ICM 1/48 Yak-7 UTI






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Soviet Air Force realized a real need for an advanced trainer for those pilots converting to the newer and much faster Yak-1. The result was the Yak-7. It was a superb conversion trainer and was basically a two-seat Yak-1. In fact, in many regards, the Yak-7 was a better handling aircraft. The fact that it had a similar performance to the Yak-1 didn't hurt either. Initial Yak-7UTI had the same Klimov engine, though it was speed controlled to keep engine coolant temperatures down in the hands of student pilots. The first one was flown in May 1941 and 186 were built by Factory 301 . They were all delivered in standard fighter colors of green-black uppers and light blue lowers.

Two Yak-7UTIs were modified as Yak-7R. These had cameras installed and were used for reconnaissance. Next was the Yak-7A/B versions which replaced the back canopy with a wooden hatch. There were other improvements in the type including an increase in the amount of ammunition carried. These were basically single seat fighters, though looked similar to the trainers. The final trainer version was the Yak-7V. This version was a true trainer and even had fixed landing gear. There were other Yak-7 variants including the D and DI which looked very much like a late Yak-1 with it's 'bubble' type canopy. 


ICM has done all of those who like Russian WWII aircraft a real favor by releasing several versions of the Yak-9 and now an equally impressive number of Yak-7s. In fact, there are a total of 5 different Yak-7 kits including the UTI, A, B, DI, and V. It is really only logical as they use so many of the same parts. Unlike the Yak-9DD kit that I reviewed a year or so ago, this one was not bathed in mold release agent and was in a decent color of plastic.

Once one opens the incredibly flimsy box that ICM seems to use, you are confronted by a bag that is just bulging with sprues. The amount of detail for the interior is exceptional and includes the framework on which you place the various consoles and switches. There is also a complete engine as with the Yak-9. Fortunately, it looks as if you can actually fit the cowling on and have the engine installed as well! You have a single option and that is a set of skis. I'm sure that will appeal to a number of modelers.

An improvement over the Yak-9 kit is the inclusion of clear wing tip lights, though it still has the multiple exhaust stacks as separate items. It won't be fun installing those! Rudder and ailerons are separate but not posable unless you do some work with the sandpaper and filler. There are a number of 'don't use' parts that are applicable to other Yak variants.

Instructions are very good and include color callouts throughout the 9 step construction sequence. The color chart references Humbrol and Testors paints, a couple of good choices. There really isn't much to choose from when it comes to camo selections. All the UTIs were delivered in green over light blue so it is that or winter white. The decal sheet offers just basic stars and a number as well as instrument panel decals. The decals are VERY matte with lots of carrier film. However, they work just great when you put them on the kit. Solvaset works very well with these decals and they are properly opaque.

When you add what you get with the price that you pay for the kit, you will realize that these models are really a bargain. While not up to the same standards as Tamiya or Accurate Miniatures, they can be built into super models as long as you are willing to use some of those modeling skills!


Yakovley Aircraft since 1924, by Bill Gunston and Yefim Gordon, 1997, Naval Institute Press

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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