Profile Photo
Marek Halas
28 articles


December 29, 2014 · in Aviation · · 28 · 4.3K

Getting in my last one before 2014 is over, is a project I completed about this time last year: 's Yak-9DD, finished in the scheme of the "Warsaw" fighter regiment circa April 1945 and piloted by one A Matveev.

In all honesty this is an out of the box scheme and I make no claim to the authenticity of the markings, since try as hard as I could, I couldn't source any more corroborative information other than what ICM supplied. Since this was one of Stalin's "show" squadrons as he set about creating an ersatz Polish Airforce to usurp the PAF based in the UK, I elected to keep the finish pretty factory fresh. (I was also struggling at the time to figure out how to accurately weather an aircraft that was mostly plywood with a few aluminium panels here & there).

The kit though very basic in part count was a pretty horrible build. I was pre-warned about the odd oily plastic, and yes you need to thoroughly degrease it & seal with Mr Surfacer before attempting to add any acrylic paint.

Fit of components was fairly atrocious, so no walk in the park for this project I'm afraid. I would also recommend getting the photo etch set for it as it significantly adds to the finished product. (Part from Poland's photo etch set S48-017).

The canopy shape is all wrong, but then neither is Pavla's replacement offering correct, just the same shape in vac form!

I used it anyway as the clear plastic was poor in places. The decals were the only light relief since I thought they would be unusable but they turned out Ok dipped in Future prior to application.

It scrubs up ok after a lot of work though I won't be building another one again...ever.

Thanks for looking and please feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have regarding the project.

Cheers & Happy New Year.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

28 responses

  1. Very nicely finished and presented, Marek - a job well done.

  2. Did someone mention Double Ds? OK I thought I would throw in some brash humor seeing the struggle you went through with this project. And thank you for having the courage to finish her up so nicely. Really nice result. Great modeling Marek.
    California Steve

    • ...Well she was a bit of a handful to fly by all accounts (couldn't resist that bit of innuendo). Something to do with the additional long range fuel tanks, which added to the length of the front section of the fuselage past the cockpit affecting the aircraft's centre of gravity. I think it got the nickname of the "flying cistern". Other marks of Yaks didn't have this issue & had excellent flying qualities. Still I always thought the longer nose made it look sleeker.

  3. Perfect result from a problematic kit, Marek. Looks really good.
    It took a lot of motivation to do this kit (my result was not so good)
    The Yaks were nice looking aircrafts.
    Well done 🙂

    • Thanks Bernd, it's a pity other mainstream kit manufacturers don't do a decent version of any of the Yak 9 family, they're a very pretty planes in my opinion. I'm currently working on Eduard's Yak-3 and that's a breeze to build in comparison.

      • Hi Marek, maybe Zvezda will do them at some time.
        Eduards Yak-3 is a simple nice kit, the perfect match after this one.

        • I agree, Zvezda would be the logical choice for revisiting the Yak family, & their -3's look very nice. I know I've bagged the ICM kit, but in all fairness it was one of their first efforts. (And I think I only paid about five bucks for it too). Their subsequent kits were a lot better.

          • ICM has improved their quality,the MiG-3 is nice but fiddly, bought after this the Spitfire and i got the most perfect moulded sinkholes i have ever seen...
            My hope is on Zvezda !
            Great modelling my friend 🙂

  4. Very nice Marek. The Yaks and Mig 3 are my favourite Soviet fighters of WW II. You did a great job on this one. Well done. Enjoy the New Year festivities and happy modeling in 2015!

    • Thanks Morne, have a great new year too!
      There is a Mig 3 in my stash but I elected to go for the Trumpy offering as I wasn't brave enough to build the ICM version. It's fairly well down the pile so I suspect it won't see the light of day for a year or two.

  5. Beautiful modelling Marek, Steve.

  6. Great build Marek, it looks good to me.
    Well done mate.

  7. So how do you really feel about this kit? Your end result looks fine to me but then I didn't have to suffer through building it.
    I have some ICM kits but have yet to finish one. Currently have a Spit that I occassionaly work on but it is so over engineered & fiddly it's hard to even test fit anything.
    Glad you pushed through on this one Marek.

    • ICM over-engineered?! Wow, would like to see that one. The last ICM kit I built was about ten years ago and gave 'basic' a new meaning. Still, most Russian aircraft were wooden construction in whole or in part, so there's an in-built element of basic design whether flying it or modelling it.

      • Hi Rob, their Spitties match that description. The box is crammed full of parts (in contrast to the early Yaks) so you can build pretty much anything from a Mk VII to a IX despite what it says on the front of the box. But, as Al remarked earlier it was over engineered being quite a complex & fiddly build. I have a couple sitting in the stash and for a while their Mk.IX's were the default kit for that particular mark of Spitfire in terms of accuracy until Eduard's offering came along. Now, surprise, surprise you can pick up the ICM's for peanuts second hand.

    • Thanks Al, remember what they say: "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"...

      • After reading Rob's reply I went & counted the parts involved in what I have assembled on an ICM 1/35th Ford truck. Engine, frame & running gear = 51 parts. A bit excessive.

  8. Nice job, Marek. Good to see you pushed through the project to a respectable conclusion.

    I think I'd agree that ICM have yet to overtake Zvesda, although Z's quality is just on a par with late 90s Hasagawa technology (but a better price).

    • Hi Rob, to be fair to ICM they have lifted their game if their recent reviews are to be believed. They had in the past a quality control issue, so it was a bit of a lottery if you got something decently moulded or peppered with sink marks. (Having acquired several, ask me how I know this). I've yet to catch sight of their new release Dornier so I can judge for myself how far they've progressed. (I'm sure someone will bring one to our IPMS Qld club meetings eventually).

  9. Nice work on a kit I know from first-hand experience is a real "sow's ear."

  10. Problem build? Looking at your finished model, one wouldn't know you had "issues." Fine work, Rob.

  11. Good job, Marek, your hard work has really paid off, you must be pleased with the finished model.

    • Thanks George, and yup the pay off is that sense of satisfaction that the kit didn't beat me in the end. That said you don't expect something that small and uncomplicated to be that much bother either.

Leave a Reply