin concentrated on production of a line of civil airliners, so let’s look at three in the Museum’s collection.

Ilyushin Il-12 in 1/144 by Amodel
Design work began on this aircraft in 1943 with the intention of producing a replacement for the Soviet built Douglas DC-3, the Lisunov Li-2. It was slightly larger so it could carry more passengers and had tricycle landing gear which allowed better visibility during taxiing and landing. They began flying with Aeroflot in June 1947 and that airline continued using them on some of its routed until the end of 1970. It was sold to several countries allied to the Soviet Union and 663 were manufactured. It had several operational problems which were overcome in an improved version, the Il-14, which first flew in 1950.

There is only one kit of the Il-12 in 1/144, from Amodel first produced around 2010 and since reboxed a couple of times with new decals. I thought this was a fairly decent kit, for Amodel, which presented no read difficulties. The paint scheme is very simple too. Once you’ve taken care of all the seams and gaps and have a nice smooth finish a coat of two of Tamiya AS-12 is just about all you need to do this little kit justice.

Ilyushin Il-62M in 1/144 by Zvezda
This aircraft was Russia’s first intercontinental jet airliner. It was a few years later than similar aircraft such as the Boeing 702, DC-8 and VC-10, flying for the first time in January 1963 and entering service in 1967. It was also larger with a capacity of up to 186 passengers in comparison to the VC-10s 151 passengers. Unlike many Soviet era airliners, the Il-62 was relatively popular and, of the 292 built, it was flown by over thirty other nations. It now remains in very limited service, having been succeeded by Ilyushin’s Il-86 and Il-96 airliners.

This model was made from the Zvezda 1/144 kit and is an excellent kit that presents very few problems. The reviewer on the Fine Scale Modeler website recommends this kit to all fans of airliners  and I would too. It is a change from all the Boeings and Airbuses that dominate airline operations these days. There is also an ICM kit of the Il-62M which was released a year after the Zvezda kit You can compare You Tube reviews of the ICM  and Zvezda kits . The ICM kit comes from Ukraine and the Zvezda kit comes from Russia and, although it is obvious from the two in-box reviews that the Zvezda is much better, given the current situation it might be more ethical and easier to get the ICM kit.

Ilyushin Il-96 in 1/144 by Tupolev
This aircraft is a shorter version of the Ilyushin Il-86 which was Russia’s first wide-body airliner. It can accommodate about 90 less passengers but has almost twice the range of the Il-86. It was designed to use Russian made components but proved to be less efficient than Western Airbus and Boeing airliners so, in 2009, the Russian government announced that production would be terminated after 30 had been produced. However, in March 2022, after international sanctions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it was announced that large scale production of the relaunched Il-96 would take place.

This model was made from the Tupolev kit which I picked up at a swap n sell. It is as fairly dreadful kit and should be avoided by all but the most incorrigible airliner modellers. To add to the difficulty of making this model it does not have any undercarriage. For a while Braz Models sold an undercarriage set for this model which is also ‘challenging’ (to put it mildly). I wrote a Workbench Note about making this model which you might find encourages you never to try making it. More recently Eastern Express have released a kit of this aircraft which may be a reboxing of the Tupolev kit. Comments on it are far from positive, reviewers appear to have remained silent on this subject and I’m not even sure if this kit comes with undercarriage or not. It’s probably best to pass on making this model, unless you are incorrigible like me.