GWH 1/48 MiG-29 SMT Fulcrum 9-19

KIT #: L 4818
PRICE:  
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts

HISTORY

The MiG-29 SMT is an upgrade package of the first-generation MiG-29s (9.12 to 9.13) containing many enhancements intended for the MiG-29M. Additional fuel tanks in a further enlarged spine provide a maximum flight range of 2,100 km on internal fuel. The cockpit has an enhanced HOTAS design, two 152 203 mm (6 8 inch) colour liquid crystal MFDs and two smaller monochrome LCDs. The upgraded Zhuk-ME radar provides similar features to the MiG-29M. The power plant are upgraded RD-33 ser.3 engines with afterburning thrust rated the same at 8,300 kgf (81.4 kN) each. The weapons load was increased to 4,500 kg on six underwing and one ventral hardpoints, with similar weapon choices as for the MiG-29M variant. The upgraded aircraft has also a painted path for non-Russian origin avionics and weapons.

Aside from Russia, India and Yemen operate the SMT. Algeria also operated the type for a short time, returning the MiGs for Su-30s.

THE KIT

This is, I believe, the fifth MiG-29 boxing produced by GWH. As you might expect, there are many similarities between the different kits, with most of the differences being relegated to the upper fuselage. As with other GWH MiG-29s, the full upper fuselage and wings are a single piece. This as well as the canopy and a couple of small sprues are protected within their own cardboard box. Speaking of boxes, GWH has changed packaging, providing a large end opening box with a cardboard tray within, holding the pieces. I see this as a step backwards, but it does allow printing on the 'bottom' of the box, and that is where you will find the stencil placement guide.

Another change is in weapons load. GWH still provides its missiles in a protective package as before and they are mostly one-piece, which I like as I hate adding separate fins to missiles. There are four R-73 and two R-77s, with the rear fins of the R-77s being separate. Of course, if one uses the different fuel tanks for this variants, you won't be using the R-77s. Both the weapons and fuel tanks take different pylons and those are also included.

There are quite a few bits of photo etch that are used for a variety of areas such as the foot holders on the bang seat, seat harness, gun sight frame, little AOA sensors, and the very forward fins on the R-73 missiles. The intake doors are also p.e. as are the slime light holders. The largish piece you see is a template for properly placing the slime lights. A small acetate sheet is provided for the gun sight viewing glass. 

The upper wing engine bypass doors can be installed open or closed. On the ground without the engines running, these would be closed as engine vacuum sucks them open when the engines are operating. The intake doors can also be modeled up or down. One can choose not to install flare/chaff dispensers in the fin extensions if one wishes.

Two complete engines are provided as I guess it is expected for the modeler to display the plane with one or both of the lower access doors open to show it. Even if one has these doors closed, the engines are required to have a place to mount the intake compressor and the exhaust. Instructions are mute on whether nose weight is needed, but I would think some would be required due to the weight aft of the main wheels.

The landing gear is nicely done and properly complex looking. A gear up option is available if one so wishes to model the plane like that. The windscreen and canopy are separate so you can model this feature open. You can also build the speed brake open or closed, but I'm betting it was mostly seen closed when on the ground.

Instructions are well done, though a bit crowded so care will be needed during build to be sure all the small parts are accounted for. Paints are the usual Gunze reference. The two options are both Russian from the late 2000s and are in a three grey splinter scheme on the upper surface with a solid grey underside. Two decal sheets are provided with most of the markings airframe and weapon stencils.   

CONCLUSIONS

This adds to GWH's growing MiG-29 collection. They still have not done any two seat versions and there is the upgraded MiG-33/MiG-29M to do so I would expect to see even more boxings in the future.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-29M

June 2015

Thanks GWH for the preview kit. This will be on your store shelves soon.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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