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Found 6 results

  1. Mig-25RB Foxbat 1:48

    Mig-25RB 1:48 ICM In an attempt to fulfil the perceived need for a supersonic interceptor that could take off, climb to height and attack an incoming bomber stream, which at the time was the most efficient method for delivering the newly invented nuclear warheads, The Mig-25 Foxbat was created. It managed the job to a certain extent, but as it never truly achieved its goals, it was left to its successor the Mig-31 Foxhound before the task was handled competently, by which time the role of ICBMs was about to make the primary role redundant. The Mig-25's inadequacies were hidden from the West however, until the famous defection of a Soviet pilot to an airfield in Japan revealed that the Foxbat wasn't as high-tech and all-conquering as we had been led to believe, having many steel parts instead of the high-tech alloys that the investigators were expecting. The prototype flew in 1964, and was constructed primarily of stainless steel, and reached service at the turn of the decade, although it had been seen before that, both in reconnaissance photos of the West, as well as at some parades. The West assumed that the large wing was to aid manoeuvrability, when in fact it was a necessity due to the aircraft's enormous weight, which made it a fast aircraft, but changing direction was a chore due to all that momentum wanting to carry on in the direction it was travelling. It was also lacking in the avionics department, especially in one crucial aspect. It had no capability for targeting aircraft that were lower than itself, which coincided with the change in tactics to low level attack by the Western Allies, so a lack of look-down/shoot-down capability was a serious deficiency. Nevertheless, several hundred were made, with the last one rolling off the production line in 1984 with a number of export orders into the bargain. The RB was the earlier reconnaissance variant of the RBT, both being based upon the original R, with cameras ELectronic INTelligence (ELINT) gathering equipment, but incrementally improved, as well as given the capability to carry bombs with addition of the Peleng automatic bombing system, which themselves went through some growing pains during implementation before they reached the Peleng 2, which was deemed more satisfactory all round. Although it suffered from some serious deficiencies, it held a number of speed and altitude records, and was theoretically capable of Mach 3, so could give an SR-71 a run for its money, probably at the expense of significant damage to its engines however. Attempts to improve the Foxbat were unsuccessful, and the Foxhound was its eventual replacement, and delivered everything that was expected of its forebear, staying in service until it is replaced by the Pak-Fa at some point in the near future. The Kit This is the second edition of the Mig-25, the first being its younger sibling the RBT, so this is a minor retooling of the original moulds, the review of which you can see url=http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235016497-mikoyan-mig-25rbt-foxbat-148]here[/url]. The new box is the usual box-within-a-box style that ICM favours, with new artwork of the RB from a low angle that gives a good sense of its size. Inside are nine sprues of grey styrene, three of which are new, and one has been changed from the original boxing, plus a clear sprue, two sheets of decals and a colour printed instruction booklet with painting guide to the rear. The clear parts are bagged separately from the rest of the sprues, and both are secured with resealable tape in case you prefer to keep your kits in the bags. The decals are inserted between the pages of the instructions, and have a waxy cover sheet lightly adhering to each sheet. As already mentioned, the changes have been made to one of the existing sprues, to give the correct "hump" fairing under the nose, and adding a new sprue with the shorter intake toppers, the bow-shaped para-brake fairing between the engines, and the relocated nose from the original RBT boxing, so that the RB nose fairings are in the correct place, as are those for the RBT, which should hopefully ship with the revised sprue for new batches of the RBT. Several parts will remain unused for this boxing, and these are helpfully marked with a transparent red overprinting on the sprue guide, which includes the huge centreline tank, the intake tops, the bullet-shaped para-brake housing, and a couple of small fairings. Construction follows pretty much the same pattern as the RBT kit, and from experience the interior builds up nicely, although I'm still not sure why a clear set of instrument dials is supplied to fit behind the panel. The intakes build up identically too, as do the wheel bays, all of which fits inside the lower fuselage "floor". With the bulkheads and assemblies in place the sides of the fuselage are added, the nicely detailed exhausts constructed, slid inside and covered by the upper fuselage, to which the new shorter intake tops are glued, completing the earlier style intakes. The tails are fitted along with the rear side fuselage section, which gives them good strength, and a choice of either the RBT-style pointed fairing, or the new earlier bow-shaped fairing for the para-brake between the engines is glued into its recess. The short wings are constructed next, with a cover on the outer pylon, and the new super-skinny pylon for a 500kg bomb on the inner. The almost completed airframe is given a choice of bumps on the nose, again depending on the version you are modelling. The reconnaissance camera pack fills the rear of the void with some clear lenses, and you are advised to put 25g of nose weight in to keep the nose wheel on the deck. It is added to the fuselage, the well-detailed gear bays are given similarly well-done doors, and the two-part (balloon-like) main wheels are slid onto the axles, as are the twin nose wheels. The canopy, pitot probe and another probe to the right of the canopy are the final