|KIT:||Attack Hobby/Jach 1/144 MiG-15|
|PRICE:||$6.01 from www.hobbyshop.cz|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Soviet Union's first quality jet fighter was the MiG-15. It came as a huge surprise to many in the West who wrongly thought that the Soviets were unable to produce world class jet fighters. Frankly, without the British providing engines to the Soviet Union, the MiG-15 and other jets would not have been possible as soon as they were. While the Russians were working on turbojets and would have had good ones, they were having troubles with their program and the ability to use and reverse engineer the British engines gave them a real boost.
Not only was the MiG-15 relatively successful at home, but it was also the Soviet Union's first really big seller overseas. Thanks to its relatively good showing in the Korean War, the type was produced by the Czechs, Poles and Chinese. These aircraft were in turn sold to a number of other smaller air forces who needed a modern jet fighter but were unable to buy them from Western companies or found the Russian fighter to be much more cost effective and easier to maintain. These planes lasted in the service of many countries for quite a while until replaced by more modern types. Many of these aircraft have found their way into the hands of warbird enthusiasts where they are found to be a delight to fly.
As I mentioned in earlier previews, these are the first 1/144 offerings from Attack Hobbies and are truly well done. The MiG-15 kit has two new sprues comprising the horizontal flying surfaces and the fuselage/gear doors. The other sprue with the tanks and the landing gear/armament is identical to the MiG-17 kit. One just doesn't use the MiG-17 gear doors or exhaust. A one-piece canopy is also included.
Molding is quite good and though there are no placement guides for the wing tanks or the nose guns, that shouldn't be a problem for most of us. The kit has no interior, something that many 1/144 kits do have, but one can either scratch-build one or just leave it as is. The solid nose intake and exhaust section prevents any 'see-through' problems. A small amount of weight is required. I should mention that the drop tanks are not the norm for a Korean war era aircraft as those planes usually had the 'slipper tank' variety. A one-piece canopy is provided and care needs to be taken so that it doesn't disappear!
Instructions are well done with several exploded views. Color information is generic and provided where needed. Markings are provided for five aircraft, all in unpainted metal. We have one from Czechoslovakia, Russia, East Germany, North Korea and the United States. This last one is the plane that was flown by a North Korean defector just after the cease-fire of the Korean War. This plane is now in the USAF Museum in its original scheme. The decals are superbly done and appear to be quite thin.
This is another very nice little 1/144 kit of an important Russian aircraft. Its simplicity also makes this a great kit for a youngster who is ready for glue kits. The more 'serious' builder will like it as it is quite well done and unlike some 1/144 kits, actually looks just like what it is supposed to be!
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