Yakovlev Yak-7B Build in 1/72 Scale, Dakoplast and Valom Kits Part II

Limited run kits often present fit challenges, and the Dakoplast Yak-7 is no exception. The wing roots will take some filling to eliminate the seams.

The underside is no better. The kit features a gap where the chin scoop fits, and my example was short-shot behind the scoop. Nothing some Evergreen and a dab of filler won’t fix!

The undersides of the Valom kits are also rough. I prefer to fill areas like this with superglue, using accelerator they can be sanded and re-filled right away. Also, the superglue will not draw in along the seams later, which can be a problem with thin glues and soft plastic.

Just like the Brengun Yak-1, these Yak-7’s also have different thicknesses between the horizontal tail pieces and the fairings molded with the fuselage. These can be reduced with an Xacto knife and sanded smooth.

Everything is filled and sanded. The canopy pieces are in place and the gaps filled with Perfect Plastic Putty. The landing light is sanded flush and buffed out before painting to ensure the will be no gaps.

A shot of the underside of the Dakoplast kit showing the wheel wells and repairs to the oil cooler scoop. In contrast with the clunky fit issues the surface details are pretty well done.

Seamwork on the Valom kits, which had fit issues at the wing roots. I replaced the cowl guns with Albion tube.

The Valom kits are a little better underneath, but only a little.

Priming with Mr. Surfacer 1000 always reveals a few areas to fill and re-sand, but it’s also the first time the model starts to look like a model and not a collection of parts.

The obligatory photo showing the Mr. Color paints used.

I used decals from Begemot sheet 72-051, which contains eighty marking options. Only seventy-seven more to go, I’m not sure how I feel about that. The decals went on without any drama, but the whites could be a little more opaque.

Here is the underside of one of the Valom kits. The inner wheelwell doors were replaced with plastic card, stencils are extras from the Arma Yak-1 kits.

All three together. These are classic examples of limited-run kit technology and take some work to build up. They are not quick builds and there are several areas where some basic improvements go a long way to making the kits look better. If the Yak-7 is your thing, this is the way you’re going to have to go, at least until someone issues a new tool.

Yakovlev Yak-7B Build in 1/72 Scale, Dakoplast and Valom Kits Part I

If you want to build a Yak-7, you’re going to wind up with a limited run kit from the East. Years ago I bought a box of VVS kits from our friend Dixieflier, who visits here regularly. One of the kits was this example from Dakoplast which was first issued in 2001. It has also been reissued by Eastern Express as well as Modelist.


Inside are two sprues. No locator pins and a bit on the crude side but with some nice recessed surface detail molded on the surfaces. It will take a little elbow grease but looks like you can get a model out of this!


The box contained even more VVS goodness.  Valom issued their kits in 2007. There are parts to make the trainer version but everything you need to build the standard fighter is still in the box so I went that way.


The sprues differ, but really the parts are very similar. The Valom kits give you some details for the cockpit and wheels in resin along with a small PE fret. There is also a choice of cowlings, with and without gun troughs.


This is the Dakoplast cockpit. Detail is actually pretty good, but locating the floor to the fuselage sides is tricky. Test fit until you find the right spot, always good advice.


Wheel well detail is non-existent. The gaps will make this a minor challenge, but everything can be filled in with Evergreen and a little modeling fluid.


Valom provides resin side walls and PE to jazz up their cockpit. Placement is not clear from the instructions so test fitting is again a requirement.


The trailing edges of the wings need thinning on both kits. Here you can see the beginnings of the wheel wells being enclosed. The plastic strips may look thick, but I went for a solid bond as I will be sanding the height to fit within the wing.


This is the Dakoplast cockpit ready to close up. Adequate but nothing fancy.


The Valom cockpit has the resin and PE to help it along. The PE instrument panel and seatbelts add nice touches.

Hasegawa Yakovlev Yak-3 Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

Small gaps can be filled with Perfect Plastic Putty and the excess wiped away with a moist Q-Tip. This eliminates the need for sanding in most cases. I have replaced the cowl guns with Albion tubing.

I filled and sanded the underside before installing the radiator. It is positioned over the boat tail where the wing and fuselage meet which would make the seams there impossible to address later.

I primed the model with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and then painted the red nose over a basecoat of white. No matter which brand of paint I use, I find the red pigment persists in the brushes afterwards unless I’m very diligent with my cleaning efforts.

The model is painted and glossed in preparation for decals, showing the colors used.

The AML decals performed flawlessly using Micro Set and Micro Sol. On some of my older builds I have noticed some silvering emerging on the smaller decals over time, so the next morning I went over all the decals again with Solvaset which is a little “hotter”.

This is the underside of the finished model. I think enclosing the wheelwells makes a big difference in the final appearance. The pitot tube is more Albion tube, the wingtip lights are painted on.

I added wheel down indicators to the wings, made from 0.0125” wire. The radio antenna is 0.004” Nitenol. Overall, the old Hasegawa kit is a model which goes together quickly but can use a few improvements.

Brengun Yakolev YAK-1 of Senior Lieutenant Lydia Litvyak in 1/72 Scale

Lydia “Lilya” Litvyak was the first female pilot to make ace.  She is generally credited with twelve individual and three shared victories, plus an observation balloon.  She was wounded twice.  She was shot down and killed during the Battle of Kursk, her body was not recovered.  Due to fears that she might have been captured alive by the Germans, she was not awarded Hero of the Soviet Union until 1990.  Despite reports that a body was exhumed and verified to be Litvyak, her fate remains controversial.

Yellow 44 was Litvyak’s assigned aircraft during the spring of 1943 when she flew with the 296 IAP and 73 GIAP.

DSC_8472DSC_8470DSC_8471DSC_8468DSC_8379DSC_8380DSC_8381Lydia Litvyak