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In Memoriam

Lavochkin La-5 ‘Valerij Ckalov’

KP 1/72, Ref. KPM0172 

Valery Ckalov was a famed Soviet test pilot accidentally killed in 1938. 

The Lavochkin La-5 entered service during 1942, and if still inferior to the German planes at that time, its impressive flying characteristics made it a worthy and dangerous adversary for most German pilots.  Over 9,900 La-5s were built during the Great Patriotic War, under several variants.

The new KP brand is steadily churning out brand new kits; for a lot of us, there is a certain nostalgia about this brand that brought us what were at that time pretty good and accurate kits of aircraft we could only dream of in the ‘West’.  But while the brand name and originality remain, the new kits are light-years ahead of those early kits in terms of quality, in fact very typical of what we now expect and love seeing coming out of the still larger Czech scale model concerns.

With each new kit released, quality seems to be still improving, with finer and finer engraving and details, particularly on the smaller parts.  This kit brings two light grey plastic sprues, another one in clear plastic for the canopy, side windows and gunsight, two decal sheets: the larger features markings for three different La-5s with patriotic slogans in the memory of Valery Ckalov while the (much) smaller one offers the front instrument panel and the seat belts.  Probably a cheaper alternative than photo-etched parts, but in my opinion, a much better one.

It’s not the first La-5 ever to be released of course, but this KP offering certainly appears much better than the earlier iterations of this important Soviet warplane.  Highly recommended.

Review and pictures by Daniel Clamot.


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