Yak-1b from Accurate Miniatures
Greetings iModeler colleagues and friends, I present the Accurate Miniatures Yak-1b for your review and (hopefully) enjoyment.
The Yak-1s were the first generation of modern WW2 fighters for the Soviet Air Force, along with the Mig-3 and LaGG-3. Yak-1s had growing pains like the MiG and LaGG, but since its design was completely conventional, its 'bugs' were worked out more quickly than its contemporaries.
More than 8,000 Yak-1s were built, about half were the 1b's with the cut down rear fuselage and bubble canopy. The Free-French Normandie Regiment selected Yak-1s (and later Yak-3s) when given a choice of any Soviet or Lend-Lease aircraft because it flew like their old M.S.406s and D.520s. Even its engine was a derivative of the Hispano Suiza engine with the 20mm cannon firing through the prop spinner as with the French planes of 1940.
The aircraft I selected represents a plane presented to Sergei Lugansky by the KOMSOMOL (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League) of Alma-Aty, capital of the Kazakh Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic (currently Kazakhstan). I guess they held a bake sale to raise the funds, or shook down some peasants in the countryside. That presentation info makes up the banner on each side of the fuselage. Lugansky's 32 kills at the time of the presentation are represented by the yellow wreath and '32' under the windscreen.
This model was not the stress-free assembly I expected, compared to other Accurate Miniature projects I have done. My main issue was the main wing spar, which is also the aft bulkhead in the landing gear wells. If you do this kit, be cautious and shave off some of that piece and test fit it carefully. Other than my adventure with the wing assembly, the kit went together pretty well.
Paints were Testor's Dark Aircraft Grey for the lighter grey and RAF Ocean Grey for the darker grey. I was using what I had available; I think they came out about 90-95% accurate.
I also want to thank all the iModeler contributors for posting such great kits and articles in 2021, and I look forward to your articles in the New Year. Best wishes!