late version - 66 series
u m m a r y
||Vector VRK 48-004 - LaGG-3 late
version - 66 series
|Contents and Media:
58 parts in grey-green coloured resin; 1
clear vacform part; printed acetate sheet (instruments); compound wheels; markings for
plus postage and handling ($5.50 in the USA, $7.50 elsewhere) available
online from Buffie's Best website
Beautifully detailed; excellent surface
features including raised reinforcement strips, restrained fabric
texture and crisply engraved panel lines where appropriate; separate
control surfaces; perfectly
cast; minimal preparation of resin parts; simple parts
breakdown; excellent fit; includes instrument dials on printed sheet;
three nice marking options.
A second (emergency) vacform canopy might have
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
The LaGG-3 was born of the urgent requirement to
build a fighter from non-essential materials such as wood. Within a
remarkably short period, the design team of Lavochkin, Gorbunov, and
Goudkov (hence the LaGG acronym) delivered a prototype which was
immediately ordered into production.
The first LaGG-3s to enter service suffered from
being overweight and underpowered, poor manufacturing standards and slow
climb performance. Its pilots were also endangered by a deadly high
stall speed. The first versions of the LaGG-3 were inferior to the
Messerschmitt Bf 109 F in every aspect of dogfighting except in the
horizontal plane, and even then the Bf 109 could simply break off combat
and climb to safety. The LaGG was so mistrusted that its pilots dubbed
it the "lakirovanny garantirovanny grob
("guaranteed varnished coffin").
Despite these shortcomings, the LaGG-3 showed
promise thanks to its very heavy armament and robust survivability. Even
after being shot to pieces, a LaGG could often limp home to its
Later versions of the LaGG-3 were far superior
machines with more more powerful engines, leading edge slats
(eliminating the high stall speed), lighter weight and overall
performance superior to a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G. Later still, the
airframe was further streamlined with measures including retractable
tail wheel, and stripped of additional weight.
Vector has chosen one of these late versions, the
LaGG-3 66 series, as the first kit in their 1/48 scale LaGG family.
The kit comprises 58 parts in grey-green coloured
resin; 1 clear vacform part; printed acetate sheet (instruments);
and markings for three aircraft.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
The resin is perfectly cast and beautifully detailed. It is amongst
the most impressive casting that I have seen.
Being a largely wooden aircraft, surface detail is minimal but it is
subtle and appropriate where present. The recessed rivet detail on the
engine cowl is incredibly fine. Fabric detail on control surfaces is
The larger parts (wings and fuselage) are supplied almost ready to
use, with no casting blocks or strips to remove. There are a couple of
raised circles on the mating surfaces of the fuselage halves that will
only take a few minutes to remove. A few swipes of the fuselage halves
against some medium grade abrasive paper, and these major parts will be
ready to assemble.
Lovely, deep sidewall detail is cast onto the insides of the fuselage
The wing is supplied as a single part with the wheel well detail cast
in place. The ailerons, elevators and rudder are all provided separately
and may be posed either neutral or deflected as desired.
A separate fuselage floor with structural detail is supplied, as is a
very nice pilot's seat with the harness cast in place. The instrument
panel is resin too, with a separate sheet supplied with printed acetate
Construction will be very straightforward, and test-fitting my sample
suggests that there will be few, if any, gaps or steps when the main
parts are assembled. Once the cockpit is painted and installed,
construction should really fly. In fact, I have already prepared and
assembled most of the cockpit over the course of a couple of hours this
Only a single vacform canopy is supplied, which always makes me a
little nervous. This canopy is well presented though, being very clear
and thin with well-defined frames. The rear quarter windows are a DIY
affair - you will have to measure and cut the pieces yourself..
Vector includes markings for three aircraft, all in the late-war
two-tone grey upper surfaces. Decals are in register and fairly crisply
Instructions are supplied on a single sheet with a parts layout and
construction diagrams. Considering the simplicity of parts breakdown,
they are adequate.
Resin casting technology has reached a level of sophistication in
2006 that has seen some very ambitious full kits hitting the
marketplace. In the best of these releases, cleanup of parts before
assembly is easier, the main parts are thinner and less prone to warpage,
and detail is world-class.
Vector's 1/48 scale LaGG-3 meets this high standard. It is, in my
opinion, even better than Vector's excellent predecessors, the La-5 and
La-5F, thanks to the absence of casting strips and the improved
appearance of the resin.
I suppose comparisons with South Front's recent 1/48 scale LaGG-3
early version (4th series) are inevitable, even if they are somewhat
moot. It is apples versus oranges. The Vector kit depicts a very
different variant, occupies a vastly superior detail universe and will
be much, much easier and faster to build. The only round that the South
Front wins is cost, at around a third of the retail price of the resin
Vector kit. So, the decision is one of philosophy - price versus
quality, detail and ease of construction.
Myself? I like apples and oranges. I will happily build both -
but I will build the Vector kit more happily!
If you are a modeller with limited experience, but you have dabbled with resin accessories and are
considering your first full-resin kit, Vector's 1/48 scale LaGG-3 will be an ideal choice.
Thanks to Buffie's Best for
the review sample
Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by
Page Created 08 December, 2006
Last updated 21 February, 2007
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page