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MiG-21SM

Mastercraft 1/72 Mikoyan MiG-21SM '303 GIAD' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2005 Manufacturer Mastercraft
Subject Mikoyan MiG-21SM '303 GIAD' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 30155 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice selection of decal subjects Cons Canopy cannot be positioned open
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $3.31

First Look

MiG-21SM
MiG-21SM
MiG-21SM

The Mikoyan OKB developed the Soviet Union's first Mach 2 fighter, the MiG-21. This delta-winged machine gave the Tactical Air Forces a highly maneuverable and lethal fighter aircraft that would see service for many years within the Soviet Air Forces as well as with the air forces of the Warsaw Pact and other allied nations.

The first generation MiG-21s were equipped with a range-only radar, 30mm cannons and a pair of weapons pylons. The second generation received an intercept radar but its guns were deleted. The third generation received an updated radar and engine, four weapons pylons, and the restoration of its gun, this time a 23mm GSh-23.

This third generation MiG-21 had several designators depending on its production block and whether it was for domestic or export use. NATO designated these group of aircraft as Fishbed J and this was the most widely produced and exported version of the MiG-21 family.

Mastercraft has released the MiG-21SM in 1/72 scale. This kit is molded in medium gray styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus a small tree containing the clear styrene canopy. The detailing on the surfaces is nicely scribed and there is a slight hint of flash on some of the parts.

The flaps and flight controls are molded in place, so surgery will be required to lower the flaps. The cockpit transparencies are molded as one part. The canopy has the proper shape and detailing for the periscope-equipped side-opening canopy found on this version of the aircraft.

The cockpit tub is fairly simple as you'd might expect in this scale, but the instructions show a killer-looking KM-1M ejection seat going into the tub, unfortunately the kit part looks nothing like that nice illustration in the instructions.

As with most front-line fighters, once they've lost their edge in the air-to-air world, they're relegated to air-to-ground duties and this kit depicts such an aircraft. The kit is armed with four UB-16 rocket pods and a centerline fuel tank. According to the instructions, you're have the option of arming the aircraft with S-24 240mm rockets, but none are included in the kit.

Markings are provided for four aircraft:

  • MiG-21SM, VVS, 1st Air Army, Russia, 1985
  • MiG-21SM, Ukraine AF, Poland, 1984
  • MiG-21SM, VVS, Monino, Russia, 1985
  • MiG-21SM, VVS, 1st Air Army, Russia, 1985

This is a nice little kit that will go together quickly. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Hobbyshop.cz for this review sample!

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