Yak-28P Firebar Seatbelts

Published: October 21st, 2017     
Product Image
PE Frret
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $10.00
Product / Stock #: FE841

Background

The Yakovlev Yak-28 (Yakovlev Yak-28) was a multi-role aircraft that was an outgrowth of the Yak-25 that featured a shoulder mounted swept wing to reduce foreign object damage (FOD) from un-improved runways. Like its predecessor the Yak-25, it was produced as a tactical bomber role as well as in the reconnaissance, electronic warfare, interceptor, and trainer versions. The Yak-28 was known under the NATO reporting names Brewer, Firebar, and Maestro respectively.

The dedicated long-range interceptor version, the Yak-28P was developed from 1960 and deployed operationally from 1964. It omitted the internal weapons bay in favor of additional fuselage tanks and added a new 'Oriol-D' interception radar compatible with the R-98 (AA-3 'Anab') air-to-air missile. An upgraded Yak-28P was produced later in the production run had a longer radome of pure conical shape and enhanced armament. The Yak-28P was produced until 1967, with some 435-443 built depending on your references. The Firebar served only with the Soviet Air Force, was never exported, and rarely ventured outside of the Soviet Union before being retired in favor of the Su-27 and MiG-31.

This is the first kit out under the Bobcat Hobby Model Kits label, but you may know them under their former company label, Xuntong, that produced the 1/48 Tu-2S, Tu-2VS, Tu-2T and the Il-4 kits in 1/48. My understanding is that the Yak-28P used homegrown designed and built ejection seats. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any clear views of these seats outside of the headrest that is visible above the canopy rail. Each seat is made up of five parts with the seat and back cushions resembling the sound deadening padding sometimes seen in US World War 2 bombers and transports. There are no seat harnesses, which is where Eduard comes in.

The Detail Set

This set is the latest in Eduard's "Steel" seatbelt line. Now you would think that stainless steel frets would have less flexibility than brass frets, but that is not the case when you 'slim' them down. The set comes in a re-sealable package with a cardboard insert to protect the etched parts and instructions. These new seatbelts are etched from 0.1mm stainless steel with the resulting parts coming in at 0.06mm. They are supposedly less susceptible to bending fatigue than brass and don't seem to have the issue of the paint flaking off. They are pre-painted on one side and include the appropriate colors and even include stitching. This set also includes the ejection seat handles. This set will need to be installed with your favorite CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the resin or photoetch.

Construction

I assembled and painted the ejection seats first. Color callouts are rather basic, but once you 'weather' them, it will look good. Although there are no 'Steps' to this set of seven parts, I started off with Part Four first. You will need to bend the upper ends to a right angle so that they anchor over the back cushion. The two lap restraints were next (Part Three). I used two single-edged razor blades to fold the lap belts and then secured the rear end with superglue to the seat. Next up were the two long shoulder harnesses. Again you will need to bend the upper part to fit over the back cushion, on top of Part Four. Once secure, I bent them around to the side of the seat so that they weren't laid out so neatly on the seat back. The last parts (Part Five) to add were the ejection handles. These were a simple fold over so that the red and white was on both sides of the handle. I was a bit concerned about getting it to fold over so it would match well, but I had no problems with the fold as it matched up well on the first try. I don't know if that was sheer luck, but the second fold over for the opposite handle again aligned well on the first try. Then it was a simple matter of supergluing the handles to the ejection seat assembly. Normally I would wait until I was ready to secure the seats into the cockpit, but so far, I have managed not to knock off the ejection handles despite a bit on handling.

Overall Evaluation

I am quite pleased with the overall look of the Yak-28P Firebar seatbelt set and feel that they are well worth the cost and effort. These 'Steel' harnesses are very flexible and I noticed no paint loss despite my fiddling with their actual position on the seat. They are easier to position than brass sets I've used in the past which I attribute to thee set being so much thinner in stainless steel than brass. I don't have any documentation as to what the actual seat or seat restraints actually look like, and the Bobcat kit does not include any seat restraints, so I am going to defer to Eduard on the accuracy of this set. I do consider this set to be essential to building this kit. You can see in the comparison photographs below the difference they make and with the large canopy, they will be quite visible. Highly Recommended

My thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great kit.

  • Instructions 1
    Instructions 1
  • Instructions 2
    Instructions 2
  • Seatbelt Comparison 1
    Seatbelt Comparison 1
  • Seatbelt Comparison 2
    Seatbelt Comparison 2
  • Seatbelt Comparison 3
    Seatbelt Comparison 3
  • Seatbelt Comparison 4
    Seatbelt Comparison 4
  • Seatbelt Comparison 5
    Seatbelt Comparison 5