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MiG-21R - 1:48 Eduard - Weekend Edition


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1:48 Eduard - Weekend Edition


Given the large numbers of MiG-21s produced for the Soviet forces it made sense for them to produce a reconnaissance version of the airframe. NATO would designate the MiG-21R as "Fishbed-H". All aircraft would carry the various sensors in a pod on the centre line of the aircraft. Four main types of pod could be carried;

Type D Daylight PHOTINT pod
Type N night time PHOTINT pod
Type R general purpose ELINT pod
Type T TV system pod.

The use of the Type R pod made the Mig-21R one of the first Soviet aircraft to field an ELINT system. As well as carrying the centre line sensor pod the MiG-21R could carry two air-to-air missiles for self defence, or even Heavy rockets/rocket pods/bombs for offensive actions if needed. One notable feature of the MiG-21R was wingtip pods fitted with additional antennas.

The Kit
Eduard's MiG-21 range is now pretty much established as a great range of kits and it was only time until they added the Recon aircraft to the range. The weekend kit arrives as seven sprues of light grey plastic, a clear sprue and a set of Super Fabric seat belts. The surprise is the Eduard have given us a complete new wing for the R model with the wingtip antennas moulded on. Most companies I think would have included these as a small sprue for you to graft onto an existing wing. Thanks Eduard :)



Construction begins shockingly with the cockpit area. The front wheel well parts are attached to the underside of the cockpit floor. The instrument panel is then made up from five parts. The modeller can paint the panel or use the decals supplied. The next step is to complete the engine exhaust. The exhaust is made up from 11 parts and looks to be fairly detailed for plastic parts. Once complete this is set aside for later. The main wheel bay is then constructed from 9 parts, and again this looks fairly comprehensive for plastic parts.


Construction then moves back to the cockpit. The side consoles are constructed and placed in the appropriate fuselage halves. Again the modeller can choose between painting details or using the supplied decals. Once the side consoles are in, the cockpit floor, exhaust assembly, cockpit bulkhead; and nose cone are all placed indie the fuselage halves and they can be joined together. The tail, rudder and fuselage spine can then be added to the complete fuselage. This then complete the main fuselage and construction moves onto the wings.


The wings are a one part bottom wing with split left/right uppers. If the side airbrakes are to be positioned open then they will have to be cut out from the wing. A variety of small parts are added to the wheel bays, along with the walls of the bays. The main wheels wells can then be added to the fuselage and the lower wing glued into place. The tail planes are added at this stage along with various linkages and intakes in the engine bay area.


The upper wings are added next, along with their separate control surfaces. Work then switches to the underside. The main airbrake can be added in either the open or closed position. Flap actuators are added as is the under tail fairing. Work then switches to the undercarriage. The main wheels are built up along with tyres. The front landing leg is also assembled. These are attached along with the main gear doors.



Last touches are to complete the ejector seat. This is 19 part affair in plastic! as good as some resin seats I have seen, and with the addition of the super fabric seat belts should really look the part. The canopies and pitot tubes are added and the underwing/belly pods/ordnance can be added. Drop tanks, large rockets and air-2-air missiles are provided for the modeller to use as they want. Type D, and R recon pods are provided for use under the main fuselage. A nice inclusion is RATO bottles to attach to the fuselage.



Clear Parts
The clear parts are up to Eduard's usual standard. Clear and free from distortion.


Surprisingly enough for a weekend kit Eduard have provided two sets of decals for the kit.


  • Soviet 263rd Independent Reconnaissance Sqn, Afghanistan 1980
  • Cuban Air Force 1968. Aircraft 111 is now in the Havana Air Museum
This is a great kit from Eduard. Reconnaissance aircraft can often be overlooked in favour of fighters. Having this in a weekend boxing does bring the price down for the cost conscious modeller. However if you really want to goto town then Eduard have a slew of Brass, and resin parts to bling up your MiG. Highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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