The Lavochkin La-5 was a Soviet fighter developed during the second world war. It was developed from the LaGG-3, replacing the engine with a radial variant. It was one of the most produced Soviet aircraft with 9,920 planes build from 1942 onward. It was regarded as an excellent fighter which could fly toe to toe with contemporary German aircraft, only hampered by difficult engine controls and a short range.
Soviet aircraft are one of the more overlooked aircraft when it comes to modelling, with many types having poor to no representation. So when Clear Prop announced their version of the La-5 I was quite happy. I had build the Revell La-5FN years ago, but this kit blows it out of the water with amazing detail and impeccable fitting. There are some inaccuracies with the camouflages, which seems to be a pattern with Clear prop as the A5M I build earlier also had some careless mistakes
I also choose to include the photo etch landing flaps because I’m a masochist. They actually went together quite smoothly.
The kit comes with schemes for six different planes:
- Red 14 of the 19 IAP, Voronezh Front, spring 1942.
A plane with a aluminium winter livery with a pierced hearth on the side. The interpretation of this machine isn’t unambiguously, with some other sources claiming the number to be blue and the hearth solid black. A few details to take not of are missing or unclear in the manual:
- A dark spot at the root of the horizontal stabilizer
- The rudder trim appears to be black
- A darker spot under the number and roundel.
- Red 25 of the 31 IAP, Stalingrad front, winter 1942
A plane with a winter wash applied. The left reads Эскадрилья “Валерий Чкалов”, (Eskadrilya “Valeriy Chkalov”). The right side reads От колхозников и колхозниц Горьковской области (Ot kolkhoznikov i kolkhoznits Gorkovskoy oblasti, From the Collective-workmen and Collective-workwomen of the Gorky region).
This plane was part batch of aircraft donated by the workers of the Gorky region.
- White 35 of the 40 GvIAP, Battle of Kursk, summer 1943
This aircraft was flown by Ace Dmitry Nazarenko during the battle of kursk, where he had 18 personal victories, and 7 group victories.
- White 42 of and unknown unit, Battle of Kursk 1943
As with red 25, this plane was donated by the Gorgky region workers collective.
- White 57 of the 164 IAP, Southwestern Front, summer 1943
One of the more colourful La-5’s with a red cowling. The instructions are again not complete, with the white rudder trim missing as well as the white strip at the tail root.
- White 84 of the 88 Guards IAP, Battle of Kursk, summer 1943
Another plane of the Valeriy Chkalov squadron
I choose to go with White 57, as I liked the red nose.