by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History MiG-15 fighter aircraft has became one of the post-WW2 aircraft development symbols, especially the one of the communist block lead by Soviet Union. It played crucial role in the Korean War, took part of the Suez Crisis as well as in other less important conflicts in Asia, Africa, Caribbean etc.
The key parts of the aircraft – the engine and the swept wing – were not developed in Soviet Union but in other countries.
The swept wing was elaborated by German researchers and found its way to Soviet Union as a part of the war prize. The engine, under licence built Rolls Royce Nene, was created by British engineers.
The specifications that led to the MiG-15 birth were issued in 1947. Temporary Soviet attempts to develop their own jet engine failed and captured German Jumo 004 and BMW 003 jet engines became obsolete. Under such a situation Soviet Union decided to buy few tens of British Nene I, Nene I and Derwent V engines.
The licence to built these engines was built also. Three types of the fighter airplanes were built using these engines. The Derwent was the heart of Yak-23 with straight wing and Nene found its way to Lavochkin 168 and MiG-15, both with the swept wing and horizontal stabilizator.
Soviets believed that at least one of two different wing designs will fulfil the requirements. Finally Yak-23 and MiG-15 entered the serial production but only the latter became world-wide known thanks to its performance and high numbers of airplanes manufactured. The first prototype under I-301 designation was finished on December 19th and made its maiden flight on December 30th, 1947. The second prototype powered by more powerful Nene II engine flew for the first time on May 27th, 1948. The third prototype joined previous two ones afterwards but test flight were so satisfying that serial production of the aircraft under designation MiG-15 was ordered on July 17th, 1948.
The first production aircraft was assembled in June 1949 and the serial production was step by step launched in many facilities across the Soviet Union. The production MiG-15 was powered by RD-45F engine and armed with two 23mm cannons NS-23KM and one 37mm cannon N-37. The various bombs and unguided air-to-ground missiles (LR-130 and S-21) could be attached to the hardpoints on the wing undersurface. A bit later, in 1950 – 1951 the production of MiG-15bis begun.
Powered by VK-1 engine with the higher output these were easily recognizable thanks to the modified aerial brakes on the tail. The „bises“ were produced till 1953 when the MiG-17 replaced them on the assembly lines.
The Fifteens were manufactured outside the Soviet Union. The Aero and Let facilities in Czechoslovakia and PZL Mielec in Poland built them in relatively high numbers.
The twoseaters were built by Chinese also. Apart of the fighters more variants were built. The twoseater UTI MiG-15 was flown as a training aircraft. The majority of them left the production line in Czechoslovakia. In Czechoslovakia many MiG-15s and bises were underwent the modification to the fighter-bomber MiG-15SB and MiG-15bisSB version with four underwing pylons. The MiG-15R / MiG-15bisR was the recce version with cameras and MiG-15T served as a target-towing aircraft.
The Fifteens were given with the NATO code designation. The singleseaters were coded Fagot A for MiG-15 and Fagot B for MiG-15bis. The twoseater UTI MiG-15 was known under the codename Midget.
Info from Eduard
In the box Packed in the usual top opening box, the MiG-15bis comes with three dark grey plastic sprues, one clear sprue, a small coloured sheet of photo etch, a set of masks, two sheets of decals and the instruction booklet.
The kit dates back too 2013 and shows no sign of ageing with no flash present and ejection pin marks in places that won't be seen.
The detail for the exterior is very good with some fine panel lines and rivets adorning the kit.
The tail fin has a separate rudder so modelling off center shouldn’t be a problem.
The wings have the fences moulded onto them and are quite thin.
An extra underside wing panel (B11) is also on the sprue and this is used for marking option "A" only.
The underside of the upper wings has some quite acceptable detail for the main gear wells moulded onto them.
The interior for the kit is quite exceptional with the inclusion of a pre-coloured sheet of photo etch, which covers the instrument panel, sidewalls and rudder pedals. A four piece harness for the ejection seat is also supplied.
The intake splitter doubles up as the cockpit sidewalls and a mount for the nose gear bay. Nose weight will be needed to stop the aircraft being a tail sitter, and Eduard do show you this in the instructions, but actually fail to tell you how much.
The exhaust is made up of three parts with the back wall having a turbine moulded onto it.
The undercarriage legs have a very nice level of detail, with the main gear legs having some PE. The nose gear is one part and has the wheel moulded onto the leg.
The wheels are split into three parts with the tyre having separate hubs. A choice of hubs with spokes and one as a solid hub are supplied. The tyres have a nice tread pattern moulded onto the sidewalls.
External stores for the kit include two types of fuel tanks, and some bombs, although the bombs are not shown in the instructions. You will have to decide early in the build if your aircraft will have external stores as holes have to be drilled out in the lower wing halves.
Three auto cannons sit at the lower front of the aircraft.
The nine clear parts are thin with very good clarity. The canopy is split into two halves with the windscreen and main canopy hood as two separate parts, so it can be modelled open or closed. The other parts include a landing light and the armoured glass plate that sits behind the pilot.
A set of Kabuki masks are supplied, which cover the canopy and the hubs. Not sure why you would use the main wheel hubs as they are separate in the kit, but the nose wheel hub masks will be useful. There is also a mask for the two arrows on Marking option B. This is also supplied as a decal, but you will need to key the blue colour to the paintwork found on the upper wings, so it would probably be easier to use the masks.
Instructions, decals and markings The instruction book is printed in the standard black and white line drawing style on an A4 size paper. The first page covers the parts trees with any parts not used coloured in blue. The paint numbers needed are also shown.
The build takes place over nine pages, and is fairly easy to follow, with any P.E parts and optional parts clearly shown. Gluing surfaces are highlighted in blue.
A very handy diagram for adding the Kabuki masks to the canopy is supplied midway through the build. A masking agent will need to be used for the main canopy as the masks only cover the edges.
Internal colours are given along the way for the Mr Color, Aqueous and Mission Models range of paints.
Two sheets of decals are supplied, one for the unit and national insignia markings, and a smaller sheet for the various stencils.
All the decals appear to be in full register, and nice and bright. Carrier film is minimal. Both are printed inhouse by Eduard.
The marking options are full colour with all four sides of the aircraft shown. Two pages cover the stencils applied to the aircraft.
Five marking options are supplied in various camo schemes, and are -
A - MiG-15bis, flown by Maj. Mikhail Ivanovich Mikhin, 518th IAP, North Korea, May 1953.
B - MiG-15bis, c/n 613234, flown by kpt. Oldřich Paldus, 15. slp, Cottbus Airfield, German Democratic Republic, August 30th, 1957.
C - MiG-15bis, c/n 0320138, 1st Squadron, 101st Reconnaissance Regiment, Szolnok, Hungary, 1972.
D - MiG-15bis, No. 20 Squadron, Egypt., Late 50s / Early 1960s.
E - MiG-15bis, c/n 1315376, ex 64th IAK, Soviet Union, mid 50s.
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