VEB Plasticart 1/100 Yak-24P
|PRICE:||I paid $9.00. Prices vary|
Yakovlev was not renowned for making helicopters but in the 1950s it
built the Yak-24, given the NATO codename "Horse". For a while the Horse held a
few world records. It could sling 5 tonnes underneath. Apparently, sources
differ on how many were made, within a range of 40-100. It seems to have been
phased out in favour of the Mil-6 during the 1960s. One survives at Monino
In 1961 Yak exhibited a model of the -24P at an air show in the United Kingdom. This variant, which seems never to have got off the drawing board, would have had two turboshaft engines mounted above the cabin one up front, and one at the rear. The front engine's intake faced backwards.
In the first link under references, you can see a contemporary picture of the model. It shows the helicopter with a rear ramp for disembarking passengers.
This is another fantastic vintage kit from the Eastern Bloc. VEB
Plasticart was an East German kit manufacturer. Apparently the company is still
going though it makes toys now, not plastic kits. In Australia, these kits were
available in the early 1990s at newsagents, and I picked up a few Soviet
airliners there (my Tu-134 and Yak-40, as well as my Su-7, are all reviewed here
on MM). This Yak, though, came from the second-hand section at a long-defunct
A word on the company name, which is often thought to be VEB. Calling a VEB Plasticart kit a "VEB kit" is a bit like calling a Revell Inc kit an "Inc Kit". VEB was the acronym for some kind of East German
company structure in the old days. Thanks to the reader of one of my previous VEB - ahem, Plasticart - reviews here on MM for pointing that out.
It's classic Plasticart. Thick plastic, heavy rivets, almost no interior beyond two bizarre looking space aliens meant to be pilots. But let's be honest: that could describe plenty of 60s Airfix kits too. This one came out from 1968. There were at least 2 boxings with different box art.
And it's charming, with its little tube of glue and simple instructions. I love these Plasticart (must-resist-urge-to-only-
I think it came with a stand, as most Plasticart kits I've had have done. There is a hole in the bottom for it but the stand is long gone.
I painted the inside black. Using a spray can. Argh! Splashback or
overspray went through the window holes and all over the white outsides.
Beginner's mistake. I sanded most of it down before proceeding. I built a
cockpit floor and rear wall, just because the canopy is so big. Two spare seats
and an instrument panel (not the two individual panels the original airshow
model had) filled out my front office. I don't have any 1/100 pilots, other than
the two Area-51 escapees that came with the kit. I gave them an extended leave
of absence in the spares bin.
Putting this together is easy, because there are so few components. Put all the windows inside before the fuselage is sealed up, and then you discover the fit is actually pretty reasonable, that is, except for the windows... They need some work to give a flush fit, work which for me wasn't entirely successful.
Once the chopper was basically built, I went ahead to the painting stage. While the helicopter was hanging from its tail as the rest of the paint dried, it fell to the floor and split open. I had to start over, using superglue this time to hold it together, and deciding to ignore the resulting huge crack in the front windscreen. They had some pretty big birds in Cold War Russia, right?
After painting and decals (see below), all that remains is the lunar module-esque landing gear. Now, I have to admit, I built this part of the kit with what I could find in the box. I looked at the few pictures available and one or two other builds. I think my kit must have been missing a part or two, or been wrongly moulded or something, because the undercarriage structure just didn't seem to work at the front like it did at the back. Making do, I just forced the issue with superglue. Don't look too closely! But it stands on its own legs.
The dinky rotors fit very well (as indeed does much of the kit). The blades are even shaped so that one rotor turns clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. I have no idea which was which so I just put them on. The tiny exhaust vents either side of the engine casings got drilled out slightly and then painted and attached
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Gloss white all over, by brush, using Tamiya Acrylic X-2. I masked all
the windows (pushing one inside as I went) did several coats, then sanded it
back after repairing the split fuselage, then put a few more coats on. I was
pleased with the finish in the end. The undercarriage and struts were Tamiya
XF-16 and the rest was matt black (XF-1).
Incredibly, amazingly, unbelievably, the decals were still usable. They peeled off the backing paper and seemed to respond well to Mr Mark Softer, used gently. They are not the best quality decals, of course, but they work and even the stripe decals went on with very little hassle. I was originally contemplating masking the fuselage to paint those lines. I'm glad I didn't have to. The sheet comes with three of everything though you only need a pair - nice touch.
You don't build these for accuracy, you build them for fun and
nostalgia. I like my Yak-24P, and I'll like it even better when it sits next to
my Tu-134 and Yak-40 in Aeroflot colours and the same scale (those 2 are in
storage). Don't pay a premium for this, but if you find it at a reasonable
price, pick it up and have some fun.
It's a nice looking helicopter too, an insight into what might have been, had helicopter technology (especially engines and rotors) been a little more advanced at the time.
This great site catalogues all the VEB Plasticart kits (in German but mostly pictures): http://www.arnes-
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page