Russian Light Bomber Yak-130 ‘Mitten’
Zvezda 1/48, Ref. 4818
The Yak-130, NATO code-named Mitten, is an advanced trainer aircraft designed to take over the Aero L-29 Delphin and L-39 Albatros. The advanced trainer entered service in 2007, and a combat trainer variant followed in 2009. Current operators include of course Russia, but also Algeria, Lao, Syria and Vietnam to name but a few.
Following the release of the aircraft in 1/72, Zvezda is now offering it in 1/48, in its light bomber guise. The model, 24.5cm long, is made up of 339 parts split over 10 runners of various size, one of them supporting the clear parts.
Two large sprues deal with the wings and fuselage ; The latter is curiously but cunningly split between right and left rear fuselage halves ontop of which the whole wing platform comes to rest, and a separate front fuselage. The wings’ moving bits are separate items. Two medium-sized runners offer, amongst others, ejection seats, tanks and main intake covers ; two sprues carry the bomb load, while another one has the two crew members and two more, small ones, offer a missile each.
All parts look great and are flash-free ; two canopies are offered, one with the explosive wires molded in, the other without. Particularly useful are the covers for the intakes (already mentionned), exhaust cans and wheel blocks which will come in handy for any ‘on the ground’ representation.
The instruction booklet, A4-sized, B&W-printed is clear and easy to follow ; it includes info on the location of all the stencils. A full-colour A4-sized leaflet offers the colour schemes for four aircraft : two Russian, a Laotian and a Bangladeshi aircraft seen in 2020, 2014, 2019 and 2015 respectively.
This looks like a very fine product, confirming Zvezda’s current place amongst the best providers of scale models.
Review by Daniel Clamot ; pictures by Daniel Clamot and Zvezda.