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New 1/72 La-5UTI from AML
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Author Topic: New 1/72 La-5UTI from AML  (Read 13990 times)
Libor Jekl
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« on: March 19, 2007, 08:59:05 AM »

Found at Hannants? Shocked:
http://www.hannants.co.uk/search/?FULL=AML72036

Cheers,
Libor
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 10:59:07 AM »

Great! I was considering to obtain it from some conversion.
Perhaps AML will make all the types, or, eventually, a single place La-5 should be easy to be obtained from this, if it's good.
Massimo Smiley
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John Thompson
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 05:10:40 PM »

This is great news! Vote with your credit cards, everyone - buy lots of the UTI version, and prove to AML that we really want a full series of the whole La-5 family! Modelimex already has *my* advance order!  Grin

John Thompson
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Dark Green Man
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 12:13:33 AM »


the decal sheet appears to be of good quality and a nice selection of machines on it.
right off the top of my head I believe I've seen photos of all three machines and they appear to be accurate !
(although the # 100 machine might have been given an all-over coat of AMT-4, I'm not certain)

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John Thompson
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 05:40:00 PM »

Modelimex (and Hannants) now have the AML La-5 UTI in stock, and Modelimex has sprue shots. etc. posted on the following page:

http://www.modelimex.com/inshop/scripts/detail.asp?itemid=20468&Level=136

Click on the thumbnails under the main box art image. Besides the sprue images, there is also a very useful one (top left thumbnail) which reproduces the instruction sheet page showing the parts identification. Note also the credit at the top of that sheet, regarding assistance by the main players at MBI - looks GOOD!!!

John Thompson
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 11:23:40 PM »

Hi,
very interesting images. Note the pieces for M-82 F and FN cowlings, and the fuselage halves are on a separate sprue. It's clear that they will produce all the family!
And I think that spare parts can allow the conversion of La-7 into two-seater.
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2007, 04:20:46 AM »

Today I received the AML 1/72 La-5UTI. A totally new La-5 kit ? I?ve been waiting for this moment for too many years! After eagerly studying the sprue images posted on the AML and Modelimex web sites for the past couple of weeks, opening the kit itself was almost an anticlimax! Overall, I?m very happy with it ? the general quality of the kit is quite good, with very little mold flash to be seen anywhere. The surface quality of the parts is very high, with crisp recessed panel lines. As has been pointed out elsewhere, (other people were studying those sprue images too!), detail parts are included for both early (La-5 and La-5F based) and late (La-5FN based) versions of the La-5UTI. This even includes two sets of upper wing surfaces, the only difference being the reinforcing panels at the joint with the fuselage which were implemented on the La-5F. (As an aside, this joint is only a feature of the kit design, as on all 1/72 La-5 and LaGG-3 kits; on the actual aircraft, the wing roots were part of the fuselage, and extended out to the main landing gear location, and the outer wings were attached at that point. This is the reason for the chord-wise reinforcing strips in that area, which are well represented on the kit.) With the fuselage halves on a separate sprue, the stage is set for future release of all single-seat versions of the La-5. Good work, AML!

Comparing the main components with the drawings in the MBI La-5 monograph by Milos Vestsik and Jiri Vrany, the outline shapes are exactly right. The wingspan is short by a couple of millimeters, but this is so minor I?m embarrassed to mention it, and I do so only to show that I?m trying to be thorough! One key feature which does not agree with the drawings is the cowling shape in plan view. The kit?s cowling is tapered, or ?onion-shaped?, as shown in the old Voronin drawings. This disagrees with more recent information given in research articles published on our favourite web sites by Erik Pilawskii and Massimo Tessitori, which state that the cowling was cylindrical and not tapered. It also disagrees with the drawings in the MBI monograph. This detail is not likely to be very noticeable in the finished model unless (like me) you?ve become sensitized by years of trying to correct the Cooperativa LaG-5 kit! My suspicion is that the tapered cowling did exist on the early LaG-5 aircraft, which were converted from existing LaGG-3 fuselages. The taper was required to match the large diameter of the radial engine to the narrow LaGG-3 fuselage; with subsequent redesign of the airframe for production as the La-5, the cowling was made cylindrical for ease of manufacture, and the fuselage was widened slightly ahead of the cockpit. I?m hopeful that, if AML are planning the future release of La-5, La-5F and La-5FN single-seaters, there is still time to correct this detail before the fuselage molds are finalized.

