Books on the Ilyushin Il-2 & Il-10 Shturmovik

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Crowood "Ilyushin Il-2 & Il-10 Shturmovik"

Crowood "Ilyushin Il-2 & Il-10 Shturmovik"     Crowood published this in 2004. ISBN 1 86126 625 1 It is written by the prolific Yefim Gordon in partnership with Sergey Kommisarov. This appears to be normal for Yefim - whom I assume writes in Russian then the partner translates & proof reads... but I could be wrong as the cover states that Sergey is also a Student of Russian Aviation who has published his own books. Anyone familiar with Crowood's Aviation Series (I believe they publish on other hobby-related matters such as Trains) will know what to expect. This is a very 'worthy' book if maybe a little dull. It offers 188 pages and is packed with technical insight. It has no scale plans on offer so the modeller is not truly in mind here. However there are  pages of glossy colour photo's and side-profiles. There are many, many useful photo's for the modeller and a scattering of assembly sketches thrown in. The text has some great insights but I particularly liked the section on actual pilot anecdotes and the part concerning current survivors and restoration projects. I picked my copy up from EBay for 5GBP + P&P which is a fraction of the 30GBP list price. Bargain. Hence recommended for the modeller if you buy it from there!

WWP "Il-2 Type 3 & Il-10/Avia B-33"

WWP "Il-2 Type 3 & Il-10/Avia B-33"     Published in 1997 by Wings and Wheels Publications in the Czech Republic. Sixty pages in both English and the Czech language. The book has about 80% colour photo's. Some few pages have black and white photo's for no known reason as all photo's are of a walkaround two museum examples in the Kbely Air Museum in Prague. WWP "Il-2 Type 3 & Il-10/Avia B-33"The book covers both the Il-2 and the Il-10. There are a few pages of text plus some lovely scale plans in 1/72nd scale plus cutaway diagrams. There a few scrap line drawings of certain features plus a few colour artworks on the final pages. This book is absolutely essential. If you are making models of Stormoviks you will need this book. Highly recommended.

Squadron/Signal "Il-2 Stormovik In Action"

Squadron/Signal "Il-2 Stormovik In Action"     Published in 1995. Written by Hans-Heiri Stapfer with illustrations by Don Greer and Joe Sewell. In your 50 pages you get the usual center page spread of colour artworks with colour front and back covers. There is a good selection of black and white photo's throughout although they are often minimised in the favour of text. The photo's are often fuzzy, grainy and indistinct. Squadron/Signal "Il-2 Stormovik In Action"You get the typical selection of line-drawn three view layouts and scrap views illustrating differences between the sub-types. Although the photo's are below par the sketches are quite excellent. Otherwise it is typical average fair from Squadron/Signal - better than nothing but there are a few better works on this type.

War in the Air 126 "Il-2" (in Russian)

War in the Air 126 "Il-2"      Published in 2005 by its author Ivanov S. V. Printed in Beloretsk (Russia). Eagle-eyed readers will immediately spot that it is Don Greer's Artwork that graces both front and rear covers. It is the same artwork from the Squadron/Signal "In Action" publication (featured above). Unfortunately Don is not credited in the book so I hope some money exchanged hands or he agreed to this! Obviously these books were never meant to be exported. Indeed the author had only 300 copies made (allegedly) for the collectors in Russia only. It is doubtful if only 300 copies were made but, if true, then this is very collectible! And very rare. All the more extraordinary considering that I purchased it from EBay in September 2007 from a Shop in Moscow. Price was reasonable but the postage was high. However, I did get the book very quickly so there is a lesson there. This was a far better experience than we had with the people at "Armybook" (mentioned above). It does not appear as if any more of the "In Action" artwork was ripped off for this publication. Despite the nod to the Squadron/Signal book the similarity ends after the first page has turned. This is actually far superior in many respects. You get 52 pages (including full colour covers) which includes three pages of colour photo's in walkaround fashion. Unlike all the other walkarounds, we have seen, this subject is sitting on aWar in the Air 126 "Il-2" grass field somewhere and not in a museum. Hence photo's are well lit and include undercarriage, weapons bays and cockpit.  The walkaround shots continue onto further pages but in black and white. There are three pages of colour artworks featuring various machines in the service of various countries including Korea and the RAF (!). There are eight engineering layout diagrams and four pages of scale drawings. The first half of the book is mostly history and mostly service pictures we haven't seen before. The second half of the books is devoted to the airframe and structure. It is an ideal resource for modellers if you can get hold of a copy. The only thing wrong with this is that there is not a word of English anywhere in it. A good translation would be valuable!

"Red Army Assault Aircraft - Severe School" Part 1

     I bought this item for $30USD from (I actually ordered ten books from them over the internet but it turned into a fiasco. Despite their advertised availability none of the other nine were in stock and they were unable to secure copies for me. To me I would expect the web site to have advertised them as "Special Order" or "Limited Availability" - but no. In fact they were unable to supply anything from 'Special Order' either. I finally got my money back, but only after I waited a long time and had to contact them on several occasions. They are happy to take your money but won't volunteer the fact that they cannot supply any books to you.) ISBN 5 94747 013 6 "Red Army Assault Aircraft - Severe School" Part 1This book is entirely in Russian. It was published in Moscow in 2003 but its 210 pages are delivered in a rather dated and unappealing fashion. It reminded me of books from the 1960's in my Father's collection. Very few pictures but lots of words! Those pictures are very small & some are better found in equivalent English sources. In its defence it seems as if it is more focussed on general Shturmovik aircraft rather than just the Ilyushin Il-2, plus it appears more interested in the combat record of these aircraft with many interesting (if uninformative) pictures of the victims of Shturmovik attacks. I have seen few of these pictures anywhere else. There are seven pages of scale plans at the back and a cockpit layout diagram. Not recommended for the average punter or modeller but a 'must' for all Shturmovik junkies and collectors.

Armada "Il-2 Armoured Attack Plane" (in Russian)

Armada "Il-2 Armoured Attack Plane"     This is a slim volume of 48 pages however it has a remarkably contemporary for anything out of Moscow. Indeed it reminds me a little of the work of Mushroom Publications. In the center section you get a fold-out section withArmada "Il-2 Armoured Attack Plane" 1/72nd scale plans for early and late versions of the single and twin seater versions. There is one colour artwork page at the rear featuring a three-view of a single airframe. The rest of the black and white photo's are not glossy but are original, useful and crisply printed. There are a handful of scrap sketches showing other aircraft or some airframe structure details. A lovely little book although entirely in the Russian language. Worth it for the scale plans alone. Grab a copy if you can.

"Assault Aircraft Red Army Part 1" (in Russian)

"Assault Aircraft Red Army Part 1"     According to the web site where I bought it this is subtitled as "Severe School" what ever that means. Maybe it should translate as 'school of hard knocks'? This is entirely in Russian and published in 2001. Typical of such 'modern' work published out of Moscow these days it is very dated by western standards. Photo's are small and there is a lot of text - all the worse for the fact that most readers of this web-site won't understand a word of it. As the name suggests this is not a monograph on the Il-2 as the book covers a variety of ground attack aircraft serving with the VVS from "Assault Aircraft Red Army Part 1"well before The Great Patriotic War. There are some basic layout sketches but nothing looks as if it was prepared for the book - rather this line-drawings are copied directly from factory museum drawings. There are handful of detail shots although the photo's are not glossy or crisp. Indeed they look a little grey and frosted - probably a fault in the printing process. Interesting but unless you have your own private live-in Russian-English translator (as I do of course) then you may struggle with this. One for the completist.

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