Revell 1/48 MiG-21 PF

KIT #: 5482
PRICE: $19.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Not exactly a brand new kit


The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21) (NATO reporting name "Fishbed") is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed and built by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage. Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Some 50 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history, the most produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants).


Clearly molded on the underside of a stabilizer and on the inside of one wing section is the date 1977. That was 32 years ago so this isn't a new mold kit or even a reboxing of someone else's work. This is pure Revell from the youth of some and when it came out it was rightly hailed as a very good kit. Of course, it has been pressed so many times that there is a goodly amount of flash on the sprues, but Revell won't re-do this one as there is no need. Now I've not built this kit before, but have owned it on several different occasions. The last boxing had a display plane with red upper surfaces and bare metal lower.

So, aside from flash, how does the rest look. Raised panel lines? Check. Soft detail? Check. Shallow wells? Check. Operating features? Well if you include the canopy that pivots forward, then Check. Poorly done missiles with rounded fin tips? Check. Sink marks? Only found one and that was on the rear of the center line fuel tank. Basic cockpit? Check. In fact, aside from a tub, seat (rather light on detail) stick, and a clear instrument panel on which you put the decal on the back, that is it. No console detail and it would benefit from some sort of additional detail. I doubt if Eduard does a p.e. set as much as I doubt that Aries does a cockpit or if there is much at all in the way of aftermarket. The dedicated could probably adapt bits made for the Academy kit if they wished. I should point out that this kit does offer the thinner and broader fin options so I'm thinking one is an early PF and the other a later PF version as the PFM has a new side opening canopy. MiG-21 variants can be so confusing. Should also point out that one can build this wheels up if one can cobble together a stand for it as it does have 'wheels up' main gear doors.

The kit instructions are well done with the usual well done construction illustrations and painting info that includes FS 595 info where it might be applicable.  One thing I found interesting is that the instructions didn't think that nose weight would be needed. Perhaps. Markings are for two planes and the decals are very nicely printed. One is the box art plane from the Soviet AF in Dark Green upper and Pale Blue lower surfaces. The other is an Indian AF one in a rather 'eh' camo scheme of overall ADC Grey with Dark Olive upper surface camo bits. The decal sheet also includes a pretty good stencil suite.


I'm really not sure how much appeal a 30 plus year old kit might be. It is less expensive than the Academy version, and it does appear to be less fiddly than most modern kits. It is probably more of a nostalgia thing than anything. Though not up to current specs, I see no reason why a nice shelf model cannot be made from this kit.


December 2009

My thanks to Drew for the Christmas present (and I did pick it out).

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