Eduard 1/48 Yak-3






See review


Frank Spahr 


Profipack version

The Ultimate in Construction Diaries!

Brutally open – uncensored - reveals all!

Kit: Eduard 1/48 Yak-3 Profi Pack

Day 1 Wednesday 5 April

Cleared modeling desk; found reuse for old Hasegawa 1/72 Fw 190 A-5 box. Note: Donīt buy any more Testorīs enamels, or box will break.

Cleaned kit with lukewarm soap water, rinsed, set out to dry on favorite old green shirt wife just sorted out.

Mused on which scheme to build.

Time: 5 minutes (musing time hard to calculate)

Excuse: My ice hockey team is on the brink of dropping out of the semifinals, and I donīt have the appropriate Pay-TV channel to watch.

Day 2 Thursday 6 April

My team has lost.

Anyway: Sat down at modeling table in the morning sun and tried to determine the appropriate shade of grey for the insides. Donīt have indicated shades of either RV, HU or TS in stock, small wonder in spite of owning 40+ shades of grey. Chose a grey I like.

Sprayed insides of cockpit, radiator and wheel wells grey.

Time: 20 minutes (spraying 5 minutes)

Same day, noon:

Installed various cockpit odds-and-ends, mounted cowling to starboard fuselage half. Interesting discovery: Eduard has preferred to omit part numbers on sprues as well as positioning pins. Fit so far great. Weīll see...

Time: 35 minutes

Same day, later at noon:

Painted various cockpit items black, white and brown as instruction demands.

Time: 20 minutes

Same day, early evening:

Continued painting cockpit-related bits and pieces. Summoned all my guts and cemented upper and lower wing halves together.

Time: 15 minutes

Same day, later still:

Fiddled around microscopic cockpit knobs and levers until temper rose markedly. Decided on bringing along glasses with built-in magnifying lenses plus extra-fine tweezers. Still unsure how to apply levers securely into very shallow slots.

Time: 30 minutes

Day 3 Friday, 7 April

Unexpectedly: A day off. And yet – had visit from insightful modeling pal today. Showed him levers of terror. He balked at them on account of their flatness and proposed scratchbuilding them from stretched sprue, producing the knobs by gently heating the plastic rod with a lighter until it forms a knob of its own account. So this project wonīt be really straight OOB anyway – as originally intended. Still unsure which scheme to use.

Time: 30 minutes (but just decided they wonīt go into account)

Day 4 Saturday, 8 April

Started early in the morning, eager to leave work on those &(/&$§&% levers behind. Realized after considerable length of sprue curling up in ridiculous forms that Iīm currently not up to this, so used the PE parts anyway. Installed control column and foot pedals (both embellished with PE parts). Took break to let everything dry.

Time: 1 hour

Painted cockpit bits and pieces before lunch; started on pilotīs seat.

Time: 20 minutes

Completed painting cockpit, installed seat, weathered same. Test-fitted fuselage halves. Became very amazed at intelligent design of kit – parts are joined at actual panel lines. Fit simply great. Wonder HOW Iīm going to bugger it this time. Realized itīs time for taking pictures.

Time: 45 minutes


Completed cockpit, reattached obnoxious PE lever. Wondered what big handle right under instrument panel is for. If it were a car, it might be the hood release handle or perhaps the choke. But with a plane? Must consult references. That I only have the Squadron booklet doesnīt make things easier. Mused about paint scheme. I like those Russian schemes with text in epic length in them („Hail to the glorious third party convention and thanks to the heroic tractorists of brigade #5436 in Tcheljabinsk!") But the all grey scheme with the red nose looks cool, too.

Time: 30 minutes

Woke at night and thought about how to prevent major blunders when mating fuselage halves and wing. I always manage to spill glue into the beautiful kit detail. Decided to give Maskol a try. More musings on paint scheme.

Time: hard to count in the wee hours, out of account anyway.

Day 5 Sunday 9 April

Covered all endangered areas next to mating lines with Maskol. Took pictures.

Time 10 minutes

Summoned all my guts and cemented with CA. After more than proper setting time removed fixating tape and Maskol to discover perfectly acceptable result. Filled remaining gaps with CA. Assembled radiator (beautiful PE grills). Realized that time for decision on paint scheme draws nearer with giant steps.

Time: 1 hour

Day 6 Monday 10 April

My pace seems to slacken a bit. Did absolutely nothing today.

Day 7 Tuesday 11 April

Started sanding, one of my most favorite tasks. Realized my heart wasnīt really in it, so I quit after

20 minutes

Day 8 Wednesday 12 April

Continued sanding, mounted closed canopy with Maskol to prevent overspray from affecting cockpit. Fit very satisfying. Ready for priming – spotting – sanding and so on.

Time 30 minutes

Day 9 Thursday 13 April

Continued same. All in all very little sanding etc. to be done, due to excellent fit.

Time 40 minutes

Day 10 Friday 14 April

Painted all metal surfaces (those with rivets) Gunze Sangyo Mr. Metal. Buffed same with paper cloth. Resanded and painted minor glitches on upper and lower fuselage seams, especially one point right ahead from cockpit. Buffing worked very well, near-metallic surface resulted. Sprayed panel lines black.

Time 75 minutes

Day 11 Saturday 15 April

Mounted radiator and stabilizers. Completed metalizer and pre-shading. Plane is ready for camo scheme to be sprayed. Now itīs my part to decide on which scheme to use. Iīll have another look into the net first.

