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Author Topic: Why I Want a New 1/72 Yak-9  (Read 1027 times)
John Thompson
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« on: April 28, 2016, 02:27:18 AM »

Currently the choices available to anyone wishing to model this important fighter in 1/72 scale are as follows, ignoring knock-offs like Kitech:

(1) Airfix Yak-9D (VK-105): A very old kit (first released in 1963, according to Scalemates), crude and grossly inaccurate. Over the decades the molds have deteriorated to the point where large amounts of flash need to be removed before assembly is even possible; deficiencies include:
- Fuselage too short, by at least 3mm - most of this is between the cockpit and the fin.
- Rear part of fuselage too shallow, by about 2mm. Could be corrected by building up the underside of the fuselage, then reshaping the fin and rudder, which will be (in effect) displaced upwards by deepening the fuselage bottom.
- Wing tips rounded (like a Yak-1 or Yak-3) - should be almost square at the leading edge of the tip.
- Wing chord is too narrow, especially at the root.
- Spinner is too large and bulbous; prop blades too narrow; prop rotation is backwards
- Oil cooler and radiator housings seriously misshapen
- Landing gear crude and simplified

(2) ICM/Alanger/Encore Yak-9D and Yak-9T (VK-105): The -9D and -9T are actually the same kit ? both boxings include two separate fuselages. This is one of ICM?s first kits, and is relatively crude. Shortcomings which must be corrected if an attempt to build an accurate Yak-9 is intended are as follows:
- Excessive rib/fabric detail on rear fuselage and all control surfaces
- While the kit does have recessed panel lines, these are wide and ?soft?-looking
- Poor profile of upper cowling requiring it to be built up to a more curved outline
- Poor shape of oil cooler housing, requiring rework with putty to correct
- Poor shape of engine coolant radiator housing ? this is too boxy-looking and needs to be reprofiled
- Wing root intakes are represented only as outlines and need to be opened up and made larger
- Main landing gear wells open into the cockpit and need to be modified to close this up
- MLG wells are incorrectly shaped, and do not match the kit?s LG doors
- The prop and spinner are incorrectly shaped - the prop in an Alanger example I built recently was so flash-encrusted/mold-damaged that it was unusable
- The canopy is incorrectly shaped and must be replaced, after widening the spine of the fuselage in order to make a Pavla or Falcon vacuform fit properly
- Some small details (vents, gun camera port) are missing from the cowling
- The hinge lines between the stabilizers and the elevators are very poorly defined and need to be rescribed

(3) Dakoplast/Modelist/Eastern Express Yak-9D, Yak-9D/B/R and Yak-9T (VK-105): These are the best of the 1/72 Yak-9 kits released to date. Some minor corrections and added detailing are possible; otherwise, they represent the Yak fighter quite well. Dakoplast kits are a moderately difficult build, but it?s nothing compared to (2) above. The main problem here is lack of availability ? these kits are no longer manufactured, they?re not available from on-line shops, and even e-bay sources have dried up.
(4) Valom early Yak-9 (VK-105): This is based on their Yak-7 series, which was in turn based on the Dakoplast Yak-7. The kit is almost the same as the Valom Yak-7B (late version) but includes resin parts (single-gun upper cowling panel, squared wing tips) to convert it to a Yak-9. This is a reasonable kit (not surprising, considering its ancestry), but it?s clearly ?limited run? in nature, more difficult to build than the Dakoplast Yak-9, and relatively expensive.

Two other Yak-9 kits are available from Amodel ? these are the Yak-9U and Yak-9P. These later versions of the aircraft, which were powered by the VK-107 engine, have very little in common with the Yak-9D and related VK-105-powered airframes, so conversions are not practical.

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 10:20:57 PM »

Hi John,
it would be good a retooling of the Airfix kit. At present time, I don't see many firms making kits of small planes in 1/72 that haven't already made some Yak.
Regards
Massimo
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