Amodel 1/72 Yak-28R Firebar





Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run


The Yak-28 was the first tactic strike aircraft capable of flying at supersonic speed with full armament. The aircraft structure was not adapted to the production run capabilities and required substantial modifications. The Irkutsk factory was chosen to produce the Yak-28 that had a vast experience in mastering the production of principally new aircraft types. Higher accuracy requirements to external aircraft lines, the necessity to provide structure strength and rigidity to break the sound barrier called for further production process improvements, introduction of many changes into the structures and implementation of new flight test programs. After the Yak-28 took part in the air parade in Tushino on May 1, 1961, 'The New York Times' wrote that the USA had nothing to be compared with this aircraft. The Irkutsk factory manufactured the Yak-28 and its modifications fitted with various equipment during 12 years. Totally, 700 bombers, fighters, trainers, reconnaissance and other type of aircraft were produced.

In 1963, the front-line Yak-28R was developed on the basis of the bomber version. It was powered by the R-11AF2-300 engine, and had a bay with the panoramic camera and two side camera hatches. In the central fuselage the long-focus camera was mounted. The aircraft featured the radio reconnaissance means. The combat radius was 1190 km and the endurance was about 3 hours.

The Yak-28 was rather complicated, technologically inefficient and substantial modifications were done in Irkutsk to meet the customers' requirements. It is unknown if any are still in service, but judging by Russia's inability to keep even new planes properly maintained due to lack of funding, I seriously doubt if any are still flying.



I've heard stories about Amodel kits for several years, but have never actually bought one or seen what they were like. Noting this particular kit and liking the general design of the plane, I took the plunge and forked over many dead presidents (electronically, of course), to buy this kit.

What I got was a flimsy box full of many sprues of multi-colored plastic. The surface detailing is quite good though there are bits and pieces of flotsam imbedded in many of pieces as well as some little 'chunks' taken out of some of the bits. Most parts have some level of minor flash and some of the thicker parts have some sink areas, but, other than those on the root of the fin, they don't look to be visible when the kit is done. Sprue attachment points are a bit on the thick side so care will be needed in removing some of the very thin parts that are present. Transparencies are a bit thick and quite clear. There is mold release agent on many of the parts so a good wash would be in order.

In terms of options, the only ones I saw were separate flaps and ailerons. No separate rudder or elevators. Wing fuel tanks seem to have been carried all the time.

Instructions are quite good and provide all the info you need to build the kit in 10 construction steps. Any color info is provided for the interior bits (I assume that the wheel wells are all in natural metal and we all know what color tires are). Color is provided via Humbrol numbers and generic names are given as well (why can't Airfix, Heller and some others Hobbies do this?) Markings are provided for two aircraft. One is the box art plane in a nice camo scheme (actually rather rare on the type) of sand, midstone and brown with light blue undersides and the other is in natural metal. On both planes, the radomes are white. Decals are nicely printed, but only time will tell how well they actually work. I've had my share of  adventures with Russian decals! 



Once again, your editor was bitten by the unusual. Why I spend my bucks on kits like this is beyond me. It is sure to be an adventure, but I could easily be pleasantly surprised. It has all the workings of a 'challenge' (euphemism for a PITA kit) , but you have to admit, it is a neat looking plane!

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