Zvezda 1/144 LaGG-3

KIT #: 6118
PRICE: $4.95 SRP
DECALS: Generic
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:

HISTORY

The prototype of the LaGG-3, I-301, was designed by Semyon A. Lavochkin, Vladimir P. Gorbunov and Mikhail I. Gudkov. It was designated LaGG-3 in serial production. Its airframe was almost completely made of timber, with crucial parts processed with Bakelite lacquer. This novel wood-laminate construction was more durable than regular timber, incombustible, and didnít rot. It was, however, much heavier and pilots joked that rather than being an acronym of the designers' names (Lavochkin, Gorbunov, and Goudkov) "LaGG" stood for lakirovanny garantirovanny grob ("(the) varnished guaranteed coffin" - лакированный гарантированный гроб). The full wooden wing (with plywood surfaces) was analogous to that of the Yak-1. The only difference was that the LaGGís wings were built in two sections. The fuselage was the same as the MiG-3ís. But the LaGG-3ís armament was considered formidable. It consisted of a large-calibre BK machine gun, which was installed between the "V" of the cylinders of the engine and two synchronized ShKAS machine guns. Consequently the weight of fire was 2.65 kg/s, making the LaGG superior to all serial Soviet fighters, as well as the 1941 version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109.

THE KIT

The latest in Zvezda's war gaming kits is this 1/144 LaGG-3. The single sprue of glossy plastic has nine pieces, making it nearly a complex kit from what I've seen in this line. You do get an actual option on this one and that is to have the gear up or down. Since there is a large display/movement stand, perhaps the up option would be quite useful. There is a small, solid clear bit for the canopy and the required movement card. Mounting tabs are quite large as befits a snap type kit.

Instructions are a very simple exploded 3D drawing. No painting information is supplied and the decal sheet is quite generic, so no detailed and accurate unit markings for this one. There are aftermarket decals that can be found which should prove to be helpful. One will have to find another pair of red stars as there were usually insignia on the underside of the wings as well as on the fuselage and fin sides. I should also mention that I darkened the image so the white could be more easily seen.

CONCLUSIONS

This kit is part of a number specially done for Zvezda's 'Art of Tactic' game system. It should make into a very nice and quickly built model in its own right and is really perfect for new modelers thanks to its snap construction.

May 2011 

Thanks  to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local retailer.

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