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Accuracy, parts, and Academy's 1/72 MiG-21 (also sold as M21)...the little details.


flyinghorse
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Originally a Hasegawa mold, this is a simple little build that was a joy to build, and still is, but as I got older and paid more attention to detail, there's one thing that bothers me about this kit that BOTHERS ME TO NO END! That little antenna mast behind the cockpit!! ARRGH!! It looks rounded and cylindrical...and maybe its the OCD talking, but it just bothers the living stuff out of me. However, I've built the Hasegawa and UPC versions of this kit and they dont have this problem at all! Their antennas look more convincing. Its made me curious what happened to the mold when companies purchased them. I just bought an aftermarket piece for the kit and am satisfied, but thats the life of a model builder, the occasional (or absolute) desire for visual accuracy. Any one have similar stories about a certain kit in their lives that they just wanted to fix to look a certain way?

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What you've seen on the Academy kit is not uncommon in unauthorized copies.. because this is what that kit is, a copy of the Hasegawa MiG-21.

Often during the copying process detail get lost or simplified and in general the copy tend to be "softer" moulded compared to the original one. For a number of years some Korean companies thrived making copies of other kits, mainly Japanese.

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14 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

What you've seen on the Academy kit is not uncommon in unauthorized copies.. because this is what that kit is, a copy of the Hasegawa MiG-21.

Often during the copying process detail get lost or simplified and in general the copy tend to be "softer" moulded compared to the original one. For a number of years some Korean companies thrived making copies of other kits, mainly Japanese.

Many early Academy kits were, ehm, "heavily inspired" by Heller kits as well. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

6 hours ago, flyinghorse said:

maybe its the OCD talking, but it just bothers the living stuff out of me

Eduards current King Of Gentlemen's Scale Mig-21's have three of these antennae (one molded with the spine and two seperate ones) in their PF and PFM boxings. 

 

However, the Hasegawa kit (and hence the Korean knockoff) are way overscale. Replacing the kit antenna with a spare Eduard one might still improve the look. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

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16 minutes ago, Hook said:

Many early Academy kits were, ehm, "heavily inspired" by Heller kits as well. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

 

 

They did, but these came in a "second phase" of the company history. Academy's kits tended to be more detailed than the original Heller ones and both surface detail and mould sharpness were generally very good.

Very early Academy kits on the other hand were pretty simple, with no detail addition to whatever original they started from. Thinking of the MiG-21 or the YF-16 (both Hasegawa copies) or the F4F, Avenger and Ventura

 

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2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

What you've seen on the Academy kit is not uncommon in unauthorized copies.. because this is what that kit is, a copy of the Hasegawa MiG-21.

 

I'm not sure whether the copies of the Hasegawa kits really were unauthorised - remember that at the time we are talking about (ca. 1986/7), the kits were sold as "Academy/Minicraft", with Minicraft also being US importer of Hasegawa. And at least some of those earliest Academy moulds were copies of terrible, tired Hase kits like that MiG-21 and the atrocity they sell as an F-104. OK, better ones like the SR-71 were also copied, I admit. My theory is that Minicraft obtained permission from Hasegawa to use some economically irrelevant (for Hase) kits to get to grips understanding the business of making new moulds (even if the only new thing was the mostly recessed surface detail).

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4 hours ago, tempestfan said:

I'm not sure whether the copies of the Hasegawa kits really were unauthorised - remember that at the time we are talking about (ca. 1986/7), the kits were sold as "Academy/Minicraft", with Minicraft also being US importer of Hasegawa. And at least some of those earliest Academy moulds were copies of terrible, tired Hase kits like that MiG-21 and the atrocity they sell as an F-104. OK, better ones like the SR-71 were also copied, I admit. My theory is that Minicraft obtained permission from Hasegawa to use some economically irrelevant (for Hase) kits to get to grips understanding the business of making new moulds (even if the only new thing was the mostly recessed surface detail).

 

Maybe you're right and the copy was somehow authorised. Some of those kits however were later reissued by hasegawa from the original kit (MiG-21) and other early Academy kits were based on those of other companies. The 1/48 F-5 and Mirage were clearly copies of the Fujimi ones (and of course 1/50 rather than proper 48).

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Yes, indeed many other early Academy kits are based on Fujimi ones (many of which were available at least into the early 90s), besides the ones you mention also the A-4s, the F-4E, AH-1G and UH-1. Another old Hase "dog" (though I admit I like the kit) copied by Aca was the 1/72 F-5A. There was also the occasional Airfix kit copied (U-2, with parts only included in the MPC version by that time), plus of course the Frog Ventura, F4F and TBF. Those would have to be unlicenced, if only for the fact that I doubt anyone would have known whom to approach for a licence in the crumbling USSR...

I still have no real clue how the Sunny-TriS kits came to Academy, but believe those are original moulds not copies. But I better stop before I derail this thread 🙂

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