|KIT:||Attack Hobby/Jach 1/144 Mig-17F|
|PRICE:||$6.01 from www.hobbyshop.cz|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Following the success of the MiG-15, it was realized that a more powerful aircraft was needed as a replacement. So, the engineers at MiG decided that the easiest way to do this would be to add in an afterburner (reheat to some of you). They also made some modifications to the airframe to increase its fuel capacity as the afterburner would consume a lot of fuel. Later versions of the MiG-17 would add in the ability to carry under wing ordnance, but the base MiG-17 was a pure day fighter with armament the same as carried by the MiG-15.
While the MiG-15 sold well overseas, the MiG-17 did even better. Countries that couldn't afford or maintain the more complex aircraft found the MiG-17 to be a pretty basic aircraft with a reliable engine, and easily maintained airframe. Not only that, but the aircraft was pretty easy to fly as well, providing a stable gun platform and really good maneuverability. Many of these aircraft survived into the 1990s before being retired. Nowadays, many an air show will feature one of these planes in the hands of a happy jet warbird owner.
This is one of several MiG kits from Attack Hobbies/Jach (I guess that both brands are basically the same company). 1/144 is a growing scale for many modelers and this is the first from Attack. The kit is well molded in medium grey plastic with engraved detailing. The engraving is well done and a bit lighter than what you'd find on Sweet kits. I found no flash, sink areas or ejector pin marks anywhere on the kit.
As you can see, there is no interior, just a depressed area where the canopy is to be placed. The two options for displaying this are to paint the 'cockpit' area black and then glue the canopy atop it, keeping the canopy clear. The other is to paint the inside of the canopy a solid color like black or blue and then to continue as normal. Of course, those with the time and skill can scratch-build a cockpit should they wish.
Gear doors are molded in one piece in case you should wish to display the model in flight. Otherwise, you'll have to cut them into the proper sections. Of course, they will be grossly over-thick so you may want to consider replacing them with thin card or even sheet brass. A solid nose and exhaust are provided to prevent any 'see-through' and I'd add in a bit of nose weight as suggested in the instructions. Your only options for 'things under wings' are a pair of drop tanks. Their placement is not marked under the wings so care will be needed.
Instructions are well done with color information provided using generic names. Markings are provided for five different aircraft, four of them in unpainted metal. These bare metal aircraft are from Czechoslovakia, Russia, Poland, and East Germany. The camouflaged version is from North Vietnam and is in dark green and dark brown upper surfaces with light blue undersides. Many think that the underside was perhaps in unpainted metal, but your choice on this one. The small decals sheet is superbly printed and the decals appear to be quite thin, so should work quite well.
Overall, this is a very nice looking kit. The lack of a cockpit may be a problem for some as other 1/144 kits of this size come with them, but most will not find this to be a bother at all. The simplicity of construction makes this a perfect kit for the new modeler and the quality of the molding will entice the more experienced who want more choices in 1/144 military subjects.
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