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Mike

The Sound of Silence Mig-21PFM Vs A-4E Skyhawk 1:48

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The Sound of Silence Mig-21PFM Vs A-4E Skyhawk
1:48 Eduard


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The Soviet designed Mig-21 and American A4 Skyhawk were both used by opposing forces in the Vietnam war, and this is the theme of this new series of boxings under the EduArt banner. This special boxing includes the excellent Eduard Mig-21PFM kit, and a Hasegawa A-4E kit in a handsome box that comes with a print of the box art work painted by Koike Shigeo in a separate card folder that should protect it from harm during transport. The artwork is replicated in landscape on the instruction booklet, and an A4 card has a postcard sized reprint with a little information on the scene.

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The Kits
The Eduard Mig-21 has been reviewed on Britmodeller in a lot of guises, with the PFM reviewed here a couple of years ago. If you're curious as to how it builds up and what's included in that part of the kit, click the link and then use the back button to return here after. The kit is supplied as seven sprues of dark grey styrene, one of clear parts, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), one of which is pre-painted, and a set of masks for the canopies.

The A-4E is a Hasegawa tooling that dates back to 2000, although from looking at it, you wouldn't expect its roots to extend that far back. It is well detailed, has fine engraved panel lines and a fairly large part-count for a relatively small aircraft, and with the inclusion of a resin ejection seat, masks and some (PE), it rounds out into a nice package. There are eight sprues of light grey styrene of various sizes, and each bag has a note that it was manufactured in Japan and imported by Eduard.

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The instruction booklet is standard for Eduard, and begins with the A-4, detailing the kit cockpit with new pre-painted PE instrument panels, side consoles, plus the two-part resin seat that is decked out with a set of crew belts and small PE parts for the ultimate in detail. The instrument panel, rear bulkhead and rudder pedals are added to the cockpit tub, with nose gear detail on the underside, and it is set aside while the front of engine and intake ducting is built up along with the exhaust tube. These are fitted between the two fuselage halves, and you are reminded to add some weight into the nose to ensure she stays on all three wheels. The fuselage is then completed by adding the three-part intakes with single piece lips, and a number of intakes and sensor options appropriate for the E variant.

The large delta wings of the Skyhawk are next, with a full span lower and two parts for the upper, which have the tracks for the leading edge slats moulded in, and protected on the sprues by large blocks to ensure they arrive intact. The wells are painted in red, and the slats are added, as are the flaps in either the up or down position just by changing the actuator parts out for straight or cranked versions. The fin is moulded into the fuselage, but the elevators fit into keyed slots in the aft fuselage, interlocking to add extra strength. Don't forget to drill out the flashed-over holes in the lower wing if you are planning on loading your finished model with munitions.

The spindly nose gear of the A-4 is made up from a main part that has a moulded-in wheel, with an additional actuator added, plus the two large bay doors that have PE hinge parts added, with the wing-root inserts for the guns added while they're nearby. The main gear has separate wheels and hubs, and gets a little PE upgrade on the details before it is inserted into the bays, which are well-detailed out of the box, and have similarly good detail on the inner door surface too. At the rear of the aircraft a sensor fit is added to the tail, the jet exhaust lip is inserted into the pen-nib fairing, and the airbrakes are added to each side, with the arrestor hook underneath, flanked by a pair of countermeasure dispensers. The ejection seat is installed in the cockpit, and the PE and acetate film HUD is attached to the coaming before the two-part canopy is glued in place, which has a set of rear-view mirrors and canopy hooks added beforehand. The gun barrels with rolled PE muzzles are fitted to the wing root fairings, and finally the long refuelling probe is added to the starboard side of the nose, completing the airframe apart from a choice of two Angle-ofAttack (AoA) probes on the sides of the cockpit, and a handy crew-ladder, which is a two-part assembly.

Hasegawa kits aren't renowned for their generous weapons provision, and this kit is no exception. You get a pair of large fuel tanks and a full set of pylons, but no other weapons are included, which is a bit of a shame as you won't be able to depict the bombed-up example on the cover art. The Mig is another matter entirely, and you get the full complement of weapons and other underslung goodies that you receive in the standard boxings.


Markings
The decals are supplied on a single large sheet with over half taken up by the stencils for the Mig, and most of the remainder used on the Skyhawk. Both kits have instrument panel decals in case you are PE phobic, make a mistake or have other kits that you could use them on. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

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You can build only the box art subjects from the supplied decals, but as that's kind of the point of this boxing, that isn't an issue, and you'll find detailed instructions on the painting and decaling of each subject at the end of their individual sections of the instruction booklet. Only the Mig has a separate stencil page, along with more diagrams for decaling the weapons, because they just loved to stencil Mig-21s! The Mig scheme lends itself more to the airbrush user, as it is covered in little green clouds over a metallic base, but forewarned is forearmed.


Conclusion
It is perhaps a niche product by definition, but it can be made up into a very fetching display with the models juxtaposed with the art print to set each other off. The Mig-21PFM and Skyhawk are both excellent kits, and with the PE additions, they will build up into impressive models.

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of
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From my point of view, this is a very good idea from Eduard.

But they could have pushed a little bit farther, and gave use two subjects that really met.

I could be wrong, but I don't think any Marines A-4 flying CAS in the south ever met MiG-21 that stayed mostly north.

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It's a shame that Eduard didn't package some weapons from their Brassin range for the Scooter, I always think they look naked without a nice set of "things under wings".

I don't understand the name either.

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Well, seeing what the A-4 can carry, it would have been difficult for Ed to make a choice... and for us all to be satisfied with it!

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The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel was released in 1964 and is one, probably, of the iconic songs of a period in history that included the Vietnsm War. Not the clearest link for the name of a dual model kit, but not an inappropriate one either.

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Well, seeing what the A-4 can carry, it would have been difficult for Ed to make a choice... and for us all to be satisfied with it!

Agree. Surely it wouldn't be too much to add a load-out chart with Eduard reference numbers though? Wouldn't hurt them to try and may even help sales. Possibly a one shot discount code in the kit to ease the pain?

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yeah, a few Mk.82, maybe some Shrikes and Bullpups would have been nice... a semi-naked Scooter looks a bit strange.

Alex

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yeah, a few Mk.82, maybe some Shrikes and Bullpups would have been nice... a semi-naked Scooter looks a bit strange.

Alex

Yes, but have a look at those parts in the Brassin range. And at their price.

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Just few notes to anyone building the Vietnamese PFM to correct the information given in the instruction sheet.

- The Vietnamese examples of PFM still had the light grey cockpit interiors and not the turquoise blue/green colour.

- The aircraft were used for air to air missions. The ground attack S-24 missile is not to be used.

- The R-3R missile is also of no use for the period aircraft.

- The GP-9 container was not used at the time by the PFM’s

- Only the Czech aircraft had the interior of the air brakes painted yellow! Russians had it in natural metal just as the airframes supplied to other nations including the Vietnamese forces.

Best regards

Gabor

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thanks for the review and the probable name provenience!

thanks Gabor for this additional info!

I ordered one....

although hI have the PFM kit with those decals, and a Haseawa A-4E as well in the stash

somehow I like this concept, it is something new and different :)

and I think it is even rel. good value for money!

Edited by exdraken

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