Review Author(s)
Published on
January 7, 2012
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Hobby Boss 1/48 Yak-38 Forger
Provided by

First, THANKS goes to David Lajer at Aires for these review items! Aires is a long-time supporter and provider, and we at IPMS USA appreciate this working relationship (…and thanks also to Steve and Dave for allowing me to review the cool stuff!).

  • QB 48-409 Yak-38 Air Scoops, $6.50
  • QB 48-410 Yak-38 Air intake covers, $6.50
  • QB 48-411 Yak-38 “Opushka” VM flight Data Recorder, $4.99
  • Aires 4533 Yak-38 Variable Exhaust Nozzles, $16.50

Each of these small additions greatly improves what I feel is an already stellar kit. The Yak-38A was one of those aircraft in the cold war that did not receive much attention. It had the usual high accident rates for vertical takeoff jet-powered aircraft, but in the end it worked… and had really different (interesting) paint schemes, which makes it even more of a “must have cold war airplane model.” When HobbyBoss released it, I snapped one up. The build is simple, and fit is up to current standard for mainstream kits. The cockpit is appropriately busy, and I replaced the kit ejection seat with a spare resin seat that I had lying around. But yet, the aftermarket folks lurked in the background, ready to deliver…enter Aires/Quickboost!

As usual, Aires has stepped up to the plate to improve small details. The QB air scoops are perfectly formed, as are the intake covers and the flight data recorder. They just require you to install them! The intakes are direct replacements for the kit items; I left the kit parts on the sprues to let you see the improvement. The flight data recorder replaces the tail cone: simply shave off the mounting ring for the kit cone, then superglue the replacement in place. If you are careful, no filler is required.

The air intake covers only require you to (carefully) remove the handles from the pour lug and superglue in place. Paint them red, and use white glue to install. (The kit intake is deep and small enough that painting the back bulkhead black suffices, but the covers are usually in place on the ground).

The Aires variable nozzles are marked improvements on the kit items. The internal main nozzle is missing on the kit item (see comparison photo), so this is definitely a “must have” if you want accuracy. The only issue I ran into was the mounting key to keep the nozzles synchronized was molded so the nozzles only key together in opposite directions when installed. Using my simple bear brain, I just cut off the key and glued the nozzles in place on the kit using my Mark 1958 eyeballs. No big deal here.

Also included in this set are the two reaction nozzles for the fore and aft positions; these are more detailed than the kit items, with deeper exhausts. Again, drop in replacements.

In the end I am more than impressed. All these items are 10’s, even with the minor mis-key issue. (Modeling skills are required, correct?) Aires and Quickboost fill the niche for parts AMS guys need; excellent job, Aires, and thanks again for supporting IPMS USA!

Thanks to both Aires and IPMS-USA for providing the detail sets for review.


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