PM 1/72 Yak-15
12 yuan RMB
At the beginning of the jet age, the Soviet Union had two prototype jet
fighters on the drawing board. One would become the MiG-9, and the other was
this plane. Thanks to a coin toss between Mr Mikoyan and Mr Yakovlev, the
MiG was the first Soviet jet fighter to fly, but the Yak-15 followed it into
the air on the same day.
The Yak-15 was apparently a decent plane to fly, despite troubles with the
engine and early problems caused by the jet exhaust's location (think
melting fuselage underside and tail wheel and burning air fields). Though
armed with cannons on the nose, the Yak-15 was really a development
aircraft, and a way to easily give plenty of fighter pilots some early jet
About 280 were manufactured. Its successor, the tricycle undercarriage
Yak-17, was built in larger numbers (nearly 500) and served with a couple of
Soviet client states as well as the USSR. These Yaks were but a memory by
the late 1950s.
Models repopped the old Pioneer kit of the Yak-15, which was a new mould in
the 1990s (I think it is the same company. PM = Pioneer Models? Ed). Matchbox also repopped it back in those days. In a nutshell,
this is a very basic kit. The cockpit detail is minimal - just a lounge
chair for a pilot, and a stick. There is no instrument panel. The wheel
wells are shallow, and the canopy is
very thick. The decal sheet is as basic as you'd expect for a basic kit of a
basic Soviet plane. Six stars and two alternative bort numbers.
The cover shows a nice shiny red aircraft with no markings beyond those
stars. The other alternatives are a standard Soviet green over light blue,
and an overall grey. Of course, with Soviet planes, the markings are so
minimal that you could probably use any of the "bort" numbers you have in
your stash and it'd be accurate enough.
If this is too basic for you, A-Model and Eastern Express have alternative
kits, and A-model and Special Hobby did a Yak-17 too.
Well, why not? It's an unusual plane and if you roll with the crudity of the
kit, you can enjoy some old school modeling too.
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