Tag Archive: soviet union

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)




Antonov An-71 ‘Madcap’ was based on the popular An-72 STOL transport series. The aircraft needed only 620m for take-off and 420m for landing and could operate from rough unpaved runways. Over-wing mounted engines greatly reduced FOD risk but also improved its STOL capabilities.

Only three An-71 were made with the first take-off in 1985. Unlike An-72, An-71 was equipped with more powerful engines and was also equipped with a third, fuselage mounted jet engine of the same type as Yak-38, that helped with take-offs. Rear fuselage was redesigned and a broad, forward swept fin installed with a radar dome mounted on top.

During the times of Soviet Union, each aviation branch had its own Early Warning Radar system in use which it didn’t share with others. So while the PVO (main fighter/interceptor and SAM branch) was equipped with A-50 AWACS, VVS-FA (frontal aviation) strike fighters lacked the capability and the An-71 was developed. There was also a carrier borne version considered under the designation An-75 but it remained a paper project. The two flying prototypes flew around 1.000 hours but the problems with the radar and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union killed the project.


The kit

I picked up this kit really cheap in Club-TM shop on one of my trips to Moscow. I didn’t have much expectations of this 1:288 Eastern Express kit but in the end, I really enjoyed building it. The fit is rather good, but the plastic is somewhat weird, as the seams were constantly cracking open, as if the solvent wouldn’t work on it (I washed it before building!). The panel lines are engraved although somewhat heavy for the little scale. Decals went down fine, but I had many problems with the size and had to trim them while I couldn’t get a perfect cheat line on the right side of the model. Landing gear are a thing of fiction and the wheels are WAAAAY too small. You get a nice display stand with the kit though.

Model Data
Company: Eastern Express
Scale: 1:288
Aftermarket: none
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-4 White, MRP-5 Black, MRP-38 Light Gray, MRP-42 Red, MRP-47 Dark Gray, MRP-105 USN Modern Blue Gray)
Alclad (ALC-101 Aluminum)



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.



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.

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.


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.

MiG-15bis ‘Fagot’

MiG-15bis ‘Fagot’, Eduard profipack, 1:72
Eduard exterior set, Eduard flaps set



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

Il-40 ‘Brawny’

out of the box build


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