Gran Ltd 1/72 La-5 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2006||Manufacturer||Gran Ltd|
|Kit Number||7235||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.00|
Noted Soviet aircraft designer Semyon Lavochikin had taken part in a design team that produced the LaGG fighters (the team consisting of Lavochkin, Gorbunov and Gudkov) in the early 1940s. While the LaGG-1 and LaGG-3 were reasonably successful, they were underpowered.
Shortly after the design team was dissolved, Lavochkin undertook an improved design that incorporated a 1,600 horsepower Ash-82A radial engine on an all-wooden airframe. The resulting La-5 was a resounding success at low altitudes. Unlike its predecessors, the La-5 could out-maneuver the Bf 109F and Fw 190A below 12,000 feet, giving the Soviet Air Force a much-needed edge against the advancing German forces.
The next incremental development was the La-5FN, which incorporated the 1,775 horsepower Ash-82FN engine and cutting down the rear turtledeck to vastly improve the aircraft's rearward visibility.
This kit is molded in light gray injection molded plastic and presented on two parts trees. An additional tree with windscreen, canopy, and rear side windows is also provided.
Construction of this kit starts with the engine. The Ash-82 is replicated with both banks of cylinders. The engine is mounted to the firewall and mounts inside the fuselage halves.
The cockpit is a simple affair, but the cockpit sidewalls and the interior is detailed enough that a good painter can bring out the details nicely.
There isn't much detail to see on the aircraft's external surfaces, not because of any deficiency in the kit, but merely because this is an all-wooden aircraft (with fabric-covered flight control surfaces). You have only to examine a Mosquito model to see the same results.
The remainder of the kit assembly is also straightforward, though with any kit, a little care and dry-fitting before gluing will yield better results.
Markings are provided for one example:
- La-5, White 15, 3 GIAP, Leningrad, 1945, as flown by Captain G. Kostylev. This is the famous sharkmouthed Lavochkin that is a favorite of VVS modeler
This is a nice looking kit that any experienced modeler will enjoy building. The instructions are in Russian and English, so you should have no problems with this project.
This set is recommended!
My sincere thanks to Wings n Treads ( www.wingsntreads.com) for this review sample. Check out the other Gran Ltd kits as well as other cool products that they carry!