The Mikoyan MiG-29 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-29) is a 4th generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other nations. NATO’s reporting name for the MiG-29 is "Fulcrum", which was unofficially used by Soviet pilots in service. It was developed to counter new American fighters such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F/A-18 Hornet.
The MiG-29S-13 (product 9-13, NATO code-name Fulcrum C) is a nuclear capable aircraft and the subject of this kit. It is similar to the MiG-29s purchased by the US from the Moldovan AF as part of arms control in 1997. Most of those have been scrapped though several are on display in various places in the US. The MiG-29 is still in front-line service with dozens of countries world-wide.
The MiG-29 is not new to modelers. Both Hasegawa and Fujimi were quick to produce kits once the actual aircraft was seen and photographed. Unfortunately, both of those kits suffer from shape problems that come from using photos as the sole references. While they both build into nice models, to many, they are not the best around. Since then, others have produced MiG-29s in 1/72 including Airfix/Heller and Zvezda. I've not heard any commentary on those as frankly, Soviet/Russian aircraft are not high on the 'I must build one' list of most modelers.
This one from ICM is also not new, having been released several years ago, but is of the Fulcrum C version that is currently in service. This has a larger fuselage spine to hold more fuel and is the most noticeable difference from the earlier Fulcrum A. ICM's kit is molded with nicely done engraved panel lines and does not seem to be a very complex kit. Cockpit is tub, bang seat, control stick and instrument panel. This latter item has some nice raised detail. A clear two piece canopy/windscreen is also provided, though there is no actuating mechanism to hold the canopy up if you wish to display it as such. Again, this is typical.
As you'd expect, the fuselage is split into upper and lower sections. The flying surfaces are all single molds and slot into the fuselage. Intakes fit into the underside of the fuselage and the greatest probability of fit issues would be with these intakes. The MiG-29 has covers over the intakes when operating on the ground and this is provided. To do an 'in flight' aircraft, considerable work would be needed to remove the already open upper fuselage intake doors and replace them with card. I should also mention that the kit has nicely detailed wheel wells, which is a nice change from the usual blank holes.
The kit comes with a goodly number of stores, but as this is an aerobatic boxing, those are shown as not used, aside from cutting the pylons from the long range tanks. Instructions are a single folded sheet of paper with half of it devoted to painting and markings. There are well drawn if a bit small illustrations and a parts layout. Model Master and AKAH paint references are provided. The lone markings option is for one of four of the 'Swifts' aerobatic team. The well printed sheet provides the outline for the upper and lower surfaces and the modeler is to fill in the blanks, so to speak. As you can see from the box art, it is a very fetching scheme, but perhaps most will use this kit as a basis for a more war-like color scheme.
So here we have what looks to be a very nice MiG-29 kit and one that is not a lot of money. It would be worth the time to check into getting one of these.
My thanks to http://www.scale-model-kits.com for the review kit. Get this and many other great kits at great prices.
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