Triple Nuts 1/144 Yak-28P Firebar
By Matt Bittner
The Yakovlev Yak-28 was a swept-wing, turbojet-powered combat aircraft produced initially as a tactical bomber. There were other versions produced, of course, including the Yak-28P, codenamed "Firebar" in the west. This version was the long-range interceptor by omitting the internal weapons bay and putting in additional fuel tanks in its place, and adding the "Oriol-D" radar which was compatible with the R-98 (AA-3 "Anab") air-to-air missile. There were about 435 built and were produced until 1967.
The Triple Nuts 1/144 Yak-28P "Firebar" consists of 37 pieces of 3-D printed resin and a clear-resin canopy. There are decals for two Yak-28Ps ("Blue 01" and "Red 52"), both Soviet, naturally. Since the instructions are written in Japanese I don't know what squadrons these flew with. Plus, since I haven't used them am unsure if the images are printed on a continuous piece of decal material or not. But personally, that doesn't matter because I cut all decals from all manufacturers as close to the image as possible.
I mentioned in my Triple Nuts 1/144 JF-17 review that the first releases from Triple Nuts appeared to be printed by Shapeways; whether that's true or not I'm not sure but it appears that way, having other Shapways-produced items. I mention that because this release from Triple Nuts uses a different 3-D "printer", or "company", because the print is a lot cleaner, a lot smoother, and the sprue gates are in a different design. I definitely like this print more than the other prints from Triple nuts I have.
Construction is a little different than most. The only items added to the cockpit are two ejection seats without seat belts. Once those are added (and maybe the cockpit painted before) then the wings are added in the first step. The next step has you add the engine fronts to the engine pods to those assemblies are added to the wings. Step 3 has you add the rear fuselage along with the tail pieces and the exhausts to the rear of the engine pods.
Here is where I may go in a different direction with construction. Instead of adding the wings prior to adding the rear fuselage to the front, I may build the fuselage first, then worry about adding the wings/engine pods and tail surfaces after. One thing depending on this is how the fuselage pieces go together. I'm guessing because of the limitation of the 3-D print is why they broke the fuselage up into a front- and rear-half.
Step 4 of the instructions is where you add all the bits to the bottom of the aircraft. Landing gear and gear doors, missiles, pitot tubes, etc. Everything that would be best left off until after painting and decaling.
As far as I know, this is the only kit available in 1/144 for the Yak-28P Firebar. Buy in confidence, though, because this truly is an excellently printed model, one that will definitely look great in your display space and definitely will result in comments from the contest room. I'm definitely looking forward to working on this model. Note that MAKO Models International is one of the "official" stockists of Triple Nuts kits. These kits are available from their eBay store.