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The ďábel made me do it - Czechoslovak MiG-21PFM


Wings unlevel
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I have probably succumbed to temptation thinking I can finish this build and my Douglas Boston over the in the Bomber/Strike/GA GB, which both have a mid-May deadline. So I may well be punished (or at least banished to the next KUTA) by taking this on, but in the spirit of the ďábel (devil) may care, why not?

 

So my build is yet another 1/72 Eduard MiG-21, this time a PFM. As it says on the box this is a 'Weekend Edition', so no included PE nor masks. Masks are on their way but otherwise will build out of the box.

 

Unboxing

 

Here's the obligatory sprue shots, admittedly just like every other Eduard MiG-21 on here.

 

Unboxing

 

I'll build this, as on the box, as the Czechoslovak air force's 4401 of the 1st Fighter Regiment's 3rd Squadron, circa 1969-70.

 

The jet features nose art of a devil and pitchfork against a crescent moon and the night sky - I'm sure not sure of the significance of it back then (a unit patch?), but I see the blue and yellow colouring as a subtle nod to Ukraine.

 

Unboxing


As it happens 4401 is today on display outside the former air force headquarters in Stará Boleslav, near Prague: https://www.airliners.net/photo/Czech-Republic-Air-Force/Mikoyan-Gurevich-MiG-21PFM/1503562

 

Which raises my first question for the BM brains trust... The instructions say to paint the cockpit grey, rather than the turquoise blue-green of most MiG-21s. But looking closely at the combing of the jet on display today it looks like turquoise. Maybe just the combing and canopy frame is turquoise, which seems to be the case on this GDR MiG-21PFM


Any thoughts welcome before I begin some painting.

In the meantime, to kick things off I have begun assembly of the cockpit and internals.

 

Started

 

I know it's well known and oft remarked on here, but so far the kit has built beautifully, in contrast to my Special Hobby Boston!

 

But both builds will be rewarding in their own way.
.

Cheers,

 

Gerard

 

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Hello and welcome Gerard, I think the early MiG-21’s were grey and switched to Turquoise at some point in the PF or PFM period. I remember reading that somewhere recently. My guess is that's why yours shows grey. Having said that The two tone cockpit would make it stand out ? 

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Welcome to the GB Gerard, and there's nothing wrong with adding to the ranks of Eduard kits being built.

Eduard and Dennis are quite right about the cockpit colour on the PFM, the majority of them were finished in the grey colour with the lovely turquoise coming in towards the end of the production run. It could be possible that your aircraft was delivered with a turquoise canopy or that a replacement one was fitted later, either way it makes for a nice bit of variety.

The badge with the devil on it is indeed a unit badge.

 

🇺🇦

Edited by modelling minion
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29 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Welcome to the GB Gerard, and there's nothing wrong with adding to the ranks of Eduard kits being built.

Absolutely, and it’s a PF/PFM :). We are missing a PF, though! ;)

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Gerard @Wings unlevel, be careful with the fitting of the central main wheel housing. The whole kit is beautifully engineered but a slight misalignment can give you some problems. :) Dry fitting the wing section before fixing the wheel section should help. 

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I can’t find a photo of 4401 in service but a photo 4410 clearly shows all “turquoise”. In this link link you can see the coaming was turquoise so presumably the whole cockpit. The only “grey” I can see is the IFR hood and the seat.

 

https://galerie.valka.cz/gallery/show/537#nanogallery/valka_gallery/0/1

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Thanks for the welcome Dennis and Craig, I have to confess there’s an element of FOMO in my joining in! It’s a fascinating subject and has been a really interesting GB to follow so far.

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2 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

I can’t find a photo of 4401 in service but a photo 4410 clearly shows all “turquoise”. In this link link you can see the coaming was turquoise so presumably the whole cockpit. The only “grey” I can see is the IFR hood and the seat.

 

https://galerie.valka.cz/gallery/show/537#nanogallery/valka_gallery/0/1

Thanks RR, appreciate you having a look. That link is really useful, and yes the combing and canopy frames are definitely turquoise there. Maybe one day I can get to Prague to have a look and confirm myself!

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Some PF/PFM's that were built with grey pits received the turquoise during overhauls as well. 

 

Nice subject!

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Thanks all for the input on the cockpit colour. I went with grey in the end, as much out of pragmatism as I already had the correct grey. Eduard’s recommendation for the grey is Mr Color/Hobby’s 308 grey, which is Mr Color/Hobby’s light ghost grey, of which I have AK’s equivalent for from my just-completed Super Hornet build. Done!

 

Other bits and bobs painted now too. Love the bright green engine exhaust. I assume that only stayed green until the first engine run…

 

Painted bits

 

Shame the weekend is done, I’m enjoying this one!

 

Gerard

 

 

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Andre's link is very good, and I found this of a preserved one in the USAF museum;

 

https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/195970/mikoyan-gurevich-mig-21pf-fishbed-d/

 

This link is very helpful;

 

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?/topic/299364-early-mig-21-cockpit-gray/

 

🇺🇦

Edited by modelling minion
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5 hours ago, modelling minion said:

Good to see this one underway Gerard.

Not convinced by Eduards colour call out for the cockpit, I think it should be a darker grey than that, I will see if I can find some pictures.

 

🇺🇦

Agreed

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Remember, Gerard, that because of the very fine tolerances in moulding it is best to avoid any paint on any joints, in my experience. 

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Thanks for the input @Hook, @modelling minion and @RidgeRunner, it's much appreciated! I dived down a rabbit hole there for a while checking those links and studying those images of the USAF Museum machine.

 

So it looks like steel grey is much a closer match, either Vallejo's 71.336 or AK Real's RC319. I mostly use lacquers so would opt for RC319, but I think I will use dark gull grey. It's still a very good match, (certainly a much better match than light ghost grey looking at the USAF Museum example) with the key benefit being I already have it!

 

There's also another good thread on Arc that details how the MiG-21's cockpit switched from grey to turquoise during production of the PFM, and that many PFM cockpits were repainted during overhaul. It that's the case, that's my mystery solved!

 

Again, thanks all for the input, most informative!

 

Gerard

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14 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

Remember, Gerard, that because of the very fine tolerances in moulding it is best to avoid any paint on any joints, in my experience. 

I may have splashed paint around there a bit indiscriminately! I'll dry fit carefully and sand back as needed before committing cement. Thanks for the tip RR. 

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A quick update on the cockpit grey. I actually went with mod eagle grey (FS36176), which at least in the SMS interpretation of it I had, looks to be pretty close to the MiG’s interior grey, certainly a slightly better match than dark gull grey.

 

Mid Eagle Grey

 

(My desk lamp light is a bit harsh but I’m happier it’s a close approximation of the real thing.)

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On 02/04/2022 at 20:36, John Masters said:

Looking very fine Gerard.  Those Eduard Migs kind of build themselves.  We're just long for the ride!

Thanks John. It’s been a real joy to work on so far, it was obviously engineered with great care.

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Really savouring this build so, all the small detail bits and bobs have been a pleasure to work with, and I can see final assembly coming together quite quickly,

 

Progress in the last little while includes repainting the exhaust inners to be more inline with some images I saw - some Mr Hobby tyre black over the bright green was really effective I thought.

 

Bits


And I’ve largely finished the cockpit and seat. Seat needs its (decal) harnesses but the cockpit itself is largely done - decals on, IP, throttle and stick in place, some light highlighting with Mr Weathering. 
 

Cockpit

 

Some better looking examples than mine on here, but I think it’s respectable enough - at least to my straining eyesight!

 

Think my next update I’ll have something very MiG-shaped!
 

Gerard

 

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