Eduard 1/48 Yak-3 Weekend-Edition

By Jaroslaw Kierat


Eduard’s kits are not actually known as toys for modelling beginners, so when I received this kit from Matt, I asked myself, what on Earth should I do with a „Weekend-Edition“. I generally like to put some pernonality into my models, and that takes time. Let’s see, how far would I generally get during a weekend... Friday evening: Study at instructions, take pictures of the sprues, cut, some dry fit, some sanding. Saturday: Research on IM, maybe cutting out the cockpit interior, and more sanding... Well wouldn’t get me far...

When was the last time I finished a model on a weekend? Maybe when I was twelve? Well, that brings back memories: another PZL Los, slapped together on a weekend, including painting and first combat damage. But there was more... Running around the city and looking for that particular model - the Yak, hoping that the plan economy would show mercy and deliver particularly in that one kiosk of my home town. And hoping, that the other modelling kids wouldn’t be faster... Now, that’s really nostalgia! OK, having figured out the purpose of Eduard’s Weekend-Concept, let’s have a look at what’s "on hand".

The Kit

The famous Yak 3, scourge of the Lufwaffe and Yakovlev’s greatest achievement (to quote loosely Erik Pilawskii’s book ;-) ) was a further development of the Yak-1 line. With extremly refined areodynamics, in particular considering the wing, and a reduced weight it was acknowledged by the Luftwaffe as a formidable adversary – to the point where the German forces were recommended to avoid low and medium-altitude fights with Yaks having no cooler under the nose. This highly successful fighter was introduced to the field units in mid of 1944 and played a major role in the conclusive battles over the eastern front.

Eduard’s Weekend-Edition is a lean and mean version of their regular offering, without the PE or resin goodies, and only one painting variant. This either generates nostalgia ;-) or allows modellers on a tight budget to get hands on this model – this might be for example the case in eastern Europe, and these guys do their own superdetailling ;-). With the filigrane bits and pieces and no location pins, I still doubt that it’s meant for absolute beginners.

The sturdy two-piece box comes with two gray sprues, a clear one, the decals, a basic building instruction and a colorful painting instruction. As said, only one version, but a very attractive one, with a red nose and a red tail.

The quality is state of the art: crisp and thin, no sink holes, and the ejector marks are on invisible spots. Panel lines are of course recessed (I guess, I’m stating the obvious here), with the fastener heads around the rear cowling maybe a bit too prominent. The parts are very smooth, and practically without flash (one might suspect it’s because I got an evaluation copy, but no, I just checked the purchased-by-myself Hellcat on my shelf, and it also has no flash, so I guess Eduard is just that way ;-) ).

The cabin is clear, with no blurs or scratches (and separately packed) and can be assembled open or closed (two different parts for that purpose). The concept of the parting is smart, with the wings being split only horizontally, which ensures the proper dihedral and provides the cockpit floor. The engine cover top part / cowling is done separately, which will ask for careful positioning.

The fit is very good, but requires tender fingers, since the thin parts can be easily warped during assembly. The general shape looks also OK: taped to the screen (yes!), it’s quite a perfect match against scaled plans from Erik’s book.

Anything bad about it? Well, with no super-dooper bits and pieces, the kit asks for a few details. To make it fit my standard I’d at least add seat belts (tape may be OK), drill out the gun and the manifolds, add position lights and an antenna. And finally, one important feature which is most prominent on the kit but missing, are the machine guns,. These need to be added from syringe tubing (or drilled out stretched sprue if nothing else).

The painting instruction quotes AMT 7, 11 and 12, with a colorful illustration. To be really picky, the AMT 12 looks plain gray, while Erik quotes it as with a tint of blue-greeninsh (and so to see on some color pictures from the Normandie-Niemen unit).


All in all a very nice kit of a very interesting and important airplane, and on top of that in one of the more attractive painting schemes available for this type.

Rating: a "strong buy".

Thanks to Eduard and Matt Bittner for the review sample.

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