Anigrand 1/72 Yak-36 'Freehand'

KIT #: AA-2036
PRICE: $38.00 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Short run resin kit with vacuformed canopy


When in 1960 Alexander Yakovlev watched the British prototype, the Short SC1 at Farnborough he was so impressed by the VTOL concept that he started his own VTOL study. A year later in 1961 with success of the Hawker Kestrel conventional flight, Yakovlev quickly decided to build a test bed in the class of the Kestrel. This had vectored nozzles which could rotate through 90 degrees. A small jet was also installed under the nose probe and tail cone for pitch control. A retractable door was fitted under the nose and the fuselage centre to reduce hot gas re-ingestion. There were three flight aircraft built with serial numbers 36, 37 and 38. The first hover flight was conducted in 1964 and the first VTOL flight completed in 1966. The Yak-36 as it came to be known was first publicly displayed with rocket pods installed at the Domodedovo Air Show in July 1967 when two examples were seen flying. NATO was shocked by its appearance and gave it designation ‘Freehand’. However the flight performance was proved to be unstable however it provided various vital flight data to the eventual forthcoming Yak-38 Forger.

 The Yak-36 was of cropped-delta configuration with bicycle type undercarriage members and forward retracting outrigger stabilising wheels, the aircraft had two side by side Soyuz Tumanskiy/Khatchaturov R27-300 turbojets through two swivelling nozzles at the centre of gravity. Stabilisation in hover is provided by four puffer pipes, one at each wing tip, one in the bottom protruding from the nose and one beneath tail. It was then assumed that in the case of failure of one turbofan the gas stream from the remaining power plant could be ducted to both nozzles. The Yak-36 could attain a maximum speed of 620mph and carried 80mm S-80 unguided rockets under each wing.


Anigrand  excellent series of resin models in 1/72 scale includes theYAk-36 Freehand. This is a cast resin kit of the first Soviet VTOL aircraft. There are 30 cream coloured parts containing a remarkable amount of surface detail with engraved panel lines and these consist of port and starboard fuselage parts, a long nose probe which has an integral vertical plate like bracket that precisely fits inside the air intake to produce two ducts for the two separate horizontal engines. Inside the intake fits two side by side compressor fronts which are neatly moulded showing blade detail. There are port and Stb wing parts, pilot seat, control stick, outrigger landing gear, a separate fin , tail planes and two ventral streaks. Other parts cater for two exhaust nozzles and these have louver detail, nose and under fuselage landing gear and wheels, jet exhaust nozzles, nose gear doors and separate flaps for the vertical engine intake. The kit instructions come in an A4 single sheet which is printed on both sides. One side contains 1/72 scale drawing that depicts the colour detail of the complete aircraft. The well printed decal sheet although brief contains well registered red stars with white outline, a yellow numerical 36 and four inverted yellow triangles to go to each side. A clear accurate vac canopy completes the kit. The other side of the instructions shows an exploded view of the kit parts which is easy to follow during assembly and a brief history of the aircraft. There is a good photograph which I found very useful to refer to when it came to detail the front lowered panel. A colour picture of the Yak-36 on the box cover also helped to colour detail the model.


The parts are first cleaned; the runner carefully separated using an exacto saw blade and a few air bubbles attended to with a small amount of filler. Since the kit lacked detail to wheel wells, cockpit and the anti-reingestion flap. Useful information for this detail was obtained from the web, particularly which provided very good reference photos. The nose flap interior detail could be obtained from the photo that appears on the instructions. This I added using carefully cut and shaped plastic card adding drilled holes and engraved slots using a pointed blade. This formed the inner face of the flap. Two hinges are also added made out of measured lengths of steel wire. The two nose wheel doors and flap are a one peace item that can be used as is if the undercarriage is retracted but in my case the u/c was lowered and therefore separated into three pars with the front door hinged at its centre line across. The rear fuselage wheel well doors were also separated.

Interior detail added using parts from spares box. An instrument panel and instrument dials added to cockpit while the seat was carefully painted and fixed in place. The crew figure was added from spares; The wheel hubs painted yellow orangish as per instructions and that the Rocket pods came from the KP Sukhoi Su-25 box, and pylons shaped from plastic card. Since the fuselage had no locating holes I added to inner face small tabs from cut pieces of plastic card. This helped to facilitate locating parts together and self alignment, a definite must with resin kits where super glue will not give a second chance to reposition any misalignment. The place for fixing the tail plane was marked engraved. Position of strakes and wings were also marked. The main wings are fixed at an anhedral angle. Using a piece of hardboard I cut a template to conform to the front elevation of the aircraft drawing. This was used to produce the exact lowered angle of the wings to fuselage. A small amount of filler was added to the wing to fuselage joints. Any panel lines spoilt by the filler were carefully rescribed after sanding the seams smooth. Finally the undercarriage gear fixed in place and the wheels were left to fit as a final resort.


While the interior of wheel wells and wheel doors was silver all the rest was blue grey adding  lighter shade of same colour to simulate a small degree of weathering. Two strips of decals are provided. One with Russian stars and the other with the aircraft number and some ejection seat warning triangles. Had I chosen to do 37 or 38 of which I had seen reference pictures then the lower surfaces would have been pale green close to interior green. This is the standard camouflage colors to lower surfaces on VTOL aircraft.


 Anigrand Craftswork with their Yak-36 model offers the opportunity to use many of one’s modeling skills. This makes a really nice model to add to one’s showcase. Kits that no one else does. If you are thinking about giving a resin short run kit a try, this would be a good one to start with. Having now completed the Yak-36 I must go after the Revell Yak-38 Forger to have the pair in Russian Navy colors. Thanks to Scott Van Aken for kindly providing the kit for this enjoyable build.

April 2009

Carmel J. Attard

 Review kit supplied by via Modeling Madness

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