Special Hobby 1/72 Yak-17




$11.98 MSRP


Two Aircraft


Ralph Koziarski


Short run with vac canopy and resin bits.


One of the earlier and uglier Soviet jet fighters the Jak-17 was an overhauled Jak (or Yak) 15 with a new tricycle landing gear and wingtip mounted fuel tanks which were moved there due to changes in the landing gear structure. 430  of these little monsters were built in 1948 and served mainly with the Soviet Air Force with one being delivered to Czechoslovakia and Poland for license  production. That is all I know so it is all Iíll say.


I found this at a going out of business sale at a hobby shop and picked it up  with the intention of doing a quick build and entering it in the Yak competition on this site. I didnít know much about Special Hobby, but Iíve  usually had good experiences with Czech kits so I though, ďEh, why not?Ē

Building a jet is a departure to me and that again was a good reason to make  the purchase. With that aside let me describe the kit.  Upon opening the box I was greeted by folded photo-copy instruction  sheet with a parts layout, short history and three, count them, three easy steps of construction. The instructions appear to be quite clear and there are Humbrol color callouts for the small bits and Humbrol and FS names for the camouflage scheme on the back page.

  The parts come in a plastic bag containing one sprue containing all  the main components, a vac-formed canopy   and a little baggy of resin parts for the interior. The wafer thin resin parts and exceptionally clear canopy  are wonderfully made, and clean-up on them should be minimal. The same canít be said for the plastic bits, which are not bad for a limited run kit, but could be problematic to one not familiar with the parts prepping game. The  plastic has a strange rough consistency which I at first though was a residue of some sort, but this wouldnít wash off and will need to be sanded down.  Otherwise flash is minimal on the main components and the sprue gates are not all that large. Also there are no locating pins or spars provided for any of the parts.

Panel lines are finely engraved (a bit too finely in some areas)  and could use a once over with a scriber to deepen the areas which almost donít exist, such as near the top of the fuselage and in areas which get  sanded down during clean up. There is some detail for the main landing gear bays, but they can use some copper wiring to bring them to life. The nose gear  bay and the gear legs themselves are pretty poor and will require lots of cleanup to remove the flash and a lot of care to flesh out. The gun ports will need to be drilled out and guns will be made probably from stretched sprue.   As I already mentioned the interior is a little gem and should need no extra work.

The decals provided look nice and provide the builder with a few stencils and  two marking options. Both are for a green over grayish-blue machine, but one with soviet stars and a big ď45Ē on the nose, the other with those beautiful Czech roundels and golden  ď30Ē on the nose.


        This is my first Special Hobby kit, and it looks like Iíll have lots of fun with it. I donít think Iíll be placing it in the Yak contest since I really doubt I can finish in time. Weíre looking at maybe late October at the pace I work at, but this should be a blast to build. Highly recommended if you can find it.  (Editor's note: We'll hear from Ralph again once they let him out of the looney bin after he has actually built this kit!)

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