Some minor cleanup of mold lines and pins is necessary on the inner surfaces of the wing parts. Once this is completed, it appears that the trailing edges of the wings will be satisfactorily thin and sharp, certainly with much less work required than many other kits I?ve attempted lately. The trailing edges of the elevators and rudder also look very good in this regard. The control surfaces include rib (or perhaps rib tape) detail which appears slightly heavy, but this needs only the minimum of sanding to make it less obvious.

A good level of detail for the cockpit is provided with a set of resin parts; the main wheel wells are also included in resin. The prop is injected styrene and consists of five parts ? the prop blades are separate, and will require some care in order to set their pitch correctly during assembly. The shape of the blades looks very good. The spinner shape appears accurate, although it lacks the starter dog fitting that appears in photos of all La-5 aircraft. A feature I really like is the provision of the cannon bulges for the cowling as separate parts ? this allows them to be shaped accurately, without concern for molding limitations that would be the case if they were provided molded onto the cowling surface. Details of reinforcing structure are molded on the inner faces of the main landing gear covers; the main gear legs, one-piece tail wheel assembly, and main wheels are all well detailed.

Two canopy styles are provided in vacuform, with a spare for each in case of accidents. There are four decal options ? three Russian and one Czech. Among these, two aircraft are the early UTI based on the La-5/La-5F, and two are the later version derived from the La-5FN.

Overall, this is a fine kit considering its limited-run design. It?s basic enough that modelers with little experience should have no difficulty building it satisfactorily, and yet accurate (ignoring the issue of cowling shape) and detailed enough to please any VVS/GPW modeller. I like it (hell, I LOVE it!), and I recommend it enthusiastically!

John Thompson
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2007, 04:33:02 PM »

Very fine review, John.  Smiley
Eventually, could I utilize it, aside some scans, on the La-5 page?
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 04:22:34 AM »

Very fine review, John.? Smiley
Eventually, could I utilize it, aside some scans, on the La-5 page?
Massimo

Thanks, Massimo! You're very welcome to use it, although it might be a good idea to wait for a few more opinions on the kit - I admit that the joy of having a new La-5 kit might have made me somewhat intoxicated!  Wink

Now I'm considering how it might be possible to convert it to a single-seater, using the upper part of the rear fuselage from either a Cooperativa LaG-5 (for the La-5) or an Eduard La-7 (for the La-5F/La-5FN). Note that I didn't say I was actually going to do this, but I am thinking about it! Maybe if AML is going to realease single-seat versions, they will do it quickly, and save me from making an expensive mistake!

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2007, 08:24:29 AM »

Hi John, Smiley
that is right. I'll wait for further reviews.
Are you thinking to make some dry fitting test, by the way?
I suppose that a single-seat version will be released. So, I wouldn't try this conversion, particularly if it requires to demolish another kit. However, I was already projecting a conversion into a two-seater of some other kit...
What about your other models of Lavochkin? Did you complete any of them?
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2007, 09:11:04 PM »

Hi Massimo! I was hoping to do some dry-fitting, but today got taken up with painting (the house, not models! Undecided). I was considering correcting the cowling shape, but I don't think I will do that. However, I'd like to assemble the fuselage, but this will take time because of the many resin parts that need to be painted and attached first. Then I will be able to check the wings more easily.

