|KIT:||Zvezda 1/72 Yak-6|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Relatively unknown outside the Soviet bloc, the Yak-6 was developed for a need to replace the ancient Po-2 biplane. Design work began in May 1942 with the first prototype flying in August of that year. In November series production began that culminated with a total of 381 being built, far fewer than the tens of thousands of Po-2s!
Thanks to its very simple and reliable construction, maintenance was easy, even for semi-trained technicians. Because it was mostly made of wood, various furniture makers were able to supply components, alleviating the need for all to be done in factories that were susceptible to German bombing.
It was produced as a light transport and light bomber, though the bombing version wasn't very effective thanks to its rather austere speed. Some were even fitted with rockets for ground attack. A number were built with fixed landing gear and the wheel wells covered with sheet metal. Most aviation regiments had several to be used as unit hacks.
The kit comes with three sprues; one large one of brown plastic for the majority of the airframe, one clear and one grey one with the skis. The clear sprue is a bit thick and cloudy, but nothing too bad. Besides, there is precious little to see in the cockpit as that has what amounts to two seats that fit on the floor and a couple of crewmen. No control stick, not instrument panel and a real need for an aftermarket set or some scratch-building. All the control surfaces are separate, very much like an old Frog kit, so that they can be positioned in something other than the neutral position.
There are centerline bomb carriers and a pair of light bombs if you want to make the unsuccessful light bomber. There are also the aforementioned skis that can be used if doing a winter version. Though I didn't initially mention it, all the detail is raised, there are no sink areas and there is some flash. The props are a real joke and will either need a lot of thinning down or replacement with something else.
Instructions are on a single sheet of newsprint-like paper. One side has the history and various warnings while the other has several fairly good construction drawings. No interior or detail color info is given and though there are color views on the back for painting, no color information at all is provided. Decals are for two planes. One is the box art plane on skis from Normandie-Nieman in 1944 and the other is a disruptive camo'd plane in green,brown and black over light blue.Decals are fairly well done though the French roundel is out of round. I'd go for some aftermarket decals on this one as my experience with Zvezda decals has not been good.
This is a pretty simple kit that is much like what I built in my younger days before kits became complicated. It looks as if it will build into a most interesting aircraft and there is plenty of room for the super-detailer to work.
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