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Lavochkin La-5FN

 

Zvezda, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Zvezda 4801 - La-5FN Soviet Fighter
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 132 parts in grey coloured plastic; 10 parts in clear; markings for three aircraft.
Price: Around USD$20.00, available worldwide from specialist hobby retailers worldwide.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality injection plastic mouldings including very finely recessed panel lines, subtle rivet lines and convincing fabric texture; very high level of detail including full engine bay; good quality clear parts; narrow sprue attachments; long-awaited variant of this important Soviet fighter.
Disadvantages: Some sink marks and ejector pins in tricky positions.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


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FirstLook

 

Until recently, the early products of the Soviet Lavochkin Bureau have not been well served in scale plastic. Hobbycraft's old 1/48 scale La-5 kit was fatally flawed, but we were relieved when Vector released their magnificent resin La-5 and La-5F kits. The only wrinkle with these highly authentic and well detailed models was a price tag of almost USD$100.00 each.

Zvezda has now released their intial offering in the Lavochkin family, which is also their very first 1/48 scale kit - the Lavochkin La-5FN.

Zvezda's 1/48 scale La-5FN comprises 132 parts in grey coloured plastic; 10 parts in clear and markings for three aircraft.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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The plastic parts are produced to a very high standard.

The plastic is smooth in texture. The surfaces of this largely wooden aircraft are faithfully reproduced - large areas of smooth skin supplemented where appropriate with very crisp, consistent and finely recessed panel lines. I really like the jagged hinge line on top of the engine cowl, and selected rows of ultra-fine rivet lines are also moulded to the metallic areas. Fabric texture on the rudder and elevators is good. Sprue attachment points are fine too. There are a few sink marks visible on the fuselage halves (notably the port side above the wing root). These should be filled and sanded before commencing assembly. There are also jut a couple of faint ejector pin ghosts inside the fuselage halves which can be left alone or dealt with using Mr Surfacer or similar. There is very little flash present on any of the parts

This is a long-run injection moulded kit, so full locating holes and pins are present to assist alignment.

These plastic parts are very impressive - at least up to the standard of the latest from Revell of Germany.

Zvezda has not been stingy with detail either. A highly detailed engine is included, complete with the complex mounting structure. Indeed, this interior structural detail stretches right back to the rear fuselage. The cockpit is encased in this separate framework, and three additional fuselage stations are installed in the rear cockpit section to deliver one of the most detailed 1/48 scale fighters that you will see straight from the box.

 

 

The slats, ailerons and rudder are all provided as separate parts, so they may be posed according to the modeller's preference.

The clear parts are another highlight. They are thin and free of distortion. Two styles of rear section are supplied, and the sliding section is separate to the windscreen. Navigation lights are included as tiny separate clear parts.

 

 

Markings for three aircraft are provided on a matt-textured decal sheet. The decals are nicely in register and the colours look good.

 

 

This attractive package is rounded out with a rather cranky looking seated pilot figure. His detail is also very good

 

 

Conclusion

 

Zvezda's 1/48 scale Lavochkin La-5FN was a pleasant surprise to me, to say the least.

In recent years, Zvezda's moulding quality has been steadily improving. Their debut 1/48 scale offering represents the apex of this development so far. Not only is the surface texture world class, but the included detail is very comprehensive.

The trade off for this very high level of detail is that some care will be required aligning all the parts, especially interior elements such as the engine and the fuselage stations. Even so, this should not be beyond the capabilities of a patient modeller with moderate experience.

The results will undoubtedly be worth the effort!

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 August, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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