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The Ghost of Kyiv (72140) Mig-29 of Ukrainian Air Force 1:72


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The Ghost of Kyiv (72140)

Mig-29 of Ukrainian Air Force

1:72 ICM via Hannants Ltd.




This is going to be a difficult review to steer a centreline on, so you’ll have to forgive me if I drift to one particular side a little, although I’ll try not to.  Please don’t be tempted to engage in any jingoism of your own.


On 24th February 2022 an aggressor invaded Ukraine with malevolent intent, a variety of fallacious explanations as to why they were there, and intentions of taking over the whole country to make it their own.  Ukraine, its government and people have fought back valiantly against this attack, and one Ukrainian aviator in particular gained notoriety for shooting down a number of the aggressor’s aircraft in quick succession, flying an upgraded Mig-29-13 in a grey digital camouflage scheme.  There is conjecture whether the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ exists, has since been killed in action, or whether it is simply a conflation of the exploits of the Ukrainian Air Force as a whole.  Whichever it is, it has given the aggressors pause for thought, and prevented them from achieving anything resembling air superiority over most of Ukrainian territory, giving the brave Ukrainian fighters one less thing to worry about amongst many perils.


We at Britmodeller would like to wish all of Ukraine’s armed forces the best with their struggle, and hope that it is resolved soon to their satisfaction.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of ICM’s 2008 tooling of this classic Cold War Soviet-era jet, but with new decals appropriate for the subject matter.  The kit arrives in a stylishly appointed top-opening box with captive inner lid, and inside are three sprues of medium grey styrene, a small clear sprue, two sheets of decals and the instruction booklet, which shares the same design as the box lid, and has spot-colour throughout, including full colour profiles on the back page.  Detail is on par for the era of its original release, with engraved panel lines, raised and recessed detail where appropriate, cockpit and gear bay detail, and a complement of weapons and fuel tanks, the latter remain unused.










Construction begins with the cockpit, which has an ejector pin mark in the middle of the floor that will be covered by the ejection seat, but should be cut flush to ensure everything fits properly.  A control column and instrument panel with raised and recessed detail moulded-in completes the cockpit, although the Zvezda K-36 seat could do with a little additional work, including adding the tubular housings for the ejection stabilisation beams that sit at each side of the headbox.  The cockpit inserts into the upper fuselage from below, after which it can be closed up ready for the other components.  There aren’t many stages to the instruction booklet, and we see the wings, elevators and stabilisers added at the same time as the two-part canopy.  Two inset diagrams show the twin engine nacelles being made up with integral FOD guards before they too are joined to the underside of the fuselage, with the exhausts also made up from inner and outer parts in more inset diagrams. 


The included weapons also have inset diagrams, and you can make up two each of R-27 Alamo, R-60 Aphid and R-72 Archer air-to-air missiles, but bear in mind that the weapons sprue has a little flash, so some clean-up might be needed.  Each missile has its own pylon, and the larger R-27s have separate fins perpendicular to the seamline.  They are all shown inserted into the holes in the wing undersides at the same times as the main and nose gear, which have separate wheels and retraction jacks, plus gear bay doors and a clear landing light in each main gear well.  The nose gear bay has three doors, and at the tip of the nose a pitot probe will poke out your eye if you look to closely.




There is just one decal option spread over the two sheets, with all the digital camouflage on the larger sheet, while Ukrainian national markings and codes are on the other.  As the real identity of the Ghost is unknown, there are six lines of numeric codes in white/blue, blue/white and white/yellow options, plus a stylised skull for the nose on a black circular backing.






The underside is painted sky grey and the topside off-white, glossing them ready for the digital camo decals, of which there are eighteen in three shades of grey.  An instrument decal is also included to improve the detail in the cockpit, plus a number of stencils for the airframe, all of which should settle down well with the help of some decal setting solution.  They are printed by ICM’s usual partner, and registration, colour density and sharpness is good.



