Here we get a look at the 1/48th scale release from Zvezda of the Yak-9D Soviet Fighter.


The following introduction is as provided by Zvezda:

The Yak-9D fighter with extended range and M-105PF engine was one of the most successful modifications of the popular Yak 9. The need for such a fighter arose when the Soviet forces began to make deep breaches of enemy defences, and with a rapid offensive there was a danger that ground troops being separated from the aviation covering them. An increase in range was achieved by installing four 480kg fuel tanks. The oil reserve was increased to 48kgs, and the flight weight increased to 3,117kgs. Production lasted from March 1943 to June 1946, with 3,058 examples produced. The outcome of air fights demonstrated that up to an altitude of up to 3,500 metres the Yak -9D had an advantage over the German Me-109G-2 and FW-190A-8 on turns, and on vertical manoeuvres when about half of its fuel reserves were used up.


This offering from Zvezda is provided in a robust cardboard tray with flip top lid, which is then packaged inside an end opening card container with all the artwork on it. The contents are packaged inside two plastic bags, with my only complaint being that the clear parts are packaged inside a ZiploC bag with the decals which could result in damage to the decals. 

Fans of the Yak 9 are being spoilt this month with two new kits released, one in 1/32nd scale and this offering from Zvezda in 1/48th scale. This offering from Zvezda provides you with a very nicely replicated engine, which I am sure will get after market detailing sets released at some point, and some wiring required to be installed by the modeller. While my knowledge of the engines of the Yak-9 is limited, this appears to be a nice replication as far a visuals are concerned. This high level of detail then extends backwards into the cockpit, where you are provided with a portion of the tubular frame from where is supports the engine to where it disappears behind the cockpit. Zvezda has provided a good level of detail throughout the cockpit including the provision of decals for the instrument panel and a very nice pilot figure that is provided in five parts, with the option of two heads. Looking back at the engine for a moment, I have noticed that the exhausts need drilling out to improve their finished look. The cannon that made this aircraft such an effective tank killer, is also nicely detailed along its entire length but some careful opening of the muzzle will improve this further. 

Moving to the under carriage, and the wheel bays are assembled on the lower wings along with two wing spars. These details add greatly to the general appearance to the wheel bays. The undercarriage itself looks OK to me with regards to accuracy, but I am again not an expert. The tyres themselves are provided in two halves, with a reasonable level of detail, and while these are not weighted if you look at the interior face of the wheels there is a thickened part of the wall that I believe is to enable the modeller to apply heat to show the wheels as weighted. Moving to the exterior of the model, and the finely recessed panel lines and textures of materials used in the real aircraft appear to me to be accurately replicated in this release. 

The wings will require some careful assembly, due to the wing tip profile being a separate part, and the flight controls that you would expect to find have been supplied separately allowing the modeller to decide what orientation. The rear underside of the fuselage has been provided as a separate moulding, and so I am of the belief that further releases are in store. Moving back to the front of the model, and Zvezda has taken the interesting step of providing you with an engine support frame for the modeller who wishes to display the engine or the correct shaped panels used instead of the frame I believe this is due to the difficulty in replicating the framework to scale. If you are one of those modeller who like to display their models on a stand, as if in flight, after market stands are available to accommodate this model. Zvezda has provided three finishing options for this release, which are as follows:

64th Guards Regiment IAP, Pilot Denchik 3

1st Separate Regiment, Normandy-Niemen, Pilot Marcel Lefebvre, No 14

6th Guards Regiment, IAP of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force, Pilot Grib, No 22


The release from Zvezda if of the usual high standard we have come to expect from Zvezda when releasing a model of their own design. Moulding quality is good throughout, and I believe that everyone will be happy with what is in the box. The pilot figure itself is particularly nice, with Zvezda supplying some of the finest in this scale, only really being bettered by resin offerings. I am pleased to see them providing details on the finishing options, unlike some companies. And looked at as a whole taking in the various display options I feel this is an exceptional model for the price. 



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