fittings unless you are adding some bombs. The full complement of bombs for the RB was eventually tallied up to around 4 tonnes, which meant a stash of eight 500kg bombs could be carries, two under each of the wings, and four under the fuselage in packs of two, for which you will need to drill some 1mm holes in the places notes on the instructions. Markings At first glance it looks like there are only two decal options, but there are in fact four, but as they are all grey it gets a little confusing until you focus. From the box you can build one of the following: Mig-25RB 154th Independent Ait Detachment, Cairo-West (ARE), May 1974 – marked blue 57 with no national markings. Mig-25RB, Soviet Air Force, late 70s – Marked Blue 55 with Soviet red star. Mig-25RB, 63rd Independent Air Detachment, United Arab Republic, 1971-72 – UAR flag on the tail, with roundels on the wing. Mig-25RB (late production), Iraqi Air Force, 1980 – Iraqi flag on the tail, triangular "roundel" on wings and fuselage. The decals are printed with ICM's logo and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are printed on a separate sheet, are legible and their locations are called out via a page in the instructions so as not to clutter the profiles with too many arrows. The centres of the UAR roundels are spot on in the centre, which is always a risk when designing decals, as any offset is easily spotted. Conclusion It might seem a fairly minor re-tooling to the uninitiated, but it has been eagerly anticipated, and the new parts show that ICM have been diligent in researching the differences, as well as changing out the early nose fairing for future releases of the RBT kit too. Detail is excellent, the panel lines are restrained, and construction follows a logical process. Just take care with the location of the internal assemblies to make sure that they are correctly placed, and the outer skin should fit well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Mig-25PD/PDS 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Mig-25 was the "scourge" of the West in the 80s, believed to have super-human capabilities that fuelled our aircraft industry to create new and expensive aircraft to oppose them if ever the Cold War got hot. After the famous defection of Red 31 the truth about this behemoth of a point defence interceptor was somewhat different. Whether it was propaganda from our side, the USSR or the Western defence companies is anyone's guess, but it's still an impressive aircraft. It first flew in 1964 and entered service some six years later, as an answer to the B-70 Valkyrie project that was still-born in the US following vast overspends, and the nascent SR-71 that was under development as the A-12. After many designs were considered and dropped, the final planform of the aircraft known in the West as Foxbat was decided upon, with two huge engines from Tumansky in the rear of the fuselage, twin tail fins and swept wings. Up front was a large radome, behind which was a powerful radar that was very capable of guiding its missiles to target. Following Viktor Belenko's defection to Japan in then brand new Mig-25P, the PD was developed, entering service in 1979 with better engines and radar, plus some upgrades to the weapons systems that resulted in is being referred to as the Foxbat-E by NATO. The PDS retained that designation, as they were simply earlier Ps that had been retrofitted out to the PD specification. Capable of speeds in excess of Mach 3, the aircraft was actually limited to speeds just under, as the engines had a tendency to over-spin, which resulted in heat damage. The heat generated made choice of materials difficult, and as a result, a lot of nickel steel alloy was used around the airframe, which has resulted in many people thinking that it was quite agricultural, made of simple steel. While that could well be levelled at the initial valve-powered radar, it wasn't the airborne tractor it was made out to be eventually. It certainly seems to have given enough pause for thought in the West to bring the F-15 into being. The Soviet defence forces were the main customer for the Foxbat, but other Soviet friendly countries also maintained them in their arsenal, most notable of which was Iraq, who famously buried some of their airframes to protect them from destruction by the Allies during GWII. Syria, Libya and many former Soviet states have used them, and Russia still had a number on charge following the break-up of their empire. The Kit In this scale we had to make do with the Ageing and inaccurate Monogram kit, which was sometimes seen in Revell boxes on these shores. This is the first new kit of the Foxbat in many years, and of course Kitty Hawk's designers have brought their customary level of detail to the party. The kit arrives in a fairly small box, which has been achieved by folding many of the larger sprues in half, which is a mildly annoying practice because you have to cut them apart to view the individual sprues. It's only the work of moments with a pair of sprue cutters, but it's clearly irritated me a little because I've mentioned it. Inside the box, which has nice artwork by the way, are twelve sprues in a blue/grey styrene, two fuselage halves, a clear sprue, a small Photo-Etch (PE) brass fret, a bag containing a large ball-bearing and two bent pieces of metal rod, a sheet of decals and of course the instruction booklet with painting guide printed on the colourful and glossy fold-out covers. The first thing that struck me was the size of the engines, with a huge diameter, and a massive fuel tank that stretches almost 22cm from tip to tip. Detail is up to KH's usual standards, but I spotted an issue with the moulding of the wings where a matrix of stiffening ribs and stringers has been added to the inside, and this has resulted in a few sink marks on the outer skin of the wings, although nothing that couldn't be fixed with a bit of Mr Surfacer. For a while I was wondering why the ribs were there, but when I put that together with the additional mould-release agent present on the