1/72 Cooperativa La-5

Gallery Article by Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy") on Aug 9 2021

 

      

The plane
During the Great Patriotic War (WW2 to Westerners), Soviet fighter designers invested an astonishing amount of work trying to mate better engines to existing airframes. The great success story to emerge from this was the La-5, in which the LaGG-3 was reworked with the M-82 radial engine, replacing the former's inline powerplant. Thus began a remarkable lineage, starting with the La-5, then leading to the improved La-5F, La-5FN and ultimately the superb La-7.

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The build
The Cooperativa 1/72 La-5 is quite dated but with some effort can be made into a very nice replica of this important Soviet fighter. It was built purely out of the box.

There is a photo showing a lineup of La-5's on a snowy airfield; the second machine is covered in incomplete splotches of crude winter camouflage. I was absolutely taken by this aircraft, then discovered decals were available from the Czech company AML. The decals are of a very good quality and went on as smooth as silk. 

The traditional camouflage was done in White Ensign enamels. The white distemper was sloppily hand-brushed with flat white acrylic after first coating the plane with clear finish. The white was then worn smooth and scuffed with fine grade steel wool; the clear coat protected the original camouflage from scuffing.

All in all, a decent kit.  The best improvement I can suggest would definitely be a replacement canopy.  Enjoy the photos!

Andrew Desautels

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Photos and text by Andrew Desautels