Which scale models manufacturer to choose …
I have started for some time to build 1:48 scale models of the planes made by Yakovlev Design Bureau 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 model is still being used by the Romanian Air Force as a trainer. The Aerobatic Yakers use 3 Yak-52TW, manufactured at Aerostar Bacau, at air shows and aviation events from Romania and abroad.
As for the 1:48 scale model, I had to choose from the offers of 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 under the Parc Models logo, at a price of about 13 euro. Personally, I think the best 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 out during building the kit.
Kit number: 48101; scale: 1:48; manufacturer: Parc Models; total parts: 127; resin parts: 0; photo-etched Parts: 59; transparent 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 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 color page of the instructions sheet only contains a profile of the plane without any other indications for the color codes. But being simple colors (white, red, blue), this shortcoming can be easily solved.
From a qualitative point of view, I would say that this model is neither bad nor good; it is rather reasonable and with a little effort you can assemble a very successful RoAF Yak-52. In addition to the problems with the assembly and dyeing instructions, I think there will also be problems as far as the transparent parts are concerned. These are made individually from a rather coarse plastic (specific to 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 propeller and spinner, or the kit from Parc Models offers only the initial variant, the one with two blade propeller and without spinner. However, I believe that one could make a 3 blade propeller and spinner starting from the original one. In conclusion, I would say that, with a little patience and effort, Parc Models Yak-52 can result in a pretty decent scale model.