Kit: No. A-001
Manufacturer: YuMo, available from International Hobby Supply, 8839 Shirley Ave., Northridge, CA 91324, phone 818-886-0423
Comments: Injection molded, 57 parts, decals
First flown in 1978 and similar in appearance to British Aerospace Hawks, SOKO G-4 Super Galeb trainers and light-strike machines serve in air forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Myanmar (Burma). The type achieved notoriety in February 1994 during Operation Deny Flight when USAF F-16s destroyed four Serb examples violating a NATO "no-fly" zone.
YuMo is a new Yugoslav manufacturer, and its kit features dark gray and clear plastic parts. Overall, they're cleanly molded, but many have minor sink holes and minor flash. YuMo's soft styrene reacts slowly to Testor liquid cement, so I used Tenax 7R, which solidly fused parts and filled narrow gaps.
The four-page instructions include history, assembly drawings, and color notes with Federal Standard and Humbrol paint matches.
Enthusiasts of small air forces will appreciate YuMo's markings choices: Yugoslav (multiple versions), Bosnian Serb, and Burmese. The sharp Propagteam decals provide nearly 140 transfers for cockpit instruments and external stenciling. The printed instruments help YuMo's basic cockpit interior detail. The decal's reds and whites are somewhat translucent.
I deviated from the assembly sequence by attaching the intakes and wing fences after joining the wing and fuselage subassemblies. This not only prevented breakage of the delicate airflow devices, but helped ensure precise fit. The directions fail to mention that nose weight is needed to make the model sit properly.
The fuselage halves fit better after I cut off the dorsal antennas (molded to the right half) and sanded the mating surfaces. My sample's canopy rode too high. I shaved off the bottom of the ejection seats, then sanded the bottom edges of the canopy to get it to fair smoothly with the fuselage spine.
Gaps at the ventral flap junctures had to be filled, but the wing and fuselage fit well. Intake fit was troublesome - the culprits are the thick splitter plates. I cemented the intakes to the plates, and when they were dry, sanded the back of the plates until the intakes blended with the fuselage. My sample's weapons pylons needed work to get them to fit the wings cleanly.
References on the Super Galeb are sparse, but I found information in Air Forces Monthly (9/90, 1/91, 12/92, and 12/93), and Air International (12/85 and 4/94). Another good reference is East European Air Power (an Air Forces Monthly special from 1991).
I finished my G-4 as a light-strike machine of the Bosnian Serb 92 Air Brigade, 1992, matching Polly Scale acrylics to the recommended Federal Standard colors on the instructions.
Fit problems boosted construction time to about 15 hours, a bit more than I usually spend on kits of this size and complexity. Despite these, the G-4 is a good first effort for YuMo, one that modelers of modest experience can easily handle.
- David L. Veres