|PRICE:||€19.45 (in 1998)|
The Mig-21 is one of the most produced and exported airplanes of history and considerable numbers of the type are still flying. Large numbers of second-generation Mig-21s were supplied to the air arms of Egypt, Syria and other Arab nations who used them against Israel during the conflicts in 1967, 1973 and the Air Wars over the Beka’a Valley in 1982. The kit depicts a Syrian Mig-21MF (Fishbed J) from the Beka’a conflict in 1982. Reportedly, the losses of the Syrian Air Force were much higher compared to those of the Israeli Air Force but it was far from a one-sided story. Some Syrian pilots achieved considerable success with the type and some may even have reached the Ace status.
The kit depicted here is dated from 1991 but decal variations of the same kit are available in several web sites. I guess the current boxing is out of production.
You are greeted with 4 gray and 1 transparent sprues in the box. There are five rather exotic decal options: two Iraqi planes from the Iran-Iraq war (one is said to have downed an F-14), one Syrian, one Bangladeshi and one Afghan plane.
The parts are well engineered with recessed panel lines. It is not hard to guess that the same sprues have been used for other boxings by Fujimi because you see “MF, bis” printed out on some sprues. It is known that the dorsal spines of the MF and bis are quite different but the kit pretends that they are the same! This has been criticized in another review of a different boxing of the same kit.
In the box, the kit seems to be a good rendering of the Mig-21MF.
The instruction sheet has eight clearly illustrated construction steps and fairly well detailed color instructions for five options. The color references are for Mr.Color and Gunze-Sangyo but color names are also given allowing you to use the color range of your choice.
The construction starts –guess where- from the cockpit. I painted the interior with Testors Modelmaster Interior blue/green (No. 2135). Although you are not given the option for an open cockpit, it is good to know that the correct color is in there! The interior is fairly well detailed for the scale with a bathtub, instrument panel, side panels and a stick. You are given decals for the instrument and the side panels but the parts have raised details meaning that you can paint them if you like (I chose the painting option). Before closing the fuselage parts, one needs to attach the radar radome and the exhaust pipe. The latter was painted with Testors Modelmaster Exhaust-Metallizer (No. 1406)
After gluing the fuselage parts you attach the wings and the tail surfaces. The wings have separate ailerons and flaps, so you can attach them at an angle if you want. Then you attach the landing gears and other bits. The landing gear housings were painted with Humbrol 167 Barley Gray. The last step is to attach the fuel tank on the centerline and two Atoll infrared guided missiles. Comparing with actual photos the missiles seem to have oversized canards so I had to slightly reshape them. Although the MF version of the Mig-21 could carry four AAMs, the kit instructions tell you to use only two of the underwing pylons for missiles. Referring to actual photos of Egyptian and Syrian aircraft (which are very rare), I saw that indeed only two missiles are being carried and always the IR version of the AA-2 Atoll.
The construction went exceptionally well and the fit of the parts were excellent except for the dorsal spine. Maybe it was my fault but the extension of the vertical tail and the dorsal spine did not fit well. This was the only place where I needed putty and sanding. In terms of fit, this kit has nothing to be ashamed of when compared with Tamigawa kits.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I chose to complete this kit in Syrian colours. The bottom surface is Russian Underside Blue and the upper surface is camouflaged using three colors: dark green, sand and dark gray. Deciding on the correct shades of the colors took more time than anticipated as there are almost no good quality pictures of Syrian planes in the open literature. A color profile in an old book helped a lot and after matching with the color instructions of the kit, I decided to use Humbrol 93 Matt Desert Yellow, Humbrol 75 Matt Bronze Green and Testors Modelmaster RLM 75 Grauviolett (No.2085) for the upper surfaces. For the lower surfaces I used Testors Modelmaster Russian Underside Blue (No.2123). The radome and the dielectric panels also needed some attention. In the end I decided to paint these with Humbrol 30 Matt Dark Green. The end result seems to be very close to the real thing.
After painting, the kit was given a coat of Testors Glosscote for the decals for which I decided to use the ones supplied in the kit.
The decals seem to be a bit thick but the register is very good and they conform to the kit surface very well after using Microscale setting solutions. Slight silvering occurred with one or two small decals but this was not very upsetting. After letting the decals dry for a day, the entire model was given a coat of Testors Dullcote.
I am very pleased with this kit and I enjoyed every step of the build. I think the color scheme is very cool and makes an unusual rendering of an important aircraft. I would recommend this kit to everyone from beginner to expert as you have no real hassles in the construction. Although one might argue that the price is a bit high for the size of the kit, I think it well deserves it as it is the best Mig-21 kit available at this scale.
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