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TOPIC: HPH Models LA-7

HPH Models LA-7 30 May 2015 22:53 #1



History :

The La-7 was a further development in the Lavochkin line of aircraft dating back to the LaGG-1 in 1938. The LaGG-1 was followed by the LaGG-3 and with a change of engines from in line to radial became the La-5. By 1943 the La-5 had become the mainstay of the Soviet air force but Semyon Lavochkin, the head designer, felt it could be further improved upon. At this point in the war supplies of light alloy metals had become more stable and as a result Lavochkin began replacing some of the wooden parts of the La-5 with light alloy parts. This included the wing spars. Other streamlining changes were made as well increasing performance further. A more powerful engine and heavier armament made the aircraft a potent weapon which was not only faster than the Fw 190, its main competitor, but it was more maneuverable. The La-7 first flew in November of 1943 and entered service the following spring. The La-7 earned itself a superb combat record by the end of the war having been flown by the top two Soviet aces. The La-7 was the only Soviet aircraft to shoot down an Me 262. Total production of the La-7 amounted to 5,753 aircraft, some of which soldiered on after the war.

The Kit:


The HpH Models kit comes in a sturdy top opening tray type corrugated box with color profiles of the two sets of markings supplied in the kit. Inside the box is compartmented and each compartment contains parts that are wrapped in bubble wrap. The smaller parts are enclosed in zip lock bags which are also wrapped in bubble wrap. Also in zip lock bags are photo etch, decals and laser cut microfiber seat harness. Like other HpH kits the box also contains a Belgium chocolate. Also included in the box is a CD with the assembly instructions. If you haven't guessed already this is a mostly resin kit and a pricey one at that but if you have to ask you probably can't afford it. Actually it's about the same price as one of the premium Tamiya kits if you spend money on any after market stuff for it. With this kit there really isn't anything else needed but don't expect it to be as easy to build or fit as well as that same Tamiya kit. But then Tamiya doesn't make 1/32 La-7.

The kit is molded in gray resin and though I haven't looked it over with a magnifier I have yet to find any visible air bubbles, short shots or other molding defects. While some of the parts have some fairly large pour blocks the actual contact point between the part and the block are quite thin and a light scribe with an x-acto knife should allow them to snap right off. Lets start with the fuselage halves shown below. Each half has a pour block across the top edge. Again the connection point is quite thin and should be easy to remove. Both the cowling opening and the cockpit opening are flashed over with thin resin. The halves appear reasonably straight and flat but without cleaning them up first it's not possible to fit them together. There is some bow towards the tail but these castings are as thin or thinner than most injection molded kit so I don't see it being an issue. The exterior surface is very smooth and features finely engraved panel lines as well as rivets and fasteners. There is not an overabundance of either as parts of the plane were still made with wood. The inside of the vertical tail features structural detail as this will be seen through the tail wheel opening. The fuselage halves do have several alignment pins which are not common on most resin kits.

 

 

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HPH Models LA-7 31 May 2015 07:23 #2

Great review thank you. There are a couple that have caught my eye from HPH, but the one I am waiting for is the Macchi M-5.
James
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HPH Models LA-7 31 May 2015 09:13 #3

Thanks Gary, looks like another great kit!
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HPH Models LA-7 31 May 2015 09:59 #4

Looks like a lot of time would be cleaning up the parts. I really enjoyed the Spirit build because there was no clean up, or very little clean up. Looks like a great kit though, lots of PE to accent the build.

Thanks Gary! :thumbsup
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"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
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