The following introduction is as supplied by ICM:
Roland Paulze d’Ivoy de la Poype was born on July 28, 1920 in the commune of Prado, in a family of aristocrats. Fascinated by aviation since the time of his studies at the lyceum, in August 1939 he became a cadet of the flight school. After the surrender of France, he emigrated to the UK and became a pilot in the British RAF. Subsequently, he goes to the USSR as part of a French detachment of volunteer pilots, who upon arrival become the basis of the Normandy fighter squadron.
Roland de la Poype had his first victory on August 31 in 1943. The following month, two more planes were added to his personal account – Fw 190 and Ju 87. The full list of air victories of the pilot included 16 downed enemy aircraft. Courage and combat qualities of de la Poype were marked by combat awards of the USSR and France. After the war he continued to serve in the French Air Force, and in 1947 he retired.
This offering is the fourth Yak 9 released in 1/32nd scale by ICM and the third release of the Yak-9T 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. 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. There is I feel plenty of scope for the modeller to add their own improvements and details.
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 these areas. 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 them. 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 one finishing option for this release which is as follows:
Yak-9T of pilot Roland de la Poype, 1943
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 figure of Roland de la Poype is presented in an at ease stance. The uniform looks to be Soviet from the waist down and possibly RAF from the waist up, the cap looks to be either RAF or French Air Force side cap but I was not able to satisfy my identification to my full satisfaction and could only find one image showing Roland de la Poype in such a hat. A lot of detail is provided on the jacket including medal ribbons and detail painting instructions of them, but the buttons should picked out in a metallic finish. The face of Roland de la Poype is something that I feel has been very well tackled and the youthful looks have been replicated in miniature.
ICM is pushing the Yak 9 kit in 1/32nd scale and I question the popularity of the model in this format, but it does have some pluses. The detail put into the facial features of Roland de la Poype is an especially pleasing aspect for me and while I could not find a matching photograph I did find many of details matched. The aircraft is a fair representation of the Yak-9 but the detail in the cockpit needs to be raised to 1/32nd scale standards, at the very least harness detail.