The Eduard’s Weekend Edition kits are well established and accepted on the market, and probably leave a reviewer with an easier (and sometimes unexciting!) task of rephrasing what was said earlier about the same kits in their “regular” editions. Trouble notwithstanding, there are still points to be clarified or reemphasized with the current edition, but they won’t have an effect on the overall agreement concerning the kit’s quality. The Eduard’s MiG-21bis is probably the variant that many were waiting to see since the “21-line” was first announced by Eduard, and it is my modest opinion that they will – with many aftermarket refinements still to be expected – remain with us for at least two or three more decades. The exceptionally high standard of the Eduard MiG-21 kit family was only reaffirmed by the Flieger Revue Modeling Innovations Prize for 2012 and the the Modellfan Model of the Year 2012 award.
However, flames developed on the internet forums over the allegedly incorrect nose section of the “bis-kits” even before they hit the market. Varying concerns and attitudes were exchanged among the modeling purists who drew particular attention to the incorrect nose dimensions in the so called “Gabor’s nose controversy”. The final settlement of the issue, at least on the Eduard’s side, was offered by Vladimír Šulc in his in-depth article entitled “MiG-21BIS – what’s changed, what’s not”, which was published in Info Eduard
earlier in December 2011 (vol. 11, issue 12, pp. 5-7). I am not so qualified to take sides in the quarrel, but it seems to me that the former can serve as an example of how certain market decisions are to be defended with intrepid arguments, even when the author is in partial agreement with the confronting criticism.
The Weekend edition of this very successful kit offers high quality plastic parts and accurate Eduard printed decal sheet for the single Hungarian Air Force plane, Izdelye 75AP, 31st „Kapos“ Tactical Fighter Wing, 2nd „Boszorkany“ Squadron, Taszár AB, September 1991. A wide selection of accessories – like photo-etched sets and the Brassin items, as well as the painting masks – are already offered by Eduard (and there are still more to expect!), which will enable you to build this kit in very high standard, unless you decide to stay with the bare and the undressed.
Being a Weekend Edition of the previously released and well acquainted kit, the parts breakdown and the sprues are identical with the ProfiPACK edition, less the PE set, two decal sheets and a set of painting masks. The eight dark gray trees, one tree of clear parts, small decal sheet and the instruction booklet come in a non-dramatic, well known blue-yellow-white Weekend Edition sturdy top-opening box. The only change I noticed with the box is a slight refinement of the design and addition of the QR-Code, which is yet another evidence of Eduard’s complying with the high market standards.
The first impression after opening the box is still that of dealing with arguably the best MiG-21 ever kited in plastic! In my opinion, the Eduard’s “lil’ fishbed”
in 1/144 is the only kit that can shake the reputation of the bigger brother in its own respect, if only the scale where that popular among the modelers. Be it as it may, the Eduard’s Weekend Edition offers sharp and subtle details, with rather simple breakdown of parts that warrants somewhat easier and hassle-free assembly. Although the former cannot be verified until the actual build, the point is very clear – no doubt it looks
like it’s going to be an easy build!
Having said that, I have in mind the older OEZ kit, which was the only option in town for the bis-kit in this scale. Although there are modelers who still remember the sheer abundance of details offered, it is still very hard to shake off the memory of shivers along the spine caused by somewhat problematic surface texture which was rather difficult to conquer even by more experienced modelers. Fear no more: the surface of the Eduard kit is as satin as the baby’s bottom! (The comparison one would expect from a newly-made parent!). Along with more than sufficient level of detail in an overly-simple and not over-engineered rendition of this Cold War classic, I presume that the Eduard’s Weekend Edition will become rather popular among the builders who like it simple, fast and hassle-free, for this is exactly the purpose for which this particular edition is intended.
As there are many features shared between the ProfiPACK and the Weekend Edition kits, I will only emphasize the fact that the MiG-family so far proved the Eduard’s smart engineering, which allows the sprues from previous editions to be highly adaptable to other third-generation MiG-21 airframes with only minimal parts changes. Therefore, the dorsal spine and the vertical stabilizer, which are probably the most noticeable differences if compared with the earlier versions (appart from the nose issue!), are provided on the separate tree. Some prominent features of this kit are rather detailed cockpit and the KM-1 ejection seat, multipart canopy that can be posed open or closed, rather detailed nose gear and mid-fuselage section with main wheel wells, detailed engine and nozzle, positionable control surfaces and speed brakes, and a fair amount of external payloads. The former include 2 x RS-2US (AA-1 Alkali), 2 x R-3S (AA-2 Atoll), 2 x R-3R (AA-2 Atoll), 2 x R-13 (AA-2 Atoll), 4 x R-60 (AA-8 Aphid), 2 x S-24 240mm rockets, 8 x FAB-100 bombs, 2 x FAB-250 bombs, 2 x UB-16-57 rocket pods, 2 x MER’s, 2 external tanks, 1 centerline tank, and the 2 SPRD RATO packs.
Apart for the obvious reasons mentioned in this review, I have no doubts that we will be seeing more bis-kits in future, at least under the “Special Edition” label. If for no other reason, the MiG-21bis is probably the most popular and beloved version among the modelers. With so many aftermarket decals and other MiG-21bis paraphernalia around, it is clear that the Weekend Edition will provide modelers around the world with a decent platform that builds to a sufficient modeling standard right out of the box. With an array of aftermarket improvements already provided by Eduard, this could easily become the standard pick for a modeling platform that is just a bit more than a plain “bis-kit”. Absolutely recommended!
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