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MiG-23S Flogger B - 1:72 Academy


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MiG-23S Flogger B

1:72 Academy


mig23boxtop.jpg


The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a single-seat, variable geometry interceptor and ground attack aircraft. Designed to be tough and reliable yet cheap to manufacture, the Flogger was widely exported outside of the Soviet Union and is still in service with various air forces around the world. Known in the West by its NATO reporting name 'Flogger', the aircraft was intended as a successor to the MiG-21, which although tough and agile, suffered from a limited range, poor weapon carrying ability and a relatively weak radar.

The MiG-23 was a significant step forwards for the Soviet Union, providing the VVS and PVO with look down/shoot down capabilities as well as a beyond visual range missile platform. The MiG-23 is powered by a single Khatchaturov turbojet which provides a maximum 28,700 lb/ft of thrust with afterburner. This power gives the MiG-23 sprightly performance, enabling it to achieve a climb rate of 47,000 feet per minute and reach a maximum speed of mach 2.3 at altitude. Over 5,000 Floggers were produced, and although this is far fewer than the 11,400 MiG-21s that rolled off the production line, it still enjoyed considerable export success, finding its way into the inventory of air forces across Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

This kit is a re-release of a model that has been around for some time now. It's is fairly well known that Academy's MiG-23 is one of the companies earlier efforts which has its origins in the Hasegawa kit. The Hasegawa kit was produced before good references were available for many Soviet types, and as such it suffers from a number of inaccuracies. Academy's version repeats these issues, but does have the benefit of nicely recessed panel lines. Inside the top opening box are around 50 parts moulded in glossy grey plastic. The moulds appear to be in good condition for their age, although there are hints of flash here and there, but nothing serious. Surface detail is comprised of fine recessed panel lines, but they are starting to look a little soft now, betraying the age of the moulds.

mig23_1.jpg


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Detail fanatics look away now, as the cockpit is a very basic affair. It is comprised of a floor, an instrument panel and a rough representation of an ejector seat. There is no control column and no side consoles. The instrument panel is devoid of any raised detail, but a small decal is provided instead. All-in-all, there isn't very much to write home about. Once assembled, the cockpit can be sealed inside the front fuselage/nose section. The instructions don't recommend any weight in the nose, but given the proportions of the aircraft, I certainly wouldn't risk omitting a bit of ballast.

The rear fuselage is split horizontally, with a simple mechanism to allow the wings to pivot. The tail surfaces are all very simple, with control surfaces moulded in place. The lower fuselage fin can be finished in the extended or folded position. Things pick up with the engine intakes, which are quite nicely detailed, although the shape is a little off. The intakes are blanked off at the rear to prevent the dreaded see-through effect that an otherwise hollow fuselage would produce. The jet tailpipe isn't too bad, and it features a fairly thin edge.

mig23_3.jpg


The landing gear bays are fairly basic, but feature a small amount of structural detail. The Flogger's tough landing gear legs are actually rather nicely detailed and should provide a small lift for an otherwise rather simple kit. The main gear wheels have an annoying ejector pin mark in them, betraying the kit's Hasegawa ancestry. The canopy is moulded in two parts, so it can be posed in the open position if you want to show off the rather spartan cockpit. Ordnance is comprised of a pair of R-23 (AA-7 Apex) missiles, a pair of R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) missiles and that draggy under-fusealge GSh-23L cannon.

mig23_4.jpg


The instructions suggest that two options should be provided on the decal sheet, but in fact there are only decals for one aircraft red 56 of the Soviet Air Force.

Conclusion

Overall this is a fairly basic kit which won't win any prizes for detail or accuracy. I would have to say that those seeking the ultimate MiG-23 are probably better off heading in the direction of the R.V. Aircraft kit. Having said that, this kit isn't beyond redemption and the low price makes it pretty superb value for money. If you're on a tight budget and want a Flogger in your collection, then it is well worth considering.

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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  • 1 month later...

Nice review, but just a minor thing: there is a control column, its just part of the front landing gear oleo (shown pointing down in the 3rd photo), and it comes up through the cockpit floor when you attach the landing gear.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Paul and Excess:

I had the Mig 27 sealed and a friend and modeling pal has offered me this kit. I have watched a long time ago the Zvezda kit once in the Hobby Shop but was not attracted by this one. For sure as was the only Mig missing in my stash will get this one to fill the gap. Thank you very much for sharing!!

Cheers!!!

Edited by Luis Alfonso
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7 hours ago, Luis Alfonso said:

I have watched a long time ago the Zvezda kit once in the Hobby Shop but was not attracted by this one.

 

Zvezda's kit is a bit rougher around the edges, but even with bit of shortage in the radome is a lot more accurate than the Hasegawa kit and the Academy kit, er, "inspired" by it. 

 

If you do build the Academy / Hase ones, whatever you do - do not use the featureless blobs that are supposed to be AA-8 Aphid missiles. Heck, I'll send you a pair of better ones free of charge. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

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