parts, it set me to wondering whether it was to cure a moulding issue. Perhaps the wing skins were difficult to pull off the tooling without strengthening, or something similar. Construction starts with the cockpit, and the KM-1 ejection seat is made up from a well detailed central section with two side pieces, two which you add some PE belts. Previously, KH's seatbelts have been somewhat skinny, but this set are more representative of the real thing, so you don't have to wait for the aftermarket to come flooding in. The cockpit tub has separate side consoles in styrene, a rear bulkhead with an upper skin added from PE, throttle quadrant on the port console, short control column and sidewalls, all of which are covered with fine detail. The instrument panel is a PE part, with a choice between PD and PDS, which affixes to a styrene backing part that isn't numbered on the sprues, but can be found in the corner of the sprue with the nose cone on. Also on that sprue are two styrene instrument panels with engraved detail in case you don't fancy your chances with the PE, or make a mistake. The cockpit is incredibly confined, and the detail present from the box should be suitable for most modellers, but of course you can always add more! The nose gear bay is next, and it is made up from slabs to give a more detailed finished article, with a simple depression for the gear leg to give you the option of installing it later. The leg is a single part with one two-part wheel on either side of the axle. A two-part mudguard affixes to a nub on the rear of the axle, and the whole lot fits into the bay with no retraction jacks present. This and the cockpit are then fitted within the front fuselage halves, minus the radome and housing for the radar equipment. You are advised to put "weight" in the nose, but no value is given as a guide. A large 17.5mm ball bearing is included in the box that weighs in at almost 22g, which should be more than enough to accomplish the task of keeping all the wheels on the ground. The two sloping intakes are built up from two halves, plus the built-in FOD guards, which are then skinned with a detailed PE part. They are then glued onto the forward fuselage, for later attachment to the aft fuselage parts. Main gear is buried in the aft fuselage under the wings, and Kitty Hawk have included a pair of pre-bent metal inner legs to give the main gear some strength. Cleverly, one is gold coloured and the other silver. This makes it easy to determine which is which, because although they look very similar in shape, they are most definitely handed, and would look terrible if you got them swapped around. The outer legs close around them in sections, with a knuckle around half-way up to which some nicely detailed actuator rams and scissor links are added. The large rough-terrain wheels are then added to the axle that sits outboard. There has been some talk about the hubs being too small on the wheels, but having looked at some pictures of the real thing, there's not enough in it to get too excited. I'm sure some resin alternatives will be along soon though, but if you're happy with these, you can just sand a flat on them to give the impression of weight and be done with it. Tread and hub detail is quite good with brake detail on the rear, with a flat contact patch. The gearbays themselves are again built from separate walls, and ribbing detail is good, although I'm sure there's scope for improvement with some additional wiring if you think it will be seen. Again the gear legs fit into keyed slots and can be added later if you wish. The final act before closing up the fuselage is building the huge exhaust trunks that dominate the rear of the aircraft. The main trunking is made up from two halves with deep ridges running fore and aft, which should hide the seamline well enough. They aren't too long, so can be painted once built up, and you can further hide the join with putty if required. The rear engine faces are supplied as a single figure-8 part to which separate afterburner rings are added, before the exhausts are glued in place to form a single assembly. A set of inner petals are moulded together, tying the rear of the engines together, and the outer petals are then added around them in sections to complete the job. The assembly then drops into the lower fuselage half along with the main gear bays. The upper and lower fuselage of my review sample seem to be a little warped, although this could firm up with the addition of the internal parts. If this persists, simply glue one side at a time and let the first side cure well before you do the second. A pair of lower intake lips are added to the underside of the fuselage, and a pair of sensor assemblies that won't really be seen are added to the top side. In KH's usual format, the lumps, bumps and gear bay doors are added during the main build, along with the ventral strakes and elevators on the underside, the fuselage spine insert, airbrake and pen-nib fairing on the upper side before the wings are added. The wings are two parts each, and as mentioned earlier the strengthening web inside has caused some light sink marks here and there. Before fixing them though, it would be wise to remove the excessive mould release agent to ensure a good join with both the putty and the following primer and paint. The wing tips are separate, as are the flying surfaces on the trailing edge, but check their orientation on the ground before gluing so you don't make a mistake. The two tail fins have separate rudder parts, plus bullet fairings at the root, both of which have moulded in static wicks that will probably get damaged during the built if you're like me. The four wing hard-points have pylons that fit into large paired slots in the lower wing, onto which you can hang a plethora of stores that are provided with the kit. The long nose of the Mig-25 bulges substantially in plan view to accommodate the large and powerful radar it needed to fulfil its role, and this is a separate section of the fuselage behind the radome. The two halves trap a