|PRICE:||~$8 - 12.00|
|NOTES:||Used Blue Rider Albanian Air Force decals (BR-813). Pmask (72057) Canopy Mask.|
The Albanian Air Force gained a significant upgrade with the introduction of its first jet aircraft, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15. The Soviet Union provided the single-seat Mig-15s and several two-seat MiG-15UTI training aircraft were delivered along with Czechoslovakian made UTI variants (CS.102 designation). Total numbers are difficult to ascertain, with reports of between fifty and eighty single-seat MiG-15 fighters having been acquired along with as much as half that many two-seat trainers.
Kucova Air Base in Albania is of great interest to aircraft enthusiasts because of the aircraft tucked away in tunnels (Hardened shelters) and being readied for auction. Most of these planes have not been flown in 20 years – but look like they can come back to life with a little attention (inflate the tires first!). I found it so fascinating to look at these derelict aircraft, but the best I could do is build my own derelict Mig-15. It’s almost impossible to find such a quantity of Migs anywhere else in the world (China maybe?).
The Hobby Boss Mig-15 UTI is a simple model and is well detailed. It is presented in the box with form-fitted packaging to prevent breakage. The kit has recessed panel lines, a pretty decent cockpit, but few options. It also includes a few “replacement” parts if the GrandKids bounce a ball into it! Note that this is the same model as the EASY MODEL #37136 (except you can fill in the gaps).
Follow the instructions and don’t try to out-smart the directions. Build the cockpit and paint it first. As noted in other reviews if you have a spare Instrument Panel decal from another kit use it. You can’t fake it. Simply use a Sharpie or dry brush to expose the details. Not provided was a gunsight in the cockpit. Some of the sprue cut in the correct dimensions and painted serves well.
The fuselage is a top to bottom and sandwiches the wing. DRY-Fit, DRY-Fit, DRY-Fit! My example raised the Starboard wing about 2mm until adjusted with a sanding stick. There are two windows on the bottom of the fuselage. If you put them in, they do not fit well and will need sanding, but are sooo tiny. You might do without or fill later with a clear adhesive. Nose weight is a must! Pack in as much as you can. Don’t forget the engine exhaust like I did! Have some clamps ready – you’ll need them. The rest of the model builds easily.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
This is where it gets interesting. The subject I picked at Kucova Air Base is probably the most photographed plane there. There are so many subjects it is hard for a photographer not to gorge himself on photographing Migs. But I did find 4 pictures of “5-16” as someone was descending down a hill (see resources below). The plane is just silver with a lot of dirt and worn-out markings. But as you study these pictures, you start to see the challenge of building it.
All pictures are of the port side and something unusual on the top of the left wing. Most tires in the rows were flat, and all the planes were neglected. So, I used basic aluminum paint from Tamiya, TS-17 spray. It goes down evenly and has never disappointed.
Decals were next. The Blue Rider decals took a long time to come off the paper but otherwise were great. MicroSol and Set, really locked them down nicely. The decal sheets provided for a Mig-15 UTI, a Mig-17, Mig-19, AN-2, (or Chinese copy of same) and an Aerospatiale Alouette (Civil marking). However, “5-16” had to be a combination of all.
I used the numbers and the national markings – 2 on the rudders, and 2 underwings. Next, I dry brushed some “Mig” Brand (appropriately enough) #0194 Matt Aluminum on the markings to give the appearance of being decayed. I could not find any information on the underside markings so I assumed they were just as deteriorated as the rudder insignia. What I did not see was any marking on the upper surface of the wings of Mig-15UTIs. Most pictures only showed rudder and numbers. A few other Migs (21s and 19s) had very faded upper wing surface markings.
Back to paint: The wing-walk is the only real color on the plane, and I airbrushed a very thin Tamiya Flat Black there. After it dried, I used a medium sanding stick to thin it out more and expose the silver. But the pictures showed a red tint (probably adhesive), so a thin watered-down coat of red was airbrushed on. Dirt was the only real color seen on the plane, and a coat of watered-down Tamiya Dark Yellow was dusted on top.
Historical note: So, what is that mess on the left wing in photo? The previous national markings on the Albanian Air Force wings were red with a black star. Later painted to a black and red roundel in the post-Communist era. In some pictures the national marking was completely removed or faded to just a dark disk. I think the ‘smudge’ we see on the left wing of 5-16 was an effort to clean the national marking off, and the reflections show differently at each angle.
Finally, all the ‘break-off’ parts were added along with a mid-fuselage blade antenna (not provided in kit). Tires were ‘flattened’ and attached. The port wing is damaged in the pictures at Kucova. A simple sanding stick, rounded file and small drill imitated the wingtip damage. A fin was added to the back of the drop tanks (not provided in kit), and ‘dents’ were added to the tanks, (dropped drop tanks?), then attached. A pencil eraser removed the ‘dust’ in places as needed.
If I were to build this model again: I’d buy a new resin interior. The large canopy is asking for a look inside. The huge gaps at the wing/fuselage joints need a sturdier filler so there is less sanding damage. Learn more about weathering technique if I were to do a subject this neglected. Previous reviews about the nose wheel being too short is right. Find a way to build up the nose wheel so the plane is nose high. The kit was not made for retracted air breaks. Extend them.
It’s not the prettiest plane on the shelf. In fact, it’s intended to be the ugliest. This will be one plane I don’t have to dust annually. But the kit can be brought up to excellent standards and remain a quick build. I liked the kit because of the easy build, and no complex fiddly sub-assemblies. The canopy was the only disappointment as it did not fit well. The Blue Rider decals were ok but off register. They are the only game in town. Pmask made the canopy mask, and they had a good fit. All 3 products I’d recommend again.
29 November 2022
Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page Back to the Review Index Page Back to the Previews Index Page