Which scale models manufacturer to choose …
For some time I have started to build 1:48 scale models Yakovlev Design Bureau planes that have flown or are still flying in Romanian colors. In Romania the Yak-52 has a special story in the sense that it has been built, under license, by Aerostar Bacau since 1977. This Yak-52 model is still being used by the Romanian Air Force as a trainer. The Aerobatic Yakers use 3 Yak-52 TW, manufactured at Aerostar Bacau, at air shows and aviation events from Romania and abroad. As for the 1:48 Yak-52 scale model, I had to choose from 4 different manufacturers: Amodel, NeOmega Resin, Ark Models and Parc Models. The most expensive of all is the one produced by NeOmega Resin, which is sold at a price of 50.52 euro. Being made from resin it is also a little more complicated to build, so I didn’t consider that option from the start. Amodel or Parc Models use the same sprue sold in different boxing at a price of about 13 euro. Personally, I think the best Yak-52 model is the one made by Ark Models. Its value for money is very good, the cost per piece being about 19 euro. Finally, I chose the model from Parc Models because it is a Romanian manufacturer and I think that such initiatives should be encouraged. If it was a good decision I will find definitely find out during when I will start building the kit. Parc Models Yak-52 kit details: kit code – 48101; scale – 1:48; manufacturer – Parc Models; total parts – 127; resin parts – 0; photo-etched parts – 59; clear parts – 5; length ~ 16 cm; wingspan ~ 19.5 cm.
Decals & Instruction Sheet
The decal sheet offers one possibility for painting & marking: Yak-52 flown by the Romanian Air Force. Instruction sheet has a total of 6 black and white pages, which include instructions for photo-etched parts, and one color page for painting and positioning the decals. From my point of view there are two problems here: the Yak-52 assembly instructions are not very clear regarding the positioning and the order in which the parts should be assembled. It is not, however, such a big problem and with a little attention the parts can be successfully identified and assembled. As far as the painting is concerned, there are no specific colors indicated, nor any manufacturer. The instructions sheet only contains a color profile of the Yak-52 plane without any indications for the color codes. But being simple colors (white, red, blue), this shortcoming can be easily solved.
I would say that this Yak-52 model is neither bad nor good. It is rather reasonable and with a little effort you can assemble a very successful RoAF Yak-52. Besides the problems mentioned earlier, I think the transparent parts are of concern. These are made individually from a rather thick plastic (specialty of Amodel), which has small air bubbles resulted from the plastic injection process. Otherwise, they do not seem to pose a particular problem. Another drawback is that currently the Yak-52 used by RoAF has a three blade MTV propeller and spinner while Parc Models has the one with two blade propeller and without a spinner. However, I believe that one could make a 3 blade propeller and spinner (from teh spare parts box) starting from the original one. So, I would say that with a little patience and effort, Parc Models Yak-52 can result in a pretty decent scale model.