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Yakovlev Yak-1B (Expert Set) - 1:72


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Yakovlev Yak-1B (Expert Set)

1:72 Arma Hobby

 

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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. 

 

Arma Hobby are a manufacturer of kits from Warsaw, Poland. Although a relatively new name in the hobby, I have to say I've been mightily impressed by the kits of theirs that I've seen so far. This kit looks to be no different. The plastic parts are as well-made as anything I've seen from any of the big names, with fine and crisp panel lines and no obvious flaws anywhere. The decals look excellent and the full-colour instructions are equally impressive. One of the main differences between Arma Hobby and the likes of Eduard is the engineering and breakdown of parts, which is nowhere near as complex as the Czech manufacturer. This makes for a kit that seems immediately appealing and shouts 'build me' as soon as you handle the plastic. As this is an Expert Set, you get extra decal options, paint masks and a small fret of brass parts too.

 

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Construction gets underway with the cockpit. Most of the characteristic internal framework is moulded onto the inside of the fuselage halves, but there are separate parts for some of the structures which helps to add depth and realism. Some of the photo etched parts are used to add extra detail. The instrument panel also benefits from a multi-layered photo etched enhancement. The pilot's seat also benefits from photo etched harnesses. In common with other kits of this type, the lower part of the cockpit, including the pilot's seat pan, rudder pedals and control column, all have to be fitted to the area between the wings, which is moulded in place betwen the wing halves.

 

As both the upper and lower wings halves are moulded with both port and starboard joined up, aligning the wings should be no problem. Detail isn't compromised by this approach, partly because the level of moulded detail is so good and partly because the aeroplane is so small anyway. Moving away from the wings, the upper cowling is moulded as a separate part to the fuselage, while the engine exhausts slot in from either side. All of the control surfaces are moulded in place, which means although they are beautifully detailed, they can't be posed. There are photo etched parts to add extra detail to the radiator and oil cooler. Although the undercarriage doesn't benefit from any such treatment, it is nonetheless nicely detailed. The canopy is nice an clear but is moulded in once piece, which means it can't be finished in the open position - a surprising decision for what is otherwise a very nicely detailed kit.

 

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The decal options include:

  • Yak-1B No.4, 1 Squadron, Polish 1st Fighter Regiment, WO Edward Chromy, Zadybie Stare Airfield, Summer 1944. This aircraft is finished in two-tone grey over blue;
  • Yak-1B No.13, 2 Squadron, Polish 1st Fighter Regiment, Sgt Patryk O'Brien, Operation Berlin, 1945. This aircraft is also finished in two-tone grey over blue;
  • Yak-1B No.2, 148 IAP, Capt. Leonid Smirnof, Kuban, Spring 1943. This aircraft is finished in two-tone green over blue;
  • Yak-1B captured aircraft (as per Capt. Leonid Smirnof above) in German markings;
  • Yak-1B No.26, 31 GIAP, Maj. Boris Yeryomin, Soldovka, Stalingrad Front, December 1942. This aircraft was overpainted with white; and
  • Yak-1B No.6, GC3 Normandie, Albert Durland, Khatenki, Summer 1943. This aircraft is finished in two-tone green over blue with 'fish scale' mottling on the cowling.

The decals are superbly printed and a full set of stencils is included. 

 

yak1b_05.jpg

 

Conclusion

 

Just like the other Arma Hobby kits I've seen,  this is a very high quality model. It is apparent that Arma Hobby have produced a model that should be easy to build without compromising on detail. The quality of manufacture is excellent; I'd go as far as saying that if these sprues had fallen out of a Tamiya or Eduard box, I doubt you would notice much difference. The decal options are excellent too. Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of 


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On 12/15/2019 at 7:57 PM, Chaotic Mike said:

Nice review of a nice looking kit. I'll bet you meant to say it had *no* obvious flaws, though... 😁

I don't know what you mean :whistle:

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