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Paul A H

Yakovlev Yak-1b - 1:72

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Yakovlev Yak-1b

1:72 Brengun

 

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Prior to the outbreak of WWII, the Yakovlev Design Bureau was best known for designing and building lightweight recreational and sporting aeroplanes. Starting with the Yak-2/Yak-4 light bomber, Yakovlev used this experience  to create a sequence of successful, lightweight aircraft which used composite construction to reduce weight. The fighter aircraft produced during this period were largely compact and highly maneuverable. While the development of the new aircraft was not without difficulty, by the time Operation Barbarossa got underway over 400 Yak-1s had ben constructed, although not all were operational. In contrast to the MiG-3, the Yak-1 excelled at low altitude combat, with just 17 seconds required to perform a full circle. Although lightly armed by western standards, the Yak-1 was popular with Soviet pilots. It went on to be developed into the Yak-7, Yak-9 and Yak-3, with over 37,000 examples constructed in total. 

 

Brengun are a manufacturer of limited run kits from Brno, the Czech Republic's second city. They first came to my attention via their Hawker Typhoon kit back in 2013, but their catalogue is diverse, including kits and aftermarket parts in a range of scales. As befits a dimunitive aircraft, their Yak-1 arrives packed into a small, end-opening box, inside which are three frames of grey plastic, a small frame of clear parts, an even smaller fret of photo etched details and a sheet of decals. There are around sixty parts in total, excluding the photo etched details. 

 

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The cockpit makes extensive use of photo etched material, with parts for the instrument panel, seat support arms and cockpit floor all rendered in metal. Plastic parts include the seat itself, the control column, oxygen bottles and medical kit. The sidewalls are nicely detailed and include the characteristic internal steel framwork. Once complete, the cockpit and the pin for the propellor can be fixed inside the fuselage halves. The upper deck and cowling is moulded separately to the fuselage, and includes nicely recess for the 20mm ShVAK cannon. Assembly then turns to the flying surfaces. The rudder is moulded separately to the fuselage and connects via to slots to the vertical tail. The lower surfaces of the wings are moulded as a single central span, while the upper surfaces are moulded as separate parts. The main gear bays are pretty nicely detailed and should be of sufficient depth. Each of the engine exhausts is moulded in four parts, all of which connect from the outside of the airframe. The undercarriage legs are accurately represented, with the same excellent level of detail as the rest of the kit. Each leg is made up from four parts excluding the wheels. The canopy is moulded in seperate stages to allow it to be finished in the open position.

 

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Decal options include:

  • Yak-1b, 586 IAP (Women's Fighter Group), 1943;
  • Yak-1b, 910 IAP, flown by Nikolai A Kozlov, February 1943;
  • Yak-1b, 3 GIAP, flown by Lt. L.P. Savkin, Baltic Region, 1943;
  • Yak-1b, 291 IAP, flown by A.F. Lavrenov, 1943

Each of the schemes is finished in the same green and black over pale blue camouflage. Despite the lack of variety, the decals look nicely printed.

 

Conclusion

 

There can be no doubt that Brengun's Yak-1b is a limited run kit but this doesn't mean it's any less appealing. It is nicely produced, has plenty of interior detail and captures the look of the real thing very nicely. The surface detail is delicate and the fabric over the rear fuselage is particularly convincing. Overall this looks like a really nice little kit that should be enjoyable to build. Recommended. 

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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