Zvezda has released a Soviet Fighter Yak-9T in 1/48th scale and this is well worth a look.


This offering from Zvezda arrives in a flip top cardboard tray, with an additional card sleeve with all of the artwork on it. Inside the packaging there are two plastic bags containing the moulded parts, and a Ziploc bag containing the decal sheet and clear parts. I do not approve of packaging the decals with the sprues, due to the risk of damage to the decals, but on this occasion no damage was inflicted on the decal sheet. An examination of the sprues reveals no obvious moulding issues, and the gates between the sprue and the pieces are small in size and number. 

This offering from Zvezda in 1/48th of a Yak -9T is a very pleasing release as regards overall content and detail judging by the instruction booklet and the mouldings. For starters you are provided with a very complete power pack that is made up of a very large number of parts which with the addition of wiring detail will make for a very pleasing visual area of the model. Zvezda has given good consideration to enabling the modeller to expose this very nice detail, due to the inclusion of a choice between a engine cowling or air frame. This ensures that everything is in place and looks natural, but obviously you will  have to decide which direction to go. The cannon mounted above the engine is another nicely detailed area of the model, and includes items such as the ammunition feed and needed parts which are again all exposed if desired - due to the option from Zvezda. If you decide to go with having the engine cover in place, the top portion of the engine cover could be left removable. 

Moving rear ward to the “office” area of the model, and you will find that Zvezda has provided the metal framework that is viewable in the cockpit area and being additional parts give a better 3D impression of this aspect. Decals have been provided for the instrument panel, with Zvezda making efforts to enable you to get this feature correct. Various quadrants along the sides of the pilot have also been very nicely replicated in plastic, and while this obviously requires that they are thicker, they are not overly so that it detracts from the finish. The seat has a lot of detail as regards how it is mounted in the aircraft, with the only obvious missing detail being the seat harness - the reason for this is that Zvezda has provided a multi-part pilot figure that has a large amount of detail present, including 2 optional heads. This figure does away with the need for harness detail. While we are looking at internal structures, Zvezda has provided the walls of the under carriage bay with a lot of moulded on detail present. Obviously there is a need for added detail to be added by the modeller who demands the up most in accuracy, but what is provided will be acceptable to many. Those that wish to add this extra detail are aided by the fact that the parts can be laid out in front of you while you scratch the various details you wish to add. Another nice touch here is that due to the lower wing being a single moulding to which you add a couple of spars, as long as you get a good fit to the fuselage it gives good strength to the wings to prevent dipping. 

Moving to the exterior of the model, and the panel line detail is extremely fine and will be very easily lost during the painting process if not careful. The cloth framed detail of the rear portion of the fuselage is well replicated, with panel line detail being quite sparse on the upper surfaces of the wing, of which 2 options are provided depending on which wing tips you opt to add. I am finding it quite hard to cover the accuracy of the detail on the upper wings, as they are all but de-void of detail, and depending on what schematic you look at the detail is accurate on some cases and not in others. However, panel line detail on the under side of the wings and the rest of the fuselage, do match schematics in most cases. Due to the number of optional external parts, the modeller will need to take a high degree of care to ensure that the correct parts are used for your finish. 

Zvezda has provided 4 finishing options for this release:

Yak-9T 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the VVS RKKA, Spring-Summer 1944

Yak-9T 728th Fighter Aviation Regiment of VVS RKKA, Poland, September 1944

Yak-9T 53rd Fighter Aviation Regiment of VVS RKKA, August 1944

Yak-9T 900th Fighter Aviation Regiment of VVS RKKA, Germany, Spring 1945


This offering from Zvezda Models is quite simply the most complete and well rendered model of a Yak-9T within its price point and along way beyond. I have seen 1/32nd kits that do not come close the level of detail offered here. The detail from engine through to the cockpit and in the wheel bays I find exceptionally pleasing. My only concerns are the decals being packaged with the clear sprue, and how easy it will be for the panel detail to be obscured by paint. The decals are another nice aspect of the model that I do not believe anyone will have complaints about, and so this is a lot of model for the price that I particularly like.



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