The Yak-7 fighter was a direct development of a two-seat training UTI version based on the Yak-1. Yakovlev attempted to corner the market for advanced military trainers with the UTI-26, developed from the Yak-1. This was a two-seat training machine with dual cockpit controls and other flight instruction refinements.
Handling and flight behavior in the UTI-26 were absolutely superlative. With this in mind, when the dire need for fighters arose in 1941 it was natural that the Bureau look to develop a fighter version of the training machine. The resulting Yak-7 was similarly equipped to a contemporary Yak-1, and powered by the M-105PA engine.
The Yak-7B was a further refinement of the Yak-7 and -7A fighters. The new armament scheme included two 12.7mm UBS weapons replacing the original ShKAS above the engine, resulting in the appearance of two blisters to cover the breaches. The internal cockpit arrangement was thoroughly redesigned, and the rear canopy section was replaced with a ply unit. Later Yak-7Bs were manufactured with the M-105PF engine, and the final examples of this type with a cut-down rear fuselage very much resembling the Yak-9.
The Dako Yak-7B consists of 49 injected molded parts with six clear pieces. Decals consist of three schemes: a white-washed machine from the Stalingrad front, Winter 1942-43; 'White 26' from the 3 IAC, Kuban, May 1943; and a machine from the summer of 1942-1943. The level of detail is fantastic. While I really like their Yak-9s, the Yak-7B is better, especially in terms of interior detail. While a photoetch set could be helpful to spruce up the insides, it's not really needed.
Construction of course starts with the cockpit. Add all the pieces give it a good wash and dry brush, and the cockpit will look very realistic.
Once that's all assembled and painted, then construction continues. I would deviate from the plans a bit. Instead of gluing the upper wing pieces to the one-piece lower wing, I would glue the lower wing on first - after plenty of dry fitting, of course - and then add the upper wing pieces to it. There's a good chance you'll get a better fit out of that way. One thing to be aware of, though: There is no wheel well detail, and the walls should be added from scratch. Otherwise you'll be able to see through the wings (this area is my biggest complaint with the Dako Yaks).
Continue with the tailpieces and underside pieces (radiators, etc.) and pretty soon you'll be ready for painting. Once that's accomplished and the decals are on, and then follow up with the smaller pieces - undercarriage, etc. - and you'll add a Yak-7B to your shelf in no time.
This is an excellent kit, one needed in 1/72nd for quite some time. It keeps Dako's place at the forefront in terms of accuracy, finesse and detail. Highly recommended. In fact, buy two or three to prove to Dako to keep going. We need to convince Dakoplast that they really need to mold both the La-5 and the La-7!!