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  1. MiG-15 Royal Class 1:72 Eduard The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was one of the most famous fighter from the early Cold War period. Although a Soviet design, the MiG-15 famously made use of captured German research on the aerodynamic properties of swept wings, and was powered by a reverse-engineered Rolls Royce Nene turbojet. The resulting aircraft was a triumph, easily outclassing straight wing jet fighters when in the hands of an experienced pilot. In order to ensure it could fulfil its intended role as a bomber destroyer, it packed a formidable punch in the shape of two 23mm cannons and a single 37mm cannon mounted in a pack under the nose. The MiG-15bis was the second major variant. It featured a range of small improvements, including an improved engine, revised arrangement for the 23mm cannon, redesigned airbrakes and, in some models, underwing hardpoints for unguided rockets or bombs. The MiG-15 made its combat debut during the Korean War, where it proved a nasty shock for UN forces. It wasn't until the North Amercian F-86 Sabre became available that the American forces had anything able to hold its own against the new Soviet fighter. The MiG-15 went on to become one of the most widely produced jet fighters in history and saw service with air forces around the world. Despite a lengthy delay caused by a problem with the mould which necessitated the re-tooling of the whole kit, Eduard's MiG-15 was warmly received when it was released last year. When it did finally emerge, it helped to cement Eduard's reputation for producing high-quality models which feature exquisite detail and superb engineering. Now, with the release of the UTI trainer version of the famous fighter, Eduard have given the MiG-15 the Royal Class treatment. Described as a 'Quattro Combo' release, inside the large, top-opening box you will find four complete kits; two MiG-15s, one MiG-15bis and one MiG-15 UTI. Alongside the kits, you also get a handful of resin and photo etched parts, paint masks and no fewer than eighteen decal options courtesy of a huge decal sheet printed by Cartograf. Being part of the Royal Class range, the good folk of Eduard have thrown in a few extra goodies in the shape of a small whiskey class complete with printed MiG-15 artwork and a piece of a real MiG-15 mounted on an acrylic display stand. All-in-all, this is a real treat for MiG-15 fans. We've reviewed Eduard's MiG-15 a number of times before, so rather than go over old ground again, I will refer you back to our original review of the MiG-15 and review of the MiG-15bis. What I will do is take a look at the new sprues relevant to the UTI version, as well as some of the other goodies that Eduard have provided. Thanks to the way the kit has been engineered, all of the parts for the UTI version are provided on three new sprues two grey and one clear with sprue holding the flying surfaces carried over from the previous releases. A small fret of photo etched parts is provided too. The new sprues are just as nice as those provided for the original kits. Details are clean and crisp and there are no sink marks and no trace of flash. As with other recent kits from Eduard, there is plenty of fine detail, with parts such as the cockpit comparable to high-end resin items. The surface detail on the outside of the airframe is comprised of recessed panel lines and delicately (almost unbelievably so) engraved rivet and fastener details. The overall impression is very favourable indeed. As with the single-seater variants, the cockpit is nicely detailed without being overly complex. Eduard suggest using the two KK-1 resin ejector seats provided for the UTI variant, but you have the choice of using plastic ones if you prefer. Either way, you can make use of the pre-painted harnesses to add that extra level of detail if you so wish. As before, the sidewalls of the cockpit double up as the walls of the engine air intake, between which the front and rear bulkheads and cockpit floor are sandwiched. Being a two-seater, you get two control columns and instrument panels as well as the aforementioned seats. Photo etched parts are provided for the rudder pedals and the sidewall