nicely detailed radar, which will disappear forever if you close up the radome. The radome itself is in separate halves and butt-joints with a small lip on the fuselage front. Under the nose a glazed insert is included for the PDS variant, with a blanking plate for the PD. Two types of Infrared Search and Track blisters are also included for under the nose, as well as AoA probes on either side and behind the IR blister, and a probe on the very tip of the nosecone, with small prongs added to each quadrant. The glazing for the cockpit is in two parts, with the windscreen glued over the separate instrument coaming, with a retraction jack for the canopy to hold it open to the correct angle. A pair of clear formation lights are also present on the sides of the intakes to finish the job. There is a wide choice of munitions for the Foxbat, as follows: 4 x R-60 missiles on dual ejector rails 2 x R-40 missiles with alternate heads for the T and R variants 2 x Electronic Warfare pods 1 x huge underbelly fuel tank 2 x FAB-1500 iron bombs 4 x FAB-500 on either 2 x dual or 2 x single racks A diagram shows which weapons are carried where, although if you are going for realism, it would be best to check your references for a likely war load or training layout. Markings There are three options from the box, all of which are overall grey with green or grey dielectric panels and the decals being the only way to differentiate. As a bonus, the Red 31 decals are included in case you'd like to model the defector's jet, which would require the removal and fairing over of the IR blister. From the box you can build one of the following: Mig-25PD Blue 75, Russian Air Force, 1979 Mig-25PD Blue 56 Ukrainian Air Force Mig-25PD Iraqi Air Force The decals are a step up from the previous kits, with better registration all round, and only a tiny offset of the black and dark blue, the latter exposing a sliver of backing paper on the right side of the 75s that is only really visible on close inspection. Stencils are crisp and clearly Cyrillic, although I have no idea whether they are spelled correctly due to my ignorance of the language, but even if they are gibberish, they'll fool most of us! Conclusion It has been worth the wait for a new tooling of this brutal Cold War Interceptor, and Kitty Hawk continue to cover subjects that interest me, and a lot of other happy modellers. They have taken the trouble to listen to the feedback from test shots to correct any issues that have been pointed out, which is good news, as there is a lot of knowledge out there on most subjects. We are already aware of the 2-seat variant that will be along shortly, which will be another odd-looking beast to add to the cabinet. The issues I spotted so far are easily to correct, and with some care and attention to test-fitting it should build up into a fabulous looking aircraft that will knock the old Monogram kit into a cocked hat. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  3. MIG-21bis 1/72 Zvezda or RV?

    Hi all, Seeking a bit of advice. I am embarking on a number of MIG-21 builds - two underway - and at some point will tackle the MIG-21bis. I have two in my stash, from RV and Zvezda. Which is regarded as the better of the two? To me the Zvezda looks the better one but I'm open to your thoughts. Thanks. Martin
  4. Mig-21F-13 1:48 Trumpeter The Mig-21 started life as a supersonic interceptor fighter in the early 50s, garnering its familiar delta wings during the early prototype stages, and could reach Mach 2 for those high speed dashes to meet the incoming capitalist hordes that thankfully never came. It is considered to be a second generation jet in its earliest forms, but after the successful upgrading of the airframe was also a third generation jet, which extended its production run to 1985, with the very first production airframe coming off the line in 1955. The Mig-21F was the first production variant, the basic Mig-21 being neglected in favour of the F, and that was superseded by the F-13 after fewer than examples had rolled out of the factory. The F-13 was upgraded with the capacity to carry the K-13 missile, better known in the west as the AA-2 Atoll, which is alleged to be a reverse engineered Sidewinder, to which it bears an uncanny resemblance. The F-13 could carry two of these missiles on launch rails mounted on hardpoints under the wings, although they could be switched out for unguided rocket launchers if the need arose. A number of license built examples were used by the Chinese under the local designation Chengdu J-7, who appreciated its simplicity, light weight and agility. Chinese built examples were exported under the F-7 designation to a number of sympathetic nations, most notably in Africa and Pakistan. The Kit Although Eduard have cornered the market in the later third generation Mig-21s, there has been a hankering for a new tool early Fishbed for a while, and as China has easy access to the airframe data, it is fitting that Trumpeter have released this important Cold War warrior to complement Eduard's kits. The box is small and wastes no space inside, having four large sprues and four small in medium grey styrene that fill it well. A clear sprue, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass and two "rubber" tyres are individually bagged in the bottom of the box, as are the two sheets of decals, and the package is completed by an A4 landscape instruction booklet and separate full-colour painting and decaling guide. Initial impressions are that this is a well detailed kit, with plenty of fine engraved panel lines and restrained rivets in various areas. I understand that a few of the panel lines, most notably on the tail are in slightly the wrong place, but there are a few hyper-detailers out there on the internet that can let you know which ones they are. Construction is as you would expect from a fighter, although Trumpeter have mixed things up a little by building the nose gear bay first. Speaking personally, I'm starting to find this new vogue of installing the landing gear legs early in