Category: MiG


MiG-29 9.13 ‘Fulcrum-C’; Swifts

Mikoyan MiG-29 doesn’t need a special introduction. One of the most famous (and feared by the West) 4th generation jet fighters in the world, it first flew in 1977 and entered service with Soviet Air Force in 1982. Designed to replace the MiG-23 in Frontal Aviation units, the requirement to operate from rugged, damaged or unprepared runways resulted in reinforced landing gear and anti-FOD measures, including the mudguard and closing jet intakes with auxiliary intakes on the top of leading edge root extension.
First version to be put into service was MiG-29A, which was externally recognized by having small ventral stabilizers (like Su-27 series) and different landing gear and airbrake design. MiG-29B which soon followed was built in more than 800 examples, a lot of them downgraded for export, which are still in use today in many air forces including Serbia, India, Bulgaria, Iran, to name but a few.
The next upgrade that happened in the ’80s was the so called izdeliye 9.13, which is also the subject of this build. MiG-29S 9.13 ‘Fulcrum-C’ introduced an enlarged dorsal hump, which is the most recognizable feature compared to 9.12. 9.13 could carry the longer ranged air-to-air R-27ER missile, the enlarged dorsal hump carries an active radar jammer as well as additional fuel and the airframe strengthening brought the total armament capability to 4.000kg. This version also included an improved flight control system slightly improving maneuverability.

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Swifts / Strizhi / Стрижи

The beginnings of aerobatic group Strizhi go back to the late ’80s, when a group of pilots started training in precision formation flying through aerobatic maneuvers with their debut performance on May 6th, 1991 and their international debut a few months later at an airshow in Sweden. In the beginning, the group performed with 9.12 version of MiG-29, painted in white and blue, but later switched to 9.13 and repainted their aircraft into current scheme of red and white with blue swift symbol on top and bottom of the aircraft. UB (9.51) twoseaters were also used in both liveries. Strizhi recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and Zvezda celebrated this event by releasing their new 9.13 kit with Strizhi markings and box artwork.The team is based, like the Russian Knights Flanker equipped team at Kubinka Air Base and usually performs as a 5- or 6-ship while a 4-ship flight usually flies with a 5-ship Russian Knights team during celebrations of special events, like the 9th May parade over the Red Square in Moscow.

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The kit

There isn’t much to say to this kit, that I haven’t already said in my previous in-progress threads (PART1, PART2). Despite some small shortcomings, the kit is really a joy to build, is accurate and it’s the first MiG-29 kit in 1:72 that has correctly depicted open jet intakes and closed auxiliary intakes. The later are open only when the aircraft is on ground and the engines are running (from start-up to take-off and from landing to shutting down the engines). The engraved detail is well defined if a bit shallow, mostly on the curved surfaces like LERX. There are no engraved rivets present but I don’t mind that, as they are more often than not over emphasized and don’t look real. With a multitude of riveting tools present today on the market, making you own shouldn’t be a problem. If building the Swifts version, the easiest way of applying the top decals would be to wait with vertical stabilizers installation until after decaling. Decals themselves proved excellent, thin enough and didn’t require any setting solutions. All in all, an excellent kit and I’ll be sure adding a few more to my collection.

Model Data
Company: Zvezda
Scale: 1:72
Aftermarket: none
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-4 White, MRP-45 Dark Blue, MRP-98 Light Gull Grey), Revell (36 Red, enamel)
Alclad (ALC-101 Aluminum, ALC-104 Pale Burnt Metal, ALC-111 Magnesium, ALC-123 Exhaust Manifold, ALC-405 Transparent Smoke, ALC-416 Hotmetal Sepia)

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Mikoyan MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’

MiG-31 ‘Foxhound’ is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed in the late 1970s for the use with Soviet Air Forces. It is an evolution of a legendary MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’ interceptor. After its first flight in 1981, it has entered the service in large numbers (more than 500 aircraft), protecting the vast borders of the Soviet Union. After the end of Cold War and breakup of the SU, the remaining aircraft continue to serve with the Russian and Kazakhstan Air Forces.

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Copyright – Yurij Vladimirovich – full res photo at http://russianplanes.net/id173408

MiG-31 is very capable interceptor. Using the datalink, four aircraft could cover the area 800-900km in length and could intercept cruise missiles, UAVs, all kinds of aircraft at any altitude. It’s great speed of M2.83, powerful radar with detection of 200km and IRST and advanced targeting computer that could track 10 targets and attack 4 of them in combination with Vympel R-33 long-range missiles, made the ‘Foxhound’ a really dangerous foe.

MiG-31BM (and BSM in case of aircraft without in-flight refueling capability) is an improved upgraded version of the baseline B version. It’s radar’s range was increased to 320km and its weapons computer can track 24 targets and simultaneously attack 6 of them. Its datalink system was improved, so it can interact not only with MiG-31s but also with other fighters and even surface-to-air missile batteries. BMs received new partially digital cockpits as a part of the upgrade. The most noticeable external differences between the B and BM are rear view mirror on the pilot’s canopy and 4 smaller under wing pylons instead of 2 larger. MiG-31BMs do not carry R-40 and R-60 missiles anymore, but they are equipped with short-range R-73s for self protection and medium-range R-77s, which are just entering service with the Russian Air Force.

