Accurate Miniatures 1/48 Yak-1
By Will Riepl
Designed around the proven Yak UT-1 trainer and utilizing the Klimov-M-105 engine the Yak I-26 was to be the forerunner in a long line of Yakolev fighters. Once teething troubles appeared to be over the new fighter began to entire squadron service. However the Yak-1 wasn't entirely ready yet and pilots still had numerous complaints about the new design. But as the VVS was in critical need of aircraft a large order was placed and 399 I-26s had been delivered by June 21 1942 when the German forces attacked Soviet Russia. Renamed the Yak-1, the type was flown by the top female pilot, Lilya Litvak. Operational experience led to modifications resulting in the Yak1 series 2. this aircraft was generally regarded by Soviet pilots as superior to anything else available to either side in the early days of the war.
When I got to see the Accurate Miniatures kit of the Yak at a hobby show in 1997, I knew it would be a winner. Not just because their kits are the best (which they are) but because it would be an interesting kit to build.
I chose the ski version because of the interesting colors and markings and because it goes well with my I-16 on skis. As Tom Cleaver said in his review, this kit does not require much extra work in building. I did shim part #C-49 with a piece of .0010 plastic to make it fit down to the fuselage and wing. That is the only modification needed.
The next step was the cockpit. If you follow the directions, you will have no trouble with it. I used the new Testorís Acryl Acrylic Paint. For the interior I used the RAF Interior Green. The wash was done with oils, Black and Burnt Umber. This will bring out all the details. I hate to think how long it will take to do the interior of the B-25 when it comes out. The Yak took about an hour to do.
I chose to not follow the directions regarding the solid white color scheme (big surprise!) I wanted to achieve the weathered effect of the snow camouflage. To begin with, I camouflaged the aircraft with Dark Green (FS24102) and Black. Even with just that much done, it looked good. I almost hated to add anything else.
But now it is sink or swim time. I got a paintbrush from my wife (always a great source for brushes as she works in a craft store). This one was a "rake brush", also called a comb or a multi-textural brush depending on which brand. The bristles on this kind of brush are of varying lengths, the more irregular the better. It gives you a streaky look, like hair or fur.
I got an old model and some white acrylic paint, water and blotting cloth (paper towels work). Make a puddle of paint on palette paper, plastic lid, or similar surface. Thin the paint with water to an inky consistency. Load the brush ( put the paint on the brush) and blot fairly heavily on the paper towels. When you look at the brush it looks like it has no paint on it. Using the tips of the brush, lightly stroke from the top down, building up layers of white gradually. Do one side of the plane at a time. There will be a heavier concentration of white at the top of the fuselage. On the wings, begin applying paint just behind the leading edge and pull aft to get the airflow streaks. Do the same on the other side of the aircraft.
Well, it looked right, so it must be right. With that all done, it is time for decals. Use the kit decals, they are very good. I then did a wash of Black oil paint over the entire aircraft, followed by a wash of Burnt Umber oil paint to bring out all the recess lines of the model. The same was done on the undersides, but add a little Red oil paint to the washes.
The final painting touch is a couple of coats of Testorís Acrylic Flat Finish. This will seal the washes and flatten the finish.
The last part is the skis, antennae, and canopies. When those are in place, your model is completed.
Thank you, Bill Bosworth, for producing another great kit. Weíre looking forward to the F3F.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933