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 Special Hobby 1:72 - Soviet Yak-17

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PostSubject: Special Hobby 1:72 - Soviet Yak-17   Mon Feb 20 2017, 09:59

[NOTE - COPIED FROM THE TMWCF - Originally posted by Propwash]

I normally do a little research on any kits I wish to purchase and this was no exception. The general feeling I got from some of the reviews I found were that the Special Hobby kit of the Yak-17 was a decent model with no major gotchas. And that is generally true except for some bad molding of a few key parts and really terrible decals. Rolling Eyes

The Yak-17

The Yak-17, NATO code name "Feather," was one of the earliest Soviet jet fighters having first flown in 1947. It was a redesign of the Yak-15 (which was a tail-dragger) with the addition of a tricycle landing gear. Because the engine formed the bulk of the nose of the aircraft, the front landing gear could not fully retract into the fuselage. Also, internal fuel capacity was minimal so it was equipped with two external wing-tip tanks which could be jettisoned when necessary. It was really a point-defense fighter due to its very limited range.

The Yak-17 was armed with two nose-mounted 23mm cannons. It had a top speed of approx. 468 mph. with a combat radius of roughly 250 miles. The aircraft served with Soviet Air Forces for only a few years before being retired from service in the early 1950's. Small numbers also equipped the air forces of Soviet Bloc countries.

The Kit

I did get a good deal on it as it was a "bagged" model kit (the box being lost / destroyed). But all the parts were there, on the trees, and in great shape. I also received the assembly instructions, decals, and a vacuum-formed canopy. Also included were resin parts to make the cockpit.

Assembly started with the cockpit. I didn't have much difficulty here as the parts were okay to work with (either that or I am getting used to working with resin parts). Fit was good with minimal trimming needed.

I then had to work on one half of the fuselage and attach the cockpit and engine fans. Here's where things started to unravel. The fans were not molded to the correct size and needed to be shaped. This was a big problem for the exhaust fan (compressor blades?) as it also had to fit inside a little half-arch for some reason. That just wouldn't work and left a huge gap at the jet exhaust. Sad The cockpit installed okay but it did require a bit of trimming to get just right. I joined the two halves of the fuselage together and found (surprise!) they didn't really fit well because the engine parts were off-kilter. I had to pry the fuselage apart to get everything refitted which, of course, the glue managed to melt. I also added a lot of weight to the nose to keep it from tail-sitting.

All parts throughout the assembly were butt-fitted (no guide pins, slots, anything helpful - just flat against flat). Big pain in the backside came with the landing gear having this awful method to attaching parts. Gah! :/

The kit supplies you with decals for two different schemes - a Soviet and a Czech Air Force. I opted for the Soviet and started with the ultra-small placard decals. They went on without a problem. Then I tried the big numbers on the sides and - whoops, they disintegrated as soon as they touched the surface of the model and I made any, and I mean ANY, attempt to position them. They are hair-breadth thin. All the decals for the national insignia and the ID numbers fell apart. This was a real shame as they looked like they were printed really well. So I had to scrounge insignia from saved decals. Well, the Soviet stars look like crud as they were horribly misprinted (they look like one of those 3D pics that you need to stare at to see the image.

So after a lot of work, I present to you my latest admission to the Hall of Shame.









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