Avantgarde Model Kits 1:48 MiG-31BM/BSM ‘Foxhound’

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There is little more that I can say about this kit. If you have followed this build through the last 3 months (you can still check the in progress posts up in the menu), you know what can be expected. I will first point out the “bad” things – panel lines could be slightly narrower, weak landing gear, no decals for the instrument panels (corrected for the upcoming B/BS kit), no photo-etched seat harnesses (corrected for the upcoming B/BS kit), omission of some smaller antennas (that could be included on PE fret) and there might be some other smaller details that have slipped my mind (but are noted in the in progress posts). Apart from these, as you can see rather trivial things, the kit is a joy to build. Very little filler was used, parts are nicely detailed, from the landing gear wells and struts up to missiles, exhausts and cockpit. If you don’t dig into the details, you can actually finish one in under a month.

It took me three months to finish this model. A lot of time was spent on searching for references and cross checking them with kit parts and painting little details, which will probably never be seen anyway. This model was also my first contact with the new Mr.Paint range of acrylic lacquers and all I can say is that I am sold! Hundreds of hours of work later, I can safely say that was my biggest modelling achievement yet and I am very thankful to AMK for sending me this sample and I hope, that I have done this kit a justice.

Tips on recreating realistic model

Each aircraft has a unique weathering scheme – check sites like russianplanes.net and airliners.net for reference photos. AMK give you multiplay display options, especially regarding maneuvering surfaces. If you are modelling your aircraft parked, slats and flaps should be in the up position. Flaps are deployed only during take-off and landing, while slats are deployed only during air-refueling. Horizontal stabilizers should be posed either neutal/level or with trailing edge slightly dropped. Air-refueling probe is most likely stowed, but can be deployed sometimes. IRST sensor is stowed 99% of time. Weapons system operators forward periscope can be either stowed or deployed.

Stepan Karnach

The model represents MiG-31BM ‘Foxhound’, Red 37, RF-90901 based at Novosibirsk airport in 2015. The aircraft carriers the name of a Hero of the Soviet Union awardee pilot Stepan Karnach. More photos of Red 37: http://russianplanes.net/regs/RF-90901

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Stepan Andreyevich Karnach was born in 1918. He graduated from the pilots school in 1940. He fought in the Great Patriotic War since its beginning in June 1941. He was fighting on Southern, Krim and Steppe fronts flying initially the I-16 fighter. On 9th August 1943, he rammed his fighter into a Bf109 fighter and safely landed his damaged plane. On 4th February 1944, he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union and Order of Lenin awards for flying 270 combat sorties, 70 air battles, 12 personal kills and 4 shared kills. After that, he served on 1st and 2nd Ukrainian fronts and finished the WW2 with 346 combat missions, 84 air battles, 16 personal and 4 shared kills. After the war, he continued his career in the Air Force until his retirement, reaching the rank of General-Major. He died in 1991 in Odessa.

 

MiG Ye-150

Ever since I’ve seen Ye-166 (actually a Ye-152-2) at Monino museum near Moscow, I wanted to build a model of it. Unfortunately no-one would release such a model… well, not until recently. Modelsvit released not only the “father” of the family, the Ye-150, but also I-3U, which preceded the heavy interceptor program, and they promised to bring us other models of this program as well – I just hope crisis in the Ukraine will not impact the release schedule too much.

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MiG Ye-150 – author unkown

Ye-150 first flew in July 1960. While it bears the resemblance to the MiG-21 fighters, it is a much much bigger beast altogether. Just the information, that it is powered by an enormous Tumansky R-15 engine (of the MiG-25 fame), tells something. While the flight testing was plagued with extremely short lived engine (this early versions of R-15 had barely enough service hours for a ground check and one flight), aileron buffeting and other problems, the aircraft did achieve several successes – the highest speed achieved during testing was M2.65 using less than half a throttle, while the service ceiling of around 70.000ft (21.000m). Weapons systems was never integrated and flight tests ended after a little more than 40 flights.

Modelsvit’s Ye-150 is a typical short-run model. Some modelling experience is required as parts need to be cleaned up and the fit is tricky with some components. Especially troublesome was exhaust area (you can see it in the WiP section of this site), wings to fuselage join and the canopy area. Panel line engraving also lacks the finesse of their Su-7/17 kits and is a little bit on the heavy side. Model was painted with Alclad Polished Aluminium and finsihed with Alclad Semi-Matt coat.

And you have to admit it – it does look like it’s gonna punch holes in the skies, ain’t it?

And three of the Soviet X-fighters of my collection.

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MiG-21 was built in more than 11.000 examples so it is no wonder, many of them were used in experimental roles. MiG-21I’s main task was to test different wing shape profiles for the upcoming supersonic airliner Tu-144. Two prototypes were built, based on the MiG-21S airframe. Second prototype was tested at Gromov Flight Research Institute at Zhukovsky. Many cameras were added to the hump and top of the tail and the center-of-gravity was regulated by weights added to the nose and tail of the aircraft. MiG-21I first flight happened on 18th April 1968 and both aircraft made more than 140 flights – first prototype crashed during aerobatic routine, killing test pilot V. Konstantinov while the second prototype was transferred to the Monino Air Force Museum near Moscow, where it stands besides the Tu-144 until this day.

Kit: Modelsvit 1:72 MiG-21I Analog, 2nd prototype – out of the box

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And an interesting and rare video of some Analog flying I found on Youtube

 

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.

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And of course obligatory 1 Euro coin comparison 🙂

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Eduard kits, Egyptian equipped with Brengun PE set

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Models to be published in Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine

out of the box build, Bluerider decals

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out of the box

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out of the box build

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Aftermarket items used: Linden Hill decals, Eduard MiG-29 Zoom PE, Aires Exhausts, Quickboost nose and a good dose of scratchbuilding

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