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In-Box Review
172
MiG-21MF
MiG-21MF Dual Combo Limited Edition
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

History
The MiG-21 was one of a long list of Mikoyan-Gurevich products to be integrated into the armed forces of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and allied client states. Its predecessors included such notable types as the MiG-15, MiG-17 and the supersonic MiG-19. The roots of this project reach back to the first half of the fifties.
In 1954, the Ye-1 project came to an end, and was quickly picked up by the Ye-2. Both had a swept wing. The first machine to feature the delta wing was the Ye-4, which first took to the air on June 16th, 1955. It was also demonstrated a year later at the Moscow airfield Tushino.
The first of the new line to enter production was the MiG-21F, which together with the MiG21P and F-13 represented the first generation of the MiG-21, and was in production through the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties. Subsequent versions included the PF, FL, PFM, R the production of which peaked at the end of the sixties. The third generation started production in 1968, which included such versions as M, SM, MF, SMT, bis among others. Simultaneously, two-seat training versions were also produced designated MiG-21U, UM and US. Production of the MiG-21 ended in 1985, and was put into service with some fifty nations.
Over the course of the cold war, the opponents of the MiG-21 included the likes of the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and the Dassault Mirage III. NATO assigned it the reporting name ‘Fishbed’. It became the most produced supersonic fighter in terms of quantity. The new machines came off Soviet production lines in Moscow, Gorky and Tbilisi.
The MiG-21F-13 was also built under license in Czechoslovakia and the MiG-21FL, M and bis in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The Soviet Union produced 10,645 examples of all versions, 194 were built in Czechoslovakia and 657 in India.
Outside of the Soviet Union, the type flew with a long list of nations on all continents with the exception of Australia. The MiG-21 participated in combat in Vietnam, the Indo-Pakistan wars, the Cuban participation in Angola and in the Arab world’s attempt to eliminate Israel. Thanks to the high volume of use, the highest number of aces produced on the type was in Vietnam. The top of the ladder is occupied by Nguyen Van Coc with nine kills. The type serving as a interceptor served with the Soviet Union and other nations of the Warsaw Pact into the eighties, when it began to be displaced by the MiG-29 Fulcrum.
MiG-21MFs were powered by Tumanskij R-13-300 turbojet engine with additional combustion chamber and carried an RP-21 radar.
The armament constituted of a twin-barreled GSch-23-2L 23mm autocannon with 200 rounds of ammunition. The racks carried a combination of FAB bombs with 500kg warhead, UB-16-57U launchers and R-3S rockets, Ch-66, S-24, including R-60 air-to air missile and its infrared homing variant R-60M.
The NATO code for MiG-21MFs was “Fishbed-J“.

In the box
This boxing of Eduard's MiG-21MF comes in a top opening box, and is a Dual Combo style boxing which offers two kits - MiG-21MF Interceptor and MiG-21 Fighter-bomber.
Also included is a 100 pages full-color book about MiG-21MF service in Czechoslovak, Czech and Slovak Air Forces, which does make this boxing rather heavy.

Eduard's MiG 21MF Dual Combo Limited Edition contains:

  • 6 x grey plastic sprues
  • 2 x clear plastic sprues
  • 1 x small bag of resin parts
  • 1 x set of paint masks
  • 3 x pre coloured photo etched frets
  • 2 x decal sheets
  • Set of instructions
  • Paint and decal guide booklet
  • Book


The parts have no flash and pin marks are few and far between.
The exterior detail is exquisite with fine recessed panel lines and rivet detail.

Sprue A contains parts for the Gorky produced interceptor version of the MiG-21MF, with Sprue B for the Moscow produced fight/bomber versions, so make sure your using the correct halves for the schemes you are building.

The cockpit is a mix of P.E and plastic, and once complete is a very detailed pit. Alternatively you can use the plastic parts and decals, or just plastic and paint yourself.
The ejection seat is nice and detailed and has a photo etch harness.
The only slight annoyance is trying to match the paint to the colour of the pre-painted P.E parts, Eduard suggest a mix of 60% sky blue, 20% bright green and 20% cobalt blue from the Mr Color range of paints.
The undercarriage bays are nicely detailed with spars, pipes, cylinders and several spherical pressure chambers for the hydraulic and pneumatic systems which go into the wing bays.
The gear legs are also nicely detailed, with some photo etch hydraulic lines for the main legs to be added. There is a choice of hubs for the main wheels, so check your references for the right one for the aircraft you are building. Tyres have a little tread pattern engraved on them.
The shock cone is added once the fuselage is together, and the engine exhaust is made up of several parts, with a different exhaust ring for marking option 1 only. The rear nozzle fairing is one part.

