|KIT:||IMC 1/72 MiG-21D 'Battle Damage'|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
As most aircraft enthusiasts know, the MiG-21 was a very successful second-generation MiG jet interceptor that was widely used in both the Soviet Union and with many of those countries friendly to the Soviets during the Cold War. Thought no longer used in Russia, there are still many of these reliable aircraft being used by the Air Forces of smaller countries. In addition, a derivative, the F-7, was and perhaps still is being produced in China. This aircraft has updated and more modern avionics and weapons systems.
This particular type is the MiG-21PF which was the first of the MiG-21 variants to see combat. In this case, it was used with some success by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam war.
IMC (IndustroMotive Corporation) was one of those model companies that appeared and disappeared during the 1960s, being bought out by Hawk, which was subsequently bought by Testors. They produced quite a few interesting kits, including some car kits that are still highly sought. They also did some aircraft kits, including a series of 1/72 aircraft kits of Vietnam War veterans like the F-100, A-4, RF-4 and this MiG-21. Though crude by today's standards, these raised panel line and rivet veterans were not bad for the kits of the day. What made these stand apart is the 'battle damage' parts that were provided. These types of thing would be "poo-poo'd" by today's modeler, but they were a gimmick and one that was relatively successful.
The kit itself is in a semi-translucent white plastic. There is no cockpit detail at all, the pilot is complete with his seat and glued to the rear cockpit bulkhead. There is an extended piece onto which you can put your pilot hurriedly leaving his stricken aircraft. While there are wheel wells, there is no detail. Basically, it is a pretty minimalist kit, though you are given a pair of Atoll missiles.
Instructions are equally as basic with three construction steps, one of which is dedicated to the 'escaping pilot' option. Colors are generic in nature. There is a special painting section telling you how to do the battle damaged bits. Decals are provided for three aircraft. One is a Soviet version, one Vietnamese and I'm not really sure what the third one is for. The planes are supposed to be painted light grey with the Vietnamese plane given an option for a 'mirror wave' pattern in light green on the upper surfaces. Frankly, this info is suspect and from what I understand, most, if not all of these early MiG-21s were in bare metal. Decals are fairly well printed with large carrier areas that blend together so you'd have to cut each one out. Due to their age, their viability is suspect.
While serious modelers will easily pass this one by, many of us will be flooded with nostalgia and pick it up at swap meets. Perhaps we'll actually build it. This is a kit that would be fine for a youngster as there are minimal parts, all of them pretty large and the end result is one that they'll like.
Review kit courtesy of your editor, who was flooded with nostalgia when he saw it at a swap meet!
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