The Eduard 1/144 MiG-21s come with Atolls that are great for being injected but for the builder either wanting to hang something else or wants Atolls with even more finesse, the Shelf Oddity missiles might be something for you!
I've bought two sets that will be reviewed together, SO114417 (Aphid) and SO11444 (Atoll/Sidewinder). Of these, I've built the Aphids (which are the smallest and also most complicated since they have twelve fins each!).
There are two missiles in each set. The main missile body is a beautiful CNC-machined brass part that has not only been turned, it has had 0,2 mm mounting holes drilled perpendicular to the body helping locating the fins. The bodies have a tiny pip on the nose cone where it has been cut off after the machining process, this is easily removed with a sanding stick.
The fins are supplied on an etch fret, thankfully with some to spare. And the smaller the fin, the more spares there are... Mounting instructions can be downloaded from the Shelf Oddity web site and they warn you not to remove the central "runner" entirely, if left on the part it will fit into the drilled holes of the missile body facilitating mounting the fins. The fins come with some etched detail but only on one side though.
There is also a jig supplied for squaring up the fins, I didn't get the knack of using it and neither was it as difficult as I thought doing it free-hand!
A comprehensive set of decals rounds off the package, for the Atoll/Sidewinder kit there is quite a lot of them to cater for all different versions and paint schemes while for the Aphid (that was always a bit boring paint-wise!) the sheet is smaller.
I built mine using CA-glue, it is probably the only glue that will work. The fins are tremendously small and difficult to handle even using tweezers. I used a crocodile clip over the middle of the missile body for handling (once again thanks for the brass, resin wouldn't take this very well), dipped the edge of the fins in glue and tried to fiddle them in place. The drilled holes in the missile body helps but it is still difficult. Another problem is that the fins are so small that the tweezers are hard to keep away from the glue, I had to pry loose the fins from the tweezers several times before they stuck to the missile! Alignment was however a lot easier than I had expected, even without using the jig. Some glue residue was unavoidable but the fins turned out to be quite sturdy when in place, allowing some careful cleaning-up using a sanding stick.
We are close to my fiddliness-limit with these but with good lightning and some magnification it can be done, much thanks to some clever design from Shelf Oddity who've done what's possible to make it a bit easier! The Aphids are really tiny, that's a standard-sized Swedish thumb and the pair of tweezers I used during the build seen in one of the photos...
When you're finished with the ´winders and the Aphids, there are (as of December 2015) some more in the range to try out:
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: Beautiful missiles that will be hard to beat for detail and finesse.
Clever design.Lows: Fin detail only on one side of the fins.
Fiddly (but that's hardly unexpected in this scale...)Verdict: Not an easy build but not impossible either! If you are prepared to invest some time the end result is really worth it! Highly recommended if you're after something a bit different to hang below your 144-scale Soviet aircraft!
About Magnus Fridsell (magnusf) FROM: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
It all started with a Biggles book, one of those where he is a flying policeman... He flew an Auster of some kind. Later that year, this was in 1982 when I was 10, I got the Airfix Series 1 Auster for Christmas.
Since then modelling has been my interest. It has survived RC flying, flying full sca...