The Yak-9 represents further development of the successful Yak-7 fighter, taking full advantage of the combat experience with its predecessor. Greater availability of duraluminum allowed for much lighter construction which in turn permitted a number of modifications to the basic design. Yak-9s carried two different wings, five different engines, six different fuel tank combinations and seven types of armament configurations. The Yak-9 remained in production from 1942 to 1948 with 16,769 built. 

Yak-9T was armed with a 37 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-37 cannon with 30 rounds of ammunition instead of the 20 mm ShVAK cannon, cockpit moved 0.4 m (1 ft 3 in) back to compensate for the heavier nose. Initially poor quality control lead to multiple oil and coolant leaks from cannon recoil. Recoil and limited supply of ammunition required accurate aiming and 2-3 round bursts. Yak-9T was widely used against enemy shipping on the Black Sea and against tanks, but also successful against aircraft with a single cannon hit usually sufficient to tear apart the target.

The Yak-9K was a Yak-9T modified with a 45 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-45 cannon with 29 rounds of ammunition and a distinctive muzzle brake to deal with the massive recoil. Firing the cannon at speeds below 350 km/h (220 mph) caused dramatic loss of control and tossed the pilot back and forth in the cockpit, however accurate shooting was possible at higher speeds and in 2-3 round bursts. The recoil also caused numerous oil and coolant leaks. The heavy cannon installation degraded performance sufficiently to require fighter escort. Yak-9K saw only limited use due to unreliability of the NS-45.

The Kit


The ICM Yak-9K comes in a two part box of thin cardboard. Inside is a single bag containing all the sprues including the clear parts.tic is a dark olive green and all the parts are contained on three sprues. The large parts all have a reasonably smooth finish and there is a hint of texture where the fabric areas would be and are nearly flash free. The fabric detail looks about right to me. I found only two small  sink holes on the fuselage near the cockpit and the ejector pin marks should not show when the model is completed. The kit includes a reasonably complete engine and cannon assembly assuming it fits and the access door on the cowling can be left off. On my sample the two of the internal structure pieces that show with the covers off were broken but fixing them should be no problem. The panel lines are recessed and nicely rendered. The small parts had only a very fine parting line to be removed. The cockpit detail is very basic. Extratech makes a photoetch set for this kit that includes some parts to dress up the interior. The control panel uses a decal but you need to paint the panel white before applying it. Altogether there are 53 parts in olive green plastic and these are shown below...

The clear parts are only mediocre and a tad thick and can only be used with the cockpit closed unless you opt for a vacuformed one. They are available from Squadron. The kit supplied parts are shown below...

The decals provide markings for three aircraft but there are no details about the planes themselves. The decals are well registered but have a lot of clear film around them, they are also flat finished, see below..


The instructions are two sheets 11" x 15" folded and stapled to form an eight page booklet. The first page has history and specifications in four languages, the second page has a parts map with part descriptions in two languages, the next three cover assembly and the next two are paining and markings instructions. The last page has paint colors in four languages and Testors and Humbrol numbers as well as decaling instructions and the usual safety warnings about paint and glue.


This appears to be a nice kit for a limited run kit. From what I have gathered there are a few fit issues which is pretty much the norm for short run kits but the finish is nice and the flash is very minimal which is a lot more than can be said for many other short run kits. Both Aries [4277] and True Details [48054] make resin replacement wheels, Extratech has a photetch set [48007] and Squadron has a vavuformed canopy [SQ9594] that can be used to dress it up.

Links to kit build or reviews

The only review / build I could find, not a K model but basically the same kit is here.


Soviet Aces of World War 2 by Hugh Morgan

A good online resource for information on Soviet aircraft from 1917 through 1950 can be found here.

Back to the Russians are Coming

Updated 5/11/08