Zvezda 1/72 Yak-3 Build Review
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||January 2012||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Kit Number||7301||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Low parts count, nice marking options, builds fast||Cons||Snap fit isn’t the greatest. Some parts still required gluing, end opening box|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$13.50|
The Yak-3 was a Russian fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a sturdy airplane that was easy to maintain and was liked by both pilots and their supporting ground crew alike. One of the smallest and lightest fighters fielded by any nation during the war, it had a high power-to-weight ratio giving it excellent overall performance which enabled it to be a serious threat as a dogfighter.
The official top-scoring World War II French ace Marcel Albert, flew the Yak in the USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group and considered it superior to the North American P-51D Mustang as well as the British Supermarine Spitfire. The Yak-3 continued to fly with the French, Yugoslav and Polish Air Forces following the end of the war.
Zvezda’s newest release is a bit different for this modeler. I haven’t built a snap together kit in quite some time so this presented me with a bit of conundrum when I got started. I didn’t realize it was a purely snap together kit as I just dove right in and started building. I thought it odd that there were instructions to “snap” this and “snap” that and that it must be some form of hybrid kit. Only when the plane was complete did I notice the box art. “Snap Fit” was right there on one corner of the box. Well slap me and call me silly.
Overall the kit isn’t bad for what it is. It does have recessed panel lines which is a plus. I did ding it for the end opening box which I absolutely hate as there is no strength to them what so ever and I have more than a few of these boxes on my shelves that are crushed to prove my point. I also dinged them on ease of assembly as the parts don’t exactly “click” into place as indicated on the instructions. I’m a big guy and had to put more than a little effort into getting things to “click” as it were. Little hands may have difficulty here. Cockpit detail is sparse at best, but as this kit is aimed at the young modeler what’s there should suffice.
The kit builds fast (I was able to assemble and paint it in less than 2 full days) It took more time to mask the canopy for painting than to assemble the rest of the kit…honestly.
The best aspect of the kit in my opinion is the decals. Two colorful marking options are provided. They went on without any fuss and lay right down with no silvering. And, they even include stencils for the no walk and other assorted areas such as the elevators and rudder.
I think Zvezda has a good thing going with this one. It is a great way to introduce the youngins’ to our hobby. With its low parts count and click fit, it should be snap for kids to get through this one without too much trouble.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!