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1/48 or 1/72 for first jet?
vonMarshall
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020 - 07:57 PM UTC
Hello all

I am a reasonably experienced 1/35 armor modeller but have developed a desire to build a jet, namely the Mig 21.

The good news is that all of the reviews I have read for Eduards Mig range in both 1/72 and 1/48 are highly rated.

But what I wanted to know, is which size you would go for. I have a feeling this will be the first of many jets so am looking for guidance regarding which scale to chose, potentially for the long term. Size is irrelevant from a display / storage point of view and the costs do not seem to be drmatically different.

My goal is to spend more of my time painting than building and either one will be built OOB using the included photo etch.

Having not built a jet before nor built in either scale, I thought I would get any input I can regarding the primary differences I should expect and things to be aware of.

My gut feel is 1/48 will be easier to build even though it probably uses more parts. I am also assuming that 1/48 will be easier to paint. But when I see the 1/72 jets in the videos thety look to be about the same size as a normal WW2 tank so although I would never touch 1/72 in armor, I wonder if I am missing a trick in the world of jets.

I would appreciate any input you may have.

Thanks
litespeed
Staff MemberNews Reporter
AEROSCALE
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2020 - 08:22 PM UTC
I would go 1/48 scale Noel. I find it much easier to handle 1/48 scale models with my clumsy hands. It also suites my painting style...
Tim
phil2015
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 02:58 AM UTC

My 2 cents.

I am building my first jet right now. I chose a 1/72 Phantom from Hasegawa. I think I made a poor choice. The kit is old and it seems to have quite a few issues. I keep looking at instructions from 1/48 kits to see how things should work. I really wish I'd done a 1/48 Academy kit. It would need more detailed work in the cockpit, but it looks like everything else would just be easier.

I've eyed those Eduard Mig-21s. There is something appealing about them.

Johnnych01
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 03:40 AM UTC
Noel, Hi. I would back up what Phil says, I am in the Phantom campaign building my first jet in about 30 years in 1/72 ..... I now wish I had gone straight to 1/48. You will probably get a lot more parts and a bigger finished beast, but you will get so much more detail and impact. My sausage fingers and eyes dont enjoy the little fiddly bits at all, and for the next jet I do (Mudmovers campaign) I will be doing a 1/48 or leaning towards the 1/32 Harrier.
md72
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 05:40 AM UTC
Well Noel, I'm clearly biased towards 1/72. When I moved into 1/72, there was a greater selection of the kits I wanted to build. That's not really the case now.

All that said, I'd second the 1/48 recommendation. You build armor, so you're used to high parts counts. Since 1/48 is about 75% of the size that you're used to, 1/72 is about half the size, you'd probably be better off with 1.48.

Ends up depending on what you want to do. Good luck.
MichaelSatin
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 08:12 AM UTC
Well, I haven't built the 1/72 kits, but I've slapped together a couple of the 1/48 MiGs and they are indeed fine models. I'd go for that.

Michael
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 10:06 AM UTC
Noel,
I sense, given that you only build Armor in one scale and not others, you will be happier building aircraft in only one scale as well. But here are some additional things to think about. Given the state of the art of injection molding for both 1/72 and 1/48 kits today, it really comes down to a “personal modeling philosophy” for which there are several factors:

1) Space. Do you have the space to display 1/48 models? In general, two built 1/72 single seat fighters will take up the space of one 1/48 single seat model, and space does eventually matter with the more aircraft you build.
2) Cost. 1/48 scale kits will usually be more expensive than the same aircraft in 1/72 scale.
3) Detail #1. Generally, a 1/48 scale kit will have more detail than the same aircraft in 1/72 scale.
4) Detail #2. Because they are more detailed, more work will go into a 1/48 scale kit than the same aircraft in 1/72 scale.
5) Selection. 1/72 scale aficionados will say selection and quantity of available aircraft types is wider than those offered in 1/48 scale. While this is likely true, it depends on what you’re after. If you want to build a complete set of Douglas B-18 variants, you’ll only find them in 1/72 scale. On the other hand, if you want more popular aircraft types (Spitfires, Messerschmitts, Zeros, Mustangs and Migs, etc.), you’ll find a wide variety in 1/48 scale to meet your needs.
6) Sight and Dexterity. You’ll definitely need better eyesight or vision enhancements, and increased manual dexterity or finer tools for many 1/72 offerings than you will 1/48.
7) Compatibility. Are you interested in only building aircraft within a compatible scale, or is size/scale differences an issue at all? Perhaps accuracy or selection or both are more important than scale compatibility. For instance, I find the Meng 1/72 F102/F106 offerings to be better than equivalent 1/48 offerings, and have no problem displaying them with my 1/48 Monogram F105G. but others may not like the size difference. In other words, “does size really matter?” Or is it something else that matters?

Personally, I primarily build in three scales—1/32 and 1/72, and 1/700 ships. Although I have a few 1/48 offerings as well— primarily for aircraft not offered in the other two scales, or for the simple quality of the kit offering. My reasons for this are a combination of the above. I have some favorite aircraft I’d prefer to see in 1/32 scale, in my opinion, WWI aircraft are best rendered in that scale. By the same account, the size of modern jets, WWII flying boats, or four engined bombers are better for me in 1/72 scale. Yet another, albeit more minor consideration for me is the quality of the kit, where an Accurate Miniatures B-25 in 1/48 scale may be better than a 1/72 offering. So, you really need to decide on your “philosophy” before jumping into the scale discussion.