The fuselage is made up of two halves, in which the cockpit/ nose bay, main undercarriage bays, and the exhaust tube is all fitted before closing up.
The wings feature a one piece lower half which incorporates part of the fuselage belly, with the two wing uppers completing the main wing assembly.
The flaps and ailerons are separate parts but there is no indication in the instructions if they can be positioned in anything other then the neutral position.
The tail and fuselage spine are one piece, which does bode well for other variants of the MiG-21 in the future, and the two tail stabilisers are one each.

The three photo etch sheets cover the interior, which look the same but there are slight differences. Also included on the sheets are parts for the exterior of the aircraft, such as the two fuselage strakes, which are also supplied as plastic parts, and the various ariels and the vanes for the pitot probe.

The canopy is crystal clear and can be modelled open or closed. If modelled open there is a bit of P.E that goes into detailing this area up, such as the canopy rails.

There is a wealth of external stores supplied which include -

  • 1 x 800L external fuel tank
  • 2 x 490L external fuel tank
  • 2 x RS-2US missiles
  • 2 x R-3S missiles
  • 2 x R-13 missiles
  • 2 x R-60 missiles
  • 2 x RATO units
  • 4 x FAB 100 bombs
  • 2 x FAB 250 bombs
  • 2 x S-24 rockets
  • 2 x UB-16 rocket pods


The resin parts are small, well cast with no flaws, and only lightly attached to the casting block, so they should be easy to remove.
One casting block holds the antennas, with a pre-coloured clear red block holding the navigation lights.
These resin parts are only for the MiG-21MFN camouflage schemes 30, 31 and 32.

A more detailed review of the kits parts of the Royal boxing by Tim Hatton can be found here.

Decals and markings
The instruction book is printed in the standard black and white line drawing style on an A4 size glossy paper, which the build taking place over 11 pages.
The 12th page covers the masks for the canopy wheels, and the dielectric panels.
The first main page covers the parts trees, and highlights any parts that are not used. The rest of the pages cover the build sequence which is quite easy to follow (once you have figured out which scheme you will be doing) with the different parts made clear during the build.
Any P.E to be attached is highlighted, and mating surfaces to be glued are highlighted in blue. Blue boxes highlight the marking option parts, so care and re-reading these to make sure you attach the right part for the scheme you are depicting is a must.
Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range of paints for external and internal colours are given along the build sequence.

Now what makes this boxing a limited edition is the inclusion of a book about the MiG-21 in Czechoslovak, Czech and Slovak Air Forces, and a unprecedented 39 marking options (no that's not a typo, I did mean thirty nine lol).

There are two sheets of decals, both are printed by Cartograph, with one holding the unit and national markings, with the other holding the stencils, of which there are hundreds.

Both sheets are well printed, with good colour registration, and little carrier film. Having used Cartograph decals before, |I have never had any problems with them.

A separate booklet covers the marking options, with the 39 guides having all four plans for the aircraft depicted in colour. The last four pages are for the stenciling of the weapons, pylons and the aircraft.
Most of the schemes are for Czech machines, but the last seven depicted are Slovakian MiG's. There is a mix of metal, camo and grey aircraft, with one black machine.
The marking options are as follows -

