Independent thinking and cultural diversity in scale modelling

YAKOVLEV UT-1 (Pavla - 1/72 - Injected) by Alexandre Bigey

YAKUT1.jpg picture by alexbigey

The Yakovlev UT-1 was designed as a single-seater advanced trainer and aerobatic airplane by the team led by Alexander Sergeevich Yakovlev. The UT-1 was used as a transitional type between the UT-2 twin seater and fighters like the Polikarpov I-16. It was not easy to fly, requiring precise piloting, thus forming an ideal intermediate between basic trainers and the maneuverable but tricky to fly I-16. Soviet pilots broke several records on the UT-1 before the war. 1,241 aircraft were built between December 1936 and 1940.

My reference sources come from the web only. Some three view plans and color profiles can be found, but quite a few quality photos.

BOX.jpg picture by alexbigey

The Pavla multimedia injected kit is one of those delicious little kits from Czech Republic, often requiring some moderate work to the parts but allowing to reproduce an accurate and well detailed replica. The rather soft plastic parts show finely reproduced surface detail. No photoetched in that kit, but some resin parts for the cockpit interior, engine, and ordnance for the combat variant. Two different sets of fuselages are provided. One for the original UT-1 which I used, and the UT-1b stretched fuselage with a larger tail surface.

DSCN9852.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9853.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9847.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey

Construction is straightforward and requiring decent amounts of filler. I added a styrene forward bulkhead to insert a hold in later stages, and to glue the engine on it. Unsurprisingly, working on one of the very tiny vacuformed windshields provided wasn’t easy.

DSCN9849.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9854.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9859.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey

Due to bubbles in the Shvetsov M-11 resin engine most manifold ducts were rebuilt using soldering thread, as well as cylinder heads using plastic bits. The 3 top cylinders exhaust pipes had to be scratchbuilt with Evergreen rod sections. The carter was painted medium grey, the cylinders dark grey, and the ducts and pipes “jet exhaust” from Testors. The cylinders were dry brushed using Testors chrome silver. The manifold and exhaust pipes were brushed with different weathering colors from a Tamiya weathering set.

Considering the livery I elected to represent (not provided with the kit): An aircraft with nice red patterns on white but no markings, based Tushino airfield, Moscow, 1937, the biggest challenge on that build was obviously the painting process. After a priming coat of “Insigna White” Tamiya spray and an off-white coat of “Racing White” of the same range, the masking process took me two entire days, which may seem a lot considering the size of this model, however be advised that there are many tries for very few wins cutting the desired masks ...

Humbrol 19 red enamel was then airbrushed. Once cured and some rough spots trimmed, the model received 3 handbrushed coats of Future.

DSCN9862.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9863.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9861.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey

The good news with such a livery is that you have no decal at all to deal with...

The wheels were then inserted in their spats, using a small amount of milliput on top of each wheel to get plenty of time for adjustments with a strong hold once cured.

Getting a nice wooden propeller is no big deal: A photoetched prop hub from Tom's Modelworks, background clear wood color, 0,4 mm masking stripes (I had them in Japan but it’s easy to cut your own using a metal rule and a good cutter), a darker brown color, and a couple of Future’s done!

The front cowling was plugged on its engine requiring no glue at all.  While gluing that subassembly to the rest of the aircraft I realized that the circle described by the five petals joining the forward bulkhead was way too narrow for the fuselage section, blame my laxism not thoroughly dry fitting that part earlier during construction! Nevertheless, I quickly found an excellent and easy solution: Inserting toothpick end sections at the appropriate places to widen the petals, obtaining a very satisfactory fitting with nothing being visible from outside.

To end this build, I made the bracing  rods from evergreen stuff at the tailplane and landing gear, a couple of wires each side of the tailplane from stretched sprue, The carburetor heat collector was set in place, requiring a couple more soldering thread sections to connect to both bottom cylinders, and the propeller installed.


DSCN9864.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9878.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey     DSCN9879.jpg image by Alexandre Bigey

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