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MiG-23 Interior Detail

Eduard 1/48 MiG-23 Interior Detail Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2007 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject MiG-23 Interior Detail Set Scale 1/48
Kit Number 49357 Media Photo-Etch
Pros Essential update for the AMT, ERTL, ESCI, Hobbycraft, Italeri kit Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $22.95

First Look

MiG-23 Interior Detail
MiG-23 Interior Detail

Eduard from the Czech Republic is easily the most prolific producer of aftermarket details. Period. Their series of photo-etched detail sets have brought additional fidelity to otherwise bland subjects, and have taken even the best-produced models and kicked them up a notch or two with details that cannot be produced with injection-molded plastic.

When Eduard first introduced the acetate-printed instrument faces that go behind their photo-etched instrument panels, this raised the bar on model cockpit reality as you could almost read the time on the aircraft clock. How could they top that?

It took a number of years, but the answer is color photo-etch. Somehow Eduard has developed a process for printing color directly on their photo-etched parts such that now you not only can read the instrument faces, you can now see the color warning arcs around airspeed indicators and color reference circles around Luftwaffe flight and engine instruments. In this release, Eduard has produced a set of photo-etched details for the classic 1/48 AMT, ESCI/ERTL, Hobbycraft, now Italeri MiG-23 Flogger kit.

When the Italeri MiG-23 was first released a number of decades ago by ESCI/ERTL, it was a very welcome addition to the quarter-scale Soviet Air Force line-up. While the details in the kit were basic at best, they were the best that could be expected from the grainy black and white photos of the aircraft that were the only references available. Since that time, the information barrier has fallen and far greater detail information is available about the MiG-23 family. Unfortunately, nobody has developed a new kit for this important Cold Warrior, so our only option is to work with the ESCI tooling. The good news is that Eduard has provided three detail sets to update this kit. The weapons detail set is reviewed here, the external detail set is reviewed here, the exhaust nozzle detail set is reviewed here, and here we see the interior detail set.

This set consists of two frets of photo-etched details, one of is printed in color. You can browse through the high resolution images to the right (click on one to see the large image) to see how fine the color printing has become. You can also see how this set literally transforms a sow's ear into a silk purse!

In place of the generic cockpit tub provided in the kit, this set provides a completely new cockpit tub in photo-etch. In color are the instrument panel layers and the intricate side consoles in the aircraft. The set even captures the push-pull 'go lever' that Mikoyan used in place of the more conventional throttle quadrant. The instructions clearly show the minor surgical changes required to the fuselage to facilitate these updates.

One other miraculous transformation occurs thanks to this set - the kit ejection seat actually does look like the real thing! The first step in this transformation is removing the back of the seat as it is too short from seat pan to headrest. This set provides a plug that is inserted to raise the height of the seat. From there, the details on of the seat frame, footrests, actuator handles, and that amazing tangle of straps that make up the seat belt and harness system.

While this set will really set off the detail in the MiG-23 kit, this detail set is not for the beginning modeler. You will need to be able to remove the photo-etch parts from their frets (simple once you know how) and then be able to apply these details using cyano adhesives without gluing yourself to the kit parts. It isn't difficult, or else these sets wouldn't be so popular.

You should be able to find this detail set at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, this is worth looking for!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!