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Paul A H

MiG-29C Fulcrum Izdeliye 9.13 - 1:72 Trumpeter

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MiG-29C Fulcrum Izdeliye 9.13

1:72 Trumpeter


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The Mikoyan MiG-29, NATO reporting name 'Fulcrum', is an air superiority fighter designed and built in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. As with many other frontline aircraft of that period such as the Su-27, F-16, F-15 and Panavia Tornado, it was produced in significant numbers and is still in fairly widespread service with air arms around the world today. The MiG-29 was developed as a lighter, cheaper aircraft when compared to the visually similar Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. As with the Su-27, the engines are spaced widely apart, with the area between the engines being used to generate lift and improve manoeuvrability. The MiG-29 is powered by two Klimov RD-33 Turbofans, each of which is capable of generating over 18,000lb of thrust in reheat. The aircraft is designed to make use of rough airstrips, with engine air intakes that can be closed completely when on the ground, allowing air to be drawn through louvers on the upper surfaces of the blended wing roots. Armament is covered by a combination of Vympel R-27 medium-range air-to-air missiles and R-73 or R-60 short-range air-to-air missiles, as well as a GSh-30-1 30mm cannon. The MiG-29S, also known as the Fulcrum C, features a number of improvements over the Fulcrum A, including the addition of the L-203BE Gardenyia-1 Electronic Countermeasures System in a prominent dorsal hump and improved avionics and control systems.

When we reviewed the original (MiG-29A Izdeliye 9.12) release of this kit in October last year, we confidently pronounced it the best 1:72 kit of the type released to date. Now a copy of the follow up MiG-29C 9.13 kit has arrived courtesy of UK importers Pocketbond, we have a chance to revisit that verdict. As before, the kit has been very well-packed and arrives inside a sturdy top-opening box adorned with a top-quality painting of a Russian MiG-29C in flight. Inside are the two fuselage/wing halves, eight sprues of grey plastic, three small clear sprues, two sheets of decals, instructions and a colour painting diagram. There are over 150 parts in total. In common with other Trumpeter kits, the parts are extremely well packed and all of the sprues are individually bagged. The plastic parts are beautifully moulded and the engraved surface details are clean, consistent and sharp. The parts have a very slightly textured finished, but the panel lines should hold a wash nicely, which is just as well as these aircraft are often seen heavily weathered.

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When I reviewed the previous iteration of this kit, I was impressed with the accuracy that Trumpeter had managed to achieve, and this version is no different. The overall shape appears to match photographs of the real thing very well and the only area that appears to be slightly off is the section of the fuselage underneath the cockpit. The walls of the fuselage should be vertical here, and they're a few degrees off. If I had to guess, I'd say this is probably down to limitations with moulding technology, but the difference is tiny and you'd have to be both a real MiG fan and incredibly fastidious to let it bother you. As before, the auxiliary engine intakes are fixed in the open position, so hopefully someone will produce a set of resin covers so the model can be finished in a more convincing ground configuration. Trumpeter are not on their own in this regard, as most other currently available kits in this scale have the same issue.

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Construction begins with the cockpit. This comprises a tub, two-part K-36 ejection seat, instrument panel, control column and two sidewall panels. The level of detail and quality of moulding is very good to the extent that an aftermarket replacement will probably only be necessary if you wish to have the canopy open. Once complete, the whole thing can be sandwiched inside the fuselage. As with most kits of blended-wing aircraft, this part is split vertically with the wings moulded in place. One of the few differences between this kit and the 9.12 version is the upper fuselage, which incorporates the subtle hump that characterises the 9.13 version. All of the landing gear bays are moulded as part of the lower fuselage, speeding up assembly considerably. Don't forget to drill out the holes in the lower wings first though, as otherwise you'll struggle to locate the pylons for the underwing stores. Trumpeter have thrown in a little extra goody in the shape of a tow bar for ground handling. This is a nicely detailed little mini-kit which opens up possibilities in terms of dioramas (although it's a shame about the auxiliary intake doors). Moving on to the twin engine air intakes compressor faces are provided, as are the doors that close when the engines are running on the ground. The engine exhausts are similarly well-executed, which each made up of no fewer than five parts. Extra details are provided for the main landing gear bays, while the nosecone is a single part to which the pitot attaches.

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The nose gear is well-detailed but, unusually, split horizontally at the point of the oleo strut and torsion link. I'm a bit worried about the long-term strength of this part, even if it is beautifully detailed. On the other hand, it makes it easier to alter the length of the part if you want to modify the stance of the aircraft. The main landing gear legs are much more straightforward and should be a fair bit stronger. The landing gear doors are nicely depicted and feature small clear lenses for the landing lights. Flipping the model back onto its feet, the vertical and horizontal tail pieces can be added. These are both solid parts, so they won't take long to assemble. Once these parts are in place, all that remains to do is fit the canopy. This is moulded in two parts and a small hydraulic strut is included to enable the rear part to the posed in the open position. The canopy has been revised for this version of MiG's famous fighter.

In typical Trumpeter style, a comprehensive selection of ordnance is included. All told, you get:
1 x PTB-1500;
2 x PTB-1150;
2 x R-73E AAMs, plus alternative practice rounds;
2 x R-27T AAMs
2 x R-27R AAMs
2 x R-60 AAMs, plus alternative practice rounds;

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A choice of two schemes is provided on the decal sheet:
MiG-29C '33 Blue', Russian Air Force, 5th PVO Division, 28th GvIAP, 2nd Squadron, Rzhavskiy. This is the aircraft depicted on the box artwork and is finished in the classic grey/green scheme; and
MiG-29C '44 White', Ukrainian Air Force, Gostomoei Air Port. This aircraft is finished in same grey/green scheme.
The decal sheets are nicely printed and you get a full set of stencils and markings for the ordnance too, which is a bonus.

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Conclusion

I for one am tremendously pleased that Trumpeter are releasing some top-quality kits in my favourite scale once again. One or two minor quibbles aside, their MiG-29A was an excellent kit and this version is every bit as good. Most importantly, the finished article should look great. I can't wait for the Su-24M now! Recommended.

Review sample courtesy of
logo.gifUK Distributors for logo.jpg

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I could be tempted by this one!

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Nice review. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the Zvezda 9.13.

It does seem a bit strange that only two R-73's and R-60's each are included, when the real thing can not operationally use both in a mixed at the same time...

Cheers,

Andre

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We have a Mig-29 Special Interest Group Build here and we are building some ICM, Zvezda, trumpeter (both 9.12 and 9.13) there.

Building an Ukraine 9.13 i came across with something similar that Hook noticed. I had to borrow two pylons from a secondary kit so i can build their usual ordinance.

Edited by Amen

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Good review!

I build (9-12) now.... I look almost nothing has changed. Mistakes are the same

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We have a Mig-29 Special Interest Group Build here and we are building some ICM, Zvezda, trumpeter (both 9.12 and 9.13) there.

Building an Ukraine 9.13 i came across with something similar that Hook noticed. I had to borrow two pylons from a secondary kit so i can build their usual ordinance.

Some great pics and builds in there - thanks!

There are pics out there with both R-60 and R-73 loaded at the same time, usually with an R-27R (I don't think first-gen MiG-29's could field the IR variants of the Alamo), but those are for photo ops only and the mismatched missiles could not actually be fired.

Cheers,

Andre

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