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Yakovlev Yak-9P

1/72nd Scale
by Bill Powers

I bought the ICM Yak 9T when it first came out but was disappointed at the crudeness of the pieces. When Atlanta announced the Korean War as a theme for their Regional Convention, I planned to convert the Yak 9T into a North Korean Yak 9P. I bought the AJ Press Monograph on the Yak 7-9 as a reference. My first shock when I compared the kit pieces to the monograph plans was the inaccurate taper of the ICM wing and the grossly oversized airleons. I began work and had almost finished the model for the contest, but not quite. The North Korean markings came from a rare Super Scale MiG 15 1/72 set and I ruined the markings on one wing (couldn't find any replacements!). I didn't like the markings anyway, so I forgot about the contest, sanded off the markings and began to spend more time on the finish. In the end, I used the kit Russian Stars, which look much better.

The correction of the wing taper and airleons was a major undertaking, but this following was required for the conversion:

- increased the chord of the horizontal stabilizer
- Removed oil radiator from nose
- added oil cooler intakes in wing root and "dump doors" under the wing
- re shaped and relocated the glycol radiator toward the rear of the fuselage
- increased length of rear canopy by making a mold and vacuumforming another piece
- added carburetor air intake, muzzel troughs and gun breech covers to top of engine cowling
- cut opening for radio directional finder, vacuumformed cover, built radio directional finder
- rescribed to match -P version panel lines, filled fabric areas
- reshaped spinner
- built new exhaust stacks to fit into kit's openings
- corrected wheel well shape, to match PART wheel covers
- reduced the chord of the airleons by one half!

I did NOT change the location of the vertical stabilizer, enough is enough!

Added detail:

I sanded and sanded to smooth all the additional work and was finally ready to paint!

I painted the panel lines in a dark shade of the finish color, then painted lighter tones of the finish color between the panel lines. Finally, another even lighter tone of the finish color was sprayed overall. The panel lines were highlighted with three colors of oils: Raw Sierra for the gas tank areas, Yellow Ochre for the outer wing panels, top and bottom and Burnt Umber for the panels lines on the fuselage and wing next to the engine compartment. These oil washes would be allowed to spread out from the panel lines, staining the paint. Then another misting of the finish color was sprayed over all the panel lines to tone down the oils. I did this over and over for about a month. Then a coat of Future was applied and the model was decaled. More Burnt Umber used only in the panel lines to highlight the panels. Then a semi gloss final coat.

The model was awarded a second in conversions at the 2001 Region 2 Convention.

The model looks great but was way too much work!