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Paul A H

MiG-15bis Profipack - 1:72 Eduard

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MiG-15bis Profipack

1:72 Eduard


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The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was one of the most famous fighter aircraft to have emerged 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 a reverse engineered Rolls Royce Nene turbojet engine. The resulting aircraft was a triumph, easily outclassing the straight wing jet fighters then in service when handled by experienced pilots. In order to ensure it succeeded as a bomber destroyer it packed a formidable punch too, with two 23mm cannons and a single 37mm cannon mounted in a pack under the nose.

The MiG-15bis was the second major variant and it featured a range of small improvements including an improved engine, revised arrangement for the 23mm cannon, redesigned airbrakes and, in some models converted for the fighter-bomber role, underwing hardpoints for unguided rockets or bombs. The MiG-15 made it's combat debut during the Korean War, during 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.

New kits from Eduard are usually greeted with a degree of excited anticipation, thanks in no small part to the excellent reputation that the Czech company have earned with world-class models such as their 1:72 Hellcat and Messerschmitt Bf110. Those models featured exquisite detail, superb engineering and have established a reputation that puts them right at the pinnacle of the kit makers art. Eduard have followed up with a subject badly in need of a modern, accurate kit in this scale the MiG-15. The kit arrives packed into a glossy, top-opening box adorned with a picture of Yevgeny G. Pepeleayev's MiG-15 duelling with an F-86 Sabre in the skies over Korea.

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Inside the sturdy box are three sprues of parts moulded in the dark blue-grey plastic often used by Eduard and a single sprue moulded in clear plastic. Altogether there are 62 plastic parts and, as this is a profipack edition, they are accompanied by a small fret of pre-painted photo etched parts and a set of die-cut paint masks. The instruction book is a glossy, stapled A5 affair and it includes full-colour painting diagrams. As is usually the case with Eduard's profipacks, the overall impression is of a really premium quality package.

Its clear from the outset that the quality of the mouldings is up to the usual Eduard standard. 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 detail, and very nice it looks too.

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The cockpit is nicely detailed without being overly complex, and this being a profipack edition there are plenty of photo etched parts to help things along. The sidewalls of the cockpit double up as the walls of the engine air intake. Between these parts the front and rear bulkheads and cockpit floor have to be sandwiched. The KK-1 ejection seat is made up of two parts, but there is a full set of harnesses which help to bring it up to scratch. A control column and instrument panel round off the package, with two of the latter being provided, both with and without raised detail, meaning that you won't have to sand off the detail if you choose to use the photo etched version included. Photo etched parts are also used for the rudder pedals and the sidewall details. The overall effect should be very pleasing indeed.

Once the cockpit has been assembled, it can be fitted between the vertically split fuselage, along with the jet pipe and rudder. Eduard have provided space in a little compartment ahead of the cockpit for you to add weight too, which is handy for an aeroplane which is notorious as a tail sitter in kit form.

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Each wing is moulded with separate upper and lower halves, with some structural details moulded on the inside of the upper halves where they form the roof of the main landing gear bays. The tail planes are simple, solid parts. The part of the lower forward fuselage which holds the three cannons is moulded separately, and there is another small compartment which allows you to add a little extra nose weight. The muzzle of each of the cannons is moulded separately, and although brass items would probably be slightly sharper, the plastic version included are just about as good as they could be.

Turning the model over, the undercarriage is just as detailed as the rest of the kit. Each of the main landing gear legs is made up of two nicely moulded parts, with a couple of additional photo etched parts to help things along. Each of the tyres is moulded separately to the hubs, which will speed up the painting of this part no end. This makes up for the nose gear, which is made of a single solid part, including the wheel. It is nicely detailed though, and the extra strength will come in handy once all of the required nose weight is added.

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The canopy is moulded in two parts and is designed to be posed in either open or closed positions, and quite frankly it would have been a travesty if this hadnt been the case, given all the superb detail in the cockpit! As mentioned previously, this is a profipack edition, so a full set of canopy masks has been included. This will turn what, for me at least, is usually 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.


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A small amount of ordnance is provided, including both the small and large types of underwing fuel tanks and four small bombs, although the latter are not referenced in the instructions. Finishing details include a gun sight and a couple of antennas.

Eduard are usually pretty generous with the decal options in their profipacks, and this is no exception. Choices are provided for the following five aircraft:
MiG-15bis 123025, flown by Col. Yevgeniy G. Pepelyayev, CO of 196th IAP, Antung Air Base, Korea, October 1951. This is the aircraft depicted on the box.
MiG-15bis 1315376, ex-64th IAK, Soviet Union, Mid-1950s.
MiG-15bis, flown by Henry Perez, Cuba, 1950s.
MiG-15bis, Egyptian Air Force, October 1956.
MiG-15bis , JAG 11, Bautzen Air Base, East Germany, 1956.

Each option is illustrated with a four-view colour profile. A reasonably comprehensive history of each aircraft depicted is also provided. The decals look crisp, thin and glossy and the colours used are nice and bold.

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Conclusion

It looks like Eduard have once again delivered the definitive kit of an important subject. This MiG-15 is 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 superb, as is the treatment of panel lines and rivets. The addition of photo etched parts and masks makes this edition as close to a complete package as its possible to get, as well as being superb value for money. Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Now that looks great. About time we had a decent MiG-15 in 1/72.

Julien

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These are great little kits! :)

I've just finished one from the Mig15bis dual boxing (soon to be posted), and it was an absolute pleasure to put together. Recommended! :thumbsup:

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These are great little kits! :)

I've just finished one from the Mig15bis dual boxing (soon to be posted), and it was an absolute pleasure to put together. Recommended! :thumbsup:

Looking forward to seeing that! I need to finish a couple of other kits before I start mine :)

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I also built the new Airfix MiG-15 a couple of years ago, and great fun it was too :) However, it suffers from a number of accuracy issues, has heavy panel lines and simplified details. As I said, the Airfix kit is fun and affordable, but the Eduard kit is the real deal and a better choice for enthusiasts.

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