Eduard 1/48 MiG-21MFN (Weekend Edition)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
While there may be some disagreement, the MF variant is probably the most exported version of the MiG-21. While there are -21s still in service with some nations, most have been retired to museums or scrapped.
The kit has a nicely done cockpit with a nicely done bang seat. All the instrument areas and inside of the cockpit walls are decals and it will be up to the builder to try to match the color. There are a lot of clear canopies provided, but most will not be used. The canopy can be displayed open.
The wheel wells are very nicely detailed and all separate bits that eventually fit into the fuselage halves. There are also a number of bulkheads that go in the fuselage to add stiffness. A well detailed exhaust and burner can are also provided. Eduard recommends nose weight but does not tell us how much. As this cannot be added once the fuselage halves are together, the builder will have to tape together all the major components to get the right amount. In order to be able to produce multiple variants using the same basic fuselage and wings, the upper spine and fin are separate pieces and have their own small bulkheads. In fact, it is this feature that differentiates this MF kit from the later bis version. Eduard have gotten these bits correct. Now they need to do a series of 1/72 kits.
On the wings, the builder will have to assemble the multipiece wing wheel wells. Any pylons will need the holes opened up as well. The kit provides separate forward speed brakes if we want to cut away the ones molded into the bottom of the wing so these can be displayed open. I dare say few modelers will do this. There is a separate rear speed brake assembly for open or closed. Landing gear are properly complex and should look quite good when done. A goodly portion of the sprues are for fuel tanks, pylons and weapons. One will choose what one wants to use fairly late in the build process. Some of these have a multitude of small parts as Russian weapons seem to have a lot of tiny fins. In this boxing, the Instructions will have you use the RS-60 AAMs and not use the centerline fuel tank. However, there is a ton of stuff there for you to use so don't feel constrained.
Instructions are well done and provide the usual construction drawings. This boxing deviates from the usual weekend edition by providing not only two markings options, but a full stencil suite. Indeed, a full page of the instructions is dedicated to the myriad stencils that festoon modern jets. One of the options is for a special markings plane as shown on the box art and a full decal sheet is dedicated to these tiger stripes. The other is a standard line bird. Another addition to this kit is Eduard's 3D decal seat harness. This is a neat idea and while I've not used these, they should be very nice. Yet another interesting changes is that the instrument decals do not have a color backing. Apparently Eduard has had comments from builders on the difficulty of matching their cockpit blue-green.
If one is buying a 1/48 MiG-21MF kit just to use with aftermarket decals, then I'd go with this one. Though the sprues are identical in all of Eduard's MF variant kits, the fact that this one comes with clear background instrument decals and the neat set of seat belts would make this one my choice.
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Thanks to me for the preview kit.
Thanks to me for the preview kit.
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