Archive for January, 2015

And here we are – the paint is on and the thing looks like the real deal now. Well not really yet, as engines area is still masked, some parts are still not installed and of course, it hasn’t been weathered yet. But all of this in due course.

Paints used for the camo are ModelMaster 1508 Light Blue and 2032 Bright Blue FS35183.







Double Delta Fishbed – part 2

Last time, I was talking about experience required when building short-run kits. Today I’ve decided to show you the hurdles that await me with this kit.


The join between fuselage and vertical stabilizer is rather poor – unfortunately this photo doesn’t show it at its worst, but there’s a gaping hole there at the back of the join. Careful puttying and sanding is needed there to blend the spine extension into the stabilizer.


Dry fitting is of the utmost importance with these kits. As you can see, wing insert is way too thick to fit nicely into the main wing, while there are large gaps of varying width present all over the join line. Major sanding will be required followed by puttying and sanding.


Dry fitting wing to the fuselage also showed gaps all along the seam line. Another area that will have to be taken care of.

Luckily, the fuselage halves went together rather nicely, but I guess this is where it stops. Dryfit of the clear parts showed that the canopy doesn’t fit at all and will have to be posed open. In the meantime, Flanker is progressing nicely so there might be slight delay with the Analog build.


As I said in the previous post, I am not entirely satisfied with this kit. And bringing it close to painting stage showed its faults even more. The plastic is very soft, panel lines rather shallow and there’s way too many sprue gates. In practice, this means, there’s gonna be a lot of clean up work, which will sooner than later lead to some lost detail, while sanding will create dents in the soft plastic, which will need puttying, sanding and rescribing to complete the circle. And this is the work I hate the most at modelling. But anyway, I have managed to bring the model somehow to this point, where I could start painting the engine/exhaust parts, so characteristic of the Flankers.

Here is how I do it.


The parts are first primed with Alclad Grey Primer.


Followed by Alclad Magnesium – you can use any other darker shade like Steel or Titanium for example.


Panels were then brush painted using ModelMaster Stainless Steel (any light metallic paint will do for this part).


Whole area was then lightly randomly airbrushed with Alclad Pale Burnt Metal.


Followed by Random strokes of Alclad Jet Exhaust. Procedure for the bottom part is the same.


Picture of the whole airframe with dryfitted exhausts. Later in the build, heat staining will be added to finish.


Double Delta Fishbed – part 1

MiG-21I Analog, was an experimental project to test the aerodynamic properties of the wings for the Soviet supersonic airliner Tu-144. Two prototypes were built, based on MiG-21S version but with a more powerful R13-300 engine. Flight testing began in 1968 and continued into 1970 when the first prototype was lost. The second prototype, which will be the subject of this build, was retired to Monino aeronautical museum, where it still resides, alongside the Tu-144 supersonic airliner.


When I first visited Monino in 2007 I was not aware of this Fishbed variant. Yet standing there in the shadows of the big Tu-144, it caught my eye. Needless to say, when I saw Modelsvit released this variant and with my recent interest in Soviet era prototypes, buying this kit was a must. Having previously build Modelsvit’s Su-7B, one of the best if not the best short-run kit I’ve build so far, expectations were fairly high. Unfortunately, upon opening the box, MiG-21I kit is not made to the same level as their Fitter kits. Soft details, flash, big chunky parts and wobbly panel lines promise another build using hammer and sickle instead of more traditional modelling tools.



Cockpit details are raised but barely noticeable. Using some drybrushing and picking instruments and certain buttons out with different colours at least made the small pit a bit more interesting. Ejection seat is made of 7 parts and when you try to insert it into the cockpit tub, you realise it is too wide. I scraped some plastic off the side panels to get it in and added some seatbelts using thin stripes of Tamiya masking tape.


Side panels feature slightly more pronounced details compared to the other cockpit details. However when you finish the tub and try to insert it, you will notice that it doesn’t fit. Why, you might ask? Because these side panels are about 2-3mm too long and the instrument panel doesn’t fit in. Cutting off the panels slice by slice and dryfitting eventually solved the problem.


Eventually everything dropped in with a little luck or use of sheer force 😀 As I write this, fuselage halves were already glued together and I am dryfitting the wings and trying to mentally solve this  upcoming problem.


I mentioned in my previous post, real life got the better of me during the last couple of months (modelling wise) and one of the victims of those circumstances was this Flanker, that I’ve started in October.

Su-27SM (serial modernized) is a project, similar to Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project, F-16 upgrade project which brought up capabilities of mostly European F-16A operators, to similar level of Block 50 aircraft. Similar to both projects, changes were mainly internal – analog dials were replaced with large multi-function displays and Su-27s can now fire various guided air-to-ground missiles, transforming this potent fighter-interceptor to a true multi-role fighter.


Two Su-27SMs flanking two Su-27UBs  – I took the photo at MAKS 2011

The kit used for this project is the “new” long-awaited Zvezda 1:72 one. It is by far the most accurate Flanker model in any scale, but I have mixed feelings about it. While accuracy is always appreciated (it’s not totally accurate though), I am quite bothered by the lack of details – there are no rivets represented, cockpit is rather basic with instrument decals (not bad though) but the are that bothers me most are the gear wells, lacking any kind of plumbing representation. Assembly is quite tricky, too – multi part intakes, sprue attachment points in awkward positions and other little inconveniencies throughout the model might make building it a core, especially for less experienced modellers.



Cockpit is basic but more accurately shaped compared to Trumpeter’s and Hasegawa’s (Su-33, -35S) Flankers.


Flanker’s flaps and slats drop when the aircraft is parked. The kit features separate slats but not flaps. I think the reason lays in modular nature of Zvezda’s models. Some Flanker models feature leading edge antennas while other’s don’t while the wings remain the same – Zvezda will just have to include different types of slats for other versions. So what I did was to cut out the flaps and glue Evergreen half rod to the front of the wing and flaps, making a circular transition between the moving surfaces.


Engine intakes were painted and masked prior installation – turbine faces were painted with Alclad White Aluminium and washed with ‘The Detailer’ Black Wash.


Finnish Fishbed

I apologize to the readers and visitors of my blog for a longer absence. Real life has stepped in and prevented any serious attempt at modelling for the last couple of months. New Year came in the mean time and I hope Santa (or any other local good old guy) brought you some new models under your trees.

As I’ve lost a bit of a modelling mojo during this time, I’ve decided to kick-start my building process by building something simple yet nice. Eduard’s 1:144 MiG-21 kits are just that – they simply fall together and there are countless of marking options for you to choose from. For this project, I’ve decided to build a Finnish bird and the only resentment I have towards Eduard is that they printed the FiAF roundels out of register.

Paints used were ModelMaster enamel Dark Green B-52 FS34096 and Revell 9 Anthrazite which were given an oil colour filter, which darkened the green, gave the Black that greenish tone, highlighted all the panel lines and toned down the markings.


And of course obligatory 1 Euro coin comparison 🙂