the build a little painful, as I'm a little bit prone to knocking things off with my sausage fingers during the painting stages. As the nose gear leg mounts on two pins in the sides of the bay, it will be difficult and probably pointless trying to make it possible to mount it later. Detail in the bay is good, with separate side-walls mounting onto a roof that has the ends of the bay moulded in. The nose wheel mounts on the gear leg by use of a separate yoke part that clamps the two piece wheel in place. It seems odd that the nose gear doesn't get the same rubber wheels as the main gear however. The cockpit is next, and detail here is excellent from the nicely moulded tub, to the rear bulkhead that is festooned with sharp detail. The ejection seat is built up from fifteen parts, including PE seatbelts, and a scrap diagram gives detailed painting instructions, which is nice to see. The instrument panel has raised instrument bezels, and decals are supplied to complete the look. The small coaming that houses the HUD is quite complex with six styrene parts and the clear glass, which is comparatively large and has a nicely rounded top eadge. The control column and a pair of very detailed inner sidewalls complete the cockpit, and Gunze colour call-outs make painting a little easier. The two main gear bays are built from separate parts, with good detail on each face, and a curved section depicting where the engine intrudes on the bays. The exhaust is built up from two halves, and features the afterburner ring, plus a representation of the rear turbine blades, although these are depicted in the instructions facing forward where they won't be seen. The exhaust is terminated by a single piece ring of petals with a very delicate additional ring that slips over the sloping petals. A spacer attaches to the front of the exhaust assembly, and this, the cockpit and gear bays are trapped within the fuselage along with the shock-cone and supports, and an avionics bay that sits in the upper nose in front of the cockpit A drop-in cover can be installed over this if you choose, and I imagine most people will, to preserve the sleek lines of the aircraft. A rear turtle deck is added to finish off the cockpit, and the windscreen is installed over the coaming, with a one-piece nose intake part that slips over the shock cone, completing the nose. The elevators are made up from top and bottom halves, and added to the fuselage with a slightly insecure-looking butt fit that has a V-shaped groove to ensure correct placement, but would probably benefit from pinning in place. The two-piece large fin with separate rudder attaches to two pegs on the rear behind the spine, and a few fairings and auxiliary intakes are added around the tail, before the tail cone is added. This is keyed, and tapers on the inside in steps down to an incredibly thin almost translucent rim, although because it is moulded in two halves, some fettling of the seams will be needed, and damage to the delicate engraved rings is inevitable. Detailing of the fuselage ensues after the opening canopy and rear fixed section are installed, and remember that the canopy on the Mig-21 hinges forward if you intend to display it in the open position. Several inserts on the underside of the fuselage are added, plus the ventral airbrake bay and the ventral strake, plus (perhaps unwisely at this stage) the long pitot probe that is synonymous with the Mig-21. The forward airbrakes are situated under the fuselage forward of the main gear bays, and these are shown posed open, but could probably be closed up with little effort. The large ventral airbrake is able to be posed open or closed easily, and its four holes have corresponding pins moulded into the bay, and a retraction jack is inserted if posing it open. As the Fishbed had a notoriously short range that was exacerbated by centre of gravity issues when using fuel, a large 490l fuel tank was often seen on the central plyon between the main gear bays. This is made up from halves, which have the stabilising fins moulded in, and is mounted under the fuselage on the separate pylon via two pins that insert into holes in the fuselage. The wings are made up from top and bottom halves, with wafer thin gear bay recesses necessitating the detail being moulded into the upper wing half. Detail is nicely done, and some additional detail is added before the wings are closed up. If you are planning on loading the model with weapons, you will need to open up some holes in the lower wing halves as well as adding the clear lens to the inside before committing to glue. The ailerons and flaps are separate parts, and can be posed at a more candid angle if desired, with a pair of PE strakes added to the upper wings near the tip. A small probe is also added to the underside of each wing, and again a hole must be drilled to accommodate its pin. The wings are mounted on the fuselage with a pair of small pins that slide into corresponding holes in the fuselage, and again they look a little fragile. Replacing the styrene pins with brass rod may be a wise idea if you are heavy-handed like me, or plan on transporting the model to shows. The main gear, with attached gear legs and retraction jacks slot into holes in the gear bays, and if you don't like those rubber tyres on styrene hubs, you might want to think about sourcing some replacements, which I'm sure will be along soon if not already. Trumpeter cannot be accused of skimping on providing weapons loads in general, and this kit is no exception. From the box you can build all of the following: 2 x RS-2US Missiles 2 x 250KG Bombs 2 x R-3S Missiles 2 x UB-16 Rocket Pods All of these come with appropriate rails and stencil decals to add a little detail. Markings There are a generous six marking options from the box, although all but one involves natural metal. National markings and unit codes are on the larger of the two sheets, while the stencils (and there are many) are on the smaller sheet. A lot of the larger stencils are legible enough under magnification to be clearly Cyrillic, but