Time: 30 minutes

Looked into VVS resource page. Paint alchemy seems to be near as mystical as with Luftwaffe (sigh). Determined on doing yellow 15, a two-tone grey camo scheme. Mixed light blue paint for undersides. Sprayed undersides. Considerable problems with airbrush. Paint clogged, mixture probably too heavy. Got it sprayed anyway. All my preshading is gone. Postshaded with RAF medium sea grey. Again applied light blue. Very satisfied with result, at least until I realized Iīll have to make some corrections, especially around the radiator. Iīll see to this tomorrow. Tonight prestigious boxing fight.

Time: 45 minutes

Day 12 Sunday 16 April

It really wasnīt such a good idea to give the undersides another shot of paint after watching the boxing fight. The several beers may have had some effect, too. Had to redo quite a lot in the way of shading and spraying light blue, but now things look quite alright for me. Iīll have to wait for the paint to dry, then polish it a bit and recoat with clear gloss paint before I can continue in earnest. Have given the question of which scheme to use yet some more thoughts and decided to do Roger Marchiīs White 4, a plane of the free french Normandie-Niemen regiment. Photographic evidence doesnīt show all that much concerning how hard or soft the borders are, but Iīll do hard demarcations between underside and camo, and soft borders between the light and dark gray of the camo. But before I do that, Iīll have to complete the cockpit and canopy.

Time: 1 hour

Masked canopy. Provided masking material is cut to size very exactly; the bulged parts are procided as „frames" only, remainder has to be filled with Maskol. Makes things easier! Adhesion of material is inferior to that of EZ-Masks, strips tend to come off at junctions. Masked area around wheel wells.

Time: 20 minutes

Sprayed wheel wells, primed canopy framing with metalizer and dark grey. Went to bed to prevent further BS.

Time: 15 minutes

Day 13 Monday 17 April

Mounted frame for gunsight and armored screen behind pilotīs head. Glued rear part of canopy to fuselage with white glue. Fit leaves nothing to be desired.

Time: 20 minutes

Mounted gunsight, glued front part of canopy with white glue, placed middle part of canopy with Maskol. Polished and masked undersides.

Time: 20 minutes

Day 14 Tuesday 18 April

I finally did it. I must admit I neglected each and all references and advice. Iīm liable to severe colour police punishment. I chose my shades of grey for the camo as: Neutral grey and RLM (!) 75. Both seemed OK for me, and both was available in gloss. So I sprayed the kit in a totally uneventful manner.

Time: 25 minutes

Read very insightful editorial by Scott today. The manīs right. Weīve all experienced these and worse mishaps before. Itīs just that his output both in quality and numbers stands markedly/vastly above mine, so itīs from quite a different angle when he terms himself a Klutz. My problem is that I frequently donīt have the heart for correcting certain mistakes. Iīve too often experienced that my attempts at correction made everything worse, so I had to dump the kit. Iīm not that far yet that I can easily live with that.

Day 15 Wednesday 19 April

Polished model with Ivoclar high gloss paste early in the morning. Managed grade A+ entry for Klutz-of-the-month-contest. Paint came off in various places. Redo from start.

Well, Iīm always in for the thinnest of paint coats, but this one was too thin.

Time: 10 minutes I had better spent drinking tea.

Day 16 Thursday 20 April

Redid paint job. Left model to dry and drove off into holidays.

Time: 30 minutes

Day 17 Friday 28 April

Ruthlessly applied decals of Normandie-Niemen version without so much as spending a single thought on alternative schemes. Started with the biggies, then left to dry. Decals react very fast to watering, seems reasonably thin. Used Micro Sol.

Time: 10 minutes

Day 18 Saturday 29 April

Decals look fine. Continued with stencilling. Wondered briefly what all these Cyrillic words mean. They might print just about anything without most of us to find out. Iīm just applying 2 or 3 decals at a time to prevent me from touching and dislocating or destroying unset ones.

Time: 40 minutes

Day 19 Sunday 30 April

Coated model first with Revell gloss coat, then with several flat coats.

Time: 40 minutes

Day 20 Tueday 2 May

Off we go towards the finish line: Mounted prop, fought a while with painting, finally brush-painted the red and blue parts. Blades were brush-painted Humbrol gun metal, then polished. Exhausts were carefully drilled open, painted gun metal and drybushed with burnt siena. Maskol was finally removed from canopy, borders cleaned up with toothpick. Flattened resin wheels were used, brush-painted.

Brake cables were installed at landing gear, using brass wire that comes with the more mature spanish wines, mounted with single strands of model railroad copper wire, secured with superglue.

Time: 2 ― hours

Day 21 Monday 22 May

Finished model in one determined effort, completed landing gears with flimsy etch parts, replaced machine gun barrels and pitot tube with sections of hypodermic syringes. Sprayed moderate exhaust stains, used pastel chalks at undersides of plane and landing gear.

Time: 2 hours

Total: 19 hours and 10 minutes.


Building this kit was a real delight! It is so cleanly engineered that it simply falls together. The extra effort spent in masking all areas adjoining the seams paid off greatly. You hardly need any sanding or filling. The cockpit is nicely detailed, the instructions come up to the rest (with the exception of omission of part #s on sprues), the colour pics of preserved examples also help, all in all this kit offers a tremendous amount of value for money, so no aftermarket items are really needed in my opinion.

Highly recommended, I'll also build the P-40 and Tempest, I'm sure!

Frank Spahr 


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