Dragon 1/72 Jian Ji-5 (Mig-17F)

Kit Number: 2513

Price: $15.50

Decals : A bunch of different countries including (in bare metal) China, Poland, Czechoslovakia and two camo versions for Vietnam and Syria.

Comments: I have always liked the Mig-17. Back when the Hasegawa 1/72 (sic) kit was all that was available, I chopped up several of them to change the radar nose to a plain nose so that I could do all those neat Microscale decal options. When KP's Mig-17 was released as a radar nose as well, I was heart-broken. Then came Hobbycraft's 1/48 version and I hoped a 1/72 version was near. DML's kit is what I have been waiting for since 1976. Both the wings and the horizontal stabilizers are in scale. It has a plain, but useable interior with openable canopy. The engraved details are nicely done and look great in the box. And there is the rub. It is typical of many DML kits in that it takes care to build. The way the nose is done with the lower portion separate from the rest of the fuselage makes for a difficult fit and that is my major complaint of the kit. It also means that there is almost no place for weight and this jewel is a major tail-sitter. I finally crammed enough tiny pieces in the nose to keep it on all three, but it was a challenge.

Fit problems aside, once the aircraft is painted in several shades of Metallizer, stained up a bit with pastels, and decorated in Carpena's great decals (in this case Mozambique), it looks beautiful. I have it sitting next to a Fujimi F-86E and it is surprising just how small the Mig-17 is.

So, the big question is, would I build another? Unquestionably. Now that I know of the glitches, the next ones will go better. Despite its glitches, at this writing, it is the best 1/72 Mig-17 on the market.

Highly recommended for those who can handle the fit and nose weight challenges.

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