Soviet "early jets"
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4.  Mikoyan Gurevich I-270
The I-270(ZH) was a rocket-powered target defense all-metal fighter developed after the great war in 1946. It had a thin straight wing and an exceptional T-tail.  The I-270 was equipped with pressurized cockpit for operating at high altitudes. Two prototypes were made but destroyed during the first flights. 

Reference:
http://www.ctrl-c.liu.se/misc/ram/i-270.html
http://prototypes.free.fr/ye8/ye8-1.htm

The model in 1/72 scale is a short run kit from AModel (kitno 7212) obtained in 2000. It has few parts and all parts need cleaning up with a modeling knife and sandpaper but this does not take too long as the model is small. There are only 25 parts in this kit and a simple decalsheet for 2 schemes. 
The instructions are in russian but the construction diagram is easy. 

There is some detail in the small cockpit. Also there are engraved panellines; these are a bit rough however. The canopy is not entirely clear, being a short run.
With some work, a nice little model can be made of this plane and it will be nice in the selection of Soviet "early jets". Based on the technical data, the model dimensions look OK.

I added some detail in the small cockpit with some basic controls etc. I also made provisions for a metal pin joint at the wing-fuselage junction. Otherwise the model was made as provided.
It has a metallic finish so carefully cleaning up and removing scratches is required.

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Overall colour used was a dull metal with Humbrol 11 aluminium.  A wire antenna from stretched sprue was added as well as a thin metal wire acting as a support to prevent "tail sitting".


Carefully cut out all start to remove decal film as much as possible. The kit decals are a bit breakable but can be applied with some care. 

The red lower nose markings are of the test prototype. No numbers were carried. 
A very special addition to the Soviet jet collection .
 



5.  Yakovlev Jak-17
In 1946 a redesign of the Yak-15 was started by the Soviet Yakovlev design bureau OKB. It got a nosewheel and the again the jet engine in a fuselage belly. Pilot handling on the ground was much improved. Some other specifics were the two fueltanks below the wingtips and the production started in 1947 and about 400 were built. They were phased out in the mid 1950's. 

The Special Hobby kit (no. SH7201) in 1/72 scale of the Yak-17 is in fact made by MPM of Czech Republic and has a small resin cockpittub with details.

There are about 35 parts and a nice set of decals for a Russian and Czech aircraft. 

The resin tub doesn't really fit is so some card is required to widen the fuselage but this is easily done with some card and putty. 

The wing seems to be a little to thin and is solid. I strengthened the wing fuselage joint with some metal pins. Considerable sanding and filling is required and the wingtip fueltanks need a lot of sanding to get a smooth result. Also, the plastic surfaces are a bit rough, needed sanding and the engraved panel lines are hardly noticeable. On the positive side, the vacuform canopy provided is very clear. 

After some work, all gaps are filled. 


The view with the cockpit which is supplied as small resin parts. Tanks needs some sanding before fitting them to the wing tips. Note the filler forward of the cockpit area needed. 

The cockpit internally got some drybrushing, instruments made from home decals and the cockpit hood fitted without problem.

It was decided to make an overall metal Soviet Yak using Humbrol 11 aluminium. To prevent tail sitting, a ladder was found in the spare box; this suggests a pilot aid. The stub on top of the hood is a rear view mirror. 

 

Markings came from various other spares, including the KP Yak kit.
A very nice addition to the collection.
 



6.  Yakovlev Jak-23
In Yak-23 was again based on the Yak-17 but there are differences, The main wheels retract into also part of the fuselage belly and the engine is longer and bigger. It was first flown in 1947 with a Rolls Royce Derwent jet! The Soviet copied this into the RD-500 jet. Deliveries started in 1949 and despite good flying characteristics, the Mig-15 also emerged at the same time. This outdated the Yak. 
In total about 310 planes were built and also supplied to Czechoslovakia and Poland. 

References: 
http://www.yak.ru/ENG/FIRM/HISTMOD/yak-23.php
http://www.testpilot.ru/russia/yakovlev/yak_e.htm

The Kovozavody Prostejov (KP) kit (no 18) in 1/72 scale is despite the fact that is an old kit a very nice kit. It has some 35 parts.
After some cleaning up of the parts, you get a surprisingly good model. The model dimensions are quite accurate to the real measurement (wing span and length)

Surface paneling in the KP kit is of the raised type; I simply engraved the panellines with an Olfa p-cutter and sanding removed the raised panels lines thereafter. 
Decals are unusable as they are very yellow. The markings are simple, so replacing some insignia and numbers should be possible with the spare decalbox. Also, Propagteam for example has decalsheets.

On my kit, there was a lot of flash. Filling is required and there are some minor sink marks that need to be filled. I opened up the intake (part #13) and the cockpit was a bit detailed with sprue and rod. 

Cockpit canopy is not very clear unfortunately, dipping the canopy into Johnson Future varnish will improve the look of it. You may also try to get a Pavla vacuform replacement. 

Major assembly. The engine pipe needed some sanding and filling. A compromise had to be sought here as the parts do not really fit well.
Note that on the Yak-23 the main gear wheels retract into the fuselage belly, and the gear legs have a kink to allow for this.

Tiptanks and stabilizers were fitted after the wing was attached, gaps filled and sanded. Tiptanks needed sanding as they are a bit rough. 

Some surface panel re-scribing should still be done as the sanded kit surfaces now are too smooth.

The cockpit hood of the kit did not fit very well. Lots of white glue was used but there is not a lot that can done about it. 

It was decided to create a Czech Yak-23 using kit decals from this kit and the MPM Yak-17. Colour used was upper Humbrol 105 green and lower Humbrol 65 light blue.

On the engine nose intake a cover as set as to mask the otherwise difficult intake lips fit.


A small wire was added for tail support. Some panels and flying surfaces got a slight darker hinge shade added with thinned dark paint. This very old KP kit was finally ready to put on display. 
 

More CZECH aircraft models can be seen here.... .


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July 8, 2005