Finnish Lagg-3 by LTD Models
Greetings iModeler compadres. My latest project is a captured Soviet Lagg-3. The model kit is by the limited run LTD Models, who were a subsidiary of the old mail order-retail powerhouse Squadron Shop. The model was made in the Czech Republic, and it was packaged with Microscale decals (I believe) at the Squadron Shop location in Texas.
The Kit: LTD kits are rough, not very detailed, require a lot of work, but I really like them. In the mid-90s, I thought it was great that Squadron and other companies (HobbyCraft, Classic Airframes, etc) were making kits available in 1/48 that I never thought I'd see. The decals are much better than the plastic.
I believe the only other LTD model posted to iModeler was by Bill Koppos, who posted his excellent Lagg-3 in winter camo ( https://imodeler.com/2014/09/lagg-ing-behind-the-theme-lurches-on-ltd-version/ ), which inspired me to find my Lagg-3 in the old stash. Bill accurately describes this as "one of the hottest looking of WW2 aircraft". I agree fully, and hope this Finnish version adds to the Lagg picture and knowledge base at this website, despite the model's shortcomings.
My version features a plane which was captured after a Soviet 524 IAP (fighter regiment) "White 57" crash landed in Finnish territory in late 1942 and was repaired and put in service as Finnish "LG-3". I have never done a captured plane, as I usually like to do the plane in its most 'representative' version, but this Finnish plane captured my imagination, and I had to do it. Paints were enamel Model Master Olive Green, Flanker Blue (underside), and Testor's flat black. The Axis yellow bands are generic yellows that I had merged into one bottle.
As mentioned, the Lagg-3 is an awesome looking airplane that appears to be a cross between a Dewoitine D 520 and a Spitfire. It looks like like a plane in European theater in WW2 should look. Unfortunately for its pilots, the Lagg-3 was not a great performer because its early composite frame and skin were made from plywood mixed with plastic, covered by a birch wood veneer. These materials were logical for a country short in aluminum but resulted in a plane too heavy for the 1100 hp Klimov engine. Also the factory had to relocate from Leningrad to escape advancing German forces and quality suffered greatly when they restarted production in the Urals. The difficulties were never fully solved until the Lagg airframe was mated with a 1700 hp Shvetsov radial engine as the La-5, and with the added power the heavy airframe was no longer a "show stopper" and the new plane became highly successful. Despite its numerous troubles, 6,528 were built when production ended in 1944.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.