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Afterburner Decals 1/48 MiG-21 Fabulous Fishbeds Part 1 Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2012 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject MiG-21 Fabulous Fishbeds Part 1 Scale 1/48
Set Number 48083 Pros 29 aircraft options from 11 different air forces
Cons See text Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Afterburner Decals is back with an interesting assortment of markings for the late-model MiG-21 Fishbeds. This set is the first of two assortments that provide a WIDE range of marking options for your choice of MiGs from Eduard, Academy, or OEZ. The coverage is primarily for the Generation Three MiG-21s (MiG-21M/MF Fishbed J and MiG-21bis Fishbed L/N) as well as one Generation 2 example, the reconnaissance MiG-21R Fishbed H (for which there is no kit available in this scale at this time.

MiG-21 MiG-21

The subjects included in this first assortment include:

  1. MiG-21bis, Bort 923, Afghan AF, early 1990s
  2. MiG-21bis, Bort 951, Afghan AF, late 1980s
  3. MiG-21bis, Bort C314, Angola AF, mid-1990s
  4. MiG-21bis, Bort C331, Angola AF, mid-1980s
  5. MiG-21bis, Bort 182, Algerian AF, 1978
  6. MiG-21MF, Bort 177, Algerian AF, 1973
  7. MiG-21MF, Bort C40, Angola AF, 1976
  8. MiG-21bis, Bort 243, Bulgarian AF, 2003
  9. MiG-21MF/J-7-III, Bort 30065, PLAAF, 1998
  10. MiG-21MF/J-7-III, Bort 30168, PLAAF, 1997
  11. MiG-21bis, Bort 117, Croatian AF, 2007
  12. MiG-21bis, Croatian AF, 1993
  13. MiG-21bis, Bort 125, Croatian AF, 1996
  14. MiG-21bis, Bort 7107, Cambodian AF, 1980s
  15. MiG-21bis, Bort 610, FAR, 1970s
  16. MiG-21bis, Bort 658, FAR, 2011
  17. MiG-21bis, Bort 665, FAR, late 1990s
  18. MiG-21bis, Bort 672, FAR, 1992
  19. MiG-21MF, Bort 517, FAR, 1973
  20. MiG-21MF, Bort 9805, Czech AF, 1995
  21. MiG-21MF, Bort 7702, Czech AF, 1980
  22. MiG-21MF, Bort 8208, Czech AF, 1984
  23. MiG-21R, Bort 1922, Czech AF, 1983
  24. MiG-21SM, Bort 37, Soviet AF, 1980
  25. MiG-21bis, Bort 24, Soviet AF, 1985
  26. MiG-21bis, Bort 35, Soviet AF, 1983
  27. MiG-21MF, Bort 8205, Egyptian AF, 1973
  28. MiG-21MF, Bort 8410, Egyptian AF, 1970
  29. MiG-21MF, Bort 8370, Egyptian AF, 2007

Take a close look at the decal sheet. The sheet is printed by Cartograf and the printing is very well done. What's more, none of these decals require the modeler to stack multiple layers of markings atop one another to recreate artwork. This trend by some other decal companies of producing multiple-layer decals is unfortunate as it puts the burden on you to do the work of what should have been done by the decal maker.

The only nits I have with this set are:

  1. The two side profiles for the bare metal MiG-21bis and MiG-21MF are labeled backwards - the one labeled bis is an MF and vice versa. In fact, the MiG-21bis profile (labeled MF) is a MiG-21bis Fishbed N with the RSBN antennas fore and aft versus the MiG-21bis Fishbed L that does not have these antennas.
  2. The unfortunate misuse of the Cyrillic alphabet that will give any of us that can read Russian a headache and may offend native Russian modelers.
  3. The color profiles which are nicely done provide color keys but no paint information as to what the closest paint colors or paint mix you'll need to replicate these schemes. In the profile example above, there are two different colors that are both labeled as Sand.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!