Author Topic: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989  (Read 5259 times)

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« on: November 11, 2013, 12:43:51 am »
Some background:
The Yakovlev Yak-38 (Russian: Яковлева Як-38; NATO reporting name: "Forger") was Soviet Naval Aviation's first and only operational VTOL strike fighter aircraft, in addition to being its first operational carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft. It was developed specifically for and served almost exclusively on the Kiev-class aircraft carriers.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


OKB Yakovlev had been constantly improving the Yak-38 design, seeking to push the aircraft's design limits. One initial step was the Yak-38M, which was tested in 1982 and subsequently introduced into service. Outwardly it differed little from the 1st generation Yak-38, bigger air recirculation dams were the most significant changes. But the air intakes were optimized and more powerful engines almost doubled the external ordnance load. Furthermore, wet pylons were introduced that would allow to carry drop tanks, extending the type's limited range considerably. The Yak-38M was delivered in the mid-80ies to the Soviet Navy, where it replaced the original Yak-38.

With the ongoing tests and the development of fourth generation fighter like the MiG-29 or the Su-27 in parallel (from both of which OKB Yakovlev had been excluded, failing to gain any development contract), OKB Yakovlev sought to improve the Yak-38 further and maybe attract foreign customers.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


One direction, which was also aimed at the Soviet Navy, was to outfit the Yak-38 with a radar, so that the type could be more than a light attack aircraft or visual range fighter with R-60 AAMs. Studies were made to integrate the Fazotron N019 'Rubin' fire control radar, which had been developed for the MiG-29 tactical fighter.
It turned out to be feasible to install the equipment in the Yak-38, even though the nose had to be modified in order to carry the radar's antenna. But with this modern radar the Yak-38  became not only able to make interceptions beyond visual range against aircraft carrier attackers with more powerful, long range AAMs (like the R-77/RVV-AE missile), it could also be used in any weather condition.

This project was called Yak-38 MP ('modernizeerovannyy perekhvaht-chik' = modernized version, interceptor variant), and it not only carried the N019 but also advanced navigation and attack systems which enabled the aircraft to carry out night and all-weather attacks. Outwardly the Yak-38 MP could easily be recognized by its shorter, fatter nose with a pointed radome and the offset pitot sensor in front of the cockpit. This variant received the NATO code "Forger C".


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The resulting aircraft held much potential, and for the export market a modified version, the Yak-38 MPK ('kommehrcheskiy' = commercial) variant was offered from 1987 on. It did not feature state-of-the-art avionics, but basically kept the new variant's air-to-air and all-weather capabilities.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


In 1988 India showed interest in the Yak-38 MPK for its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, and an agreement was settled to buy a total of seventeen aircraft - fourteen singe-seaters and three standard Yak-38U trainers.
The Indian Yak-38 MPKs were futher modified, featuring new, extended wing tips with integral pods for a Gerdeniya-1FU (L-203B) jammer and an SPO-15LM Beryoza radar homing and warning (RAWS) system and an OEPS-29 IRST sensor (the same which is also used in the MiG-29, flown by the Indian AIr Force) in front of the cockpit. The type still lacked an integral gun, though - tests of Yakovlev had been made but the problems of engine surging with a test-mounted GSh-23 could not be cured, so the Yak-38MPK had to rely on external pods, much like its predecessors. It is also uncertian whether the Indian Yak-38 MPK is able to carry tactical nuclear stores - like its Soviet/Russian ancestors.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


India remained the only export customer for the Yak-38, even though China showed some interest, and these export Yak-38 shoudl be the last chapter of this S/VTOL aircraft. OKB Yakovlev had already been working on the supersonic Yak-41/141 STOL multi-role fighter for the domestic market, but the demise of the Soviet Union halted any further developments - and the Yak-38's design potential had been exhausted with the MP/MPK versions.