others are scribble, but that shouldn't notice without magnification. From the kit decals, you can make one of the following options: USSR Air Force Tushino AB 1961 - natural metal PLAAF - undocumented unit wearing codes 0102 - natural metal North Vietnamese Air Force - natural metal East Germany Airforce - Green/brown camo over light blue CSSR Air Force - natural metal Finnish Air Force TiedLLv (sic) - natural metal The decals are nicely printed, and all but the blue are in good register. As a result of the slight shift of the blue on the review sample, the Finish roundel is slightly off-centre, and the Czech roundel has some overlap between the red and blue which causes a slightly darker border between them. Conclusion Soviet jet modellers are enjoying a golden age at present, largely down to Eduard, Trumpeter and Hobby Boss. This kit fills a gap close to the heart of many, and it does the job well. It is a well detailed kit of simple construction, and my only worry is that the wing and tail joints aren't that strong. Of course there are some minor issues, such as the panel lines mentioned earlier, but what kit doesn't have at least some? You might also want to consider the new Neomega cockpit set for this kit, which improves the cockpit and resolves some minor instrumentation issues. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Mig-21PFM - 1:48 Eduard

    Mig-21PFM 1:48 Eduard Surprisingly to my goldfish brain, the initial release of the (then) newly tooled Mig-21 was as long ago as April 2011, beginning with the MF, followed by the BIS and SMT editions with adjusted sprues to suit each variant, plus suitable decals. Roll the clock forward to today, and there's been a substantial gap between the last new Profipack edition of the Mig-21 and this one while Eduard have concentrated on other projects. The PFM is a modernised export version of the PF, which was the first of the second generation of the aircraft to reach production. Later models also had cannon armament capability and could carry the AS-7 "Kerry" short range air-to-surface missile manufactured by Zvezda-Strela. Just to confuse matters, there was a second PFM that related to East German nomenclature for PFs that had been updated to a newer radar installation and changes to the avionics. Polish authorities further complicated matters by calling their standard PFMs with an extra A, making them PFMAs. What were they thinking? The Kit The Eduard Mig-21 is already established as the premiere kit of the type in 1:48, and this edition shares five sprues with the original MF, and even the three different sprues bear a passing resemblance, so keep them separate, or you'll regret it! Inside the top-opening Profipack box are seven sprues of grey/blue styrene, one of clear parts, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, a sheet of pre-cut flexible masking material, two sheets of decals and the instruction booklet with integral painting guide. The new sprues perfectly match the old in terms of quality and style, and that means a lot of crisp engraved detail that exudes quality. Construction follows broadly the same format as the earlier editions, but as it's been some time since they were released, I'll cover it again. As is common with single-seat jet fighters, the cockpit is almost directly over the nose gear bay, and the build begins with the fabrication of the boxed in bay under the cockpit floor from individual panels for extra detail. Flipping the cockpit floor over, the instrument panel is built up either from a styrene panel or laminated PE panel with styrene backing plate, to which the same auxiliary parts are added for the centrally mounted radar screen and shroud. The control column and rudders are added next, with a pair of PE straps on the tops of the pedals, and at the rear of the cockpit, a mystery insert is placed in the floor of the cockpit only if you plan on posing the canopy open. This appears to raise the seat to the correct height for the open canopy, and if left out allows the seat top to clear the closed canopy, and it also looks like it would be fiddly to retro-fit, so decide early. Unusually, the side consoles are attached to the insides of the fuselage rather than the cockpit floor, and here again a set of replacement detail skins are added, both of which have pre-painted surfaces to improve detail. The console instrumentation also receives the same treatment, plus a number of extra detail parts to give it greater depth. The rear bulkhead with the ejection-seat rail moulded in is affixed just before the fuselage is closed up later. Interestingly, there is a box in the top left of the first page of the instructions giving a mixture of three Gunze Sangyo colours to create the correct colour for the cockpit interior colour that will match the pre-painted parts of one of the PE frets that is well worth reproducing here in case you've not seen it before. 60% C34 Sky Blue + 20% C66 Bright Green + C80 Cobalt Blue The rest of the cockpit is added quite late in the build, starting with the instrument coaming, which has a convoluted shape that is further complicated by the addition of some extra boxes. Two inserts in the anti-dazzle panel area are also added at this point, to cater for some odd shapes and differences between the variants. The windshield fits over the coaming, and has an inverted HUD unit added to the top of the hoop, with a choice of three canopy openers thrown in for good measure, depending on which decal option you are planning to use. If you've opted to display the canopy open, a support strut is included, although the instructions don't make it too clear where the retaining end should fit. The all-important ejection seat is a well detailed assembly, made up from 17 individual styrene parts, plus a full set of pre-painted seatbelts included on one of the frets of PE. Next up is the exhaust for the single Tumansky R-11F2-300 axial-flow turbojet engine that is fitted to this aircraft. The forward section includes a representation of the rear of the engine moulded into a