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148
MiG-21MF

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Building the MiG
Eduard's MiG-21MF looks a daunting kit when you first look at the contents, what with the 9 sprues of grey injected plastic parts, 1 sprue of clear parts, 2 photo etched frets, one which is pre-painted, 4 resin parts, 1 sheet of masks and 2 decal sheets. But once you actually look at the kit and browse the instructions, the build is pretty straightforward.
As with any aircraft kit the build starts off with the cockpit, and this is the first hurdle, matching the interior colour to the pre-painted P.E. The instructions state that you should use Gunze Aqueous H-46 Emerald green, but not having that colour in the inventory I went with the Humbrol No 2 equivalent (as can be seen in the first couple of pictures). This is still not the right colour as the colour needed is a blue green, so I applied a blue filter over the top which did get nearer the intended colour. After I closed the cockpit up I found that someone had matched the colour needed by mixing Gunze Aqueous H-46 and H-25 in a 50/50 ratio, oh well to late for mine, but I will build another.
The inclusion of the P.E for the instrument panels and side consoles really do detail the pit up, and go together really easy.
The next stage is the exhaust with the afterburners and the fit is great, no seam work is needed with the pipe, which is a godsend, and I always hate trying to fill and sand inside long tubes.
The main undercarriage bays are a separate part and are added to the lower wing assembly, and with painting, dry brushing and washes the detail really pops out.
The fuselage gets closed up with the nose cone, cockpit, side wall consoles, two spacers and the exhaust system, and although it is all fairly tight the fuselage closes with no gaps or distortion along the seams. In-fact other then a quick swipe with a sanding stick the kit doesn't need any filler at all. Some weight in the nose is needed to stop it becoming a tail sitter and packing out the nose cone with small screws held in with blu-tac does the job.
The lower wing gets added first, with some more detail for the wing undercarriage bays to go in, and this was the part that did have me fiddling about with the fit. The fit is very good once you get it lined up, I dry-fitted the wing a couple of times before adding the glue, where then for the life of me couldn't get it lined up again. Quite a bit of fiddling about was needed before I managed to get it right, so patience is a virtue on this part.
The upper wings need a couple of panel lines scribed into them and Eduard give you a scribing template or the choice of using decals for this. I went with the scribing as its only a small area, and its very rare that I do any, so its good practice for something or other.
You are given a choice for the wing fences for the kit, with either P.E or plastic, so I went for the P.E as they are a lot thinner, but are a bit of a bugger to glue on, but glued on they did, but I did keep knocking the fuselage fences off, so I ended up replacing them with the plastic ones as one decided too visit the carpet monster.
With all the main parts attached, I primed the aircraft. I left off the undercarriage, all the small P.E aerials and what not, as I was bound to knock them off.
Painting
At this point I still hadn't decided on what scheme I was going to paint, but as I kept looking at the box artwork the Egyptian scheme became more and more intriguing, so I went with that as I do like the look of the orange identification panels.
Paints used for the camo were WEM's Russian sand, and Tamiya's Olive drab and German Grey, applied using the blu tac method (rolling the the blu tac into sausage shapes to get a soft edge camo scheme).
The orange ident panels were masked off and sprayed with a mix of Tamiya orange and a little red to darken it a little. Two coats of Future (Klear) were sprayed over and left to dry.
Now we come to the decaling, where there is about 200 hundred stencils to add. I added about 20 of these before I got bored where the model then just sat for three weeks gathering dust.
I finally got back round to the Mig as it was getting on my nerves sitting on the desk looking forlorn at me, and it was at that stage where if I didn't finish it I never would, so I dispensed with the stencils (I know naughty me), and started applying the main decals. All these went on with no trouble and a little Micro Sol helped snuggle the decals down.
A coat of Future was applied before I started weathering the aircraft. I decided that I would do the Colour Modulation technique (there is a feature on Armorama about this), as I wanted a beaten, used looking aircraft. After that I gave it a wash of Burnt umber then sealed it all with another coat of Future.
The last part of the build is attaching all the P.E aerials, undercarriage, and weapons. All of the aerials are very delicate, especially the yaw and pitch vanes on the pitot boom on the nose, which are very small P.E. In-fact I have managed to lose two of these, and the tail antenna, just by looking at it lol.
With everything on a dull coat was added, and hey presto one finished MiG-21MF, in the markings of No.7628, Egyptian Air Force, unit unknown, Tanta Airbase, 1988.
Conclusion
This is a great kit, an easyish build, superb fitting, and a level of detail that Eduard have taken to new heights.
This is a kit that an inexperienced modeller can get to grips with as there is nothing too complicated during the build.
This isn't the best kit I have ever built, as I did rush it a little (not withstanding the 3 weeks sitting on the desk), it hasn't turned out too bad, its still better to look at it in a darkened room with your back turned to it, whilst in someone else's house.
I'm now awaiting the release of the MiG-21SMT version, so I can have another go, and hopefully this time get it right lol.
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About the Author

About Andy Brazier (betheyn)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...


Comments

The man who build this, surely don't know how to build a model right It's a real beauty Mr. Andy Cheers Nick
MAY 21, 2011 - 05:39 AM
Great build, Andy. Thanks for sharing
MAY 22, 2011 - 06:10 AM
Thanks guys. I promise the next one will be better. Andy
MAY 23, 2011 - 05:43 AM