|KIT:||Zvezda 1/72 MiG 1.44|
|PRICE:||$25.98 (23.96 at Squadron)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The MiG 1.44 is the current superfighter from the Russian aerospace giant, MiG. This is a fifth generation fighter in the same mode as the US F-22 Raptor and the Eurofighter. Designed to perform both air and ground attack roles, the MiG 1.44 is reaching the end of a long development period, mostly due to the lack of funds. It has gotten to the stage where now is the time to determine whether it will be put into production. Thanks to the lack of available funds, the Russians are considering joint production with China, which could benefit from the partnership.
First thing that impressed me was the size of this aircraft. Small it isn't and I almost thought it was 1/48 scale. Looking over the parts I was impressed by the engineering and thoughtfulness put into this one. Unlike other Zvezda kits I've reviewed, this one had the two sprues in unsealed polybags. There are no ejector pin marks that will be seen once the kit is built. I found some sink areas, mainly on the pylons and the after wing sections where the plastic is thick. It has a separate canopy/windscreen that is nicely done and pretty clear. Decals are used for the instrument panels and side consoles. I would not doubt that an Eduard set is on the horizon to add more to the rather basic detail provided by the cockpit. A pilot is included for those who want to mask the emptiness of the cockpit. I'm sure that the seat has many flaws so I'll let the modern jet experts extol on that lack.
The fuselage is split into a vertical section in the front and a horizontal section in the rear. It seems a common way to do most modern aircraft since the blended fuselage/wing is very much in vogue. There are not a lot of options with this kit, but one can do it gear up and with alternate afterburner nozzles. One can also do the canopy open and the forward canards can be tilted if they wish. Unlike 99% of aircraft kits on the market, this one includes a display stand.
Instructions are well done and in both Russian and English. COlor information is provided with both ModelMaster and a Russian paint company. No FS 595 colors are provided! It appears that the aircraft is Intermediate Blue over Light Ghost Grey and Bort Numbers are provided for two different aircraft, though I'd be willing to be they are the same plane! Decals are glossy and well printed. I've not built a Zvezda kit so cannot comment on how well they stick. One final note is that this kit was made with the full cooperation of the Mikoyan Design Bureau so it should be accurate in outline.
It looks like a really neat kit. There are not a ton of parts and no fiddly 'multiple variants' bits to worry about on this one. Should be a real winner.
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