Tag Archive: fighter

MiG-29 9.13 Swifts pt.2

Painting is my favorite part of model building and this scheme provided some challenge.


Some dread over painting white, but with Mr.Paint paints, opacity is not an issue – even with the dreaded White. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the suitable red from their range and had to resort to a Revell enamel from my collection. Masking the tails for the MiG inscriptions was a process of its own – first tracing the decal on a piece of paper, then cutting it out, retracing its outline on the tail with a 1mm offset and masking it.


Metal shrouds on the exhaust are were painted alternating with two different Alclad paints – Dark Aluminum and Magnesium, but unfortunately the effect is not really shown in this photo.



Exhausts on MiG-29s are truly interesting from the painting perspective. I’ve used a bunch of different Alclad paints, chipping, Tamiya weathering sets and oil washes to bring the details out. No, they are not as detailed as resin replacement, but with proper weathering techniques, they look great nevertheless.


Decaling was an interesting affair as well. They perform nicely and do not silver. However the design is a bit complicated. The bird motive on the top is made of only 3 decals – the body and separate wings. The problem arises when you apply the wing decals over the tail extensions. I actually cut the decals to remedy this problem. Fortunately Zvezda’s design team was clever enough to include spare strips of blue, white and silver to correct such problems.


Despite being broken into more pieces, the lower bird motive was even harder to apply than the upper one – mainly due to the fact, the shape of the fuselage with engine intakes is more complex. In the end though, with the help of hairdryer, the decals settled down and into the engravings nicely enough.


MiG-29 9.13 Swifts pt.1


Hi everyone! Another day, another project!

Earlier this year, Zvezda released long anticipated new model of the famous MiG-29 fighter, namely the 9.13 version with slightly bigger spine than the baseline 9.12 version. Just a few months later, a new boxing was released with decals for the Swifts aerobatic group, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Upon first inspection, the model presents a typical new generation Zvezda kit. Finely engraved details but without rivet detail, nice wheelbay surfaces of correct shapes and dimensions but no wiring, basic cockpit and a nice selection of armament. Indeed, buying the Swifts version of the kit will considerably fill your armament spares box. Decals are printed in matt and appear slightly thick, but more on that when we get to decalling.

I will bring forward some downsides of the build so far, but follow closely, as not everything is as black as this post might suggest.


Part of the main wheel wells. There are pin marks in there, but truth be told, when installed, they are hardly visible, they are easy to remove if spotted before assembly (or warned by me :D) and are the only visible pin marks I have noticed in the entire kit.


Engine intakes are done similar to their Su-27SM – they are two part and split along the edge. I am not a fan of such design as it requires the seam cleanup along the entire length of the engine nacelle – luckily, there’s not a lot of details in this section, so the lost panel lines are easily rescribed and a plus – intake lips are really thin!


An unusual design of the forward part of the fuselage leaves some gaps (I am quite sure it’s not my fault as I’ve seen other modellers with the same problem). Luckily, cleanup again is quite straightforward, especially using water based putty like (Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty).



Cockpit and the ejection seat are basic – decals (slightly out of register) for the instruments mimic the photos of the real aircraft. As I am building this model OOB and with closed canopy, I didn’t bother with super detailing, but the next will certainly be improved.



The new generation of Zvezda kits includes the transparent plastic which has a soft elastic feel to it. Good thing is that it is not as brittle as normally transparencies are but on the other hand, clarity of the parts can be an issue and in my case, the main canopy was sort of squashed a little, sitting too low and too wide. Due to its elasticity, I force-glued it to the fuselage but nevertheless I couldn’t get a really perfect fit.


Despite my critics, I have to admit, those are the only ones I had during the construction of the model. Apart from some minor things mentioned before, the model really falls together, is very accurate and so far, I have been really enjoying building it.

Seinar Fleet Systems were one of three major starship suppliers to the Galactic Empire, specializing in construction of small and deadly TIE (Twin Ion Engine) starfighters.


TIE Fighter

TIE Fighter, was the standard Imperial starfighter seen in massive numbers throughout most of the Galactic Civil War and onward.