You’re on the right track, it’s better to decide now, than it is to end up with 30 or 40 unbuilt kits in a scale you wish was more or less compatible with your desires, limits or needs.
VR, Russ
md72
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 10:40 AM UTC
Wow, Russ really provided the full skinny. But I think he forgot Schubert's 2nd Law, "No matter what the scale, the fiddly bits are all the same size".
JPTRR
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RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 12:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

...it’s better to decide now, than it is to end up with 30 or 40 unbuilt kits in a scale you wish was more or less compatible with your desires, limits or needs.



Concur. Decades ago I planted my flag on 1/48 because 1/72 didn't have detail. About 25 years ago new 1/72 satisfied my detail desires, and there is that displaying=tiny-fighters-next-to-monstrous-bombers thing. But 1/48 was still my scale but no longer practical for my spare space. Too invested now to toss everything out and restart in 1/72.

My 2-cents is to go 1/72. Jets tend to be big and 1/72 will allow you to realize the 1/72 constant scale begun by FROG back in the '30s.
phil2015
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 12:10 PM UTC

So what is the story on kit availability in the three scales for aircraft? Broad generalizations on all periods are welcome but I'm most interested in WW1.

When I started out with planes I wanted to do WW1. It seems like the late fighters are pretty available in 1/72, but I had a lot of trouble finding the early DH2, FE2, etc. I ended up getting Roden Albatros Is and IIs but was unsatisfied with some of the detail on those.

I switched to doing Battle of Britain WW2 and could find all the fighters, but the correct period Luftwaffe bombers are in limited supply.

Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 03:23 PM UTC

Quoted Text


So what is the story on kit availability in the three scales for aircraft? Broad generalizations on all periods are welcome but I'm most interested in WW1.

When I started out with planes I wanted to do WW1. It seems like the late fighters are pretty available in 1/72, but I had a lot of trouble finding the early DH2, FE2, etc. I ended up getting Roden Albatros Is and IIs but was unsatisfied with some of the detail on those.

I switched to doing Battle of Britain WW2 and could find all the fighters, but the correct period Luftwaffe bombers are in limited supply.




You’ve proven my “philosophy” above precisely. If you’re interested in more than one genre of aircraft, you may be forced to build in more than one scale— with your example of available BoB fighters, and bombers. Regarding WWI aircraft, I said I prefer 1/32 scale. Had you asked me one or two years ago, I’d have said one reason is because between Roden, Special Hobby and Wingnut Wings, just about every WWI aircraft you could imagine was available or coming available in 1/32. However, with the unfortunate demise of WnW, and the subsequent rush to buy out the existing market of WnW kits, there’s now a big hole in the availability of WWI aircraft in 1/32 scale. Roden, Eduard, and SH have done a pretty good job supplying WWI aircraft in 1/72 and 1/48 scale, but some of these kits are difficult to come by because of their limited run nature. If I were starting out now in WWI aircraft, I’d have to say I’d go 1/48, simply because I think there’s a wider variety and availability of new and older kits out there. Here’s an example — I have about 46 1/32 WWI aircraft either built or unbuilt in 1/32 scale (by the way, a built 1/32 single seat fighter occupies about the same space as a 1/48 WWII single seat fighter). Anyway, my 46 1/32 scale aircraft lacks one significant type— A Breguet 14. None are offered in 1/32 scale, but in 1/48 scale, two are available. Therefore, I have a 1/48 scale Breguet in my 1/32 scale WWI collection. Sometimes, if you want something, you’ll either have to compromise or scratchbuild. Again, to answer your question, if you don’t want to compromise scale, I think 1/48 WWI aircraft might be your best bet, at least for the near future. They’ll be more costly than 1/72 aircraft, but less costly than 1/32 WWI aircraft (which are generally very pricey).

As an aside, I built a “special“ pedestal to display my 1/48 Breguet 14, elevating it five inches above my 1/32 scale aircraft. It has photos of Breguet’s decoupaged around the base, so it stands out amid the other aircraft. That’s one way to overcome a size or scale difference in a collection— make the odd scale aircraft a centerpiece, it’s like a spotlight for a “special“ bird.
VR, Russ
vonMarshall
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Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 08:20 PM UTC
Thanks for all of the excellent input. Lot's of great advice.

Space is not an issue for me and I definitely have armour-sausage fingers so although the part count will be high I have a feeling 1/48 will fit my skill-set more closely than the microsurgery involved in 1/72!

I am a bit odd in that I typically fall in love with specific type of tank / plane and look to build multiple variants of it.

I have built several different Takom T-55 variants in 1/35 and feel a Mig-21 binge coming on.

Part of the desire to try planes is to stretch my painting skills. The problem with tanks is that so much of the effort I put in ends up being lost in the camo scheme, dirt, oil, dust and mud.

To start with I want to try a bare metal effect and am also excited about the opportunity to work on a cockpit.

The FW190 is my other favourite plane and Eduard seem to offer that in 1/48 and all the kits seem to be highly rated so I think I am going to take the leap and get a 1/48 Mig.

vonMarshall
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Posted: Tuesday, October 06, 2020 - 10:53 AM UTC
A quick update... I bought myself a 1/48 Mig-21 AND then I found a 1/72 going cheap so thought "why not"...

Having opened both up and looked at both I am most definitely going 1/48. The plastic parts look fine to do for an armour modeller like me, but I want to use the PE and frankly, with the 1/72, I could not see the parts! Too small for me and my sausage fingers.

The Eduard 1/48 kit looks stunning. I cannot wait to get stuck in.

The 1/72 is off to a well known auction site sometime soon.