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Project Notes

#588 Nanchang Y-5

A simple build of the Antonov An-2 Colt/Nanchang Y-5 1:72 model 01602 from Trumpeter. I’ve spied opportunities for electronics in this kit but not added any yet.



Nanchang Y-5 – (Yun-5, Yunshuji:transport) - is the Chinese version of Soviet Antonov An-2 employed as a light utility/transport biplane.

It was manufactured by Hongdu Aviation Industry Group Ltd. (HAIG) (Chinese: 洪都航空工业集团), formerly China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation or CNAMC, is a Chinese aircraft manufacturer and supplier to the Chinese military. It is based in Nanchang, Jiangxi and is a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Three reasons why I was interested in building this kit

  • it’s quite an historic subject, and one I was not familiar with
  • the Trumpeter kit is perhaps representative of their early work, which I was keen to take a closer look at
  • the size of the model at 1:72 scale probably offers many options for packing in some electronics (TLDR - I didn’t/haven’t yet - see more below)

The Kit

Trumpeter has a number of variants of the Antonov An-2 Colt/Nanchang Y-5 in their current line-up, but they all appear to be based on an original tool from the 1990’s.


The model is very basic - not much detail in the cockpit for example - and has a number of fit issues. This is not surprising, as the tool dates back to the early days of Trumpeter.


The kit unfortunately suffered a little damage in transit - the canopy was shattered. Rather than bother with a replacement, or give up completely, I did the best fix I could including replacing some missing parts. In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken this as a cue to build a junkyard Y-5 diorama.


Basic assembly was quite straight-froward. There is not much flash, but lots of seamlines to clean up. Fit is not great, but doesn’t present very serious difficulties.



Trumpeter kit provides decals and basic paint guide for two versions - an An-2 Colt in Polish service, and the Nanchang Y-5 in Chinese service. There are no detailed references provided, and I’ve been unable to find any other material on the Y-5 “080” depicted. This aircraft was used so widely, there are literally hundreds of possible schemes.

I decided to follow the suggested Nanchang Y-5 080

Part Paint Used
interior walls 70.907 Pale Grey Blue
body 70.842 Gloss White
prop, engine cowling, wheels 70.861 Black
engine Humbrol 53 Gunmetal
livery stripes 70.909 Vermillion
livery stripes 70.963 Medium Blue
prop tips 70.953 Flat Yellow
gloss finish Humbrol Clear Gloss

A couple of new techniques I practiced on this build:

  • one helluva masking job to spray paint the red and blue trim. Turned out ok, with not too much touch-up required.
  • first time I’ve tried a Humbrol Clear Gloss coat before decals. I’ll never go back - the clear coat allows the decals to go down so easily and provides exceptional protection for the undelying paint (so not much risk of damage by decal setters/fixers).


Finishing the Build

Final gloss coat, spars (Qw-Model 0.13mm Q04007 super fine) and the antenna (Qw-Model 0.047mm Q04004 super fine) and I’m calling this done for now..





There is plenty of room in the kit at this scale to easily add electronics:

  • motor for the propeller
  • navigation lights
  • interior lights

I decided not to go ahead with any of these modifications at this point, mainly because I had concerns starting out whether the kit would turn out any good, and because of the broken canopy.

Having finished this version, I think I would happily attempt another including electronics. But to use this kit again I would:

  • look for some photo-etch for interior detail (apparently Extratech have some)
  • perhaps scratch-build some interior detail
  • put a lot more work (read: putty or sprue-glue) into fixing the fit issues

Perhaps Trumpeter will one day do a new tool for the 1:72 kit. IT might also be worth looking at the Hobby Boss 1:48 kit.

Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.