By 1943, the La-5 had become a mainstay of the VVS, yet both its head designer, Semyon Lavochkin, as well as the engineers at TsAGI felt that it could be improved upon. The essential method was reducing weight and improving aerodynamic quality. Many improvements were made, these merging into production of the new La-7 fighter. The visible changes included a new position for the oil cooler and supercharger intake. The result was a higher top speed of 660km/h and turning a full circle took 19-21 seconds. The La-7 was the only Soviet fighter to shoot down a Messerschmitt Me-262, by Ivan Nikitovich Kozhedub on one occasion over Germany on February 15, 1945. The La-7 earned itself a superb combat record by the end of the war, and was flown by the top two Soviet aces of the conflict, one of which was Lt.Col. S.F Dolgushin, commander of the 156th IAP. Total production of the La-7 amounted to 5,753 aircraft.

 

Color profile of the La-7

 

Eduard weekend edition no 8461 Lavochkin La-7 is re-issued Gavia / Eduard kit. The kit is molded in Grey plastic and as usual for Eduard kits no sink marks and ejector pins are present. Two sprues contain 70 grey plastic parts and another 5 clear pieces are packed separately. Surface detail is crisply and finely engraved.

Cockpit detail are fine and while no engine is provided, it would be invisible behind the fan anyway so no loss. There are also no exhaust ports with that area covered by a slip of plastic. The canopy is in three parts so you can show the interior should you wish to do so. The central part of the canopy seems to look a bit thick and clear parts are crystal clear.

 

The cockpit contains a few boxes and quadrants adorn the relatively flat fuselage sidewalls, so this part of the kit could be improved slightly with small efforts. The wheel well and the undercarriage reflects true La-7, it is well detailed and only few wires should be added. The wings are molded as full-span upper and lower halves, guaranteeing correct dihedral. The trailing edges of the wing are adequately thin without further sanding or scraping. The fuselage sits over a saddle at the wing root.

Decals are provided for one wartime La-7,it is Dolgushin’s beautiful “White 93” of the 156 IAP, as seen in Germany in 1945. Decals are as we used to from Eduard, very thin and Eduard 8461 1/48 scale Lavochkin La-7 is accurate, well detailed and molded with good quality. Dry fitting shows that it fits great. This is outstanding kit since I have build Hobbycraft 1/48 scale kit and comparing it with Eduard kit is not possible.

Eduard really reproduced La-7… This kit is easy to build and great quality and if you add a few details you can have an outstanding model in your collection. This kit is highly recommended.

Darko Mladenovic

Sample kit is provided by Jana Sulcova from Eduard