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Julien

MiG-21MF Profipack - 1:48 Eduard - Re-release

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Mig 21MF Profipack
1:48 Eduard


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The Mig 21 has the distinction of being the most numerous supersonic jet fighter aircraft ever built, and has seen service with dozens of counties all over the world. It has seen action in Vietnam, the Middle East, Yugoslavia, Cuba and during numerous conflicts in Africa. It has even been copied by the Chinese, where it is known as the Chengdu J-7.

The MF is a single seat export version of the SM with modernised avionics and uprated engine. This version has been exported to a number of countries, so choice of markings should be excellent.

There was a lot of buzz when this kit first arrived in 2011. The kit arrives in a typical compact Eduard box, with a dramatic painting of two Migs in Egyptian markings flying over the pyramids. On lifting the lid, you are greeted by 8 large sprues of grey styrene, a large clear sprue in a Ziploc bag, a bag containing two frets of Photo-Etched (PE) parts, one in colour, the other plain. The Brassin UB-16 rocket packs from the original release are no longer supplied. Two large decal sheets and another bag containing some masks finish off the box.

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The instruction booklet is printed in color, and is 20 pages long, which is to be expected for a kit containing 466 parts. There is also a separate sheet for painting and decaling the various weapons fits and accompanying pylons, the decals for which are on the larger sheet, which is entirely stencils.

You can see where the high part count comes from the moment you open the glossy instruction booklet, because separate parts have been used on detail that would normally be simplified to reduce the cost of tooling. The cockpit and nose gear bay are built up on either side of the floor, with a choice of either a clear styrene instrument panel, or a laminated PE panel, which is pre-painted an emerald green and sits on top of a blank clear part. PE makes an appearance in the cockpit where appropriate in the form of straps for the rudder pedals and side console details. Colour callouts in the Gunze Aqueous range of paints are made throughout to ease painting choices.

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The cockpit and nose gear well combination are sandwiched between the fuselage along with a pair of handy bulkheads, the nose cone and the deep exhaust trunking, which is made up of 10 styrene parts and two PE parts that detail the afterburner ring. The tail and spine affix to the closed fuselage, with a helpful jointing part (H5) ensuring that the parts locate neatly. The rudder is a separate part, and can be offset to add a little visual interest.

The lower wing is provided as a single part, with the underside of the fuselage attached for convenience. The modeller builds up the gear bay detail before this section is attached to the fuselage, together with a large insert depicting the bay area inside the main fuselage. Detail here is excellent, and leaves many kits for dead. The modeller can open up the air brake bays if they wish, and here Eduard have chosen to mould the brakes closed, with depressions inside the part to assist with the cutting out. Whilst it might be beyond the confidence levels of a novice to dive in and open these panels, at least they don't have to struggle with ill-fitting parts if they wish to show them closed. Shallow bays fill the hole if you dare to break out the Dremel, which are nicely engraved and have corresponding replacement covers provided.

The tail and various sensor lumps and humps attach to the fuselage with large pins, but take care to obtain the correct zero dihedral, as seen in the later armament diagrams. The upper wing parts have a pair of lozenge shaped panels missing that are specific to some models, and here Eduard provide a PE template for scribing of the lines, or a decal that includes both the lines and some rows of rivets, catering for all tastes. The flying surfaces are all separate parts, and a pair of PE wing fences are supplied as alternatives if you'd like to get scale thickness there. Flap actuator fairings, probes, more lumps and bumps, and a large ventral fin all increase detail on the underside, and another air-brake bay is also provided with open or closed parts.

The landing gear has a high parts count, with separate hubs, tyres and brake disc housings attaching to the main legs with separate scissor-links, and the nose gear follow a similar pattern. The gear doors are thin and well detailed, with comprehensive instructions to fit them at the correct angles.

At the end of the main build, the cockpit coaming and detailed ejection seat are built up last, showing that Eduard are indeed modellers first and foremost. The seat builds up from a surprisingly large number of parts, and has a full set of PE seatbelts, which are pre-painted in the correct colours. The remaining work on the canopy, which can be posed open or closed finishes the main build, leaving the modeller to choose a weapons load for their model.

Here the choice is excellent, including the followings:

1 x 800L external fuel tank
2 x 490L external fuel tank
2 x S24 rocket
2 x RS2US Missile
2 x R3S A2A Missile
2 x R13 A2A Missile
2 x R3R A2A Missile
8 x FAB 100kg Bomb including 2 x MBD
2 x FAB 250kg Bomb
2 x RATO pods

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A full set of pylons is also included, and separate fuel and weapons charts to help you decide on what to hang from the wings.

As previously mentioned, the decal sheet comprises one large sheet of stencils for the airframe, weapons and pylons, with the main markings and even more stencils on the smaller, more colourful sheet. Both sheets are now printed in The Czech Republic, register, color density and sharpness look to be excellent.

From this boxing you can build one of the following:
  • No.7628, Egyptian Air Force, Tanta Airbase, 1988
  • Czechoslovak People's Army 9th Fighter Squadron, Bechyne AB, Czechoslovakia, 1989-1993
  • Slovak Air Force, 4th Flight, Sliac Airbase, Slovakia c.1999
  • Polish Air Force, 10th Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego, Lask AB, Poland, 2001-2003
  • 812th UAP, Kharkov Higher Military Academy, Kupyansk Airfield, Soviet Union, Aug 1991
  • German Democratic Republic, Jagdfliegergeschwader 3, Preschen Airbase, 1990

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Six options from one box gives the modeller an excellent choice, and Eduard are to be congratulated for that.

Conclusion
An impressive kit. The sheer number of parts is mind boggling, but each part is there for a reason - to enhance detail, and judging from the few built up models I've seen so far, it works well. The options available with the various air brakes and posable flying surfaces gives the modeller opportunity to personalise their build, which should proceed apace, given the clear and concise instructions. The detail is crisp with nice restrained panel lines and rivets, and plenty of raised and engraved detail almost everywhere you look.

Heartily recommended to everyone that wants a modern tooling of this famous MiG to add to their collection. If you did not get one the first time around, this is your chance.

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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You could be right there, but at least it's back out. A very good kit.

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Got one of the early releases, worth getting, especially if you can hang on until a well known forum supplier gets them in at a cheaper option

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