1 - MiG-21M, 2nd Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Regiment, Pardubice air base, May 9th, 1975
2 - MiG-21M, 1st Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Regiment, Pardubice air base, June 1989
3 - MiG-21M, 1st Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Regiment, Pardubice air base, June 1989
4 - MiG-21M, 2nd Squadron, 9th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Bechyne air base, October 199
5 - MiG-21M, 2nd Squadron, 11th Fighter Air Regiment, Zatec air base, June 1993
6 - MiG-21M, 43rd Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Force Base, Ceske Budejovice air base, 1996
7 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 5th Fighter Air Regiment, Plzen Line air base, 1972 – ca 1981
8 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 5th Fighter Air Regiment, Plzen Line air base, 1973 - ca 1982
9 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 5th Fighter Air Regiment, Plzen Line air base, 1974 – ca 1983
10 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 6th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Prerov Bochor air base, September 1984
11 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 6th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Pribram Dlouha Lhota air base, September 1986
12 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 5th Fighter Air Regiment, Plzen Line air base, spring 1990
13 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 8th Fighter Air Regiment, Namest nad Oslavou air base, May 1990
14 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 11th Fighter Air Regiment, Zatec air base, 1991
15 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 6th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Prerov Bochor air base, July 1991
16 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 9th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Bechyne air base, July 1992
17 - MiG-21MF, 81st Independent Fighter Squadron, Sliac air base, summer 1992
18 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 11th Fighter Air Regiment, Zatec air base, fall 1992
19 - MiG-21MF, 1st Training Air Regiment, Prerov Bochor air base, July 1993
20 - MiG-21MF, LZO (Air test Branch), Plzen Line air base, May 1995 – February 1996
21 - MiG-21MF, 43rd Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Force Base, Caslav air base, 1996
22 - MiG-21MF, 42nd Squadron, 4th Fighter Air Force Base, Caslav air base, September 1996
23 - MiG-21MF, 41st Squadron, 4th Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, 1999
24 - MiG-21MF, 41st Squadron, 4th Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, September 1999
25 - MiG-21MF, 211th Tactical Squadron, 21th Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, September 2004
26 - MiG-21MF, 82nd Independent Fighter Squadron, Ostrava Mosnov air base, June 1991
27 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 9th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Bechyne air base, April 1993
28 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 9th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Bechyne air base, April 1993
29 - MiG-21MF, 1st Squadron, 9th Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Bechyne air base, September 1993
30 - MiG-21MFN, 41st Squadron, 4th Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, 1999
31 - MiG-21MFN, 41st Squadron, 4th Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, October 2002
32 - MiG-21MFN, 211st Tactical Squadron, 21st Tactical Air Force Base, Caslav air base, July 12th, 2005
33 - MiG-21M, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, Malacky air base, 1993
34 - MiG-21MF, 4th Squadron, 1st Fighter Air Regiment, Sliac air base, summer 1993
35 - MiG-21MF, 2nd or 3rd Squadron, 1st Fighter Air Regiment, Fairford, July 1994
36 - MiG-21MF, 2nd or 3rd Squadron, 1st Fighter Air Regiment, Sliac air base, spring 1995
37 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Fighter-Bomber Air Regiment, 1995
38 - MiG-21MF, 4th Squadron, 31st Fighter Wing, Sliac air base, July 1997
39 - MiG-21MF, 2nd Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Sliac air base, 2002

Book
The book on the MiG-21 comes in a soft cover and has 128 glossy pages.
Inside you will find hundreds of pictures mostly in colour of the aircraft that served in the Czechoslovak, Czech and Slovak Air Forces.
Unfortunately the text is in Czech, but an English version is available online from the Eduard website.
The pictures are of good quality, and cover most if not all of the schemes in the kit, plus a few more not in the marking options.
A little history of each aircraft pictured is covered in the captions, with an occasional piece on life around the MiG's, and the history of the MiG-21's in Czechoslovak, then the Czech inventories.
A small portion of the book is about the MiG-21MF in Slovakia, which covers a few aircraft and thier histories.
The chapters in the book are as follows -

INTRODUCTION
MiG-21M
MiG-21MF
The Greys
Service During Socialism
The Last Two Years in the Unified State
MiG-21MF in the Czech Republic
NATO
MiG-21MF in Slovakia
Accidents

Conclusion
Having already built two of Eduard's 1/72nd MiG-21's I can tell you they are a joy to build. Great fit, loads of detail, and hassle free.
With this boxing you get 2 MiG-21s, 39 marking options, plus a book which is a great accompaniment to the kit, which has some great pictures of the marking options in. The hardest part of this boxing will be what decal scheme you will go for.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great detail, loads of options, tons of decal schemes.
Lows: The book is in the Czech language, but a downloadable English version is online.
Verdict: The best 1/72nd MiG-21 on the market. Lots of schemes, and a great book to boot.
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 2127
  Suggested Retail: 1.350 Kč
  Related Link: MiG-21MF
  PUBLISHED: Jun 16, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.81%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.44%

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright ©2019 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Andy Nice review. It looks a great kit! It must come close to setting a record for the number of decal options! Phenomenal! All the best Rowan
JUN 18, 2019 - 09:15 PM
   

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