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Thursday, September 7, 2017

AModel Yakovlev Yak-130 prototype

I understand that there is a Yak-130 coming from Zvezda in the near future. Up until this point, all we’ve had to work with is the AModel kit, which, while buildable, has its own problems. The Zvezda will likely be better engineered and much higher on the buildability scale.

But this is what we have to work with now. I started this kit ages ago, back when it was a brand-new AModel kit. I liked the fact that the first boxing came with company demo markings, even if it was something of a complex paint job. I got to the point of painting the overall White, and then stalled when faced with masking for the Intermediate Blue.

Three or four years later, as I was trying desperately to rejuvenate my modelling mojo, I made a conscious effort to pull items off the Shelf of Shame and get them finished. It turned out that the Blue masking job was not as difficult as I was expecting, though it did take a fair amount of time (and masking tape). Then came the Red tail and final assembly. I thought I was just about to cross the finish line as I started decaling.

And that is when the difficulties deepened. Maybe I got a bad batch, but the decals were thin, flimsy, prone to tearing, and – despite being on a gloss paint layer – silvered all over the place. SuperSet/Sol didn’t seem to help much, and even a final overall semi-matte coat only improved the situation rather than solving the problem.

Hopefully the Zvezda kit will have options/decals to make the Aermacchi M-346 version as well. To be honest, I’m not familiar enough with the details to know what it would take to go from Yak-130 to M-346. I think the differences are mostly internal, but haven’t confirmed that. Some changes around the intakes as well, perhaps.

This is the great thing about 1:72 scale: the vast range of models. Even modern Russian trainers have multiple kits out there.

This is completed aircraft #479 (12 aircraft, 2 ordnance, 11 vehicles for the year 2017), finished in July of 2017.


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