After a long pause I’m back. Long heat wave and no air conditioning in my apartment and a week long holiday prevented any serious model building. Those who follow my blog have also probably noticed my other project, the USS Cole. While I can work on two aircraft kits at the same time without much problem, the ship gave me so much to think about, that I’ve decided to put it aside until I finish this MiG monster.
As you can see, I was quite battling it and the fight ain’t over yet. Joining fuselage halves, revealed a step on the bottom side, which took quite some time, putty, sanding sticks and patience to remedy. Also at the join of the halves at the back of the canopy, I couldn’t get the mating surfaces together. To further complicate things – when the canopy was dry fitted, it was too high, so the whole area required quite some reshaping.
You’ve seen the nose cone before – well puttied and sanded it looks much better than before and the Albion Alloys brass rod definitely looks better than the plastic one from the kit.
Did I mention the gaps? Well they are there and will have to fixed next. Good thing is though, when I’m done with them, I’ll be over with major problems… Hopefully 😀
Till the next time!
So… you remember the fit problem of engine exhaust tube from the previous post? Some modellers suggested I should leave it as it is, as the vertical fin will cover the gap (true, but the fuselage diameter would be too big for the exhaust shroud), while most suggested thinning down the fuselage sides and the tube itself. While I was leaning towards the later idea, I had a moment of enlightenment and decided to go for a totally different approach – scratchbuilding it!
I have calculated the circumference of the inner tube diameter and cut the rectangular piece of 0.25mm sheet styrene. Placing it into boiling water it softened enough to be easily curved. Using the existing tube as a “mould”, sort of, I managed to get a respectable new narrower tube, that doesn’t interfere with the fuselage halves.
As R-15 engines aren’t just bare inside, I Googled for photos of MiG-25 engines and soon found a photo that helped me the detailing. The afterburning chamber has what looks like a wavy sheet metal. I have used 2mm half round Evergreen rods to simulate that. I am aware they are not exactly the same shape and are a bit oversized, but still represent this area much better than the original kit part 🙂
Using sheet styrene again, cut to rectangular pieces, the petals at the edge of the exhaust were recreated, according to reference photos. Dark wash was applied over the petals for better representation.
The tube was first painted Alclad Jet Exhaust, followed by a slight misting of Alclad Pale Burnt Metal. Petals were painted in Flat Green. The tube was finished with a dark wash over petals and brown pigments on the inside, simulating grim and soot. Photo is a bit overexposed to show some of the interior detail.
Mikoyan Gurevich designed a series of heavy fighter/interceptor prototypes in the mid-50’s, starting with a project called Ye-150 (E-150).
Ye-150 first flew in July 1960. Although of similar design to MiG-21, it was more than 3m longer and over 7 tons heavier than MiG-21F-13. Powered by a mighty Tumansky R-15 afterburning turbojet engine (better known as the MiG-25 engine), it achieved maximum speed of M2.65 at just using half a throttle, excellent rate of climb and service ceiling of almost 70.000ft.
The kit used for building this model is of Ukrainian company Modelsvit in 1:72 scale.
Multi-angled nose cone is built out of 4 parts. There are some rough edges when glueing the 4 pieces together but they are easily removed using sanding sticks. Nose mounted pitot tube will be replaced by a brass tube.
Multi-piece cockpit gives nice three-dimensional look of the pilot office and also serves as the front wheel well on the bottom and nose cone attachment point (and a place to install required nose weight).
Ejection seat and instrument panel are quite good for a short-run kit and after adding some harnesses and some paint should look quite presentable.
Wing halves have some flash present, but what I find most disturbing is surplus plastic, that can be seen on above photo attached to the flaps. Removing it is quite difficult and requires use of different sharp tools from my toolbox.
And last but not least, the exhaust area. When building the exhaust tube and dryfitting it into the fuselage halves, huge gaps appeared on top and bottom – approximately 2mm wide! I am still not sure how to solve this problem, as I am not entirely certain, enough material can be removed on the inside of the fuselage, while the exhaust tube is quite thin.