The ARMA Hobby 1/72 Yakovlev Yak-1B


Having built the Arma Hobby Hawker Hurricane, I was excited to get my hands on their new Yak-1b (Kit Review). This is a beautiful model that’s simply engineered and comes together quickly. The cockpit detail is some of the best I’ve seen in this scale and rivals many 1/48 scale kits. Although the canopy plastic is crystal clear, there is no poseable option. That’s a bummer, as an open canopy would allow some of that awesome cockpit detail to be better seen. I suspect we’ll see an aftermarket canopy sometime in the near future.

The fit of all the major components is spot-on and the clever engineering of the nose cowl obviates the usual seam filling/blending. The crisp, inscribed surface details really pop under paint and wash and the ample detail in the wheel wells combined with the detailed landing gear make for a very convincing final result.

This kit was a blast to assemble and quicker than most of my builds. The final result is quite convincing and fills a gap that’s long needed filling in my display cabinet. Highly Recommended!

The Build:

As I do with all my builds, the sprues were soaked in a 1:1 solution of Denatured Alcohol (For Cleaning Glass, not Fuel) and Windex (with ammonia) for 2 hours. The sprues were then rinsed and allowed to dry before assembly commenced.

As usual, the build begins with the pilot’s office and this is one area where the kit really shines. The detail is ample, accurate, and on par with what’s usually seen in larger scales. This is a very detailed cockpit right out of the box.

The required parts were affixed to a piece of wood for ease of handling while painting. Parts such as the instrument panels and cockpit side consoles were shot with Mission Black Primer. After priming in black the PE intake grills were shot with Mission Aluminum.

The instrument panel consisting of a decal sandwiched between the main and smaller center panel comes together beautifully.



With the “Expert Set” some of the molded-in cockpit side panel details are replaced with more detailed PE versions.

With this done, a custom mix of Mission A-14 Interior Steel-Grey was prepared by matching to VVS A-14 from the Akan Lacquer range. This was combined with Mission Clear Primer and used to spray the fuselage side panels and various cockpit interior parts.

Note: Scroll down for suggestions on diluting and spraying Mission Primers, Paints, and Clear Coats.

Decals are provided that fit the PE side panel additions and add a lot of nice detail with little effort. The decals responded well to Micro-Set and –Sol. Once the decals were protected with a quick coat of 30% Mission Clear Primer (see below), details were highlighted with an enamel panel wash. The addition of the nicely detailed side consoles, after some detail painting with Mission and LifeColor, completed the fuselage halves.

The assembled instrument panel, seat back, and back deck (behind the pilot’s head) were added to the starboard fuselage half and at this point, the wealth of detail in the cockpit area is abundantly clear. The shoulder harness was affixed at the top of the seat back and deflected so as to make room for the seat bottom, which is an integral part of the wing center section (added later).

The full-span upper and lower wing halves come together very nicely with little-to-no seam. The details provided in the main wheel wells are awesome for this scale and look great under paint and wash (below).





The cockpit floor, foot boards, rudder pedals, stick, and seat bottom are glued to the upper wing half during assembly and, again, the detail is abundant and all the little fiddly bits fit quite nicely.

The wing-to-fuselage join is beautiful requiring no filler; ditto that for the join between the horizontal stabilizer-elevator assemblies and the empennage. The clever engineering of the single-piece upper nose cowl obviates any filling/blending here and makes for a pretty rapid and easy assembly. It wasn’t all beer and skittles however. Small sink marks or depressions on the wing leading edges and horizontal stabilizers were filled and blended in preparation for primer.



The fit of the clear, single-piece canopy is spot on. As I do with most of my builds, the canopy was buffed out with a dry Kimwipe and dipped in Future or Pledge with Future Shine as it’s now called. The canopy was affixed with Gold CA Glue (Bob Smith).

The kits die-cut masks fit well and were filled in with Mr. Masking SOL R preparatory to priming.

I usually paint and detail the wheel wells during assembly then mask them off for priming and painting. For masking, a strip of 0.70mm Aizu Masking Tape was used for the periphery of the well, which was then filled in with white putty. The wheel well details are very well done and look pretty convincing under paint (Mission A14) and wash (Tamiya Panel Liner).

MPS Paint Mixing, Measuring, and Storage Tools


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5 and 10ml Paint Vials


2 and 5ml ml Tubes






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Color and Markings:

The masked canopy was sprayed with Mission A-14 to ensure the inner framing would appear the correct color when viewed from the outside when finished. This was applied first as a dry-coat followed by a light wet coat to lessen the chance of wet paint wicking under the canopy masks.

Prior to priming the model was wiped down with a Kimwipe moistened with Denatured Alcohol (DA). Care was taken to keep the DA away from the painted canopy area. DA dries very quickly so after just a few minutes the model was shot with Mission White Primer diluted 1:1 with Mission Thinner. This was applied at ~15psi with an H-S Evolution fitted with a 0.20mm tip. After drying overnight the model was buffed out with 8,000 Micromesh used with soapy water.

Panel lines and other surface details were pre-shaded with Mission Black. The black was diluted for fine-line spraying (see below) and applied at 8-10psi with an H-S Infinity fitted with a 0.15mm tip.







The belly and undersides were shot with a custom mix of Mission paint formulated to match VVS AMT-7 “Blue-Grey” from the Akan range. This was diluted to ~30% paint and shot at ~12psi with an H-S Evolution fitted with a 0.20mm tip (see below).

