PM 1/72 Yak-15

KIT #: PM-102
PRICE: 12 yuan RMB
DECALS: Three options


At the beginning of the jet age, the Soviet Union had two prototype jet fighters on the drawing board. One would become the MiG-9, and the other was this plane. Thanks to a coin toss between Mr Mikoyan and Mr Yakovlev, the MiG was the first Soviet jet fighter to fly, but the Yak-15 followed it into the air on the same day. 

The Yak-15 was apparently a decent plane to fly, despite troubles with the engine and early problems caused by the jet exhaust's location (think melting fuselage underside and tail wheel and burning air fields). Though armed with cannons on the nose, the Yak-15 was really a development aircraft, and a way to easily give plenty of fighter pilots some early jet experience. 
About 280 were manufactured. Its successor, the tricycle undercarriage Yak-17, was built in larger numbers (nearly 500) and served with a couple of Soviet client states as well as the USSR. These Yaks were but a memory by the late 1950s.

PM Models repopped the old Pioneer kit of the Yak-15, which was a new mould in the 1990s (I think it is the same company. PM = Pioneer Models? Ed). Matchbox also repopped it back in those days.  In a nutshell, this is a very basic kit. The cockpit detail is minimal - just a lounge chair for a pilot, and a stick. There is no instrument panel. The wheel wells are shallow, and the canopy is very thick. The decal sheet is as basic as you'd expect for a basic kit of a basic Soviet plane. Six stars and two alternative bort numbers.

The cover shows a nice shiny red aircraft with no markings beyond those stars. The other alternatives are a standard Soviet green over light blue, and an overall grey. Of course, with Soviet planes, the markings are so minimal that you could probably use any of the "bort" numbers you have in your stash and it'd be accurate enough.

If this is too basic for you, A-Model and Eastern Express have alternative kits, and A-model and Special Hobby did a Yak-17 too. 

Well, why not? It's an unusual plane and if you roll with the crudity of the kit, you can enjoy some old school modeling too.

Richard F

February 2016


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