|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/72 MiG-29 Fulcrum 'Striji'|
|PRICE:||$25.00 MSRP when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||'Striji' 1991 boxing|
Developed as a successor to the MiG-21 and to counter the new F-15 and F-16 being developed in the US, the MiG-29, when flown by pilots of equivalent skill, can generally best both American aircraft. For one thing, the MiG-29 was a later development and so took advantages of improvements in aerodynamics. For another, it was developed with air to air combat as its primary role. Finally, it has very powerful engines propelling a generally lighter airframe than that of the F-15.
This has all come at somewhat of a cost. For one thing the overhaul time of its engines is much less than either American aircraft. It also has avionics that are somewhat less capable, and it is designed for rough field operations, which does add weight to the airframe.
Its superb performance has meant that it has sold well to other nations who cannot afford US fighters, or who are not willing to put up with the political baggage that comes from buying American. The aircraft has also been featured in a number of Russian aerobatic display teams.
In concert with Fujimi, Hasegawa also produced a kit of the MiG-29 at the first opportunity. The result was, as expected, a nicely done kit, but one that is not dimensionally accurate. Apparently, in this scale, it would be the Zvezda or Airfix/Heller kit.
Molded in white plastic to make it easier to paint or apply decals over, this kit has the typically Spartan cockpit we have come to expect from Hasegawa. Decals for instruments, a nice, but plain seat and a control stick fit in the tub. A pilot figure is also supplied for those who like their aircraft crewed.
Though this is an aerobatic team kit, you get the standard sprues along with all the weapons and pylons. The instructions make no mention of the weapons nor the centerline tank, but they are there in case you want to use different markings. I should also point out that you do not have optional upper wing intakes. These are only provided in the 'gear down' position with the intake covers in place.
Instructions are standard Hasegawa as they haven't really changed a thing in the last 25 years, or so it seems. Markings are for one of four aircraft with the Martinets flying team. From the look o things only the canopy and area in front of it will need to be painted as the rest of the markings are supplied as decals. Since these are older Hasegawa decals, they probably won't like setting solutions and should be applied using very hot water.
OK, it isn't perfect. Few model kits are. However, it does build into a very nice representation of a MiG-29 that everyone will recognize as such. Not only that, but it is not difficult to assemble and there are a lot of alternative markings out there if you want something different.
Won at a raffle.
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