Eduard’s Yak-3 may not compare to the detail and complexity of their more recent releases (the superb Hellcat kits come to mind), but for all its simplicity it’s still a competently detailed and engineered kit.
The first thing that strikes you about this kit is the extremely low parts count. The entire kit comes laid out on two sprues of a hard, shiny, somewhat thick-feeling plastic, and one clear sprue for the canopies and armored glass.
Overall, the detail level is solid. Some areas seem to have received more attention than others. There are a few major disappointments. The main landing gear struts, wheels, and lack of splitters in the intakes being the worst culprits.
The Yak builds up in a slightly unorthodox manner. Instead of starting with the cockpit, you start with the wing, which consists of a top and bottom. The cockpit then builds up on top of the wing. For this kit, at least, it’s an approach that works really well, and test fitting revealed no major gap issues along the wing roots.
Once the wings were welded together, I added air splitters to the intake vents using pieces of a photo etch fret cut to size and cemented in place with CA.
The simple cockpit built up pretty easily, though I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the seatpan/backrest situation. The instrument panel is textured but features flat recesses for the gauges. The supplied instrument panel decal was rubbish, so I used Mike Grant IP decals for the gauge cluster, and topped each with a coat of Future to simulate glass. Seatbelts were Eduard photo etch. Various surfaces were drybrushed with Model Master Aluminum and Model Master Rust to show pick out details and show wear, and everything was hit with a sludge wash of Promodeller Dark Dirt.
Once the cockpit was done, it was time to seal up the fuselage. The kit lacks locating pins, so joining involved a good number of tape strips to hold things together while the Touch-n-Flow welded sections together. It went together without incident, and joined up with the wings just fine.
After the major assemblies were in place, all that remained were the stabilizers, the upper forward fuselage, and the lower air scoop. These also went on without much fuss, and before I knew it, the Yak was ready for sanding and filling.
Overall, this kit is a fairly quick and simple build with no major traps or obstacles to watch out for.
Next up, painting.