The small group of Indian Forgers soldiered on until 2003 (three were lost in accidents, one of them a trainer), when they were replaced by MiG-29K shipboard fighters. Rumor had it that China had shown interest in the remaining Yak-38 MPK fleet for its own carrier.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr




General characteristics:
Crew: One
Length (fuselage only): 15.44 m (50 ft 7 in)
Length (overall): 16.05 m (52 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 7.78 m (25 ft 5 1/2 in)
Height: 4.25 m (14 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 19.5 m (210 ft)
Empty weight: 7,385 kg (16,281 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 11,300 kg (28,700 lb)

Powerplant:
1x Tumansky R-28 V-300 turbojet, 66.7 kN (15,000 lbf)
2 Rybinsk RD-38 turbojets, 31.9 kN (7,870 lbf) each

Performance:
Maximum speed: 1.280 km/h (795 mph)
Range: 1,300 km (807 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,089 ft)
Rate of climb: 4,500 m/min (14,760 ft/min)
Thrust/weight: 1+

Armament:
No internal gun, but optional one or two UPK-23-250 pods fixed under the external pylons of wings.
4 hardpoints with a total capacity of 4,400 lb (2.000 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of various types of rockets (up to 240 mm), 2 anti-ship or air-to-surface Kh-23 (AS-7 Kerry) missiles, R-60, R-60M (AA-8 Aphid), R-73 (AA-11 Archer) or R-77 (AA-12 Adder) air-to-air missiles; two FAB-500 or four FAB-250 general purpose bombs under pylons, two incendiary ZB-500 napalm tanks, or external drop tanks on the inner apir of pylons.



The kit and its assembly:
This model was inspired by a whif profile, IIRC posted here on whatifmodelers.com (not certain about the artist, though, and I could not find it anymore. If someone knows, please let me know so that I can give proper credit!) some time ago: a Yak-38M in Indian Navy colors:


Yakovlev Yak-38M, aircraft "IN656" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

I liked the idea of a foreign user, and India with its own carrier made a perfect candidate.

This project had been lingering for some time, until I came across a Yak-38M Tsukuda Hobby kit (Revell of USA  re-boxing in a fantasy livery) and learned that OKB Yakovlev actually had many plans which would improve the type's potential - the "MP" variant had actually been on the drawing board, but never made it to the hardware stage. Unfortunately I was not able to find a sketch of the actual nose design for this project, I suppose that the real radome would have been bigger/fatter than my scratch conversion.

Anyway, from that base this whif kit was built. The Tsukuda Hobby kit is... wrong. In many ways, and fit is also rather poor. As an apology fot the designers, the kit has its origin in an era when the Yak-38 was only known from blurry pictures. Don't expect a "correct" model - 'clumsy' would be a good description. But the general appearance is O.K., and for a conversion the kit is just good enough. Anyway, if you want a good Yak-38, go for the Amodel kit!

There are many pitfalls to avoid on the Tsukuda kit. The cockpit is non-existent, the fin does not fit onto the fuselage shape, the front wheel is a joke, everything is rather solid and toy-like. I tried to remedy some of the se flaws with a new seat, a dashboard and a pilot figure, a completely new front wheel (from a MiG-21), and other minor conversions like lowered flaps, forward-canted lift engines, opened auxiliary blow-in-doors on the air intakes and new/finer antennae.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Another obvious major modification is the nose with its radome, donated from a Hasegawa F-4E. The resulting nose-up attitude and the overall shorter, less pointed profile changes the look of the Yak-38 completely. It reminds now much of a FRS.1 Sea Harrier, there's even some Buccaneer style to see? That new arrangement necessitated a new location for pitot and antennae, which were partly scratched.

In order to demonstrate the type's air-to-air capability I added a missile ordnance: a pair of R 77 "Adder" AAMs with their respective launch rails under the outer pylons. These come from an ICM aftermarket weapon set. 


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting and markings:
I used the aforementioned inspiring profile as benchmark. It shows an all-grey Yak-38M with some white areas like the flaps, rudders and the horizontal stabilizers. Unlike the late, grey Soviet/Russian Yak-38s the profile showed no darker lower tone on the undersides, but I nevertheless adopted that paint scheme, just with a lighter tone on the lower fuselage and under the wings, since I found the uniform grey to be too uninteresting.

