Kitty Hawk 1/48 Yak-130
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit (2018)|
The Yakovlev Yak-130 (NATO reporting name: Mitten) is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light fighter originally developed by Yakovlev and Aermacchi. It has also been marketed as a potential light attack aircraft. Development of the plane began in 1991 and the maiden flight was conducted on 25 April 1996. In 2002, it won a Russian government tender for training aircraft and in 2009 the aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force. As an advanced training aircraft, the Yak-130 is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters as well as the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57. It can also perform light-attack and reconnaissance duties, carrying a combat load of 3,000 kg.
According to the reference, only Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, and Myanmar have had planes delivered. Of the 16 planes delivered to Bangladesh, three have been lost in accidents.
It is a bit surprising to see this being kitted due to the lack of variants that seems to be so important to kit makers, but it is not surprising the Kitty Hawk would be the ones producing it. KH has a reputation of providing modern Russian military equipment kits and of providing well equipped kits. This one is no exception as a goodly portion of the kit sprues are weapons and other 'things under wings'. This is because the type is also used as a weapons trainer and can perform light attack if required.
Now those of you looking at the sprue layout are probably wondering about those weapons. Well, they are in the box. Four large sprues that cover everything in the Russian inventory from the looks of it. The same sprues put in with the Su-20/22 kits. There is a p.e. fret that is for the seat harness and the anti-sway braces on the outer pylons.
The cockpit is well done and provides the usual for kits of this size. Decals are provided for the main instrument panels. The side consoles such as they are, seem more like arm rests, though they do have raised detail on them. Once the tub is built up, the nose gear well pieces are built and attached to the underside. The kit instructions have you attaching the nose gear at this time, but I'd see if perhaps it can be added after painting. All of this fits into the lower forward fuselage section.
Then one moves to the upper fuselage. This part includes the upper wings and after a few inserts, one attaches the lower forward fuselage piece. Then the intakes and surrounding areas are built up. The intakes are short but complete and end in a compressor stage. After building up the main gear well, the intakes are attached and this assembly fits into the lower fuselage section. Once the exhaust are done, this section is glued to the rest of the airframe.
Next one attaches the intake fronts, flaps, slats and lower wing inserts. The instructions show the flaps lowered, but I'm thinking you can also do them in the up position. The speed brake can also be posed up if you so wish. Then all the main gear bits, gear doors and the myriad of antennas. It is followed by the canopy, wing tip pods, fin and stabs and finally, all of the under wing pylons. There is an optional gun pack that can be glued on and a pair of fuel tanks that are made specifically for this plane. The rest of the build instructions cover various weapons. For sure you will have a lot of weapons left over for other projects. The kit also comes with two very nicely done resin crew members.
Instructions are up to Kitty Hawks usual high standards in the construction steps, offering Gunze paint references. Once again, they boneheaded the painting and markings guide by printing all the sheets as if they were the centerfold. DOH! There are six markings options provided. One is a Bangladesh plane while the other five are various colors of Russian aircraft. I have to say that you will have a lot of colorful choices as the Russian planes include an overall yellow, a mostly red plane, the box art aircraft in a nice Flanker style camo scheme, one in an overall dark grey and another in a sort of medium grey. There are three decal sheets provided. The small one is for the instrument panel and the Bangladesh roundels. I've not shown the one that is all data for the pylons and weapons, but it is the same size as the main sheet. Kitty Hawk decals are nicely printed and very thin.
Overall, this is a very nice looking kit. If you decide not to use any weapons, half the sprues will be unused, but with all those pylons, it would be a shame to leave them all empty. Kitty Hawk has gotten the jump on everyone else in this scale with this kit. It should be a fairly straight forward build and result in one of the newest aircraft around.
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