Hobby Boss 1/48 Lavochkin La-11 Fang
KIT #: 81760
PRICE: $42.00 delivered
DECALS: Four  options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2021 tooling


One of the recommendations from the government testing of Lavochkin La-130 (Lavochkin La-9 prototype) was to further develop it into a long-range escort fighter. The resultant La-134 prototype (also sometimes referred to as La-9M) featured increased fuel and oil capacity. Armament was reduced to three cannons. The prototype flew in May 1947. The second prototype, La-134D had fuel capacity increased by an additional 275 l (73 US gal) with wing and external fuel tanks. The aircraft was fitted with larger tires to accommodate the increased weight and amenities for long flights such as increased padding in the seat, armrests, and a urinal. In addition, a full radio navigation suite was installed. Not surprisingly, combat performance with a full fuel load suffered. However, as the fuel load approached that of La-9, so did the performance. The aircraft was found to be poorly suited for combat above 7,000 m (23,000 ft). The new fighter, designated La-11 (OKB designation La-140) entered production in 1947. By the end of production in 1951, a total of 1,182 aircraft were built.

The La-11 was used extensively by the North Korean Air Force during the Korean War. Once they had been cleared from Korean skies, they still operated nocturnal raids from bases in China and were quite difficult to shoot down.


I have always liked the last of the Lavochkin piston engine fighters and a couple of years back built the Ark Model 1/48 kit. That one was a bit of a challenge as is often the case with short run kits, but the result was pleasing to the eye and I was satisfied with the outcome.

Hobby Boss kits have generally been a pleasure to build as they are fairly well engineered so I ordered this one from Hong Kong. The kit is pretty standard stuff with a nicely done cockpit that has inserts for the lumpy bits on the side consoles. A decal is provided for the instrument panel and there is harness detail molded into the seat.

The kit provides just an engine face which will be hidden once the cooling fan is attached, but it does provide a base for this item. Main gear well is separate and has several pieces which are attached to the lower wing. This assembly along with the clear bits are then attached to the closed fuselage halves, followed by the upper wing.

Next the landing gear are attached to the gear wells, though most of us will leave this off until after painting. This is followed by the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and the inner gear doors. Then the outer doors are glued in place. There are options to have the flaps raised or lowered so separate pieces are provided for this. Lastly the tail gear doors, wheels and cowling pieces are attached followed by the prop, pitot and other smaller bits.

Instructions are well done and provide Gunze paint references. Four schemes are provided with three of them in overall light grey and one in a dark maroon/cocoa brown. There are two Soviet aircraft, one Chinese, and one North Korean. Decals are crisply printed and there are aftermarket if you don't like what is in the kit.


This one will be pretty quickly moved to the top of the build pile as I do like the aircraft. I do wish Hobby Boss would also do an La-9, but until then, I'll have to be satisfied with the MikroMir



February 2024

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