bulkhead that keeps the assembly in place. To this is added a single piece forward exhaust tube, the afterburner ring, and a two-part aft exhaust tube that is without any interior detail. To the rear of this four actuator jacks attach in equally spaced recesses, with the exhaust petals set within an external ring that attaches to the rams. The bulkhead helpfully has the word "up" moulded in, to ensure that the engine is installed correctly in the groove on the inside of the fuselage halves. The engine itself is absent from the kit, but the likeness of its sides is moulded into the main gear bay that is buried within the fuselage. This is made up as a single unit with bulkheads at each end, additional detail parts within the two sides, and a nicely detailed inner wall as already mentioned. In order to close up the fuselage, the cockpit floor with rear bulkhead, a pair of additional stiffening bulkheads in the wing aperture, and the engine are glued in one side, and of course the various parts of the interior of the fuselage that will be seen need to be painted. The nose cone also needs to be installed with an unspecified amount of weight added to keep all three wheels on the ground without assistance. The cone is pretty large on a Mig-21 though, so you should be ok. Once you've sorted out the lower seams, you can add the spine and fin, which happily hide the majority of the top fuselage seam into the bargain. A separate rudder part allows you to pose the rudder, and a small bulkhead is added at the wide end of the spine to help keep it at the right width as it approaches the rear of the cockpit. A single lip to the intake is installed too, hiding the thickness of the fuselage halves. The wings include a good portion of the lower fuselage in the one-piece lower part, into which you must first place the gaggle of spherical tanks and the main bay side-walls. You can also decide whether to pose the forward airbrakes open, which will require some surgery to the part, removing the moulded in brake outers by cutting round the panel lines and inserting some recessed parts from within. At this point, the fuselage sited part of the main gear bays is dropped in between the two triangular apertures, and the whole assembly is offered up to the fuselage. The two upper wing parts are added later, along with all the flying surfaces, which can be posed as you see fit, and the wing fences on the outer section, which can be either styrene or PE. The elevators slot into tabs, and are surrounded by a number of intakes at the rear of the fuselage, which are then joined underneath by more and a single ventral strake. Forward of those is a large additional air brake, which is cleverly made to pose open or closed by placing a different insert into the recess in the fuselage. The closed option requires only one part, while the open option has a separate air brake and deployment jack, and the brake has the prominent circular cut-outs that mate with the corresponding lumps within the bay. Further forward still is the site of the optional GP-9 cannon pod, which is made up from two halves with a separate barrel of the GSh-23 cannon, and two bulkheads within the part that both hold it to the correct shape and provide the pins that hold it in place on the underside of the fuselage. The landing gear on these kits is well detailed, and the single nose wheel is clamped in place by a two-part yoke that also fits around the bottom of the gear leg, with an actuator providing the upper portion of the oleo-scissor link. Two gear bay doors sit at either side of the narrow bay, linked to the fuselage by a pair of hinge tabs, with some detail moulded into the inside, and a kink in the doors to match the profile of the fuselage at that point. The main gear is a single strut for each leg with a two-part oleo-link, and a narrow door attached to the strut. The wheels have separate hubs and two-part tyres, and you get a lovely set of kabuki tape masks to help you paint them into the bargain. What Cold War Warrior would be complete without weapons? There are plenty in the box, of which you can use the following with impunity, referring to the accompanying external stores chart for the capabilities of each weapons station. 2 x 490L external fuel tank 2 x S-24 rocket 2 x RS2US Missile 2 x R3S A2A Missile 2 x R3R A2A Missile PBP-2-3S Monsun dual rail launchers 2 x RATO pods There are of course a few spares left on the sprues that cover pretty much all the standard weaponry carried by the variants covered so far by Eduard. Add the prominent probe on the nose, an aerial on the spine, plus a number of PE static-wicks on the wingtips and tail feathers, and you're done. Markings Eduard's Profipack boxing usually contains a set of masks to assist with painting, and as mentioned earlier this is no exception. As well as the aforementioned wheel masks, a set of canopy masks are provided, plus a number of masks for the dielectric panels on the tail, underside and on the wing leading edges. There's even a pair of rectangular sections for the HUD to protect it during painting. A healthy five options are included on the main sheet from a number of foreign users of this export model, and all the stencils that cover the surface of this jet are found on the rather long and busy second sheet. There's a separate page just for the stencils, to avoid duplication and confusion during the process that although a little tedious, adds an extra layer of realism to the model IMHO. The main sheet is printed by Cartograf, the other is printed locally in the Czech Republic, and they're both well done. The National Markings are beautifully done with crisp colours, good registration and very closely cropped carrier film, which seems to be the norm on recent Cartograf offerings. The Cyrillic lettering on the stencils is legible if you read Russian, and although the carrier film isn't as crisp as the other sheet, it would be difficult to crop it too close without rendering the decals unusable due to their small size. Some of these will be used on the weapons and