HobbyBoss 1/72 Lavochkin La-7

KIT #: 80236
PRICE: $7.70
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  2006 release.


Developed from the highly successful La-5, the La-7 was quite similar in general appearance to the earlier fighter, using many of the same airframe components. The big difference was in engine and armament. A new 1850 hp Shvetsov radial engine and increase in armament to three nose mounted cannon made for a very potent aircraft. In tests, the La-7 was nearly 45 mph faster than its major opponent, the FW-190.

First flying in early 1944, the La-7 was quickly deployed to the VVS's finest fighter regiments, where many of the Soviet Union's aces praised the aircraft for its increased speed, maneuverability and firepower over the slightly slower La-5. In order to improve performance even more, most La-7s returned to having only two cannon. Besides, by that time in the war, the presence of the Luftwaffe was being felt even less and less. Of the approximately 3300 La-7s produced the vast majority of the production run was of the two cannon variety.

The end of the war and the coming of gas turbine engines for fighters meant that the La-7 had a relatively short active service. The Soviet Union had purged them from all fighter regiments by 1947, having replaced them with La-9/11 aircraft or with the earliest Soviet jets. In those countries under Soviet influence or control, the aircraft lasted into the early 1950s.


Since I'm on a bit of a roll with 1/72 La-7s, this is the other fairly new kit of this plane. In this case it is one of Hobby Boss' very popular easy assembly kits. What this means is that you can build the kit without glue. However this does nothing about those seams you will find between some of the parts, such as the wing to fuselage join. Most of you reading this will want to fill those with something.

The kit offers little in the way of a cockpit, limiting it to just a seat that fits on a section of floor. Again, for the targeted group, this is fine. The kit does offer optional upper and forward cowlings, depending on if you want to build the two gun or three gun aircraft. According to the markings drawings, both options are the three gun planes. All the rest of the bits have very large mounting areas and this makes for a fairly sturdy model. There is a small metal prop shaft offered so you can have a spinning probeller. Note that the spinner backing plate is molded onto the prop. The lone clear bit is fairly thick so any lack of cockpit detail isn't that noticeable.

Instructions are well done with two construction steps. A full color painting and markings guide is provided with both options being in the standard two greys upper with light blue underside and red forward cowlings. both are ace's planes. The box art version is P.Golovachev's 9 AIP version, while the other is the expected I. Kozhedub's plane with 176 FGAR. Decals look to be very well done.


This nicely detailed kit is perfect for the beginner or those who are suffering from terminal AMS who need something simple. Now to hunt up a Frog version to complete things.  

November 2019

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