by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The Vympel R-23 (NATO reporting name AA-7 Apex) is a medium-range air-to-air missile developed by Vympel in the Soviet Union for fighter aircraft. An updated version with greater range, the R-24, replaced it in service. It is comparable to the American AIM-7 Sparrow, both in terms of overall performance as well as role.
The missile, designated R-23, entered service in January 1974, the SARH (semi-active radar homing and infrared) version as the R-23R, the IR version R-23T. Both versions used the same motor and warhead, which had a lethal radius of 8 m (26 ft). In the west these were known as the AA-7A and AA-7B, respectively. An inert training round, the R-23UT, was also developed.
Info from Wikipedia
In the boxThis missile set was first released in 2013, but with Eduard releasing the Bedna MiG-23 Profipack featuring Trumpeter sprues, they have re-released this set.
Packed in the now standard black top opening Brassin box, the resin parts are well protected sandwiched in-between two foam pads.
The resin parts are bagged in two resealable bags, with the small photo etch sheet and decals in another bag. The small instruction sheet completes the contents.
Casting as ever from Eduard is superb with no discrepancies found in the resin.
The missiles are made up of 13 parts each, with the missile body and the very rear tail fins as one piece, with the casting block attached to the tail fin end, for which a razor saw will be needed as the part is fairly thick..
The eight wings have a flat area with a corresponding groove in the missile body for attachment for each part. Removing the casting blocks for the eight wings only requires a sharp scalpel and a little clean up with a sanding stick.
A choice of nose is supplied with the missile head cover as a separate part, and will need the modeller to cut the moulded on nose off the missile body. A panel line helps with the position to cut.
Two photo etch parts are also needed, one for the exhaust ring and the other is a piece which wraps around the forward portion of the missile, which I believe is some sort of cover for the sensors.
The last part of each missile is the APU-23M pylon. Care is definitely needed removing this part as the casting block runs along the upper side of the pylon where there is a thin trailing edge on the forward aircraft mounting lug. A razor saw is required to remove the casting block.
The P.E fret holds two of each of the needed parts, so no spares, so be careful and don't feed the Carpet Monster.
A quick build of one of the missiles shows that it all goes together well, with no problems found.
In fact it only took around 20 minutes to build the missile. I would think attaching the decals will take a bit longer.
Although these missiles are for the Trumpeter/Eduard boxing, I can't see why they won't fit any 1/48th MiG-23M.
Instructions, markings and decals The instructions are printed on a small sheet, and include a 1 step build sequence, a stencil guide and a missile colour guide.
The main body, and pylon colours are given with Aqueous and Mr Color paint numbers.
The small decal sheet has the stencils for each missile and pylon. The decals are well printed, in register and are very small.
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