by: Tim Hatton [ ]
Love them or hate them, the MiG 21 offers the modeler of modern combat aircraft a myriad of camouflage schemes. Afterburner Decals has released the first of two decal sheets to celebrate the MiG 21 use with various Air Forces around the world.
Packed into a re sealable plastic bag, the nine coloured A4 sheets and two decal sheets offer the modeler a fascinating collection of markings for the MiG 21. There are markings for twenty nine aircraft covering eleven Air Forces around the world.
The decal placement guides are colourful and provide port and starboard side profiles and upper plan view of each aircraft. A lower plan view of a wing is included to help with the location of any national insignia. Each profile is annotated with useful information concerning windscreen shape, antennae’s, individual paint differences, etc.
The decals are printed by Cartograf so the quality will be assured. Colour density and registration looks excellent. The carrier film is kept to a minimum. Most of the serial numbers have a narrow bridge of carrier film linking them, which make the placement much easier.
As you can see from the images opposite, there are plenty of interesting schemes to choose from the four colour upper surface scheme on a Cubian AF MiG, to a NATO F-16 style scheme on a Czech AF MiG. For something very unusual the pink and orange ID marking on the Egyptian MiG 21 will fit the bill nicely.
Paint references are subjective, colour names such as “dark green”, “deep purple”, “yellow olive”, etc are given, but it’s up to the modeler to create their own colours, although some FS numbers are provided. There are limitations in deducing colours from photographic images so Afterburner has provided their best guess.
-MiG 21 bis, White 923, Afghan national Army Af, Khandahar AB, early 1990’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Red 951, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan AF, late 1980’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 182 Algerian AF, June 1978.
-MiG 21 MF, Black 177 Algerian AF, 1973.
-MiG 21 bis, Red C314, Republic of Angola AF, mid 1990’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Red C331, Republic of Angola AF, mid 1980’s.
-MiG 21 MF, Red C40, Republic of Angola AF, mid 1976.
-MiG 21 bis, White 243, Bulgarian AF, 2003.
-MiG 21 MF [Chengdu J-7111] Red 30065, 29th AD PLAAF, Quzhou AB, 1998.
-MiG 21 MF [Chengdu J-7111] Red 30168, 29th AD PLAAF, Huairen AB, 1997.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 125, Croatian AF, 1996.
-MiG 21 bis, Red 7107, Cambodian AF, mid 1980’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 117, Croatian AF, Zagreb, 2007.
-MiG 21 bis, Croatian AF, 1993.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 665, Fuerza Area Revolucionaria de Cuba, late 1990’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 672, Fuerza Area Revolucionaria de Cuba.
-MiG 21 bis, Red 610, Fuerza Area Revolucionaria de Cuba, late 1970’s.
-MiG 21 bis, Black 658, Fuerza Area Revolucionaria de Cuba, 2011.
-MiG 21 MF, Red 517, Fuerza Area Revolucionaria de Cuba, 1973.
-MiG 21 MF, Grey 9805, Czech Air Force, 1995.
-MiG 21 MF, Black 7702, Czechoslovak Peoples Air Force, 1980.
-MiG 21 MF, Black 8208, Czechoslovak Peoples Air Force, 1984.
-MiG 21 R, Black 1922, Czechoslovak Peoples Air Force, 1983.
-MiG 21 SM, Red 37, Soviet VVS, Frontovaya Aviatsiya, 1980.
-MiG 21 bis, Red 24, 112th Guards Independent Aviation Regiment, Bagram AB, Afghanistan, 1985.
-MiG 21 SM, White 35, Soviet VVS, Frontovaya Aviatsiya, Afghanistan, 1983.
-MiG 21 MF, 8205, Egyptian AF, 1973 Yom Kippur War.
-MiG 21 MF, 8410, United Arab Republic AF [Egypt], 1970.
-MiG 21 MF, White 8370, Egyptian AF, 2007.
Application: Decals respond very well to Microsol, you will see the decals crinkle slightly, but don’t be tempted to brush out the creases. I found that the decals conform very well too low relief detail. Afterburner has reduced the amount of carrier film to a minimum so do not attempt to cut too close to the decal in order to reduce the amount of carrier film. It’s not necessary. In fact it is well worth your while taking a close look at some of the markings to determine the extent of the carrier film. You will notice that the carrier film will follow the shape of the letters or stencils very closely rather than surrounding them with excessive carrier film. This does have an effect when moving decals from the sheet to the model and you need to move them with a little caution. As there is little carrier film the decals look almost painted on after a coat or two of Kleer.
This is a significant and very welcome departure from the usual diet of United States Air force, Navy and Marines subjects from Afterburner. Don’t expect the same attention to detail as their home grown subjects as it would be impossible and expensive to visit the subjects represented with this release. Enjoy these marking for what they are and try not to worry too much about colour descriptions or why there are no stencils with this release. Excellent work Afterburner.