Other Lavochkin models? Ummm...  Embarrassed They're not painted yet! I spend (waste?) too much time trying to make them "perfect" (which is a fantasy!) to be able to paint them! Sometimes I think I have a secret fear of the airbrush...  Wink I have a Cooperativa La-5 which is close to being ready - I went crazy on it. Corrected the cowling shape, replaced the cannon bulges, replaced the wings, tailplanes, and rudder with ones from a Toko LaGG-3 - it was going to be a Valeriy Chkalov squadron La-5, using the decals from the Maquette kit, but I stopped working on it when I found out about the AML La-5UTI, and the possibility of single-seat versions from AML! There's also a couple of LaGG-3's sitting waiting...  Cry

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2007, 07:46:18 PM »

Hi John,  Smiley
I understand... I have a not-too-secret fear of the airbrush too. I'll have to challenge that wild snake in the next future.
At present time I'm ending my I-17... by hand brush. It comes out good till now.
Have you the possibility to shot some photos of those models before painting? I would be interested to see the works on them.
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 12:00:29 AM »

Getting back to the AML La-5UTI (which I haven't in several days - work, family outings, too much playing with the computer - those are my excuses!  Cheesy), I've worked on fitting the resin wheel wells to the wings. This required cutting the one-piece wheel well part into two halves, then sanding them quite a lot so that they would allow the upper wing surfaces to fit - the resin part is much too deep. I also hjad to grind away a bit of plastic inside the leading edge of the upper surfaces for the same reason. I like the wings on the Toko/Roden LaGG-3 better in this regard, but they too require adjustment in this area.

I sanded the cockpit (resin) sidewalls much thinner, almost to the point of breaking through the resin, in order to make them flexible enough to conform to the curved inner surfaces of the fuselage halves. More grinding on the inside of the fuselage halves was also required to get a good fit at the upper corners of the sidewalls, and to make the cockpit sills (edges) thinner and more "realistic" (to me, anyway!). Now I need to decide what colour the cockpit was - the instructions don't help here. The following site shows remains of what may be the only remaining relics of a real La-5:

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/AWA1/501-600/walk544_La-5_Abbott/walk544.htm

The second image shows some of the actual cockpit itself. By saving it and playing with the brightness and contrast settings in the saved image, it becomes apparent that the cockpit of this aircraft was finished in aluminum paint, just as we are told was the usual practice with the LaGG-3 and early La-5. This aircraft, by the way, seems to have the later shape of windscreen, not the LaGG-3 shape of early La-5 aircraft, or possibly this only applied to the LaG-5. Also, here is a discussion on the subject of La-5 cockpit colours:

http://www.airwarfareforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4262

However! I believe that the La-5UTI aircraft were built by converting existing single-seat La-5 airframes. This would suggest that during the course of their reconstruction as two-seaters, the cockpit could very well have been repainted in some other colour - wood-use primer, for example. Obviously if I continue to scratch my head over this detail, I will never finish this model, so at this point I think I will go with aluminum paint, with a lot of "weathering" to reduce its brightness!

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 07:06:56 AM »

Hi John, Smiley
matt aluminium looks a good choice for wooden parts. The instrument panel should be of some unidentified light color, probably not aluminium.
Thank you for your updates on the kit.
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2007, 02:21:14 AM »

Another brief update on a very slow project - I finally got the resin sidewalls fitted to the fuselage walls (I know, I mentioned this before, but it took longer than I expected to get both of them done *properly*). This required sanding down the resin parts until I could almost see through them, so they would be more flexible, trimming them here and there, and some serious grinding of the insides of the fuselage halves so that the resin parts would fit neatly. After a lot of work, I got the sidewalls fitted so that the sills of the cockpit were reasonably narrow, and glued them into place. Then I painted them matt aluminum.

Next I decided to dry-fit the resin cockpit floor. This was a big disappointment - I could not get it to fit at all without reducing its width by almost 1/3! This is not a job for sandpaper - I gave that up quickly, and just used sidecutters (wire cutters) to snip off a wide strip from both edges of this part! It will probably be at least another week before the cockpit is finished; once the fuselage halves are joined together and this resin is just a painful memory, things should proceed more quickly. If I hadn't decided to build the version which has the open rear part of the canopy, I probably would not even have bothered with this struggle, and left the cockpit empty! I am still looking forward to the single-seat versions of this kit - resin or not, I think these will be much easier to complete.

John
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