Tag Archive: MiG


MiG-21MF ‘Fishbed-J’

I don’t do a lot of commission builds so this is more of an exception. A flight-simming friend did me a lot of favors in the last few months for which I am very grateful. And he’s a big MiG-21 fan so one thing led to another and I present you a ‘Fishbed’ made for him. It’s a well known Eduard MiG-21MF model in 1:48 scale. As he wished that the aircraft is on ground with a pilot in the cockpit, I’ve decided to go for weekend edition of this popular kit. I used Aerobonus resin pilot with ejection seat and Begemot decals for the stars and bort number as the kit comes only with one Slovak option.

The build was pretty much uneventful although I did experience some minor fit problems in the lower fuselage/wings join to the fuselage. Painting was done with combination of Alclad metallics and Mr.Paint lacquers.

Model Data
Company: Eduard
Scale: 1:48
Aftermarket: Begemot 48-002 MiG-21, Aerobonus MiG-21 pilot with ejection seat
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-001 Russia Turquoise Cockpit, MRP-004 White, MRP-32 Green for Wheels, MRP-051 RLM04 Yellow, MRP-098 Light Gull Gray, MRP-049 Light Gray Blue, MRP-131 Interor Green, MRP-173 Tire-Rubber Matt, , MRP-186 Light Gray)
Alclad (ALC-101 Aluminum, ALC-103 Dark Aluminum, ALC-104 Pale Burnt Metal, ALC-106 White Aluminum, ALC-111 Magnesium, ALC-113 Jet Exhaust, ALC-123 Exhaust Manifold, ALC-405 Transparent Smoke, ALC-416 Hotmetal Sepia)

mig21.jpg

 

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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.

Mikoyan-Gurevich-Ye-150

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.

Je-150-10

 

First Soviet hotrod – pt.3

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.

Ye150-10

Ye150-12

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.

Ye150-13

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.

Ye150-11

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 😀

Ye150-14

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!

Ye150-6

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.

Ye150-7

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 🙂

Ye150-8

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.

Ye150-9

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.

First Soviet hotrod – pt.1

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.

Ye150-1

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.

Ye150-2

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).

Ye150-3

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.

Ye150-5

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.

Ye150-4

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.

28th January 2013

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Finally some progress that shows! Both MiGs were first coated with Alclad Aqua Gloss (GREAT STUFF!), and got decalled later. Not a lot of decals thankfully so a job quickly done. Only black border lines for the orange areas gave me some work, but luckily decals performed well. I masked the metal areas on the Flanker and attached the ventral and tail fins. I used Mr Surfacer to fill the little crevices around canopy and tail fins and will hopefully prepare it for primer by the end of the week.

0311

I just talked to a friend via Skype and he ignited a spark in me to build the MiG-31. This massive Russian interceptor was the first aircraft in the world to feature a modern AESA radar and has successfully intercepted SR-71s over flying the Russia without their pilots knowing how close to a shoot down they were. Interceptors were controlled by GCI (Ground Control Intercept radarists) and thus not giving their presence away, came to as close as 6km lateral and 2km vertical to the famed American spy plane. It was the Swedes, who monitored these intercepts, who told the US what they were observing with each Blackbird flight and the result was cancellation of Blackbird ops over the Russian European part and early retirement of the SR-71. I have to MiG-31 kits in my stash and a beautiful Begemot sheet to go with them and I am wondering why not? The only obstacle at this moment is the vast number of review samples I HAVE to build first. Well hopefully there will be a break in the schedule to squeeze one Foxhound in. I took the above photo at MAKS 2011, in Zhukovski.

Here’s also an interesting movie about the young Russian pilots training to be the Foxhound pilots – a position once reserved only for most experienced VVS pilots.

 

24th January 2013

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I love the smell of Alclad in the morning 😀 or was it napalm? Doesn’t matter really as the work was done actually last evening. 4 Alclad shades, one ModelMaster metalizer and the result is NMF bussiness end of Flanker’s mighty Saturn AL-31F engines. Anyhow the whole process was documented step by step and will be hopefully published in the Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine article. While I was at it, MiG-21s also got the exhausts painted and Steel was used for R-27 ‘Alamo’ fins – many modellers mistakenly paint them with black colour, which is incorrect.

