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Mike

Mig-25RB Foxbat 1:48

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Mike    10,644

Mig-25RB

1:48 ICM

 

boxtop.jpg

 

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.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

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.

 

sprue7.jpg

 

sprue8.jpg

 

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:

 

  1. Mig-25RB 154th Independent Ait Detachment, Cairo-West (ARE), May 1974 – marked blue 57 with no national markings.
  2. Mig-25RB, Soviet Air Force, late 70s – Marked Blue 55 with Soviet red star.
  3. Mig-25RB, 63rd Independent Air Detachment, United Arab Republic, 1971-72 – UAR flag on the tail, with roundels on the wing.
  4. Mig-25RB (late production), Iraqi Air Force, 1980 – Iraqi flag on the tail, triangular "roundel" on wings and fuselage.

 

decals.jpg

 

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

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ya-gabor    306

As far as I can see this time around ICM has corrected the stencils and the “dark” ones are now black just the way they were on 99% of aircraft (hope Mike can confirm this).

 

But while in the Revell re-box of the original RBT kit instrument panel and side consoles were provided to make the cockpit “work”, it is strange that ICM did not follow this. ICM has received a lot of critiques for the lack of decals for the instruments with the first release, sad that opportunity was lost in correcting this with the second kit.

 

The box art is a bit strange. Have a look at the completely distorted way the recce pods camera windows are shown. Mind you the early recce covers were a bit different so for Cairo based examples some after work should be required. But the box art is not representing this.

 

It is interesting that on home ground some of the new kits still have the original, wrong shape nose sprues in the boxes. At least this is what has been reported by from Russian language buyers. Suppose the boxes going for Western export now have the corrected nose section so you can build either this or that version.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Mike    10,644
4 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

It is interesting that on home ground some of the new kits still have the original, wrong shape nose sprues in the boxes. At least this is what has been reported by from Russian language buyers. Suppose the boxes going for Western export now have the corrected nose section so you can build either this or that version.

Looks that way, although ours came directly from the good folks of ICM in the Ukraine :)

 

4 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

As far as I can see this time around ICM has corrected the stencils and the “dark” ones are now black just the way they were on 99% of aircraft (hope Mike can confirm this).

That's correct.  They're black ;)  No decals though, but I managed to fix that with my Airscale Russian Jets decals easily enough (and no-one but the absolute purist would notice my application wasn't 100% accurate) ^_^

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davmarx    145

So, if someone buys this RB box finds a new nose useful for correcting the previous RBT kit too, am I right?  :idea:

Too late for me, I've already bought the great RBT set by CWS...  ;)

 

 

 

Ciao.

Davide

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ya-gabor    306
1 hour ago, davmarx said:

So, if someone buys this RB box finds a new nose useful for correcting the previous RBT kit too, am I right?  :idea:

Too late for me, I've already bought the great RBT set by CWS...  ;)

 

Ciao.

Davide

 

Based on sprue photos above: YES. In real life as I have said there is a chance that there are still old (RBT) sprues around inside the new RB boxing. I guess till they run out of the old sprues (original RBT nose sections) there could still some surfacing.

Well looking from the stand point of the producer the sprues with the original nose (RBT) are "PARTS NOT FOR USE" in the new RB kit since it has its own new sprue with the RB nose. So if you find upgraded RBT nose in your RB kit, treat it as a special BONUS! :D

 

Best regards

Gabor

Edited by ya-gabor

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davmarx    145
22 minutes ago, ya-gabor said:

 

Based on sprue photos above: YES. In real life as I have said there is a chance that there are still old (RBT) sprues around inside the new RB boxing. I guess till they run out of the old sprues (original RBT nose sections) there could still some surfacing.

Well looking from the stand point of the producer the sprues with the original nose (RBT) are "PARTS NOT FOR USE" in the new RB kit since it has its own new sprue with the RB nose. So if you find upgraded RBT nose in your RB kit, treat it as a special BONUS! :D

 

Best regards

Gabor

Thanks so much, Gabor.  :yes:

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Muzz    1,453

Great review and a nice re-tool of a lovely kit, looks like I'll have to build another in UAR or Iraqi markings with bombs, lots of bombs!

 

Muzz

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tony.t    94

Nice review of the kit. 

 

I've built the original release and it's a great kit. Just hope ICM follow this up with more Cold War era Soviet jets - a nice Su-15 Flagon done to ICM standards would be an absolute treat.

 

Tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hook    370

Looks pretty good! Here's hoping ICM will scale it down to 1/72nd, like their Do 17 kits. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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