The following introduction is provided by ICM:
The Yak-9T fighter was one of the modifications of the Yak 9 aircraft. Its main feature was an automatic gun NS-37 calibre 37mm. The installation of this powerful weapon forced a number of improvements to the design of the base aircraft, in particular the power frame of the fuselage was strengthened. The NS-37 gun significantly increased the range of fire, without reducing the likely-hood of the enemy aircraft gaining an advantage. Shooting shells with shrapnel equipment allowed to hit enemy aircraft at a distance of up to 1200 metres. It’s armoured piercing projectile could pierce armour up to 30mm thick, which allowed it to successfully use the aircraft to fight tanks. As an auxiliary weapon Yak-9T had a large calibre machine gun UBS with ammunition of 200 rounds. Airplanes were very popular and highly regarded amongst pilots. In total, from March 1943 to June 1945 2,748 such fighters were produced.
This offering from ICM arrives in the usual flip top cardboard tray with an additional card cover with the artwork on it. Inside there is a single re-sealable plastic bag containing all of the sprues with the clear sprue in its own bag, with the rest of the kit parts. The instruction booklet is loose with the decal sheet protected between the covers. Also released separately and covered briefly in this review is a set of ICM’s new paints specifically for this model. An examination of the parts reveals no obvious concerns, but there are some flow lines in the larger mouldings, but they do not look or feel to have caused any defamation to the parts.
The interior of this model has a portion of the tubular frame that gives the aircraft its strength, and these also have a good number of parts to dress the cockpit up. The seat has a nice level of detail, but ICM has again not provided any harness detail, which I feel is a must for models in this scale. The instrument panel has a good level of moulding were dial detail is concerned, with a decal provided to lift that detail further. I myself would look for an aftermarket instrument panel, as I feel this would improve the office greatly.
Also included in this release, is a model of the engine that incorporates that large cannon that made this aircraft such a formidable tank killer. The moulded detail is good by my judgement, but extra work will be required to dress the engine up such as wiring and fuel lines. The barrel of the cannon, will also need the muzzle drilled to improve the detail of this 1/32nd scale offering. However, I also suspect, that a replacement barrel or set of barrels will become available for this model in time.
Looking at the exterior of the model, and the hard and soft areas you will find reasonable texture and very nice small and shallow panel lines. ICM has considered the modeller who wishes to display the engine bay, providing ammunition cans for the weapons mounted in the engine bay, and even the support frame underneath the top engine cowling is provided as an option. The intakes have a reasonable level of detail as regards the radiators, but again this could be lifted via the addition of aftermarket parts. An aspect of this model that I like, is that the lower half of the wing is provided as a single moulding to which you add one of the wing spars and also panels that sit within the wheel base, adding a particularly nice level of detail to this area. The wing spar that is included helps support the upper wing surfaces, and interestingly also the pilots controls are mounted to the lower wing before being mated with the fuselage.
The flight controls of this model aircraft are provided separately, enabling the modeller to decide how they wish to represent. Moving back to the main undercarriage, the legs have reasonable detail having separate torsion links and nice detail on the doors on both faces. The wheels are provided in two halves, which could make it difficult to hide the seam line between the parts due to the nice detail provided. However, the wheels are not weighted and I do not know if the torsion links are correctly angled for a vehicle in flight or on the ground. One thing I would like to bring to your attention is that the rear underside of the fuselage is provided as a separate part and this screams at me that other versions are in the works. ICM has provided four finishing options for this release which are as follows:
3rd Fighter Corps, Kursk Area, 1943
149th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, 2nd Ukrainian Front, Summer 1944
53rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 1st Ukrainian Front, Summer 1944
513th Fighter Aviation Regiment, 2nd Ukrainian Front, 1945
The decals provided have been printed to a high quality, and running a finger over them I can only just feel them on the carrier paper.
The paint set offered separately for this release is provided in a card box, and provides five colours and a gloss varnish. Each of the paint offerings is provided in a 12ml jar. The paint is prepared with a viscosity for brush painting and will need to be thinned 40/60% with water being the indicated form of thinner. It is stated on the side of the box, that a thinner can be used but no guidance has been provided as to which thinner to use. The paints in the set are:
Extra Dark Green
Camouflage in addition to the varnish.
This offering from ICM is one that I am more than pleased to be adding to my 1/32nd model collection. The model itself is not perfect, with for me the cockpit requiring some attention in the form of pilot harnesses and the instrument panel, your preferences may differ. Regarding what is provided for the model, I am happy with what is provided and the cost of the kit, as many of the improvements can be scratched.