Airfix 1/72 PZL Lim-5 (MiG-17F)
KIT #: A03092
PRICE: 12.99 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2019 tooling

HISTORY

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17; NATO reporting name: Fresco) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanced development of the similar looking MiG-15 of the Korean War. The MiG-17 was license-built in China as the Shenyang J-5 and Poland as the PZL-Mielec Lim-6.

MiG-17s first saw combat in 1958 in the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis and later proved to be an effective threat against more modern supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War. It was also briefly known as the Type 38 by U.S. Air Force designation prior to the development of NATO codes.

5,467 MiG-17, 1,685 MiG-17F, 225 MiG-17P and 668 MiG-17PF were built in the USSR by 1958. Over 2,600 were built under license in Poland and China. The Polish aircraft were Lim-5s and these incorporated inner wing pylons for the ground attack role. A number of these aircraft were delivered to East Germany.

THE KIT

This is a second boxing of their well-received MiG-17F. As such, the sprues are identical with only a change in decals and the use of some items on the sprues not utilized in the initial boxing.

Detailing on the kit is excellent as you'd expect. Not as fine as what you'd find on a Hasegawa or Tamiya kit, but more than acceptable. The kit is molded in the UK so no issues with short shot pieces. I did find the sprue attachments to be somewhat larger than with other kits, but not really an issue. No flash, sunken areas, or visible ejector pin marks.

The cockpit is built inside the two halves that make up the intake. While there are no rudder pedals, I don't think that is an issue as they'd be fairly hidden. Decals are used for instruments, which is fine. A 'smiling jack' pilot figure is provided if you wish to use one. There is some belt detail on the two piece ejection seat.

With the interior/intake assembly done, that is set aside and the exhaust is built. You have two options here, one for open and another for closed speed brakes. Speed brake well detail is molded on the exhaust pipe and apparently this sticks out enough so you can't close the brakes. After installing the cockpit and exhaust pieces into the fuselage, 10 grams of weight goes in the nose. Then the lower forward fuselage piece is installed. This contains about 1/4 of the nose ring. The other 3/4 of it is then attached.

The only options for things under wings on this boxing are the drop tanks. There are holes for inner pylons with rocket pods and outer wing rocket rails. This boxing uses the inner pylons so you will need to open these holes. One then attaches the build up wings and the tailplanes. The two pieces for the rudder are separate. Cannon housings are separate as seems to be standard on MiG-15/17 kits.

All the landing gear pieces are next and these are well done. Main wheels are slightly flattened. You can also build this gear up if you wish. The last items are attaching the wing tanks and the separate windscreen/canopy. The kit provides a canopy with and without the rear vision mirror. The one with it is used in this boxing. In case you didn't put in enough nose weight, an oil drum is provided to prop up the tail.

As usual, the well done instructions provide only Humbrol paint numbers during construction. The two markings options are a Polish aircraft with a special paint scheme. The modeler will need to paint the fin colors. The other is an East German aircraft in dark green/brown over blue. The instructions would have you paint the underside in PRU blue, but the shade in photos seems lighter than that. The nicely printed decal sheet provides a full stencil suite as well.
CONCLUSIONS

I am pleased to see this particular boxing and would think that there will be future offerings that include the rocket rails that are included. It would also be nice to see a Lim-5bis with the braking parachute as well as a version with the belly bomb racks as used by the Egyptians. Either option would require a separate sprue so hopefully Airfix will consider doing that.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-17

April 2022

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