Fujimi 1/72 Mig-21bis 'Black Lynx'

Kit Number: H-21 (27021)

Price: $30.00 SRP (Yep, it used to be that pricey. Thanks MRC)

Decals:  One Finnish AF in green/black/lt.blue, one Russian in bare metal

Date of Review:  27 October 1997

Review and Photos by:  Scott Van Aken

 

The Mig-21 has been exported to more countries than any other fighter aircraft of the past 30 years with the possible exception of the F-16.  The bis version is the third generation of the Mig-21 with the final version, the SMT, being a Russia-only that I do believe was not exported.  Amongst one of the first users of the bis were the Finns, although it was sent to a number of other countries.  

(2016 update)The way to tell a bis from an MF is that the hump on the back is a bit larger and deeper, taking up a bit more area on the fin than the MF. I'm sure that if I'm in error on that, I'll be getting e-mails! Unfortunately, both the MF and bis kits that Fujimi produces have the bis spine.

Fujimi's kit of the bis is typical of the trend that Fujimi started some 15 years ago of multi-kitting.  The kit is designed so that those areas that are common to all Mig-21s (fuselage, wings, landing gear,....) are on a single tree with those making up for a specific version are added as necessary.  The fit of the parts is really very good with only a touch of filler being needed.  There are also a myriad of smaller parts that make this a bit of a fiddly kit.  I spent a lot of time using a magnifier and tweezers to complete this kit.  I removed all of the very delicate parts with a fine razor saw, and despite this, I broke the pitot tube.  All the intakes and vents are separate items and need placed separately.  

The kit provides for separate ailerons, flaps and speed brake.  These I displayed deployed or slightly moved.  A couple of things to be aware of.  If you deploy the speed brake, it cannot be placed fully down if you install the under fuselage fuel tank.  Also, I have never seen a photo of a Mig-21 at rest with the flaps down or ailerons moved unless they were undergoing maintenance. I set mine down anyway!

There are no real problems when building this kit as all parts fit quite well, you just need to be careful when constructing it.  I chose to paint mine as a Cambodian AF version from 1991.  Blue Rider has a decals sheet allowing you to do several similar but slightly different versions.  A benefit of this scheme is that the aircraft is in a light grey color overall  (this one is painted with Testor's ADC grey) so you don't have to be concerned with a myriad of metallic surfaces.  I did use burnt iron Metallizer for the exhaust, but that was about the extent of it. The Blue Rider sheet only has numbers and insignia so all the other decals came from the Fujimi sheet.  Fujimi does a fine job of their decal sheets. Although they are a bit heavy on the carrier film, a bit of judicious trimming takes care of that.

Overall this is an excellent kit, although it is very expensive for what you get, it can be found on sale at a reduced price.  Recommended to all who can handle the teeny pieces.

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