21st January 2013

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Have you ever had that feeling, that you were working for hours but had nothing to show? It strike me today as I was modelling almost every day since my last post, yet not a lot can be shown, really. Slovak MiG finally got camouflage; I hope this time without any problems – truth will be revealed tomorrow evening. Also orange identification panels were painted on the Egyptian Fishbed. If everything is well with these two builds after unmasking them, they will get exhaust metal parts painted… If there’s enough time, maybe even the green dielectric panels. Flanker is also scheduled for tomorrow’s Alclad session – can’t wait for it. If you look closely at the photo (clicking on it will enlarge it a bit as well), you’ll see quite some ordnance on my table – 2x R-27R, 4x R-73, 2x KAB-500KR and 2x Kh-29T for the UBM2… Since I don’t have a Lightening pod at home and I didn’t receive any reply from Dr.Pepper’s resin, I was forced to order Hasegawa weapons set IX for it. Hopefully it will arrive shortly – and it contains wepons for one of my future projects – A-10C conversion.

I also received Modelsvit Su-7BM ‘Fitter’ model the other day. I can say I’m glad I got this review kit due to my personal connection with the aircraft; and since BKL version is also announced, I’ll build that in the markings of the Fitter I was taking care of. What can I say so far about it? It’s a typical short-run kit without locating pins or tabs. Dryfit of the fuselage showed there’s gonna be some persuasion needed to put it together. But on the other hand, the kit boasts nice details and the guys at Modelsvit supposedly went out and measured the real deal instead of relying on some blueprints of questionable quality. Hats off and I can’t wait to start her… Most likely in February.

Till next time!

17th January 2013

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As you can see, my modelling desk is getting cluttered. It’s my way of modelling – start clean and then leave stuff from the current projects on the table until they’re finished. May seem to be disorganized but it is more like organized chaos really. I have to admit, since my last post, I have hit a modelling block, really. And this time I know what caused it. I’ve had my Slovak MiG painted with all three basic colours when I went unmasking and large areas of Grey colour just peeled off. I’m not sure really what to do now but I hope I can salvage it somehow. At least Egyptian machine is now painted up and will receive orange recognition markings tomorrow. Second thing that went wrong was Flanker’s IRST. I cut it off, made a new one from scratch and attached it offset to the right side. But after examining more reference photos, I’ve noticed I was a victim of optical illusion and the device is indeed mounted central to the windshield like with most Flankers. But there’s something good in this at least – Trumpeters part is a bit too small, so I’ll be using mine to correct this flaw. And I know it’s not hard to modify to the offset when I’ll try to convert some Flanker to Su-35S for example. Anyway wingtip pods were attached and so were the scratchbuild ECM pods that form the part of the outmost underwing pylons – others will be added later. Also flaperons and slats were attached and I’m just about to start painting engine/exhaust areas.

Enjoy the nice vid I found today:

5th January 2013

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All the fuzz around New Year celebration is finally calming down and a bit more time was found for modelling today.

Fishbeds have finally entered my favorite stage – painting and weathering. They were given a coat of Alclad White Primer. I just love this stuff – you apply it in thin layers and it builds up really nice. In the case of Slovak bird, it’s also gonna serve for off-white colour, while it will give a good base for the Egyptian.

Flanker’s clear parts were given a good sanding and polishing treatment today using 600-grit sandpaper followed by Micromesh pads from 3200-12000 grit. A dip in Future floor polish was a must at the end. I planned to make the seatbelts to spice up the seats today but something else took most of my time away. I don’t recall I have ever seen a Su-27UB model that would have a front pit curtain construction included in the kit. Trumpeter kit also lacks this prominent feature and so I was cutting steel wire and plasticart trying to construct something that would at least vaguely resemble the real deal. The construction is still in progress and I hope I will finish it tomorrow.

I also got news, I’ll be soon receiving a new model for SAM build review – a Modelsvit Su-7BM in 1:72 scale. This jet fighter has a special place in my heart. A few years ago I was a member of Czech air museum in Vyskov and took care of one Su-7BM and a Su-7BKL. Here’s the pic of it and as you can see I had a special parking place reserved 😉

su7

Anyhow more on that when I get the kit.

Today’s musical background was courtesy of Joe Bonamassa – a truly talented blues musician!