Arma Yakovlev Yak-1b Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

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I was so impressed with Arma’s FM-2 Wildcats that I ordered a couple of their Yak-1’s from Hannants. This is kit 70027, their “Expert Set” which contains photoetch and a masks. While the Yak has a simple canopy which is not overly tedious to mask, Arma’s kabuki-tape set is a welcome time saver. It is also a relatively easy way for a manufacturer to add value to a kit, particularly as Edward is now asking over $7 per set for their masks.
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The plastic parts come on a single sprue. As expected, the parts are of the highest quality with beautiful surface detail, both raised and recessed. The PE fret is not required to build the kit but adds to the detail.
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Like the Wildcats, the Yak sprues are designed to stack. This is a really useful feature for those who are building more than one.
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Adding fuel to the fire is sheet ED 72007 “Yak Attack” from Exito Decals. I was vacillating between which two of the three markings to use, but my dilemma was solved when I found a third kit at the Rosco Turner IPMS show for a pittance. If they’re selling kits cheap, what’s a modeler to do?
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The cockpit floor structure is molded as part of the single upper wing piece. This ensures proper fit and alignment, and is a very helpful approach to engineering the kit. As you can see the cockpit is quite detailed. I opted to use the plastic instrument panel instead of the PE part as the detail is very good on the kit piece.
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The wing parts fit together without difficulty, the underside features very delicate panel and rivet detail. The wheelwells are deep and have the internal structure molded in place.
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Here is the cockpit ready to close up. Arma provides decals for the Instrument panel as well as side panels, a nice touch.
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The major components fit well with no gaps to be found. I glue with MEK, the melting action closes up the seams without need for filler.