Review: ClearProp 1/72 La-5 early

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The Lavochkin La-5 was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a development and refinement of the LaGG-3, replacing the earlier model’s inline engine with the much more powerful Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engine. During its time in service, it was one of the Soviet Air Force’s most capable types of warplane, able to fight German designs on an equal footing. By the end of the war, the La-5 registered 9,920 production examples. It was introduced in July of 1942.

There have been a few kits of the La-5 out in previous years in 1/72 but not much in the way of recent kits. Kits with multiple reboxings are KP in 1986, VES in 1993, and Italeri in 1972 which is what you might be most familiar with as these molds were used by Revell and Zvezda. AML released a kit in 2007 and  Prop & Jet released a resin kit in 2005. The 2005 Prop & Jet kit is the best of the bunch form what I can see. Clear Prop’s kit sets a new standard.

ClearProp has 3 levels of kits, each requiring different skill levels of the builder. This kit is an ‘advanced’ kit which means there is some PE in the box.

The kit comes in a standard end opening cardboard box. All the parts are inside a resealable bag with various parts inside their own bags as well. The PE fret has a cardboard backing sheet. The packaging is very good. In the box we have:

  • plastic parts – 97
  • photoetched parts – 39
  • decal sheet
  • full colour 10-page glossy paper instruction sheet

The level of detail is very nice and the main parts have fine recessed panel lines. The attachment points are small and they attach to the mating surfaces. There are alignment pins on the main parts of the fuselage and wings, unlike their earlier kits. There are colour call-outs throughout the build using the AMMO range of paints.

The kit is built in 17 steps.

  1. Putting together the instrument panel.
  2. Putting together the piot’s seat
  3. Assembling the cockpit rear wall
  4. Adding the seat and flying controls to the cockpit floor.
  5. Adding cockpit rear and instrument panel to the cockpit floor.
  6. Adding details to the cockpit starboard side.
  7. Adding details to the cockpit port side.
  8. Join cockpit halves together trapping the cockpit and engine in between.
  9. Join top and bottom halves of wings together. Don’t forget to drill holes if you want to add underwing bombs.
  10. Add wings and tail to the fuselage.
  11. Assemble air cooler intake
  12. Assemble port undercarriage legs.
  13. Assemble starboard undercarriage legs.
  14. Add PE to main undercarriage legs.
  15. Add undercarriage and bombs to aircraft.
  16. Assemble propellor
  17. Add propellor and canopy to aircraft.

The painting guide uses AMMO references and gives you 3 options, all camouflaged. The camouflage scheme on all 3 is the same so the only difference is the decals. Your 3 options are:

  • La-5 of 240 fighter regiment, 287 fighter division, Stalingrad area, August 1942
  • La-5 of 263 fighter regiment, 215 fighter division, Leningrad area, autumn 1942
  • La-5 of unknown unit, autumn 1942

This kit is available direct from us here for US$23.00 with free shipping. We’re also going to be selling the kit bundled with resin wheels, painting masks, resin exhaust, and PE flaps.

Conclusion: This is a very nice kit with lots of detail.

Paul Tosney – Editor
HobbyLink International
Hoblylink International Shop
eBay Store
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