Lavochkin La-5 
model kit of Vector, 1/48
by Michael Neradkov (Michael_XIII) 
Translated from Russian http://scalemodels.ru/articles/73.html
Uploaded on May 8, 2006
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Taking into account the splendid quality of resin aircraft engines from "Vector", I could not ignore the new release from this producer.
Let's look, "did come out the first pancake by lump"...
After having obtained the long-awaited kit by mail, and without putting aside into the long box, I decided to photograph immediately the model of this well-known aircraft. Unfortunately, work and other tasks somewhat drew off the time of writing this survey, but finally I found it.
 
The first thing, on what you focus attention is the accurate box with colored polygraphy.
Recalling slovenly small packets from "Neomega",. one can only be glad for this progress.
Only a nuance: apparently because of the hurry, there is an error in the word "famous" written as "famos". Taking into account that the large part of the party of models will go abroad, this error will be noted by foreign associates.
Fortunately, this trifle did not influence the quality of contents of the box .

When opening the box, we find three large resin details (2 halves of fuselage and wings), a packet with small parts, the instructions sheet, the decas sheet, wheels from firm Equipage and 2 vacu-formed canopies.

Large details are poured accurately enough, although with some deficiencies:

The inside parts of cockpit are poured together with the halves of fuselage and gladden eyes.

One could hope to find separate ailerons to match the excellent cockpit details, but this would be a too big dream.
 
 
However, details in the packet give exceptionally positive emotions. Casting of Vector small parts of actually VERY high quality. Deficiencies are simply absent, the apex of the whole set is the remarkable seat with the outstanding "living" belts.
After that I am convinced that the qualitatively executed belts of resin appear much more real than photo-etched ones. In spite of their accuracy, it is very hard to reproduce the casual bending of the belts deserted on the seat using photoetched parts; as a result they will appear as glued pieces of iron.
It is a pity that the firm "Moskit" couldn't supply landing gear struts and exhaust pipes to this kit as it was announced; however, their resin analogs look very good.
A metallic pin is poured inside each landing gear leg to increase its strength (indeed the resin models are rather heavy). Unfortunately, the edges of metallic rods come out from resin and they will must be cut so that not to injure the external epoxy "shell"

 
Two alternative vacu canopies are provided to make both versions of La-5 - early (with the rounded windshield, rare) and later (with the sharp winshield, standard).
To hide entire this beautiful cabin will be an unpardonable crime, despite the fact that the sliding hood is moulded together with the windshield; therefore we have to divide this piece to display an opened canopy.

 

 

Here are some photos of the assembled cockpit interior by Sergey Kosachev.


 
The decals, as it was expected  from the firm "Begemot", are bright and of high quality.

 

Three options are supplied:

All three machines have inscriptions: two of them - "squadron Valerie Chkalov" even one - "im. Aleksandr Chekalin". Unfortunately, much more interesting and spectacular aircraft are omitted , for example the machine Of Kostylev with rare for USSR planes shark mouth... The possibilities are not a lot, but there are some.
Unfortunately, there are not indications on painting of internal surfaces and other fine details.
 
Equipage wheels are supplied with the characteristic soft rubber. The small tail wheel hasn't problems; however, main wheels are executed not very accurately - burr and surface defects on the boundary of the halves of the mould ruins the characteristic longitudinal tread profile.

To resume:
 
merits of the kit

* originality and importance of the subject, that has not real concurrency;
* acceptable pric (in Russia); it is worth noting that abroad this kit is sold at higher prices, which reach 80-100$
* SPLENDID internal itemization and quality of the small details
* two versions of the canopy
* fine Begemot's decal

defects

* deficiencies in castings of the large details
* rather poor information in the instruction sheet
* the uniformity of the versions of the painting proposed
* deficiencies in castings of Equipage wheels
* the noncritical, but struck orthographical error on the box
* conopies to be sawn to be made open
* somewhat strange absence of a film for the control panel, at least simply printed on the laser printer. Note that in the late series of this kit (with another box) this film can be found.

These defects are light, but in my view they separate a little this kit from Vector from the title of IDEAL MODEL.
As we know, ideal is not reachable, but at the given moment this kit maximally approached this title.
The first pancake did not come out by lump - indeed this is the first complete model in the line of Vector, which was being occupied to this moment by the production of exceptional resin aircraft engines.
In conclusion, we have to thank the company of Sergey Kosachev (Vektor) and Victor Chulkov ( http://aerotechnics.ru ) for the such pleasant emotions given by this model kit.
We await the continuations of a series of the Soviet aviation World War II from "Vector"; indeed are expected even a La-5F, and a correct fuselage for the ICM's Yak-9.
 
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