Akkura 1/72 MiG-21PFV 'Thunderchief Killer'
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
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).
Many consider the PF to be sort of a second generation of these aircraft. It kept many of the same features of the earlier F, but got a more powerful engine and eliminated the built in gun. This made it less useful to those who flew it. During the Egyptian's use of MiG-21s, most pilots preferred the older F over later versions just because of this gun and the plane's lighter weight. The Soviet built Atoll (a copy of the US Sidewinder) was generally considered to be a poor weapon and getting a hit with it was often as much chance as anything else. No wonder that the later MiG-21M series returned to having a gun, albeit one that was in a centerline pod.
So what is the verdict on this one. Well, I would put it into the category of the KP MiG-21 in several areas as it seems quite similar. This one has superior surface detail, better molded part to some extent, and has the major benefit of offering two kits in one box. I mentioned that it could really benefit from a proper seat so that should be on every builder's list if they want to tackle this one. I don't anticipate any major issues and while the detail fiends may want to look elsewhere, for most of the rest of us, it is really quite a good deal if one simply wants a nice model to put on their shelves. Anyone with some 'time in the trenches' should be able to handle this one just fine.
MiG-21 Walkaround, Part 1, Squadron/Signal, 2004
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