1/48 HobbyBoss Yak-38A Forger

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Dec 12 2012

 

 

For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale HobbyBoss Yak-38 Forger. The Yakovlev (Yak-38 NATO reporting name: Forger) was the Soviet Naval Aviation's first and only operational VTOL strike fighter aircraft. It was also its first operational carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft. It was developed exclusively for and served solely on Kiev class aircraft carriers.

The Yak-38 first flew in 1971, but proved to be a rather unsuccessful aircraft. Towards the mid 1980s, the Yak-38 was removed from front line service and transferred to land-based operations. The aircraft proved to have problems in conditions of high heat/high humidity, had a low weapons load capacity, was underpowered and lacked an adequate combat radius. In 1991, after 231 had been built, the Yak-38 was retired from the Soviet Navy. A large number remain preserved as memorials.

The Yak-38 had some rather interesting features; one was a hands-free landing system. The aircraft could negotiate a telemetry link with a computer system on-board the carrier that allowed it to be guided onto the deck with no interaction from the pilot. Because of poor lift engine reliability; the Yak-38 was equipped with an automatic ejection seat. When one of the lift engines failed, or when the aircraft rolled past 60 degrees the pilot was automatically ejected from the aircraft. While in service this system saved the lives of a few Russian pilots.

 

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Construction
Construction started with the cockpit, which goes together easily, and fits nicely into the right half of the front portion of the fuselage. I used the decal provided for the front instrument panel, and hand painted the side instrument panels. This provides enough detail so the cockpit looks busy with a closed canopy. The instructions donít call for a nose weight but I added a lead weight in the nose just to be safe

As for the rest of the construction, I simply followed the instructions and the model went together without any big problems. The parts fit was pretty decent, but some filling and sanding was required in places. The three piece canopy fit perfectly.

Painting
All paints used for this model were Model Masters or Floquil enamel paints. Here are the paint colors I used:

Landing gears and wheel wells.........Dark Ghost Gray 
Fuselage underside...........................Dark Green and Cobalt Blue 
Fuselage top.......................................Cobalt Blue 
Rear exhaust nozzles.........................Bright Silver 
Lift engine Bays..................................Bright Silver 
Lift engine Fans..................................Chrome Silver 
Air-to-air missile..................................Reefer White 
Rocket Pods.......................................Bright Silver.

Decals
The kit decals behaved well, settling nicely onto two light coats of Future.  I used a few touches of Solvaset on each decal to ensure the decal snuggled down to the model surface. 

Comments
To sum up, this was a nice kit to build.  HobbyBoss has done a nice job with this kit.  It is reasonably well detailed out of the box, has a few fit problems, and has clear instructions. 

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson