KP 1/72 MiG-19S/F-6 'In Arab Service'
|PRICE:||in the $20.00 range plus shipping|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-19; NATO reporting name: Farmer) is a Soviet second generation, single-seat, twinjet fighter aircraft, the world's first mass-produced supersonic aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U.S. "Century Series" fighter was the North American F-100 Super Sabre, although the MiG-19 primarily fought against the more modern McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and Republic F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam.
Three nations saw considerable combat with the MiG-19/Shenyang F-6; Egypt, Pakistan, and North Vietnam. Since this is the 'Arab Service' boxing, we'll concentrate this section on Egypt. One of the first Egyptian MiG-19 units was the 15th Air Brigade, consisting of Nos 20 and 21 Squadrons, which became operational at Fayid with a forward location at Milayz in the early 1960s.
In 1962, Egyptian MiG-19s saw some action in the ground-attack role during the North Yemen Civil War. The first reported air combat in the Middle East with the MiG-19 happened on 29 November 1966 when an Israeli Air Force (IAF) Dassault Mirage III shot down two Egyptian MiG-19s which were trying to intercept an Israeli reconnaissance Piper J-3 Cub in Israeli airspace. The first MiG was destroyed with a R.530 radar guided missile fired from less than a mile away, marking the first aerial kill for the French made missile. The second MiG-19 was dispatched with cannon fire.
Around 80 MiG-19s were in service with Egypt during the Six-Day War in June 1967, but more than half were destroyed on the ground during the opening Israeli airstrikes of Operation Focus. Israeli pilots, however, did find the MiG-19 a potentially dangerous adversary because of its performance, maneuverability, and heavy armament.
Following the war, the Egyptians organized the surviving MiG-19 aircraft and assigned them air defense tasks of Egypt's interior. The Soviet Union did not supply Egypt with any replacement of the MiG-19s destroyed in the Six Day War, but Egypt might have received some from Syria and Iraq, so that by the end of 1968 there were 80+ MiG-19s in service with the Egyptian Air Force. The aircraft also saw combat during the War of Attrition; in one engagement on 19 May 1969, a MiG-19 aircraft engaged two Israeli Mirages, shooting down one with cannon fire while the other escaped. Egypt had around 60 Mig-19s in service during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 in which they served as close air support aircraft.
In the 1960s and 70s, KP was a rather prodigious producer of kits, pretty much concentrating on those in Czech service at one time or another. After this initial spurt, the company was quiescent in terms of new releases until fairly recently. This is one of thier most recent kits and is provided in multiple boxings, each with different decals.
I've always liked the MiG-19, but have only built two kits in the last 50 years. One was the Heller kit and the other the older KP kit. What kept me from doing more was the myriad small air scoops both kits provided. Indeed, the MiG-19 is seemingly festooned with these small scoops around the engine section. Undoubtedly to keep the engines from overheating. When I heard of this release, I decided to order one so sent my electronic funds to acquire one.
Just looking at the sprues, this is an improvement over those older kits, with modern engraved panel line detail. Gone is all the rivet detail of the older kit. Not gone is the need to add a zillion scoops. Interior is well done with sidewall detail. KP provides decals for the instruments and side panels. There is even a harness decal for the single piece seat. The intake is deep enough to satisfy many and one will need 10 grams of nose weight, which is quite a bit for a kit of this size. A single piece canopy tops everything.
Wings are upper and lower half on each sied with small plates to be inserted into the gear wells. No holes to open as all the pylons are butt joined. There is a large, shallow trough for the wing fence. Exhaust is two tubes that fit into the end piece. Again, adequate for this scale. The landing gear legs all have separate wheels and the doors are mostly butt joins. For things under wings you have two fuel tanks and either air to air missiles or rocket pods. If doing the Shenyang version, a parabrake housing fits on the rear fuselage.
Instructions are nicely drawn and adequate, providing generic color information during the build. Four markings options are provided. Three are Egyptian at various times with schemes ranging from unpainted metal, to brown and tan over light blue to light and dark grey with large orange bands on the wings and fin. The orange will need to be painted as will the white fuselage band on one of the options, though the black surrounding stripes are provided. The third is a Syrian aircraft as shown on the box art in a green and darker brown over light blue. Decals look to be very nicely done and frankly, it is for the markings that I chose this boxing. There are aftermarket, but why go that route when the kit ones are so nice.
So far, this is the nicest looking kit of this plane in this scale to yet appear. By all accounts it builds fairly well so if you like the MiG-19 and are looking for one for your shelf, give this one a try.
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