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Yak-1b Kit

Eduard 1117 1/48 Yak-1b Limited Edition Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2006 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Yak-1b Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1117 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Very nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Yak-1b Kit
Yak-1b Kit
Yak-1b Kit
Yak-1b Kit
Yak-1b Kit
Yak-1b Kit

The Yakovlev Design Bureau (OKB) designed a new generation of fighter aircraft in response to a new requirement released in 1938. The resulting I-26 marked the beginning of an aircraft family that would make Alexander Yakovlev's OKB famous. As war came, the Yak-1s, as these aircraft would be designated, were gradually improved in performance and armament. They were fast, maneuverable, and able to hold their own against the Fw 190A and Bf 109G in key flight regimes.

As production continued, Yakovlev's design team strove to improve the aircraft's combat potential and one major improvement to the design was the cut-down rear deck and new all-round canopy installed providing excellent visibility.

While the Yak-1 would later lead to the Yak-3, Yak-7 and Yak-9, these improved aircraft still reflected the basic design of the Yak-1. While overlooked by many historians, in the early days of the Great Patriotic War, the Yak-1 had the same or even better combat performance than the more famous early Supermarine Spitfires.

This kit should look familiar to the model veteran. This is the outstanding Yak-1 from Accurate Miniatures that has been put into an Eduard box with a new decal sheet, a fret of nice color photo-etch, the new yellow canopy masks, and some outstanding instructions.

The kit is molded in medium gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus two small trees containing the clear parts. According to the instructions, one whole tree (the last gray tree at the bottom) is not used with this build.

Naturally assembly begins with the cockpit. The main part is the cockpit floor that also has the coolant radiator molded on the underside. Assembly of this cockpit is not for the feint of heart as there are lots of small photo-etched details that build up from the photo-etched instrument panel and side consoles. This new instrument panel is trapped between the tubular framing that makes up the cockpit sidewalls and all mount to the cockpit floor.

The fuselage sides and upper fuselage deck go together next, and the previously completed cockpit subassembly slips up into the fuselage through the opening for the wings. The wings are next and note that the main spar that mounts to the lower wing half also boxes in the rear of the main wheel wells, so proper fit is essential.

The landing gear is next up and with this kit you have the option of rounded or weighted (flat on the bottom) wheels.

External store options include a drop tank and three rocket rails under each wing.

The canopy and propeller go on last. The canopy can be posed open as you'll want to show off that magnificent interior.

Markings are provided for four aircraft:

  • Yak-1b, White 5, 427 Ftr Regt, as flown by Capt. Pavel Chuvilev
  • Yak-1b, White 41, 267 Ftr Regt, 'Free Donbass'
  • Yak-1b, Red 8, 34 Ftr Regt, as flown by Sr Lt Viktor Korobov
  • Yak-1b, White 47, 247 Ftr Regt, as flown by Major Yakov Kutikhin

I was sad to see the Yaks disappear from the Accurate Miniatures catalog as these were beautifully done models of a Soviet fighter that could hold its own against the best that the Luftwaffe could throw at it.

This is a nice little kit that will build into a colorful subject with a little patience and skill. The AMS modeler will have fun with this project and have a variety of color schemes to round out the experience.

My sincere thanks to Hobbyshop.cz for this review sample!

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