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Aero Team 1/72 scale Yak-11/Let C-11

Kit: No. 7202
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Aero Team, distributed by Eduard, 800 Proctor Ave., Ogdensburg, NY 13669, phone 613-224-9071
Price: $13.99
Comments: Injection molded, 34 parts, decals.

DERIVED FROM YAKOVLEV'S superb World War II fighter series, the two-seat Yak-11 served as a standard trainer and light-attack machine with several Soviet client states in the post-war world. Bearing the NATO code name "Moose", Yak-11s also were produced in Czechoslovakia as Let C-11s.

Considered "Russia's T-6", it earned a place in history when a North Korean example became the first enemy aircraft destroyed in air-to-air combat during the Korean War.

Aero Team's limited-run Yak-11 sports beautiful recessed panel lines and convenient parts breakdown, but the thick, crude detail parts suffer from mold misalignment and flash. My canopy had numerous scrapes that I partially fixed with a bath in Future floor polish.

The Propagteam decals provide markings for one Egyptian and two Czech machines, but the inks are translucent.

For those targeting that contest-quality effort, a separate reference booklet with superb detail drawings and photos accompanies the instructions. Unfortunately, the plans are not to 1/72 scale, so you'll have to reduce or enlarge them slightly if you intend to scratchbuild components.

A useful addition is a sheet with two realistically printed paper instrument panels. Just cut out and white glue into place.

While the six-step assembly sequence presents few surprises, it treats interior components as a distinct subassembly for insertion between the fuselage halves. This can create problems when installing and aligning the cockpit sidewalls. Instead, consider positioning the floor through the nose of the assembled fuselage, then maneuvering the remaining details through the cockpit opening to simplify and speed construction.

The starboard landing-gear locating hole doesn't match its correct port-side counterpart. Since the difference is slight, you can either fill and re-drill the incorrect side or trim both strut tops until they attach symmetrically.

According to Bill Gunston's revised Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875-1995, the wing measures one scale foot too great in span -- and the fuselage with spinner more than 2 feet too long. That makes the fuselage appears too slim and the canopy placed too far aft -- giving the finished model a decidedly lanky look.

If you can ignore the dimensional defects, patience pays dividends. Careful cleanup yields a set of parts that fit surprisingly well -- and bond quickly with liquid cement.

Using virtually no filler, I completed my Moose with Polly Scale colors and the kit's Egyptian decals in just eight hours.

Aero Team's simple, easy-to-build Yak-11 is suitable for your first limited-run kit. Purists, though, will object to its translucent transfers and outline flaws.

David Veres


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