Ghost of Kyiv Paint Set (3027)

ICM have this year released their own brand of acrylic paints to the market, and are creating some kit specific sets to go with their major releases, of which this is one.  The set arrives in a cardboard box with six screw-capped bottles inside, each containing 12ml of paint.  The bottles are clear Polypropylene, and are capped with cylindrical tops with knurled sides, and a one-time security seal that you break on first opening.  A label on the side gives you basic information about the colour and code, a little information regarding application in English and Ukrainian and a bar-code.




The paint is thick in the bottle, with plenty of headroom between the surface of the paint and the lip of the neck.  I dropped a glass stirring ball into each bottle, and they took a few seconds to disappear beneath the surface, indicating their viscosity.  Inside the box are the following bottles:





1028 Offwhite

1033 Sky Grey

1034 Dark Sea Grey

1037 Dark Grey

1038 German Grey

2002 Satin Varnish


The paint is undiluted, so will need thinning by between 40-60% with water or acrylic thinner for use with an airbrush, and they naturally have a semi-gloss finish that can be adjusted later by the use of varnishes, and are waterproof when dry like most acrylics.  During my initial testing I used Ultimate Thinners, my go-to thinners for any acrylic paint, which helps keep the number of large bottles in my spray booth to a minimum.  The paint comes out of the bottle quite thick and viscous, so it’s possible you’ll have to dilute it even for brush painting use, although I used it neat during testing, so a small bottle will go a long way in either case.  It sprays well when diluted, and like a lot of acrylics a light coat is best initially, followed quickly after by heavier coats until you have the coverage you require. It dries quite quickly, and is touch-dry in 5-10 minutes in summery 20-23oc temperatures, unless you’re in the antipodes as I write this.  I have used them to create a number of spray-out cards and spoons for other sets in the range, and they both spray and brush very well, with little issue other than my inexpert application by paint brush.




It’s a poignant re-release of this model, and the decal choice is inspiring.  If 1:72 is your thing and you like jets, you should get one.  A set of acrylic paints specifically designed for this kit makes painting your model much easier to accomplish too.


It’s all made by a Ukrainian company that is still capable of doing business despite the circumstances, which is singularly impressive. 


Very highly recommended.


Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.


The Ghost of Kyiv Mig-29 (72140)



Ghost of Kyiv Paint Set (3027)



Review sample courtesy of


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4 hours ago, Black Knight said:

According to Scalemates this is ICMs own tooling, dated from 2008, a new tool at that time

Italeri don't feature in it at all


It is ICM's tooling and Italeri never issued a 9-13, however this kit is clearly let's say "inspired" by the Italeri 9-12 kit.

The way the parts are divided on the sprues is different but most parts are identical, with the exception of the specific 9-13 parts and others that are slightly modified. Parts from any of the two kits will fit perfectly on the other.

ICM also modified the panel lines pattern, making it more accurate, and included a better canopy... but anyone who has built the Italeri kit will find this one very, very familiar...

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21 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

ICM also modified the panel lines pattern, making it more accurate, and included a better canopy... but anyone who has built the Italeri kit will find this one very, very familiar...

The best way to know is a kit is "inspired" on another is if it shares the same bugs. Opened LERX louvres ? Check. Too flat windscreen and canopy profiles ? Check. It's just a kit from the "inspired by others" phase of ICM. A lot of kit producers have had this phase (Academy, etc). 

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Damm its out, shame I've splurged on load of other kits, hopefully I can get one before it sells out, looks really nice, and whilst the Ghost of Kyiv is a wartime morale story in that if their is an Ukrainian ace it certainly happen long after the story was circulated , the bravery of the Ukrainian pilots and their successes is no myth, and deserves recognition and hopefully in time will be properly recounted. 


As for the paints, so they aren't regular water based ones, not familiar so what brand would be a point of comparison? 


As for "Inspired" HB p-40 with the same oversized canopy and dodgy prop/spinner of the Academy comes to mind.....

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, sanfrandragon said:

Any thoughts on an aftermarket seat, weapons or engine nozzles?

Trumpeter and Zvezda MiG-29's come with two decent seats each. Zvezda's kits have a plethora of spare weapons, while the updated Italeri comes with two sets of burners.





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