Mish has provided for us a beautiful rendition of a celebrated B-17G whose claim to glory was many crash landings due to battle damage and repairs from a large number of Variants of the B-17. Click on the photo and see the tremendous job she did with this model.
It’s been a few years since Eduard first announced their 1/48 MiG-21 kit. Eduard has wisely listened to modelers' inputs, and they seem to have covered all bases in this kit when it comes to detail accuracy and the subtle differences between variants. This first release is the widely used and widely exported MF variant and its essentially identical Soviet Air Force equivalent, the SM.
The kit features a box top painting of a pair Egyptian MiG 21’s over the Great Pyramids. It comprises eight dark grey sprues, one clear sprue, a set of masks, two sheets of photo etch (one colored), plus a bonus of "Brassin" UB-16 rocket pods.
All parts are extremely finely molded, with no trace of flash or mold misalignment noted. The very few ejector pin marks I found are well hidden, and mostly not a factor in final assembly. Panel lines are very finely engraved throughout, with a few raised details where appropriate, mainly the weld seams on the drop tanks. There are a couple of prominent oval panel lines on the upper wing surfaces are not molded in place. Instead, Eduard provides a photo etched template allowing the modeler to add these panels if the subject requires them the or the modeller can use the decals provided on the stencils sheet.
Airframe breakdown is essentially conventional, although Eduard has obviously put a great deal of thought into the balance between modularity (catering to the different variants to be released), detail, and ease of build. The entire wing lower surfaces and a large section of the lower fuselage are a single piece. This allows a significant amount of detail to be included in the wheel wells (hydraulic and pneumatic accumulator bottles, etc) Molded-in detail is impressive in all three wheel wells. Separate drop-in sections are provided allowing display of the prominent belly-mounted air brake either open or closed. The separate open air brake has impressive interior detail.
Internally, much detail is provided that has been absent or simplified in other kits. The well appointed cockpit/nose gear well assembly is made up of separate side consoles using both plastic and colored PE parts. The modeler will have to match the blue-green shade of the PE parts for the balance of the cockpit.
All control surfaces are separate parts. MiG-21s are invariably parked with flaps up, but dropping them will be no problem, at least with blown-flap (SPS) variants. Earlier variants had a Fowler type flap. The many small cooling intakes on the aft fuselage, the control surface actuator fairings, and the five-part GSh-23 gun fairing are all separate parts (leaving off the gun fairing and using the main canopy without a rear view mirror will give you a MiG-21S). Fences on the upper wings are provided both in styrene and PE. As noted above, the main under-fuselage air brake can be assembled open or closed. The twin forward fuselage air brakes are molded closed, however separate wells, actuators, and the brakes themselves are provided, requiring cutting out the molded-in brakes to display them in the open position. The small gun gas deflector plates just forward of the forward air brakes are also provided in styrene and PE. The landing gear exhibits the same superb level of detail seen throughout the rest of the kit. Each leg is made up of multiple parts, with separate oleo scissors. Each wheel is made up of two tire halves, with separate hubs and brake assemblies. Both early and late style main gear hubs are provided. The gear doors are well detailed, with separate actuator arms for the main doors.
Decals printed by Cartograf are provided for six different MiG-21MF/SM's. A full set of stencils in both Czech and Russian are provided. Or at least that appears to be what Eduard were aiming for. The Czech language stencils look fine, but most of the Cyrillic stencils are gibberish. The decals are well printed, with perfect register and great color. Aircraft included are:
The Scratching Post
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