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Hi everyone, I’m very pleased to present to you my latest build in the form of a MiG-21FL as operated by the TACDE from Adampur, India. I added the canopy actuators and cemented the canopy today and she was done! The inspiration for this was the images below. I had wanted to build a FL for many years and had settled my plans on an 8 Squadron camouflaged machine when I found an image of this one in the late Phil Camp’s excellent book on the Indian Air Force. This and some interesting research, supported faithfully by a number of BMers, led me to build this more colourful machine. The TACDE operated both MiG-21s (FL/M/Bis) and Su-7BMKs (the subject of my next non-GB build). The MiGs were often very colourful. The MiG-21FL (Type 77) was the first major version to equip the IAF squadrons on a large scale. The aircraft was a development of the MiG-21F (Type 76) which was operated in small numbers by the Indians. The FL was subsequently manufactured by HAL until the end of 1973. The final examples were retired in December 2013 Sadly, the two images that I have of this aircraft in TACDE service don’t show any serial and being Indian, and knowing their quite secretive ways, I accepted that I may never discover the true identity of the machine in the image. Therefore, I decided to pay homage to one of the “MiG Killers” from the Indo-Pakistan Air Wars and adopted “C754” as the serial, right or wrong. The other aspect of the build for which I’m made some guesses is the arrangement of the red dots on the wings and tailplanes. I have also mimicked the port side pattern (in the photos) on the starboard side. Again, without other images who is going to disagree! This machine certainly had a long career in India, having operated with at least 29 Squadron “The Scorpios”, 8 Squadron “The Pursoots”, the MOFTU (MiG Operational Flying Training Unit) in Tezpur, in addition to being recorded as being part of the TACDE fleet. Here are a few shots of her in service: In service with the MOFTU in Tezpur. Credit: Simon Watson and public domain In flight while with 8 Squadron. Credit: Peter Steinemann and public domain On a turn around while at TACDE - C754? Credit: public domain Posed "crew de-brief" in front of C754? Credit: public domain and Phil Camp C754, flown by Flt Lt Samar Shah, was famed for the downing of a Pakistani Shenyang F-6 in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan conflict. At that time 29 Squadron “Scorpios” detachments were posted at Uttarlai, Hindon and Sirsa. Also based at Uttarlai were the Maruts of 10 Sqn and some Gnats which were used in an air defence role. Uttarlai received a fair share of enemy attention. However, the Scorpios had to wait until the last three days of the war to draw their first blood, the details being captured in the following text by Mr. Pushpindar Singh Chopra: “MiG-21FLs escorting HAL HF-24 Maruts on lo-lo-lo profile ground attack missions flew at low altitude, normally pulling up to 500 m (1700 ft) and establishing a CAP circuit while the Maruts went into attack, but on this occasion (16th December) two MiG-21FLs, including C754, were detailed as escort for four Maruts on a low level strike mission against targets along the Naya Chor-Mirpur axis. They flew at about 6,560 ft (2000 m). After strafing enemy vehicles and a gun pit just beyond the bomb line, the Marut leader elected to drift further west in a quest for targets of opportunity. As the Maruts established an attack pattern, one of the Mig-21 pilots, Flt.Lt Samar Bikram Shah spotted what he took to be a Cessna 0-1 Bird Dog. Descending in low level tight turn to confirm the identity of the aircraft, Shah, glanced back to ensure that his tail was clear, saw two Pakistani MiG-19's (F-6s) closing at six o'clock and at a distance of about 1640 yards (1500 m), while a third MiG-19 was perched higher. With his MiG-21FL now down to about 650 feet (200 m), Shah engaged reheat and pulled up the nose of his fighter. The two MiG-19s that had been closing with Shah's aircraft made no attempt to follow the MiG-21 in its vertical manoeuvre but, instead, dipped their noses and commenced flying in a tight circle some 160 ft (50 m) above the flat desert terrain, the third MiG-19 in the meanwhile disappeared. Shah's wingman, Flying Officer Dinesh Arora, called in that he was covering the Maruts, which had completed their attack and were heading back at low level. So, Shah decided to take on the PAF aircraft, carrying out four or five yo-yos in an attempt not to overshoot the MiG-19s, noting that the second PAF fighter was evidently having difficulty keeping position with his No.1 and was mushing badly. After some seconds, the second MiG-19 gave up the attempt to stay with his No.1 and headed away practically on the deck. The MiG-19 leader continued a half circle and broke away in the direction of a Marut. This gave Shah the opportunity to get behind the PAF fighter, firing a burst of 23-mm cannonfire from about 650 yards (600 m) at a high angle off, the MiG-19 immediately turning over and flying straight into the ground. The low level chase