Mittens are all the rage on the internet right now, so I’ll get in on the action and post this, the 1/48 Zvezda Yak-130 “Mitten”
Originally a joint project between Aermacchi (now Leonardo) and Yakovlev for a subsonic jet trainer with secondary attack capability, the project split and became two different but very similar aircraft. Leonardo went ahead with the M-346, while Yakovlev produced the Yak-130.
If you’re thinking of making a M-346 out of the Yak-130, think again. The basic airframe shape is similar, but major differences exist that preclude the conversion from being something as simple as a different set of decals. For instance, the M-346 lacks the swing-down FOD doors and suck-in vents on the top of the LEX as in the Yak-130. The M346 has an intake at the base of the leading edge of the vertical stablizer, two vertical strakes between the leading edge flap and LEX, and the landing gear is of a completely different design. This isn’t to say it can’t be done and that a conversion set couldn’t address these points, but these are two different aircraft.
Mostly a trouble-free build, but due to the vast amount of subassemblies, you’ll have to ensure that all of the mating surfaces are scraped clean of paint and are as smooth as possible. Follow the directions to the letter.
Markings are completely spurious as though Vietnam has ordered the Yak-130, its order hasn’t fully rolled off the Irkut assembly line when I built this model. So I extrapolated what I think might be a future color scheme based on Vietnam’s current fleet of L-39 Albatros trainers. I could be wrong! Won’t that be exciting? That’s why I have another Yak-130 kit in the stash.