Zvezda 1/48 Yak-130
KIT #: 4821
PRICE: 50 when new
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas
NOTES: 2018 release


The Yakovlev Yak-130 (NATO reporting name: Mitten) is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft originally developed by Yakovlev and Aermacchi as the "Yak/AEM-130". It has also been marketed as a potential light attack aircraft. Development of the aircraft 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 2010 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 (6,600 lb). About a half dozen Russia-friendly air arms are flying the type with several other prospects in the wings.


Released in 2018, Zvezda has produced several boxings of this kit with apparently all the same sprues. The kit has a fairly detailed cockpit, which is a good thing as you'll see most of it under that large canopy. The nose gear well is molded into the underside of the cockpit tub. There are small side panels to install prior to closing the forward fusealge halves. There is no indication of nose weight required, but I'd put in a fair amount just to be sure.

Next, the engine intake trunking is assembled and the main gear wells built up and attached to it. This fits onto another assembly that includes the wing strakes and the speed brakes. Zvezda then has you build up the main landing gear and install those before closing the aft fuselage sides to it. Once that is done, the lower fuselage pieces are glued together and if you bought a display stand, the slot for it is opened. This is all then attached along with the nose section.

There are blowby doors to attach to the upper wing piece and you have a choice of open or closed. This then fits onto the top of the fuselage before attaching the separate ailerons. Tailplanes and the lower engine exhaust covers are then glued in place. Flaps and slats can be built in the raised or lowered position. Photos of the plane at rest on the ground showed the slats lowered more often than not, but the flaps were not deployed in any of the photos I saw.

One then attached all the gear doors and wing tips as well as builds up the various weapons and fuel tanks. The last thing one does is to install the clear bits (and for this you have a canopy with and without the heating elements in them). The canopy can be posed open or closed. A speed brake is provided that can be raised or lowered, but again, it is almost never seen on the ground with it raised. Finally, if you wish crew, there are two crew figures than can be installed.

Instructions are well done with Zvezda and Tamiya paint references. There are five options, each with different camo schemes. Two Russian schemes are in a very dark grey and in what looks like Flanker colors. A Belarus plane is in two greens and a medium grey over light blue-grey. A Burmese plane is in two blues upper with the lighter blue undersides. Finally one from Algeria in two tans over a medium blue-grey. If you don't like these, Begemot produces a sheet that adds Bangladesh and Laos to the mix. If you want to do a Russian plane and don't like the schemes provided, a simply web search will bring up several other schemes.

Even though Kitty Hawk also produced this aircraft in this scale, the Zvezda one will be a lot easier to find and may not be as fussy a build (though I wonder as this kit has multiple pieces that make up the fuselage). One thing for sure, it provides a nice range of things for the pylons it provides and if you want to do the standard trainer, well you can do that as well.


July  2022

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