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Lavochkin La7 - Warbird Replicas Kit

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Pete H24/01/2017 23:46:07
71 forum posts
58 photos

Prompted by the Kit Builders What Would You Like? thread I purchased a Lavochkin La7 from Richard at Warbird Replicas. Service was first class and the kit arrived the on my doorstep next day.

This kit will be the first scale kit I have built, first warbird and it will also be my first IC plane.

I plan to power it by a Laser 70 that I purchased from Jon at Laser where the service was also superb and very helpful.

The kit arrive in an undamaged box and the contents looked good with a detailed instruction manual.


I pinned some inspiration on the wall and started to digest the instructions and plan.


This is my first build on here so hopefully I won't make too many mistakes along the way.

john stones 124/01/2017 23:56:16
11454 forum posts
1516 photos

Good looking Airplane Pete, That your intended colour scheme ?


Pete H25/01/2017 07:31:02
71 forum posts
58 photos
That is the colour scheme I'm going to use. It's the one with the most photos on the net plus it look pretty simple.
Jon - Laser Engines25/01/2017 08:32:08
5422 forum posts
263 photos

I love my bigger YT La7. Its a very imposing shape once you get it in the air and im sure you will love it. Also being Russian front it will get more scale with age as it wont matter if its bashed up, filthy and looking like a patchwork. My model is looking quite abused at this point.

One thing i would recommend is adding something to your paint job even if its non scale. That grey camo is very effective and at times all i can see of my 80'' model is a red cowling. Perhaps add some stripes to the upper wing surfaces like this example just to help with visibility.

Shane Sunday25/01/2017 08:36:14
342 forum posts
160 photos

Good morning Pete. That Lav looks like a pretty big box. Whats the details for this kit? Have fun and ill be watching from timevto time.

Rob25/01/2017 08:59:45
235 forum posts

Looks nice, don't see enough of Russian warbirds. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

Geoff Jackson25/01/2017 10:10:29
160 forum posts
3 photos

Got me going now as I have a half finished one in the workshop. There are some good reference books on the 5,7 and 9 available with good colour illustrations and the kit was covered in RCM and E in July 2003.

Pete H25/01/2017 21:54:20
71 forum posts
58 photos

Shane, the plane is not too big at 57" span with a target weight of 5.5lb, more details are on the warbird replica site.

Jon, I will stick with the scheme unless I find it difficult to see when flying. I know what you mean by looking a bit bashed up and abused. Initially, I was a bit worried about the painting as all my models are film covered but after looking at pictures of the real thing I think I could get it about right with a 4" brush.

Jon - Laser Engines25/01/2017 22:01:06
5422 forum posts
263 photos

if you brown paper cover it as Richard suggests any worn down paint will wear back to brown...which was the colour of the full size as it was all wooden!

As for the paint job, that's good as it means I can still use it. I might give my big one a makeover with a new paint job as I always disliked the one that is on it

Edited By Jon Harper - Laser Engines on 25/01/2017 22:01:52

Colin Leighfield25/01/2017 22:03:51
5993 forum posts
2503 photos

Got to be a good'un! I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.

Pete H25/01/2017 22:08:59
71 forum posts
58 photos

On with the build.

The first job was to glue the ply doublers to the fuselage sides remembering to keep the slotted doubler on the right hand side for the cooling vent. I didn't cut through to the balsa to create the flap as I plan to do this later when I mount the engine.


To fit the Laser 70 required modifying the firewall location by moving it back 28mm to accomodate the extra engine length. This was done by cutting 28mm from the fuel tank opening in the central crutch and reattaching the front thereby preserving the locating tabs on the firewall. I also laminated a piece 4mm plywood to the 3mm firewall to increase its strength and rigidity. Probably unnecessary but this was the only time to do it and I thought it would be better.

The next stage was to glue the central crutch, firewall and formers to the sides to make the fuselage. The sides have been left full length and over sail the firewall. They will be trimmed back later.


Jon - Laser Engines25/01/2017 22:27:27
5422 forum posts
263 photos

That was quick...oh wait, that's the whole point

Beefing up the firewall was a good idea as the 70 is more than the model was designed for and the added weight is forward of c/g so there is no point in not doing it.

You have made me want to start my Yak now...

Pete H25/01/2017 22:54:43
71 forum posts
58 photos

It's not a bad start as I only ordered it over the Christmas break.

The top decking was glued on followed by the tail sheet mount which is rebated to fit around the stern post. A spacer is then temporarily fitted to allow the rudder fairings to be sanded before mounting the tailplane.

lavochkin la7 000.jpg

This is the fuselage almost together.

lavochkin la7 001.jpg

That's as far as I have got so far.

Bucksboy26/01/2017 05:09:27
575 forum posts
109 photos

This is great, I also ordered the same plane and received the plane very quickly too. However mine is still in the box as I work abroad and can't take it with me nor build anything out here. I will be watching very closely to help me when I do start. I even ordered one of the 110's too so they'll be two planes waiting for me soon.

Good luck with the build and keep posting!

Pete H31/01/2017 22:03:34
71 forum posts
58 photos

I’m planning to install retracts to all three wheels. So in an effort to offset the additional tailwheel weight I decided to build up the tailplane rather than use to solid sheet provided in the kit. I managed to save 20g which will help a little. I will probably build up the rudder too to maximise potential weight savings.

lavochkin la7 2017-01-31_212349.jpg

The retracts have arrived so I’ll be able to start on the wings soon.

The new Laser 70 destined for this plane has been fitted to a Mk1 Panic. I have had the Panic sitting around since the eighties yet it has never taken to the air. I plan to use the airframe to run the engine in and get used to IC starting and responsiveness etc... before flying the La7. I started the engine at the weekend and was pleasantly surprised when it fired up first time. Hopefully it's always this easy...

lavochkin la7 2017-01-31_215014.jpg

Jon - Laser Engines31/01/2017 23:34:36
5422 forum posts
263 photos

the new tail looks ace and will save weight for sure. Will yo put a thin 1/16 sheet over it now or will it stay open? either way it looks really good and will do the job just fine.

for a retracting tail wheel see if you can find either the plastic robart one or the very similar and much cheaper version from horizon.

This link is the cheaper one but they work fine and only need a servo up front to operate **LINK**

As for the engine I am pleased to hear it is behaving itself, but it should be pretty good as I already test ran it and it fired up first flick then as well giving it a thrash in the panic is a good idea but the tank might be a bit low so don't be surprised if its not 100% happy. I cant tell from your photo how the tank is positioned relative to the carb so its difficult to say if it will give trouble or not. Let me know if there are any issues

Pete H01/02/2017 12:22:41
71 forum posts
58 photos
I'll probably leave the tail open.
The rudder will be built up the same.

The tank in the Panic is as high as it can be mounted but it is still a bit lower than I would like.
Jon - Laser Engines01/02/2017 12:36:10
5422 forum posts
263 photos
Posted by Pete H on 01/02/2017 12:22:41:
I'll probably leave the tail open.
The rudder will be built up the same.

The tank in the Panic is as high as it can be mounted but it is still a bit lower than I would like.

Im sure it will be fine for testing. A low tank is better than a high one anyway

Gary Fentiman01/02/2017 13:04:19
24 forum posts

looks great

David Davis01/02/2017 13:05:55
3685 forum posts
688 photos

In my experience a Laser will suck up fuel from a well!

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