I settled for Humbrol 165, Medium Sea Grey, as basic color for the upper surfaces. This appears as a good compromise between the profile and the real world's IN Sea Harriers, some of which actually carried this lighter tone for some time with a light grey underside (instead of the standard, RN-style [Extra] Dark Sea Grey and White). For the lower, lighter grey areas I used FS 36375, Ghost Grey (Humbrol 127).

These basic tones, esp. the upper surfaces, were later, after a black ink wash, considerably lightened through dry-brushing, in order to emphasize the panel lines and give the machine a worn and sun-bleached look.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

The rudders were initially painted in a very light grey (Humbrol 196), leaving "room" for lighter shading with the dry-brushing technique in pure white. The radome was painted in Revell 47, a neutral grey, so that the radar nose cone became more obvious. This actually changed the whole look of the aircraft!

The cockpit was painted in Russian Cockpit Green, the landing gear and their respective wells in a mix of Aluminum and Khaki Drab (Humbrol 56 & 26, inspired by some IAF MiG-21bis' landing gears) - that's certainly not 'realistic', but I wanted to avoid ever more grey tones on the kit, and that brownish tone just fits well into the overall look).


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


National markings, codes and emblems come from a Model Alliance decal sheet for BAE Sea Harriers in RN and IN service. Some stencils were taken from the vast Yak-38M decal sheet from Begemot which I had in store for a different project - but it came in handy here, as the original Tsukuda Hobby/Revell sheet is ridiculous, only the white di-electric panels on the fin could be used.


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



All in all, I am amazed how much different the Indian markings make the Yak-38 look? Much like the profile that inspired this whif model, it seems like a natural livery for the type. Certainly not a masterpiece, but an intersting model, nevertheless.



Finally, a look behind the scenes - the typical photo setup of the kit in front of a printed background:


1:72 Yakovlev Yak-38MPK, aircraft "IN606" of INAS 300 'The White Tigers', INS Vikrant, Indian Navy, 1989 (Whif/Tsukuda Hobby kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

Offline comrade harps

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 03:33:42 am »
 Spot on whiffing. :thumbsup:
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 04:42:30 am »
Thank you very much!  :cheers:

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 05:13:00 am »
Another beauty. Looks right at home in those colours. Be neat to see one in a row with Indian Harriers ! That would get people wondering....

 :cheers:
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Offline Ed S

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 05:36:36 am »
Excellent!  A well done model along with some superb photography and photo editing.

Ed
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Offline sandiego89

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 06:43:13 am »
Excellent, I have always had a soft spot for the '38.  Really like the weathering you did. 
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 07:14:05 am »
Very nice model, dizzyfugu!  That looks great.  The profile is clearly one of glanini's too.  He's a forum regular, or at least used to be.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 07:18:05 am »
Very nice model, dizzyfugu!  That looks great.  The profile is clearly one of glanini's too.  He's a forum regular, or at least used to be.

Cheers,

Logan

Ah, that's helpful - I was certain that I saw the profile here, and I saved it when it was posted - but I didn't note down the "original artist"!

Concerning the weathering: it's basically dry-brushing of the panels with a slightly lighter tone, and I finally applied a thin rubbing with grinded graphite over the surface, which yields the cloudy/worn look and the soot stains. Looks more irregular and cloudy than any brush application of paint.

Again, many thanks everyone!

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 07:22:03 am »
Here's the post with the original post with the profile, Dizzy.  Your reply's on the next page.

http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,6929.msg596087.html#msg596087

Cheers,

Logan


Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 07:55:40 am »
Thank you, Logan - I found the entry (again), too, many thanks for your help!  :cheers:

Offline lancer

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Re: Yakovlev Yak-38MPK (Forger C), Indian Navy; INS Vikrant 1989
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 12:47:41 pm »
That is bloody marvellous Dizzy. It looks bang on in INS colours...Damm fine work sir....
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