Aeroteam 1/72 Yak-11
KIT #: 7202
PRICE: $8.95 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit


The Yakovlev design bureau began work on an advanced trainer based on the successful Yak-3 fighter in mid 1944, although the trainer was of low priority owing to the ongoing Second World War. The first prototype of the new trainer, designated Yak-UTI or Yak-3UTI flew in late 1945. It was based on the radial-powered Yak-3U, but with the new Shvetsov ASh-21 seven-cylinder radial replacing the ASh-82 of the Yak-3U. It used the same all-metal wings as the Yak-3U, with a fuselage of mixed metal and wood construction. Pilot and observer sat in tandem under a long canopy with separate sliding hoods. A single synchronised UBS 12.7 mm machine gun and wing racks for two 100 kg (220 lb) bombs comprised the aircraft's armament.

An improved prototype flew in 1946, with revised cockpits and a modified engine installation with the engine mounted on shock absorbing mounts. This aircraft successfully passed state testing in October 1946, with production beginning at factories in Saratov and Leningrad in 1947.

Production Yak-11s were heavier than the prototypes, with later batches fitted with non-retractable tail wheels and revised propellers. A 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun was sometimes fitted instead of the UBS, while some were fitted with rear-view periscopes above the windscreen. In total, Soviet production amounted to 3,859 aircraft between 1947 and 1955. with a further 707 licence-built by Let in Czechoslovakia as the C-11.

The Yak-11 set five world-class records. It was also used by over 20 nations. Many are warbirds, flying in spurious fighter colors, while some have been converted to inline engine Yaks and yet others converted to air racers.


There are many of us who just like trainers and as trainers go, the Yal-11 is a nice looking aircraft. Since it was developed from the Yak-3, it has a simple and sleek look to it. I guess you could equate it to the T-6 in terms of aircraft that just look right. It has much in common with the T-6 including a radial engine, low wing, long greenhouse, and it is a tail dragger.

Aeroteam is a company that produced a few short run kit and may still be around for all I know. This is typical of the genre in that there is a single sprue with fine engraved detailing and with plastic that is very shiny on the engraved side. The inside of large parts has ejector towers that will have to be removed. Unlike many short run kits, this one has an injected canopy, a big plus for those of us who are hopeless when it comes to vac canopies.

This one comes with a flat cockpit floor on which the two control sticks and two seats are placed. There are a pair of inner framework pieces with consoles to fit onto the cockpit floor. Rudder pedals are small triangular nubs protruding from the floor. A pair of instrument panels with raised detail fit on the fuselage sides. There are different for the front and rear.

The wing consists of a full span lower half onto which the upper wings attach. Single piece tail planes butt join to the fuselage. The kit can be built with the gear up if one wishes. The main gear doors will need to be cut to represent lowered gear. Wheels are fair and are two halves that are cemented together. The engine cowling, is simply cemented onto the front of the fuselage. The Yak-11 had a fan that pretty well hid any engine detail. A separate prop and spinner butt join to the front of the cowling as there is no prop shaft. Small antennas are provided as is a pitot tube. These are placed depending on the markings version you are doing. The canopy is thick and a single piece.

Instructions have five major construction steps with a few detail drawings for things like gear door arrangement. There are markings for three aircraft. One is an Egyptian plane in overall grey-green that looks to be similar to RLM 02 and seems to be the standard color of these planes as a google search shows those few period color photos of this plane in this shade. It has a yellow rear fuselage band and spinner. This plane was captured by the Israelis during the 1967 war and later sold to the civilian market. The other two are Czech. One is an Air Force plane from the mid 1950s in the standard shade. The other is a civil variant in two shades of blue grey over light grey that was flown by an aero club post 1964. Decals are by Propagteam so will be quite thin.


Short run kits can look deceptively easy as they do not have a lot of parts, generally. This one was like most of its age and required cleaning up of all the parts. The sprue gates are large, but the plastic is relatively soft. After removing the fuselage halves, wing parts and the interior floor, these had the large gates sanded down. The small ejector towers in the wing sections were removed and the rather odd little ridges inside the wings were also sanded. Then the wing upper sections were glued to the lower wing. Fit is actually quite good and while the panel lines do not line up, they are close. The interior had the seats removed from the sprues, cleaned up and installed. The kit shows where the small square bases are to fit, but you need to move them back a bit from that or the control sticks will not fit into their receptacles.

As is sometimes the case, this kit suffered from mold misalignment. This meant additional work to remove the seams and in some cases, like the control sticks, resulted them in being a bit more oval that round. To make them perfectly round would have made them far too thin and quite prone to breaking. The sticks were glued in place and I turned to the main wheels. These are in halves and after the usual clean-up they were cemented together. They look somewhat toy-like, but are apparently accurate from what I have seen in period photos.

