Kit: Dragon/Italeri MiG-15 Fagot

Scale: 1/72

Basically straight from the box

Decals from spare

References: "Aerei Modellismo" 1/95 (© Delta Editrice)


The MiG 15 was the typical F-86 adversary in Korean War. Armed with one 37 mm and two 23mm cannons and powered by a copy of the British Rolls Royce Nene, the Fagot could fly faster and higher than the Sabre. However, being often piloted by less experienced pilots, it was less successful than North American fighter.

The kit is supplied from both Italeri and Dragon. Italeri kit is cheaper, but has only Soviet AF markings, while the Dragon one has a more complete decal sheet with markings for North Korean, Chinese, Albanian and Egyptian Fagots. The kit is nicely moulded in light grey styrene with recessed panel lines and rivets. Unfortunately wings are not so correct (looks more like a Sabre), but a replacement would be difficult unless you decide to use KP kit wings. However, if you can overcome this problem, it's a nice kit. Cockpit has raised instrument panels but needs a collimator (it can be made with a piece of clear acetate). There's some debate about cockpit colors: my references told that it's a blue/green, while some modellers who saw the Fagot preserved at USAF museum said it has grey interiors. However, since many Soviet aircraft have a typical blue/green cockpit color and that MiG was tested by USAF, I don't know if they conserved original color), so I decided to trust my references. Seat is a bit spartan, but having not enough data to detail it, I used it as it was.

Fuselage fits well, but remember to add enough weight in the nose, otherwise the model will be a tail sitter. As they're not too much place for weight, I glued fishing leads to the front-cockpit wall and I covered them with a piece of plasticard. Upper/lower wing assembly needs some putty. Wings and elevators fit well with fuselage, only little filler is required. Another area that requires some putty is the windshield/fuselage joint.

According to my references, the kit depicts an early Fagot (with small airbrakes) and radio altimeter antennas position is wrong. They should be placed under the left wing, near the wingtip, and under the right one, near the wing/fuselage joint (just in front of the wheel well). Another thing that lacks is the 37mm cannon ejector rack bulge. (see photo)

I primed the model with a medium gray and sprayed some panels with a darker gray and some others with white. Then decided to try Testors Metallizer: this stuff covers background colors very well so panels in different shades are only slightly noticeable. I used the "Bare Metal foil" to simulate stainless steel on airbrakes and guns blast plate, then added China markings and numbers from spare. It was a pity to "spoil" the "natural metal" look, but I wanted a faded operational Fagot, so I "washed" it with a black enamel and gave an overall flat coat.

I don't know why, but when Italeri made the canopy mold decided to attach the sprue where there should be a glass area: I ended up with a hard-to-hide big scratch, so I took a piece of Squadron Thermaform and made a new canopy using kit's one as a mold. A coat of "Future" (to be frank an Italian substitute:-)) gave a realistic "crystal clear" look.

Even if it's not so accurate (especially the wings) it's a nice kit.

Thanks to Luca Beato for advice

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