details, giving you a complete solution for superdetailing straight from the box. The rest of the model is constructed in exactly the same way as the original kit upon which this is based, with the exception of the canopy and underwing fuel tanks. Beautifully case resin parts are provided for the latter, while the former is broken down into four parts and can be finished in either open or closed positions. Indeed, it would have been a travesty if this hadnt been the case, given all the superb detail in the cockpit. As mentioned above, a full set of canopy masks has been included, helping to turn a time consuming chore into a quick and easy job. Ive used Eduards pre-cut masks a number of times now and have always found them to be excellent. Eduard are usually pretty generous with the decal options in their kits, but they have surpassed themselves this time around. Choices are provided for the following eighteen (yes, eighteen!) aircraft: MiG-15, c/n 111025, Flown by 1st Lt. Anatoliy P. Gogolev, 2nd Flight, 176th GIAP, 324. GIAD, Antung Air Base, 1951. This aircraft wears North Korean markings and has a red painted nose; MiG-15, s/n 231611, Romanian Air Force, Late 1950s. This aircraft features a bold blue arrow running the length of the fuselage; MiG-15bis, No. 20 Squadron, Egypt., Late 50s / Early 1960s, featuring a bat emblem on the nose and a green and white chequered pattern on the rudder; MiG-15bis, Flown by Capt. Ryszard Grundman, 1st Fighter Regiment, Bemowo Air Base, Poland, 1954; MiG-15bis, s/n 31530906, 25th Fighter Division, 35th Fighter Regiment, Taszar Air Base, Hungary, 1954 1955; MiG-15bis, s/n 623766, FAG 2 Training Regiment, Trollenhagen Air Base, German Democratic Republic, 1956; MiG-15bis, Flown by Zhao Baotong, 3rd Air Division, Korea, 1952; MiG-15bis, Flown by Nikolay I. Shkodin, 147th GIAP, 133rd IAD, Tatung-kao Air Base, China, July, 1953. This aircraft is finished in a disruptive sand and green camouflage pattern; MiG-15bis, Korea, 1952, finished in a disruptive green over natural metal pattern; MiG-15bis, Flown by Capt. Jaromir Palecny, 11th Fighter Regiment, Zatec Air Base, 1960, finished in bold red markings; MiG-15bisSB, 30th Fighter-Bomber Regiment, Hradec Kralove / Pardubice Air Base, Czechoslovakia, 1970s; UTI MiG-15, 1st Fighter Regiment, 2nd Squadron, Plana Air Base, Czechoslovakia, Summer, 1969; UTI MiG-15, s/n 822028, Hävittäjälentolaivue 31, Rissala Air Base, Finland, May, 1973; UTI MiG-15, Syrian Air Force, finished in a sand and green disruptive pattern; UTI MiG-15, c/n 612739, Flown by Yuri Gagarin / Vladimir Seryogin, Space Training Centre, Chkalovskiy Airfield, Soviet Union, March 27, 1968; UTI MiG-15, Egyptian Air Force, 1970s 80s, finished in sand, brown and green over light grey; UTI MiG-15, Indonesian Air Force, Jakarta Kemajoran Air Base, 1965; and UTI MiG-15, Iraqi Air Force, 1980s, finished in red-brown over sand. Each option is illustrated with a four-view colour profile, alongside a brief history of each aircraft. The decals look crisp, thin and glossy and the colours used are nice and bold. No Royal Class kit would be complete without a couple of extra goodies. In this case you get a nice whiskey glass with Eduard's MiG-15 artwork printed on the side (perhaps vodka would be a more appropriate tipple to enjoy from this particular receptacle), as well as a small piece of an original MiG-15 of the Czechoslovak People's Army and a certificate of authenticity signed by the CEO of Eduard, Mr Vladimir Sulc. Both are nice items and well worth having. Conclusion In my original review I commented that Eduard had managed to produce the definitive kit of the MiG-15 in this scale. Well now they have created the definitive packaging too. The kits themselves are both accurate and superbly engineered, putting all other 1:72 kits of the type in the shade. The level of detail Eduard have packed in is astonishing, as is the treatment of panel lines and rivets. The addition of all the other benefits associated with the Royal Class edition - photo etched parts, resin, marks and the other exclusive goodies - masks makes this the complete package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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