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Yak-38U “Forger B”


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#1 Mike

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:19 PM

Yak-38U “Forger B”
1:48 Hobby Boss


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The Forger B was the trainer variant of the Yak-38 forger, and made an unusual looking aircraft look even more… erm… unusual? It had a downward sloping front end, allowing both the pupil and teacher a good view forward over the nose. At the rear was an extension to preserve the centre of gravity, in much the same way as its rival the Harrier. It was built in small numbers due to its intended role, and less than 40 airframes were built, with the last delivered in 1981.

Hot on the heels of Hobby Boss’ new Forger A kit, reviewed here, the B model shares a lot of common parts with the earlier kit, which causes some problems that I’ll get to later. Inside the box are six sprues of mid-grey styrene parts, a sprue of clear parts, a large decal sheet, instruction booklet and painting guide.

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The A sprue contains the fuselage halves, and here we have a problem that will require some work if you’re so minded. The aft fuselage had an extension fitted on the B model, which begins aft of the exhaust troughs, and places the tail further back, with a longer spine than the single seat variant. I’ve not yet established the correct length of this plug, but it should be there and isn’t. A great many of us will build the kit and enjoy it immensely without caring two hoots about this, but some of us are likely to get out the razor saw and correct this issue. Which route you choose is entirely up to you!

The new D sprue with the nose and two seat cockpit is necessarily larger to accommodate the enlarged forward fuselage and cockpit parts. Aft of the cockpit though, the sprues are the same as the Forger A, so I’ve reproduced those sprues here to save you flicking back and forth between two reviews.

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Detail on the kit is very good, and again the wings can be depicted folded by cutting along the panel lines and inserting the included ribs, a feature which isn’t mentioned in the instructions again.

The new canopy is on a significantly larger sprue, and is supplied in four parts to enable the modeller to pose either or both of the canopies open, although no mechanism is included to enable this. The parts are crystal clear with a very fine seam down the middle of the main parts due to moulding of the slightly blown cross-section. A little distortion seems to have crept into the mould of the aft opening section, but this might well disappear following sanding and re-polishing of the seam.

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The sensor fit and weapons are the same as the A model, but the rear bullet behind the tail is different, with an enlarged cylindrical part that has puffer jet exhausts protruding from each side, as is appropriate for the 2-set variant.

Decals are up to Hobby Boss’ usual standard, with plenty of stencils to busy up the airframe. It seems that the Forger B was painted in any colour you like as long as it’s blue… with a green protective coating on the underside. There is good scope here for weathering however, as the blue fades badly under sunlight, resulting in an almost cerulean blue on ageing aircraft.

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From the box you can portray one of two aircraft, which have no text to describe either unit or location. Markings are as follows:
  • Yellow 24, Soviet markings, blue over green
  • Yellow 04, Russian markings, blue over green
Decals are crisp and clear, with good register and colour density. Carrier film is thin, and doesn’t extend far from the edge of the printing, so they should settle down nicely on a glossy surface.

To whet your appetite, check out the take-off from a carrier deck at 3:42, landing at 4:43 and subsequent hover manoeuvres on this YouTube video.


Conclusion
It’s a shame that the fuselage mouldings aren’t correct, but at last we have a Forger B in injection moulded styrene, so we’ll not judge Hobby Boss too harshly. The fix is relatively complex, but I expect that a resin company will be along shortly to oblige those that feel the urge to correct it.

Inclusion of the open and closed slats on the forward lift fan bay is good news, and the rest of the airframe is well rendered, with plenty of detail in the cockpit and wheel bays. The “easter-egg” wing fold option is handy too, although I can’t quite understand why it isn’t mentioned in detail within the instructions, as it’s a selling point for many with limited display room.

Recommended with the above caveat.

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Review sample courtesy of Posted Image



#2 Moofles

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

Blimey what an aircraft, great review.

#3 general melchett

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:02 PM

Yep, been looking forward to this one for a while. As for accuracy, well it's a Hobby Boss isn't it..........so I didn't really have very high expectations to be honest.

but some of us are likely to get out the razor saw and correct this issue.


Yup, that'll me me then.....well if that's all that's wrong with it then ................'Bang On!'.

#4 Flankerman

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:17 PM

Great review - thanks for posting.

Here are a few pics I took of a Yak-38U at Lugansk - plus a single seater at Kiev for comparison.....

Single-seater.....

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Two-seater........

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The rear extension appears to be just aft of the jet pipe - end of the 'scallop' is in line with the dorsal fillet on the U.

Dunno what size the extension is though......

Ken

#5 Julien

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:57 PM

Is it my eyes or does the tail fin look bigger on the 2 seater as well?

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#6 Mike

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:01 PM

Is it my eyes or does the tail fin look bigger on the 2 seater as well?

Julien

I think it's your eyes old son ;) I've been looking over a side-by-side comparison that Homebee posted on a French speaking forum, and the two fins look the same there.

#7 Homebee

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:12 PM

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Good evening Mike!

Here's the doc I found on ARC forums. Thanks and credit to Bonehammer73
Source: http://s362974870.on...y2231900Regards

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http://farm7.static....ff3eca0e9_b.jpg

V.P.

Edited by Homebee, 08 January 2012 - 09:30 PM.


#8 Mike

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:36 PM

Great review - thanks for posting.



Cheers Ken :)

Good evening Mike!

As if by magic the shopkeeper appears!

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Yes, that's the one :)

#9 general melchett

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

This might help a bit. Sorry about the quality, my scanners still not working but you get the idea. The rear end of the trainer was extended to counter the longer nose but this apparently led to further c of g and stability problems that needed to be sorted out prior to production. The prototypes also had squared off fin tips if anyone fancies doing one of those.
As you can see the area affected is the section housing the exhaust runs and extra fillet along the top of the fuselage. The only problem that I can see extending the thing is that the exhaust runs may well curve around the rear of the fuselage on the single seater making it quite complex to keep the correct diameter and shape, but hopefully just filling the end of the runnels and careful sanding will be enough, Look forward to getting my hands on the kit to see. (Whole new fuselage plug might be a good idea),





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#10 Col.

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

Studying those side views and photos makes me think the fuselage plug required will also take care of the different angle to the heat sheild and require only a little filling to the aft part moulded on to the fuselage halves. That and a plug to the intake trunk in front of the ventral fin seems all that's required. Or have I missed some other things?

#11 Radleigh

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

I think I'm being stupid, but I can't actually see where the plug goes....I really want these two Yak-38's too!

#12 Col.

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:00 PM

I think I'm being stupid, but I can't actually see where the plug goes....I really want these two Yak-38's too!

From the end of the exhaust nozzle back Radleigh. About half as long again as the fuselage section they sit in I'd say.

#13 Radleigh

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:44 AM

I've got it now! I was looking at the front... Cheers Col.

#14 Mike

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

Be careful of those 2 pics that Melchie posted, as they're at different scales and orientations. I know that because I overlaid them last night and had to do some serious re-scaling and a little rotating to get their common areas (intakes, Wing roots & exhausts) to line up. Once you do thought, it's more obvious where the insert is. :)

#15 general melchett

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:54 AM

That's true Mike, should have mentioned that they were only up for comparison purposes. The actual prints are the same scale but as I took photos of the pages they will appear to be different. I should have highlighted the panel lines at the rear end around the exhaust area to be fair.