pylons, which will cut-down on those needed depending on your chosen load-out. From the box you can build one of the following: Vietnamese People's Army Air Force, 921st Fighter Regiment, 1968 – All-over aluminium with green mottle on upper surfaces. Red 5015 on the nose. Czechoslovak Air Force, 11th Fighter Regiment, Zatec AFB, March 1991 – all-over aluminium with yellow fuselage band and shark mouth motif on the cannon pod. 7909 in black on the nose. Baurnal Higher Air Force School, Kamen Na Obi/Slavgorod airbases, Soviet Union, ca 1988 – Three tone symmetrical sand/brown/green uppers with azure blue lowers. White 105 and red chevron on the nose. Egyptian Air Force, Inshas Airbase, early 1980s – Sand/dark earth striped camo over light blue. Polish Air Force 1st Squadron of 62nd Fighter Regiment, Poznan – Krzesiny airbase, 1994 – all over aluminium with gold band on fin. 6910 and a black raven motif on the nose. Conclusion Another winner from Eduard's Mig-21 stable with some colourful decal choices one of which should appeal. The addition of extra parts in the form of PE upgrades and paint masks marks out the Profipacks as special, and well worth the slight premium over the Weekend editions that usually follow along. Keep your eyes open for the additional upgrades in the shape of a resin cockpit, exhaust assembly and additional PE to further enhance the skin of your model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Mig-21R ProfiPack - 1:48

    Mig-21R ProfiPack 1:48 Eduard The Mig-21 was the mainstay of many Soviet and Soviet friendly countries during the Cold War and beyond, with some substantial number in service today around the world despite its advancing age. The R variant is a combat capable reconnaissance aircraft, wired up to take various pods containing electronics and optical sensors for photo and electronic intelligence gathering. It can still be loaded with weapons for defensive and offensive operations, in line with the PFS from which is was developed. The Kit The box is standard Eduard Profipack with yet another handsome painting of a Mig-21R flying over desert terrain. If you have any of the other variants, or read our past reviews, you'll know what to expect in the box, and that's far from disappointing! This variant shares four sprues with the PFM reviewed in November, and much of the revisions are minor, concerning small surface details such as panel lines and vent locations for the most part. The tail-fin has been separated out from the small parts that were previously around it on the sprue and paired with the spine insert, which could possibly be for the ease of future versions. I'll not go over the construction again, as it is broadly similar to the PFM which is linked above. There are nine sprues in a dark grey styrene, plus a clear sprue, who sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, one fret of which is pre-painted and contains most of the cockpit embellishments, a set of canopy masks, two sheets of decals and of course the instructions with integrated colour painting and decaling guide on the back pages. The main external differences will be to the "weapons" load, as it would be churlish to invest your hard-earned in a fighting reconnaissance variant and then festoon it with bombs and missiles that although it was capable of carrying, would result in it looking much like any other Mig-21 in your collection. The extra sprue for the pods give you three options for daylight, night-time, and electronic intelligence gathering, one of which is slung under the belly on the centreline station. The instructions tell you which pod to fit on which decal option, and a large number of stencils are included to improve the look of the painted pod. Markings As is usual with ProfiPack editions, there are five choices of decals with this kit, with plenty of variation in theme to please most modellers, and including two bare metal machines. The decals are printed by Cartograf for Eduard, while the stencils are made locally by an un-named company. Both sheets are very well done, with good register, clarity and colour density. The Cartograf sheet edges it slightly in looks with a thinner carrier film, but the stencils have already been proven to go down well too. A set of cockpit decals are included for those that either don't like PE, or have an accident during the build, and these are very nicely detailed too, rather than an afterthought as seen with some kits. From the box you can build one of the following: Soviet Air Force, 263rd Independent Reconnaissance Air Squadron, Kabul Airfield, Afghanistan, 1981 Sand over light blue, with brown and green patches over the upper sides. White 39 on the nose. 353rd Reconnaissance Air Squadron, Yugoslavia, 1971 All over bare metal with a red/white/blue stripe on the tail and 104 on the nose. Czech Air Force, Air Test Department, Caslav Air Base, fall 1994 Brown over light blue with dark green patches, checkerboard rudder and intake lip. 1501 on the nose. Polish Air Force, 32nd Tactical Reconnaissance Air Regiment, Sochaczew Bielice Air Base, Early 1980s All over bare metal with red 1423 and winged emblem on the nose. Cuban Air Force, 1980-90s Blue and green camouflage over light grey, Cuban flag on the rudder, and 111 on the nose. As usual, a separate page is devoted to the application of stencils to the main airframe, and another to the weapons supplied with the kit. A further half page is supplied for the reconnaissance pods. Conclusion Another solid entry to the Mig-21 catalogue from Eduard, and some entertaining decal choices. The Cuban aircraft really appeals to this modeller, as the scheme is somewhat colourful and unusual. Add the easy availability of aftermarket from Eduard for those that want to improve further on the already excellent styrene in the box, and you have the best and most detailed styrene kit of the Mig-21 in this scale, with the potential to go mad and super-detail to your heart's content. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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