Custom mixes of Mission paints were matched to AMT-4 (Camouflage Green) and AMT-6 (Night Black) from the Akan lacquer range. Starting with the lightest color (AMT-4), the basic scheme was shot free hand with an H-S Infinity fitted with a 0.15mm tip. This was followed with AMT-6 “Night Black” mixed from Mission paints and shot free hand with a 0.15mm tip. Both paints were diluted to ~30% paint and sprayed at 10-12psi (see below).

Clear Coats and Decals:

Preparatory to decaling, the model was sprayed with a 25% mix of Mission Clear Primer in Mission Thinner. This was applied as a dry coat followed by a light wet coat for full coverage at ~15psi with an H-S Evolution fitted with a 0.20mm tip. Mission Clear Primer serves as a very hardy clear coat with a semi-gloss finish and pronounced chemical resistance to Micro-Set and –Sol; my go-to decal solvents.  

Decals were applied using conventional techniques and Micro-Set and –Sol. Once dry, the decals were shot with Mission Clear Primer (see below) in preparation for weathering.

Exhaust stains and various airframe weathering was done with rendered oils and odorless White Spirits (Mona Lisa Odorless Thinner). Once dry, the oil weathering was sealed in with a coat of Mission Clear Primer.






Finishing Up:

The nicely detailed main gear legs assembled easily and were installed with CA glue. As with the gear legs, the wheels were first painted with Mission A-14 and then masked using Die-Cut Masking Circles saving time and ensuring a crisp paint line between wheel and tire. When dry additional weathering was applied to both wheels and tires with rendered oils and pastels.

The twin aerials were replicated with Uschi “Super-Fine” rigging material (great stuff) and the white insulators were added with white glue applied with a sharpened toothpick. The blobs were allowed to dry and then carefully painted white.


What a blast! This kit comes together quickly with very little effort and packs a huge amount of scale-appropriate detail in a pretty small package. The quality decals went on without a hitch and the whole model was off my bench in about half the time I normally spend on a 1/72 single-seat fighter. What’s not to like? Highly Recommended!

I was so impressed with this little Yak-1 that it’s become the first kit to be carried on Model Paint Solutions! If you’re interested in building the ARMA Yak-1 Expert Set, it’s available here.


Scroll down for more ARMA Hobby Yak-1B Pics↓

Suggestions for Diluting and Spraying Mission Primers and Paints

Mission Primers:

I dilute Mission Primers 1:1 or 50:50 with Mission Thinner. No Polymix should be added. If it’s a dry or hot day, I’ll add a few drops of Liquitex Flow Aid to lessen tip dry. I usually spray diluted primer at 12-15psi. The size of the model determines the airbrush tip size used but usually between 0.20 to 0.40mm for 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35. I apply the primer first as a dry or tacky coat followed by a wet fill coat.

Mission Paints:

To spray Mission paints I first prepare a solution of Mission Model Thinner to which Mission Clear Primer has been added to 30%. I’ll refer to this as CP30 (Clear Primer 30%). I then dilute Mission Models Paints directly into this solution for spraying. Using a pre-mixed solution of Mission Clear Primer and Thinner allows you to prepare paint dilutions in a much more reproducible way thereby ensuring the resulting mixes will spray in a predictable manner.

I then dilute Mission Paints with CP30 using the following guidelines:

General Spraying

Dilute 50:50 with CP30. That’s 1 part Paint to 1 part CP30. Spray at ~12-15psi.

Fine-Line Spraying

Dilute 40:60 to 30:70 Paint to CP30 (depending on temp and humidity). Spray at ~10psi or less.

Modulation (spraying over pre-shading)

Dilute 40:60 with CP30. Spray at ~10-12 psi.

Mission Metallics:

I dilute Mission metallics 70:30 with CP30. That’s 7 parts metallic paint to 3 parts CP30. I apply diluted metallics as light, over-lapping dry coats. I let the preceding coat coat dry (sometimes aided by a hair dryer) before spraying the next coat. The metallic sheen will develop with successive coats.

Mission Clear Coats:

CP30 (30% Clear Primer)

I use CP30 as a general clear coat preparatory to decaling and/or weathering. When applied as a dry coat followed by a wet coat CP30 dries to semi-gloss finish that’s ideal for rendered oils and enamel panel liners.

Mission Gloss Coat:

Dilute 40:60 with CP30 That’s 4 parts Gloss to 6 parts CP30. Spray at ~12-15psi. I like to build Mission Gloss up slowly using light over-lapping dry coats. Avoid getting too much gloss on the model as puddling and runs can occur.

Mission Flat Coat:

Dilute 25:75 with Thinner. That’s 1 part Flat to 3 parts Thinner. Spray at ~12-15psi and apply as over-lapping, light, dry coats.

Harder-Steenbeck Evolution Silverline Solo:

-0.20mm Tip

-Lever-Limiting Tail Piece

-Free Shipping

Free Mix Kit-101

1.0 mm Wide Lines Right Out of the Box!

          $154.30 Delivered


Harder-Steenbeck Infinity Solo:

-0.15mm Tip

Lever-Limiting Tail Piece w/ Memory

-Free Shipping

Free Mix Kit-101

0.5mm Wide Lines Right Out of the Box!

          $237.85 Delivered


MPS Paint Mixing, Measuring, and Storage Tools


Bottles, Mixing Balls, Funnels


5 and 10ml Paint Vials


2 and 5ml ml Tubes






Stainless Spatula






Happy Modeling!