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Russian MiG-29K Fulcrum D (81786) 1:48


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Russian MiG-29K Fulcrum D (81786)

1:48 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd




The Mikoyan MiG-29, known in the West by its NATO reporting name 'Fulcrum' is an air superiority fighter designed and built in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. As with other comparable 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. The MiG-29 was developed as a lighter, cheaper aircraft compared to the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, an aircraft with which it is broadly comparable in terms of layout and design, if not size and weight. As with the Su-27, the engines are spaced widely apart, with the area between them being used to generate lift and improve manoeuvrability. The MiG-29 is powered by two Klimov RD-33 Turbofans, each of which generates over 18,000lb of thrust in reheat.  As with many Soviet types, the aircraft is well suited for use on rough airstrips, particularly as the engine air intakes can be closed completely when on the ground, allowing air to be drawn through louvres on the upper surfaces of the wing roots avoiding FOD.  Armament consists of 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 an integral GSh-30-1 30mm cannon in the port Leading Edge Root Extension (LERX). The aircraft can be used in a range of roles and can carry bombs and rockets in addition to more technologically advanced missiles. The MiG-29 has been widely exported and is still in widespread use with Russian, former Soviet and aligned nations, including several NATO member states such as Poland.


Based upon the MiG-29M, the K was developed in the 1980s as an all-weather carrier-borne multi-role fighter that incorporates modern technologies that make it comparable in terms of generational capabilities as the Eurofighter, Saab Gripen and Dassault Rafale.  After two prototypes were built and demonstrated, the Russian Navy didn’t make an order as they were already wedded to the Su-33, and it was an order by the Indian Air Force that saved the project as late as 2009, which the Indian Navy intended to fly from the former Soviet carrier they had bought.  The initial order of a dozen airframes was followed by another of 29, plus training and simulation equipment, although a pre-delivery crash put the brakes on temporarily until it was revealed that the crash had predictably been caused by pilot error.  Reliability issues of the engines dogged the fleet for a while, solved by India’s efforts that led to their satisfaction with their aircraft, although talk of replacing the fleet at one point was taken seriously by Western aircraft manufacturers.  Russia’s Navy eventually decided that rather than build new Su-33s to replace those that were reaching retirement, they would take advantage of the open production lines of the MiG-29K in 2009, adding two dozen to the production schedule, which led to the Russian Navy holding a mixed inventory of MiG-29K and refurbished Su-33s as of 2016 when the last MiGs were delivered.  A small number of MiG-29KUBR airframes were built with two cockpits under the same shaped canopy for training, with tandem controls for the student and instructor.  The operational airframes were received in time to take part in Russian operations in Syria, losing one that failed to return to base after an operational sortie.



The Kit

This is a new tooling from Hobby Boss, and it arrives in a sturdy top-opening box with a painting of the subject on the front, and profiles of the decal options on one side.  Inside the box is a cardboard divider to reduce movement of parts during shipping and storage, and most sprues are individually bagged, with delicate parts pre-wrapped in thin foam sheets, secured by tape.  There are nine sprues, two fuselage halves and four exhaust nozzles in grey styrene, a long clear sprue in a bubble-wrap envelope, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass backed by a piece of card, decal sheet, instruction booklet in black and white, plus a folded sheet of glossy A3 printed in colour with one decal option per side, and another A4 sheet for the painting and decaling of the weapons that are included in the box.  Detail is good, with intelligent use of slide-moulding to create additional detail without increasing the part count, and a choice of exhaust nozzles in closed or open positions, with excellent detail moulded into both layers.




















Construction begins with the K-36D-3.5 ejection seat, which is made from thirteen styrene parts, plus four seatbelts and ejection actuator handle in PE.  This is slotted into the front compartment of the cockpit tub, adding the instrument panel and control column, and applying six decals to the panel and side consoles.  Additional parts are fitted along with the cockpit sidewalls in both compartments, fixing a rudder bar with two PE foot straps in the front of the cockpit, remembering that most of the rear tub will be covered by an insert later in the build, so don’t waste any time painting and weathering that area.  The nose gear bay must be built next, as it will be trapped between the fuselage halves, and this is built up from four parts, with the nose gear leg made from a single strut with integral supports near the top, fitting the oleo and swing-arm to the bottom, plus a clear landing light and other small parts before you attach wheels on either end of the cross-axle, building them from two halves each. 


The cover for the rear cockpit is raised, and has a grille on the front, plus two small boxes added to the top surface, then the fuselage can be prepared, drilling out several flashed-over holes under the wings, and one on the roof of the space between the engines.  The nose gear bay is inserted into its cut-out, adding a pair of extension cups to the main gear bays behind the moulded-in sections, then gluing the cockpit tub into the upper fuselage along with an insert in the nose for a refuelling probe, whilst cutting off and sanding back a bulge on the deck in front of the windscreen as per a nearby scrap diagram.  The two fuselage halves are brought together, fixing the rear cockpit cover and a small spine insert, then building the HUD from a sloped styrene core with clear lens, PE supports for the two clear panels, and applying a decal to the lens before it is fitted in a recess in the cockpit coaming.


