As you'd expect, the kit follows very closely along the lines of the earlier Yak 1 and for construction details and tips, I refer you to the full build
of that kit. The new version consists of:
87 x dark grey styrene parts (a number of which are unused or replaced by etched details)
14 x clear styrene parts (again, some unused)
62 x etched metal parts on a partly pre-painted fret
A set of painting masks
Decals for 4 x colour schemes
As far as the plastic parts are concerned, there are several changes. The fuselage halves are different, featuring redesigned exhaust ports and a retractable tail wheel. More noticeable to the casual observer are the new top decking and canopy. The original "razorback" of AM's Yak 1 wasn't the best fit in the world, but over the years I've heard that the cut-down decking for the '1B was better. It seemed hard to believe, but a quick test fit of the sample confirmed the rumours; it still requires a little care, but the overall fit is much improved.
The clear parts arrive on two sprues in their own bag. The new parts for the "clear vision" canopy are are thin and fairly free of distortion, but I spotted a fine moulding line within the plastic. I have heard that the Accurate Miniatures canopy is slightly too narrow, but correcting this is obviously a job best left for the experts and most modellers will be happy with it as supplied.
Eduard provide decals for 4 quite spectacular colour schemes:
1. "White 5" of Capt. Maximovich Chuvilev - camouflaged in AII Green and Black with red engine cowlings and spinner
2. "White 41" of the 267th Fighter Regiment, camouflaged in late-war Greys with a large "Free Donbass" slogan on the fuselage
3. "Red 8" of St.Lt. Victor Fedorovich Korobov, again in Green and Black with a prominent row of victory stars on the fuselage
4. "White 47" of Maj. Yakov Nazarovich Kutikhin wearing what appears to be field modified camouflage and decorated with an attractive eagle and white arrows.
The decals for the earlier Yak 1 came in for a little criticism due to a slight registration problem which was particularly difficult to overcome on the victory stars. A close examination of the '1B sample shows the registration is excellent. The decals are thin and glossy - and previous experience with Eduard decals indicated that they'll need a little extra care to apply - but past end results have been excellent, with the designs snuggling down tightly with no sign of silvering.
Eduard's re-boxings of the excellent Accurate Miniatures Yaks are highly recommended.The new etched details combine to create an excellent cockpit and the kits offer much more attractive colour schemes than the original releases. Eduard have done a fine job in combining a classic kit with new extras to create a comprehensive package. The kit isn't one for total beginners - the AM original had a few trip-ups up its sleeve and the new etched parts obviously require a little extra care and experience to make the most of, but modellers with experience of handling etched parts should really enjoy the opportunity to model a classic Great Patriotic War dogfighter. Both the Yak 1 and 1B are "limited editions" and are already sold out on Eduard's website, but if you spot them in your LHS it's well worth buying them while they're available. Recommended.
Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review sample.
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