had lasted some three minutes and, now dangerously low on fuel, Shah put his MiG-21 into climbing 180 deg turn, gaining as much sky as possible before cutting down on engine rpm. He reached his base with the fuel gauges almost empty, went straight in to land and exhausted his last fuel as he taxied to dispersal. The Indian armed forces deployed in the area intercepted enemy radio communications indicating that one F-6 failed to return after the interaction. Later the wreckage of the downed F-6 was located." An extract from an interview with Flt Lt (Retd) Samar "Sam" Shah VrC,VM stated: “I flew 21 operational missions during the war. On 16th December 1971, I shot down a Pakistani F-6(Mig-19) in air combat over Naya Chor, Pakistan. My wingman Dinesh Arora and myself were escorting 4 HF-24's(Maruts) led by Wg.Cdr Ranjit "Jit" Dhawan, when we spotted three Pakistani F-6's. We engaged them in air combat and I got behind the leader and shot him down with cannon fire. I got behind the second aircraft, but had to disengage due to shortage of fuel. I felt I may not make it back to base. I flamed out on landing. I think we did a very good job from Uttarlai. We kept the P.A.F from entering through the Rajasthan sector and our morale was very high." It’s a bit cheesey but this youtube shows you a bit more about the TACDE: More about the MOFTU: https://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/Special/Features/MOFTU/ So, how about the model? Well, I ran a WIP Simply, though, it is a composite of the delightful Eduard MiG-21PF and ‘PFM kits. Before I go on, though, I must thank the following, who have helped me along the way: Giorgio @Giorgio N, Wez @Wez, Jonathan @Stilwell, @Linescriber, @lasermonkey, Chris @Vultures1, Terry @Terry1954, Stuart @Courageous, @AaCee26, @Troy Smith, Antti @Antti_K and a number of others. Bringing these two kits together is really quite simple and the built up model needs little customisation, save for the small Indian oddities. What did I use/do?: Kit – the excellent Eduard MiG-21PF (70143) and MiG-21PFM (70144) in 1/72. The latter donating small parts, the fin and spine. Aftermarket – only the Master Pitot (AM 72-046). I made the upper nose blade aerial from card and rod. Having failed miserably with the PE for the canopy I built my own internals, again from card and rod. Paint – Overall she is painted with Humbrol Polished Aluminium (27002) and 63 Scarlet enamels. In addition I used Colourcoats Light Gull grey (ACUS01) for the cockpit, Vert (ACF08) for the di-electric panels, nose cone and wheels, and a variety of other Humbrol and Colourcoat paints as required. She had a final coat of Humbrol Satincote. Giorgio @Giorgio N cut me some circular masks, for which I'm very grateful! Decals – The roundels and tail flag came from Bright Star. The unit markings, serial, etc were drawn by Giorgio and printed by Arctic Decals. The stencils are from the kit – not accurate as they are blue and red when the Indians actually used black. A bridge too far for me …. Weathering etc – Flory Dirt Wash together with Tamiya Weathering Powders and a Prismacolor Silver pencil. The entire undercarriage was brushed with Mud powders, left thickly. I hope you like her as much as I do! Martin With her kind ....
JUMP TO POSTS FROM 17th September 2020 FOR THE MiG-21FL BUILD Hi all! Having been tweaked a little on the subject of WIPs and my lack of recent submissions, and feeling a tad guilty, I thought I'd offer up one of my next builds. It is the superb Modelsvit Su-7BMK, which I will build OOB essentially. I love the ruggedness of this machine and only wish I could have seen one or more in flight! It will be my second go at this kit, having enjoyed it thoroughly the first time around. I warn you all that it will be slow-time as I fit in in between my other interests and domestic chores! ;). Here is the box and the contents. Typical of Modelsvit there is a plethora of minute bits but they all have a place and will result - all being well - in a build of a further Indian machine. It wont be the box artwork machine (B843), though. I'm not keen on special schemes. If I had a choice, and I dont, it would be a TACDE machine. It will probably, though, end up as a regular mud moving squadron machine. In terms of aftermarket she will get a resin cockpit, resin nose cone, resin scoops, and a brass pitot (cobbled together from a MiG-21UM/F). Decals will be a mix of the kit sheet, Bright Sparks sheet and some home printed/Arctic Decals extras. If she goes well I might be tempted to start the Su-22M3 ;)... I will be armed with the following books from my bookshelf: and Phil's excellent: Back soon, once the current Harvard is decalled and my MiG-21UM is cleaned and primed. Martin
Hi chaps, Me yet again but on a different subject this time. It is about the MiG-21FLs used on trial at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment, India. I'm trying to pull enough information together to build a machine from this unit. Shots of sucvh machines are notoriously hard to track down so my hopes are not high. However, if anyone has a good steer I'd be very grateful. Thanks. Martin