Soviet/Russian fighters tend to have built-in FOD guards, which in this case are supplied as large mesh panels that fit into the front of the inner engine intake trunks, that have a cylindrical profile and are blocked at the inner end by an insert that has the front of the engine moulded-into it, inserting the completed assembly into the engine nacelles, painting the inner surface grey, then adding the roof of the trunks to the sloped forward edge.  This is done twice of course, and the two finished assemblies are inserted into the underside of the fuselage after adding extra wall detail to the main gear bays that nestle into the outer sides of each nacelle.  In preparation, two short cowling sections are fitted to the upper fuselage where the exhausts will later sit.  The twin fins are each made from two halves plus rudder, but they are equipped with different sensor fits in the trailing edge of the tip, which is further accentuated by the probe and sensors added to the rear, whilst both share the same T-shaped aerial near the change of angle of the leading edges of the fins.  There is a large tapered cylindrical fuel tank between the engine nacelles, and this is built from two halves that are capped at either end, the nose cone made from two halves to include the forward pylon mount.  This and the fins are put to one side while other assemblies are built for the underside of the model. This begins with the landing gear, the main gear made from a thick strut with trailing retraction jack, captive bay door, and a two-part scissor link, which receives a two-part wheel with circumferential tread moulded-in, although you’ll have to take a sanding stick to them if you wish to depict the weight of the airframe on the tyres.


The exhausts have a short two-part trunk as their starting point, with a double layer depicting the rear of the engine and the afterburner ring, then you have a choice of posing the exhaust petals opened or closed, using two different sets of parts to portray the inner and outer layers of the nozzles.  The closed nozzles have their inner part inserted from within, while the opened nozzles have their inner layer slid in from the rear due to the angles of the respective parts, with the resulting detail worth the effort.  Both sets of nozzles are glued to the rear of the trunking, and are slipped inside the rear of the fuselage, adding the main gear legs and a bay door actuator to each side, then fitting the chaff & flare boxes on the fairings each side of the exhaust trunking, a pylon under each of the inner wing panels moulded into the fuselage, gluing on leading edges slats, and finally the twin fins that are attached to the fairings to the sides of the engines on pegs for strength.  Doors are added to the gear bays, flaperons and their actuator fairings to the rear of the wings, a gaggle of antennae under the nose, and a two-part arrestor hook is fixed between the rear of the engine nacelles, mounting the large central tank between them.


The next step is to fit the hinges to the ends of the inner wing panels, which are only applicable if you intend to fold the wings for storage on or below deck.  This removes the option for a model ready for, or in-flight, and there is no discussion of the straight-wing or in-flight option in the instruction booklet.  It is however possible using the parts provided, and simply involves omitting the hinge parts, laying the hinge cover panel flat to the wing, and fitting the outer wing panel at the same angle as the inner.  The outer wing panels are built from two halves, adding slats at the front and ailerons to the rear, plus the hinge cover, which for folded wings should be placed at an angle.  It’s best to test fit this in situ to obtain the correct attitude for the various parts.  Regardless of whether you choose to fold the wings or not, each tip has a small strake inserted in a slot on the upper surface.  More probes and antenna are clustered around the nose along with the refuelling probe with its cover, adding a clear lens to the sensor under the windscreen, which is also fitted at this stage.  An actuator for the main canopy is installed behind it, and further aft two jacks for the air-brake are glued in position, which might be best done whilst fitting the panel to ensure they all line up.  The canopy has a separate styrene lower frame with a cross-brace, four PE latches on each side, and a pair of rear-view mirrors in the front frame, fitting to the rear of the cockpit opening on the afore-mentioned jack.  The elevators/elevons are single parts that fit into plugs on the side of the fuselage, and a gun fairing is fixed in the leading edge of the port LERX with another pair of PE antennae, one on each side of the nose cone, which has a separate pitot probe mounted at the tip.


Like many Hobby Boss kits, this boxing has a plethora of weapons to suspend from the various pylons under the fuselage and wings.  The following are included:


2 x R-77 (AA-12 Adder) BVR A2A Missile

2 x R-73M (AA-11 Archer) Short Range A2A Missile

2 x MSP-418K active jammer pod

2 x PTB-1150 1,150L Fuel Tanks

2 x KH -29T (AS-14 Kedge-B) TV guided A2S Missile

2 x KH-31P (AS-17 Krypton) Anti-Radiation Cruise Missile

2 x KAB-500Kr TV-guided bomb

2 x KH-35 (AS-20 Kayak) Anti-Ship Cruise Missile




The various missiles are moulded as two halves, have separate fins fore and aft, and clear seeker heads where appropriate, adding adapter rails as necessary.  The KH-35s however have their aft section removed before they are built, fixing folded fins to the sides of the missile, with a scrap diagram showing how they should appear once completed.  A diagram at the end of the instruction booklet shows where the various munitions and pods can be mounted, but check your references for real-world load-outs if you prefer.




There are two decal options on the sheet, one in Russian service, the other in Indian colours.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Blue 39, Russian Navy
  • 672 Indian Navy






The various weapons, tanks and pods have a great many stencils that can be applied, using a separate colour page to guide you, all of which adds realism to your model.  Decals aren’t always Hobby Boss’s strong point, but these are of good quality with registration, sharpness and colour density that are suitable for the task at hand.  They usually go down well, and there are plenty of stencils for the airframe and weapons to add detail to your model, including more detailed instrument panel decals than many other companies provide.




The MiG-29 is an attractive aircraft, and the Navalised K from Hobby Boss seems a competent representation of what is a niche variant that was only produced in small numbers, including lots of detail and a large quantity of weapons.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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I would just note that there were two MiG-29Ks.


There was the Soviet 9.31 which was developed alongside Su-33, it was a single-seater and it's what Trumpeter modelled in their MiG-29K 1/32 kit.




The HB model is a Russian 9.41 which has a new canopy which was raised to provide better rear-view, but it uses the same two-seater canopy whether the variant is a single or double-seater.


Personally, I dislike the looks of the newer one so just wanted to clear that out in case someone is looking for the earlier Soviet type. 

Edited by Dudikoff
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