At this time, I painted the interior walls (which have some detail) as well as the seats and floor with Aircraft Grey using Testors enamels. The instructions just say 'grey'. The interior framework piece I painted with Dark Gull Grey to have it stand out from the wooden walls. I should mention that cleaning up the framework pieces took some time, thanks to all the sprue attachment points.
Meanwhile, the instrument panels were glued in place, the front one fit great, but the rear one had a tiny area of attachment. I had to use super glue on this one and attached one side with the fuselage halves taped together. When dry, they were painted black and drybrushed with white.

Back at the interior, I installed tape seat harnesses and then went to attach the side panels.  I then glued one side on to check fit. Not surprisingly, the instrument panels prevented them from allowing the interior to fit all the way. I had to cut out sections of the framework to get them to fit. Eventually, I got them installed and glued the floor and fuselage halves together at the same time to make sure all would be in there. The cowling front was then attached. Fit on all the parts is relatively poor, but that is to be expected from kits like this. I handled most of the seams and then glued on the wings.

The fuselage is a bit narrower than the wings so there is a gap on both sides. The front lower wing fuselage join is not very good with there being a step. A smaller one is at the back. Hefty sanding will take care of much of that, but say bye-bye to the very light engraved detail. I then attached the tail planes. These also needed joint filler. Next thing I did was to work on the canopy section. This is rather thick and has a very large sprue attachment join on the back so care is needed to remove it. I also found that the indentations along the edges were far too shallow to match the joining surface. One cannot really make them match or the frame would disappear, so I deepened them somewhat to where the gaps were not horrendous. Next was masking, which was a cinch as the frame lines are prominent and so easy to see. Not like Matchbox or old Airfix kits, but not 'flat' like on a Hasegawa kit. This was then glued on at the few places it touched and the gaps filled with clear paint. I used Vallejo clear gloss for this.

At this juncture, I gave it a coat of primer using Tamiya extra-fine grey in a rattle can. After much clean up, the main landing gear was installed. The mounting tabs are too long and too small for the holes, but were eventually glued in place and aligned. The tail wheel hole was opened up more and this was glued in.

Then it was time to paint. I was not sure just what scheme I wanted to do. Those offered by the kit decals were nice, but I wanted something a tad different. I did a google search that turned up zillions of war bird and racer photos, but in amongst them were a pair of some Austrian Yak-11s. The reference book I had also showed a nice photo of a pair of Austrian planes. As the Yak-11 was the first equipment of the new Austrian Air Force in 1955, I thought it would be a good choice. Judging from the period color photos of these planes I found on the web, they were in an overall green-grey. As they were probably Avia C.11s, it would make sense that they would be RLM 02 as the Czechs still had a large stock of this paint and used it on many aircraft. Besides, the color called out in the kit instructions for the Czech and Egyptian planes was a green-grey.

So out came the Model Master RLM 02 and everything was painted in that color. I also did the gear, spinner, and the wheels in this shade, though these later pieces could have been aluminum. The prop is impossibly thick and was suffering from mold mis-alignment so was sanded down and painted black. A note on wheels. I have seen photos of museum planes that have these in a variety of colors from green to aluminum to black to green grey, so it seems there is no set pattern for this. The other Austrian planes in the photos I used had the wheels covered with tarps with only this one having them visible.

With the painting done, the airframe was given a gloss coat in preparation for the decals. Thanks to a paucity of Austrian roundels in the small size I needed, I had no choice but to make some. These turned out OK, but I would have rather had properly done silk-screened roundels. The letters and numbers came from Modeldecal sheets and while a tad undersized with the number 4 in the 'wrong' font, it looks fairly good so no real complaints there. It isn't like this is a Nationals entry model anyway. I should point out that the planes were initially coded 4A as shown in the photos in the reference book. The 4C coded plane above is shown near the end of their operational career. Looking at the completed model and the photo, it seems that RLM 02 is a bit too brown, but perhaps that is just the result of the light.


With the decals in place, the airframe was given a semi-matte clear coat and it was time to add the wheels, gear doors, prop/spinner and to drill a hole in the back of the canopy to accept the radio mast. No long wire needed on this as the plane had a VHF set that did not need it. I did have to sand down the area where the mast went into the canopy to get a decent fit. There as a bit of exhaust stain added to the underside after drilling out the exhaust. I also painted what looks to be a fan at the front of the cowling using Tamiya Aluminum. The masking was removed from the canopy and the hole in the front for the prop had to be opened up as it was drilled off center. The prop was installed and that was it.


I have always liked the Yak-11 and many years ago, built a resin kit of this plane. It suffered from the warping of its resin landing gear after a few years and eventually succumbed to a fall to a concrete floor. This is an able replacement, and about as difficult to build! It would be great if a mainstream kit maker decided to give this one a go, especially in 1/48 scale. Otherwise, this is about it for easily obtainable 1/72 injected Yak-11s. If you like the subject, it would be worth your while to look about for this one.

Air Forces of the World, William Green and John Fricker, MacDonald Publishing, 1958, page 26.

 January 2013

Thanks to me for picking this one up many years ago.

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