Trumpeter 1/48 MiG-27 Flogger D Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2016||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||MiG-27 Flogger D||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||5802||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Simple build||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$74.95|
The MiG-23 series marked the beginning of the generation three fighters on the Soviet side and represented a major advance over previous Soviet designs. Built from the outset to operate from forward area locations, the aircraft had rugged landing gear to allow operations from bare fields and battle-damaged runways. The MiG-23 was the first Soviet design to employ full span moving wings (the Su-17 also had moving wings, but the inboard sections of the wings were fixed). The R-29 engine had significant power improvements over previous generations and could move the MiG-23 swiftly up to Mach 2.2+ at altitude.
The MiG OKB started development of ground attack version of the MiG-23 and was designated as MiG-27. While this version required some development further development, the new nose profile nicknamed 'utkonos' (platypus) or utkanos (duck-nose) provided the pilot with an excellent view of ground. The radar of the MiG-23 was replaced with a laser range-finder and the MiG-23BN (Flogger H) was deployed. The MiG-23BN retained most of the MiG-23's systems such as the R-29 intake and exhaust which made the MiG-23BN Mach 2+ capable like its fighter brothers. Moreover, it also retained the ventral GSh-23 twin-barrel cannon of the fighter as well.
The MiG-27 followed a few years later and featured smaller intake splitter plates and afterburner nozzle which optimized the aircraft for low-altitude high-speed flight. The overhead frame and rear-view periscope were removed from the canopy, new mission avionics were added, and a six-barrel GSh-6-30 30mm gatling gun replaced the GSh-23. The MiG-27 would serve in front-line tactical aviation units while the MiG-23BN was exported to allied nations.
Here is the latest installment in Trumpeter's 1/48 Flogger family - the MiG-27 Flogger D. Unlike other subjects in the Flogger family, this version has not (yet) been released in 1/32 scale (I hope that changes soon). Of course, the only option for a styrene kit of the MiG-27 in 1/48 scale has been the ESCI/AMT/Hobbycraft/Scalecraft/Italeri kit (same tooling). Now we have a new-tool alternative with more details and contemporary molding.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 20 parts trees plus three trees of clear styrene parts, and one fret of photo-etched details. The features and options in this kit include:
- At first blush, the kit features a nicely detailed KM-1M ejection seat, but it is missing the bottom portion that is the survival kit that the pilot sits upon. You'll have to go to an aftermarket seat and there are plenty available.
- Nice looking cockpit that captures the shape and layout of the front office. The only thing missing here is the throttle handle which is VERY easy to fabricate and attach to the slide mechanism correctly molded into the left side wall
- Positionable canopy
- Nose gear strut effectively captures the details of the full-scale strut down to the water shields
- Positionable speed brakes
- Positionable ventral fin (only goes down when the landing gear comes up)
- Synchronized (geared) movable wings
- Nicely detailed main gear wells though it looks like it is missing the Soviet and NATO-styled single-point refueling ports
- Nicely detailed main landing gear struts
- Very nicely detailed GSh-6-30
A couple of minor 'glitches' in the kit:
- KM-1M ejection seat is missing the seat bottom. There is no kit part for the survival pack/seat bottom that goes into the seat pan of the ejection seat
- The ventral folding fin is portrayed in the instructions as a smaller fixed ventral fin. The kit fin is hinged and is fine as-is
- The horizontal stabilators appear to be positionable but look closer and the pivot is not perpendicular to the stab, you can only plug it into the fuselage at the neutral position
I can't believe that Trumpeter continues forward with the KM-1M problem, but at least there is no shortage of aftermarket ejection seats available. None of the features crossed off the list above are show stoppers and actually make the kit easier to build in this scale.
One of the other major features also in this box is the array of armament. What we have for external stores options include:
- 2 x APU-23 wing glove pylons
- 6 x standard external stores pylons
- 2 x K-13-type missile rails
- 2 x APU-60-1 missile rails
- 2 x APU-60-2 dual missile rails
- 2 x multiple ejector racks (MER)
- 2 x R-13M (AA-2 Atoll) IR-guided missiles
- 2 x R-13M1 (AA-2 Atoll) IR-guided missiles
- 4 x R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) IR-guided missiles
- 2 x Kh-25ML (AS-10 Karen) laser guided missiles
- 2 x Kh-25MP (AS-10 Karen) anti-radiation missiles
- 2 x Kh-29T (AS-14 Kedge) TV guided missile
- 2 x Kh-29L (AS-14 Kedge) laser guided missile
- 2 x KAB-250KP guided bombs
- 2 x KAB-500KP guided bombs
- 2 x KAB-500L laser guided bombs
- 12 x FAB-100 bombs
- 12 x FAB-250 bombs
- 2 x FAB-500 bombs
- 2 x KMGU-2 submunition dispensers
- 1 PTB-800 centerline drop tank
- 2 x under-wing ferry tanks (these do not pivot)
With this armament line-up, you have a wide range of loadout options and the kit comes with an extensive set of weapons stenciling to add that extra detail fidelity to the model.
One question I get is about that folding fin under the tail. Whenever the landing gear is down, that fin is folded. To avoid the possibility of landing with that fin deployed, the MiG designers put that fin system on the landing gear switch. Gear up/fin down, gear down/fin up.
The kit provides markings for four subjects:
- MiG-27, Bort 30, Soviet Air Force
- MiG-27, Bort 24, Soviet Air Force
- MiG-27, Bort 05, Soviet Air Force
- MiG-27, Bort 09, Soviet Air Force
For as many years (decades) that the ESCI/ERTL/Italeri/et.al. kits have been on the market, there have been a number of conversions and corrections that can help you render nearly every version on this kit. Two different companies have produced replacement forward fuselages to convert the fighter into the Utkanos (duck nose) MiG-27/MiG-27BN - one in resin, one in vacuform. There have been a number of detail sets produced, especially from Eduard. If you're a hard core Flogger modeler, chances are that you already have most of these parts in your collection but just didn't feel up to the work needed to fix the basic airframe. With this release, you can really have some fun!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!