by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The MiG 29 is a 4th generation fighter designed for the air superiority role in the Soviet Union. The MiG 29 "9-13", codenamed Fulcrum C by NATO, is different to the Fulcrum A as it has a swollen spine, which led Soviet MiG 29 pilots to call the Fulcrum C the "Gorbatyi (Hunchback)". The spine has accommodation for increased fuel capacity to improve on the Fulcrum A's limited range. In fact, the fuel capacity increase of the Fulcrum C was modest, and most of the expanded space was used to house a "Gardeniya" active Jammer module. The updated avionics suite also led to modifications of the wingtips and addition of antennas to the tail. About 200 Fulcrum Cs were built, with initial introduction to service in 1986.
Packed in a rather large box you will find one cellophane bag containing three light grey sprues and one sprue for the clear parts. The clear parts are not protected from the other sprues so some damage may be caused during transit. Also in the box is the decal sheet and instruction guide.
The sprues don't suffer from any flash and look to be warp free. Pin marks are in places that won't be seen, apart from several raised pin marks in the jet intakes. These should be pretty easy to remove though.
Detail wise this kit is pretty good. The cockpit has some nice raised detail for the side consoles. The instrument panel has the dials as raised portions and once painted should look quite good. The ejection seat has some moulded on harness's, but they do look rather thick in depth.
The wheel wells have some raised detail and plumbing. The undercarriage legs are finely moulded and quite thin, so care will have to be taken when handling these parts. The wheels are moulded in one piece, but do suffer from a seam line running around the circumference. The main landing gear doors have some extremely fine raised rivets over them, and have a clear landing light that you add to the inside, which is a nice touch.
The fuselage and wings have some nice fine recessed panel lines adorning the kit, and once a wash goes on should look very nice. All the control surfaces are moulded in place, but with a bit of surgery can be re-positioned quite easily.
The weapons and fuel tanks on sprue C are really well moulded and look stunning, but unfortunately on this version are not used. Luckily the weapon pylons are of the same quality and you get to use them.
Printed on a folded A3 sheet of paper in the usual line drawing format, the instructions are clear and defined. A part guide is on the front page with the red shaded areas highlighting the parts not used in this version. The build is spread over 7 stages and the one downside is that you have to keep referring to the front page for the part number as not one piece has the number on the sprue.
Painting and Decaling
The instruction sheet also carries the paint and decal guide and is definitely going to be the hardest part of the build. The paint scheme is part decal and part painted. The bird motif on the top and underside of the aircraft is going to be "fun" to do as the main colour has to be painted with the edges supplied as decals. The problem will be trying to get everything lined up correctly going around the curvature of the aircraft. The tail sections are a similar story, but should be easier to do as there are no curves to fight against.
The decals are perfect register and have very little carrier film around the edges. The bird motif decals are split into 12 pieces which are all straight lines, so some cutting is bound to be called upon as two of the decals need to fit over the weapons pylon.