For more information click HERE.


TIE Interceptor

TIE Interceptor, was a TIE Series starfighter used by the Galactic Empire. The TIE Interceptor was identifiable by its arrow-shaped solar collection panels, a distinct difference from the hexagonal solar arrays of its predecessor, the TIE Fighter. The Interceptor was one of the fastest starfighters in the galaxy at its prime.

For more information click HERE.


TIE Advanced

The TIE Advanced x1, or TIE/x1 was an advanced prototype starfighter touted as a replacement for the standard TIE Fighter tested by Darth Vader and X1 at the battles of Yavin and Mustafar respectively. While it never made it into production, many of its best design features were later incorporated into the TIE/sa bomber and TIE/IN interceptor.

For more information click HERE.



TIE trio – part 3

Just a small progress post of a little experiment I did, before I publishing the finished photos of these TIE fighters.

All of the instructions suggest, solar panels should be painted with Black. I don’t know what kind of technology Seinar shipyards use, but earthly solar panels are not just black and they often change colour between black, blue and violet depending on the angle of view. Time to try out the special kind of Alclad paint – ALC-204 Prismatic Sapphire Deep Blue to UV.

It’s kind of tricky to make a proper photograph, but the effect looks really great, especially when you are moving the part or if part of it falls into shadow.





TIE trio – part 2

Little progress has been made since my last update, consequence of tight working schedule and better weather and longer daylight resulting in my spare time being used on my mountain bike. But fear not, the builds are progressing nicely.



Much has been said about the colours, these TIEs should be painted in. While the general consensus is that Air Superiority Blue is THE correct colour, which was used on studio models, I find it way too blue on these 1:72 models and by comparing it to the shots from the movie. I have used ModelMaster 1721 (FS35237) Medium Grey, which is basically very blueish grey and really liked the result.


I find it interesting, that FineMolds used different approach with solar panel tiles with each of the kits. As you can see above, solar panels are moulded into the “wing” and one has to mask them before painting them.


TIE Fighter has solar panels moulded in one piece and they get sandwiched between the framing.


TIE Interceptor has the most clever and modeller friendly solution – solar panels are moulded separately and when finished with painting, they can just be inserted segment by segment into the framing.


Since TIE fighters don’t have shields (TIE Advanced being exception here), if they get shot, they usually get killed. That means they are mostly clean and not as scruffy looking as Rebel Starfighters. I’ve decided I will not weather them. However, a dark grey oil paint wash (mix of Winsor&Newton’s Payne’s Grey and Titanium White) brings out all those lovely little details and accentuate the shadows.


TIE Trio – part 1

I am a huge Star Wars fan and proud and not ashamed to admit it! 😀 Therefore it is no wonder, that my stash contains quite some kits of spacecraft and other weapons from this science fiction saga. A decade or so ago, Fine Molds released a wonderful TIE fighter in 1:72, which was later followed by TIE interceptor and a few years ago, Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced. Decision was made to build all three models together and now that Bandai took over the Star Wars license, I just hope, they will release TIE bomber as well.


And here we go! Fighter and Interceptor share the same “fuselage”, the difference being only the cannons below the cockpit. While the pilots came with Imperial logo decals for the helmet and shoulder patches, the decals refused to follow the curves and I’ve decided to ditch them. Truth be told, when the cockpit is encased in the “fuselage”, little of the pilot can be seen in there.


I’ve made a darker wash to bring out the details on the back plate and the floor, but due to the before mentioned reason, no one will ever see the effort. As you can see, Advanced’ cockpit is of different shape.


Cockpits simply fall into the “fuselage” halves.


Little drybrushing brought out the details in the front.


Notice how taller the Darth Vader is, compared to the Fighter pilot – I guess using the Force, he didn’t have to see out of the canopy 😀

SAAB J 29A Tunnan

SAAB J 29A Tunnan, Tarangus, 1:72



Size comparison with its Cold War cousin. I guess I have to add F-86 to the collection and possibly a FockeWulf Ta 183 as a daddy.


Full article will be published in one of future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.