KP 1/72 Mig-17PF
| KIT #: || J72061 |
| PRICE: || A few bucks many years ago; still available |
| DECALS: || Three options |
| REVIEWER: || Richard F |
| NOTES: || An oldie but goodie. |
The MiG-17 is well known though not as much as its older brother, the MiG-15 made famous in Korea, nor as widely as its later family member, the MiG-21, that great Soviet icon of the Cold War.
Flying a little too late for Korea, the faster, more reliable and more maneuverable MiG-17 made a name for itself in Vietnam by shooting down supposedly much more advanced American jets like Phantoms and Crusaders and F-105s. It fought hard in many wars in the Middle East and served in better than a third of African nations.
Syria bought 60 of the new jets in 1956 and lost a lot of them in the wars that raged with Israel over the coming years.
The PF variant, known as Fresco-D, had a small radar in the nose to give it a limited all-weather capacity.
You can read a preview of this kitright here on Modeling Madness: . It's classic KP/Kopro - nice raised detail, and a fair bit of clean-up needed on the small parts. In planform, its wings are significantly thinner (from front to back) than the Hasegawa model. I am not sure which is correct.
Instead of rehashing all that, here's a little history about Kopro. Not everyone may know that the old KP/Kopro company, for many years one of the few good sources of decent kits of Russian planes, was bought in 2009 by a company called Expediens.
According to them:
"The KP factory was established in Prostějov (former Czechoslovakia) in 1953 and an employee, Jaroslav Zatloukalm a passionate pilot and aircraft modeller started the production of plastic model kits in 1969. The first model designed by him was the famous Czech subsonic jet trainer Aero L-29 Delfín (Dolphin) in 1/72 scale and it reached the model shops in 1970. At the time this was among the first plastic model kits in Europe."The new owners seem pretty keen to boost the brand and bring it up to more modern standards with new decals and resin parts in some kits. I haven't seen a new KP kit but it's a great idea to bring the KP back catalogue to a wider audience.
This kit is still available in the new KP catalogue but it's been around a very long time.
My version is pretty old and the same one shown in the preview linked above. I bought it in 1992 and it was vintage back then. Its decals (Czech, Indonesian and Egyptian) are pretty past it (but remember, new releases have modern decals).
This kit, despite being old and relatively primitive, builds up easily. It has a little cockpit complete with control panel and seat, and once you've built that and inserted it into the fuselage, you're more than halfway there. The overall fit of the fuselage halves is quite good, but obviously a bit of work is needed to get a good smooth join. With raised detail, you need to try a little harder not to delete the panel lines by too-vigorous sanding. The wings and tailplanes need a little work on their trailing edges too.
By now you're looking at a MiG-17. Typical of Kopro, the undercarriage needs cleaning up and isn't particularly strong, nor especially convincing. The wheel nuts on those mainwheels are about the size of a dinner plate in scale. I left them, but anyone with more serious intentions would want to get better wheels. That said, anyone with more serious intentions would probably use a more modern kit. I managed to lose my gear doors (this happens to me a lot).
The kit has two drop tanks but no other underwing stores. MiG-17s could carry a few little bombs but mostly are seen with the classic MiG drop tanks.
My canopy comes from a long-since-forgotten vac-form aftermarket company. The kit one is ok, but was a bit thick and pretty scratched. The framelines are handpainted.
Like so many MiGs, mine is in a silver finish. I used a Humbrol metal spray for this, and sadly I can't recall the number. Mostly I use the Tamiya range and AS-12 is my go to paint for a dull metal finish. This one is fairly close to AS-12 in real life. Some Syrian MiGs seem to have had a brown/brown camouflage scheme but I went with the metal finish.
I used decals from my Fujimi MiG-21 kit that has a series of different Middle East aircraft on it. So, technically, these markings aren't right for a specific MiG-17 but they are close enough for me.
Well, one thing you can say about KP/Kopro is that their kits almost always look like the plane they are meant to represent. I've built the KP MiG-15 and MiG-21 and am halfway through the MiG-19.
If you come across this on the cheap it can be a fun build. For showstoppers, I'd look elsewhere.
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