Trumpeter 1/72 Mikoyan MiG-29 (9.12) Fulcrum Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2015||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||MiG-29 (9.12) Fulcrum||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||1674||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detailing||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$34.95|
In the late 1960s, the USAF started to develop a requirement for an advanced air superiority fighter based upon the lessons being learned in combat over Vietnam plus the growing threats posed by the MiG-23 and MiG-25. This program led to the F-15 Eagle followed closely by lightweight fighter program creating the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Soviet planners viewed these new fighter developments with concern and started the process for a counter-development leading to the Su-27 Flanker and its lightweight counterpart, the MiG-29 Fulcrum. Entering service in the mid-1980s, the MiG-29 is a highly maneuverable dogfighter with an impressive mix of air-to-air weapons.
The MiG-29 was in service with the Soviet Air Force, numerous Warsaw Pact air forces, and export versions were provided to a number of Soviet client nations around the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent dissolution of the former Warsaw Pact nations in 1991, many MiG-29s would become the frontline fighter of the new fledgling former Soviet states like the Ukraine. With the merger of East and West Germany, EGAF MiG-29s were suddenly a core part of the Luftwaffe. Some of these Luftwaffe MiG-29s have since taken part in Red Flag exercises at Nellis AFB and missile evaluation flights at Eglin AFB. While the MiG OKB has presented a variety of newer MiG-29 variants, many of these early MiG-29s remain on active duty around the world.
It is hard to believe that Trumpeter began its frontal assault into the plastic model market only 10 years ago, yet they've produced more kits in that time than virtually any other hobby company. In all of that time, they've tackled a wide range of subjects overlooked by other hobby companies including the MiG-29M and MiG-29K in 1/32 scale (with the Revell MiG-29 9.12 and MiG-29UB covering the earlier variants). It seems odd that Trumpeter didn't circle back to pick up the 9.12, 9.13, or 9.19 variants. What was even more odd was that Trumpeter (or Hobby Boss) never released the MiG-29M or MiG-29K in 1/72 nor 1/48 scale though they've released quite a few other 1/32 kits in smaller scales in that time.
Here's a new kit from Trumpeter debuting in 1/72 - the MiG-29 (9.12) Fulcrum A. This kit represents the start of a MiG-29 series in this scale which also includes the 9.19 (humpback) Fulcrum C. On one hand, it makes sense as Great Wall Hobby and Academy have tackled the MiG-29 nicely in 1/48 scale, but on the other hand, it is rare that Chinese kit manufacturers allow a subject release to go answered in a given scale. There hasn't been a new-tool MiG-29 in 1/72 in a while though there have been kits of the aircraft in this scale from Airfix/Heller, Fujimi, Hasegawa, Italeri, and others in the past. So how does this new kit look?
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on eight parts trees plus the upper and lower airframe halves and three trees of clear parts. The kit features finely scribed details on all of the visible surfaces and appears to be very straightforward assembly (no over-engineering or excessive quantities of small parts). Among the features and options:
- Nice cockpit detail
- K-36D seat has restraint details molded onto the cushions
- Positionable canopy
- Distinctly Russian towbar included
- FOD doors are positioned closed over the intakes though there are compressor faces included in the ducts
- Positionable stabilators
The kit includes a nice array of external stores:
- 2 x R-27 (AA-10 Alamo)
- 2 x R-73 (AA-11 Archer)
- 2 x R-60 (AA-8 Aphid)
- 2 x PTB-1150 external fuel tanks
- 1 x PTB-1500 centerline fuel tank
The PTB-1500 has a circular recess in the bottom of the tank. You might want to open that or be certain to properly weather it as that is the APU exhaust duct outlet that runs through the tank since the tank obstructs the bottom the MiG-29 fuselage where the APU hot gasses exit. Sooty black is the right answer.
The kit provides markings options for two examples:
- MiG-29, Bort 04, 1 TFS/59 TFW, Hungarian AF
- MiG-29, Bort 01, 120 GIAP, Domma AB, Russian AF
The kit looks nice out of the box and if it goes together as nice as it looks, it will be a contender for best MiG-29 (9.12) in this scale.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!