Dakoplast Yakovlev Yak-7B of Lieutenant Ivan Golubin in 1/72 Scale

Ivan Golubin was credited with 13 personal and 2 group victories, and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.  He died when the MiG-3 he was piloting crashed in bad weather on 01NOV42.  The model depicts the aircraft he flew with the 434th FAR in July 1942 over Stalingrad.

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Encore Yakovlev Yak-9 Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

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Lurking in the stash was this Yak-9 in an Encore Models box. This kit was first issued by Dakoplast in 1997, then Encore, then Eastern Express, and finally Modelist. It is not considered to be a good kit by those who know the Yak-9 and is known to have several shape issues. I am not an expert on the type therefore the shape issues don’t jump out at me so I decided to build the kit along with all the other Yaks. When else would I ever build one?

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The box contained two sprues with a lot of mold release. I wash all my sprues in hot soapy water before beginning construction. These got a good long soak. When done there was still some discoloration but no sign of oil. The two fuselages are there to account for the different placement of the cockpit and radiator between different subtypes.

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The cockpit is basic. The control column looked like it would be more trouble than it was worth to clean up so I substituted one made from wire.

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The wheelwells have some detail but there are gaps showing up into the fuselage and at the rear of the well. Another Yak kit which will need some work with Evergreen card.

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The cockpit under a coat of paint, what there is of it. Not super detailed but the basics are in place.

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There are some gaps on the underside seams which will need addressed. You can see the card used to close up the wheelwells in this photo as well.

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There is a pronounced step at the wing joint which will take some filling. At this point I should also mention that the clear canopy was beyond useless – it looked like it had been squished and no way was it ever going to fit. I used one for a Yak-3 from a Falcon vacuform set which looked much, much better and actually fit pretty well.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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The obligatory photo showing the Mr. Color paints used.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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