Eduard 1/72 Lavochkin La-7 Dual Combo

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Overview

Eduard’s 1/72 La-7 kit has gotten a fair bit of press here at Internet Modeler, with two inbox reviews and a very nice build up. The first release of this kit came back in the spring of 2004, and we reviewed the non-Profipack version in March of that year. A couple of months after that, in May, we reviewed the Profipack version, which included photoetch and an impressive decal sheet. Finally, we had a very impressive build up by Ilya Grinberg in the January 2005 issue, showing just how well this model goes together. The quality of the model is quite good, a fact that is further accentuated by the fact that I know of several modelers currently working on one, including yours truly. To capitalize on the success of this nice kit, Eduard has decided to release it in their Dual Combo format, with two kits in one box.

The Kits

As the plastic is virtually unchanged, I will refer you to the original review to see the kit pieces. The kits in the Dual Combo come with photoetch and painting masks, and on first glance it would appear that these are the same as in the Profipack release. A closer look reveals that this is not the case, as the photoetch fret replaces the Profipack nameplate with a bunch of other parts. The masks are also in the new format that Eduard is using, with a material that is very much like that found in the Tamiya masking tape. The benefit of this is that it is translucent, allowing you to clearly see where the tape is burnished down. The decal sheet is the same as that found in the Profipack, with the small addition of extra stars to cover the second kit.

So, let’s take a look at those different photoetch pieces. They are a combination of interior and exterior details, and they are very useful additions. Starting with the interior, there is now a twist handle to fit atop the bottle behind the pilot’s seat. This is one of the prepainted parts, so you just need to trim it off the fret and glue it in place. A spare is provided as well, in case the first is eaten by the carpet monster. There is also a new lever to fit to the control stick, as well as one for the inside of the canopy. Finally, the last new interior detail is a ring site that fits on the side of the kit gunsight. For all three of these details, there are three extras provided. That seems a bit of overkill, but they can also be used on other models, so it’s good to have them. These additions are small, but give that extra little detail that will pay off in the end.

On the exterior, here we see some really impressive additions. There are new photoetch exhaust stub ends that are much better looking than the kit pieces. You have to remove the molded in detail and replace it with these pieces, and there is an extra set provided, just in case (or, if you have a third La-7 lying around, you could use the two spares on it). These exhaust stubs will show up quite well under the replacement cowl louvers, too. These thin photoetched examples are much more realistic than the kit parts. Along the same lines, the radiator cooling vent is also provided in photoetch. Simply cut away the thick plastic part and replace it with this thin one. Finally, the inner main gear doors are replaced with photoetch doors. The detail on the inside of these will look great under a coat of paint, and are much thinner than the kit parts. It is a pity that Eduard didn’t include the outer gear doors as photoetch, too, to match.

Conclusion

Eduard’s 1/72 La-7 is simply a beautiful kit that goes together well and is nicely detailed The new additions to the photoetch in the Dual Combo boxing takes the kit a step above the already impressive Profipack release, and makes this one well worth picking up if you plan on building more than one La-7. My thanks to Eduard for the review sample.

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