Amodel 1/72 Myasischev 3MD Bison Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||October 2006||Manufacturer||Amodel|
|Subject||Myasischev 3MD Bison||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||72014||Primary Media||Styrene, fiberglass|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$169.00|
The Myasischev 3MD Bison C was created as a missile strike aircraft with the capability to attack targets such as surface ships and aircraft carriers. It was to use stand-off missiles (like the KSR and K-10S). The aircraft was modified to use advanced radio command guidance units to guide its long range K-10S missiles and more updated electronics, transmitters, radio altimeters. Modifications to the airframe included a new reshaped nose to accommodate the navigator/bomb controller's view; the radio operator was moved back to the port side observation station; Automatic Direction Finder, etc. The rudder also got smaller to ease the effort required in emergency unaided control situations. JATO capabilities were also added to this variant.
The first prototype was completed and first flew towards the end of 1959 and the first mission was flown in April of 1960. Nine production airframes were produced altogether. Only one 3MD Bison C survives today at the Monino museum.
This is the latest incarnation of the Bison from Amodel after the Bison B and the VM-T. The only Bison left to do is the Bison A with the glass nose.
The Bison B was previously reviewed here.
The VM-T was previously reviewed here.
I was expecting to see pretty much the same kit as before but with new nose, tail and decals. What a surprise to see that this kit had a lot of parts redesigned and that the fiberglass was better done than before.
So lets go into the details.
The fiberglass fuselage comes again joined in the middle by the factory. The joint is good and solid and glued together with epoxy. The surface quality is good with few defects. As I was inspecting the fuselage I started realizing that not only the tail area was different from the Bison B. I took out the older kit and compared the two. Sure enough Amodel went ahead and rescribed many panel lines differently from the B variant, added surface detail in many areas and changed the details on the top turret area. The tail are is different too not only because of the different rudder bit also because of the different surface details that have been incorporated.
Granted, I do not have walk arounds that cover the aircraft with detailed views of the top turret for example so I am counting on Amodel having done their homework and having improved on the model.
The fiberglass wings were the next big surprise. The Bison has flaps now! So many pictures show the Bison on the ground with the flaps down. Flaps in the lowered position really add to the look of any model in my opinion. The flaps on this aircraft are quite complex when it come to representing them in kit form. The Bison flaps continue under the engine nacelles and when deployed a complex surface appears hanging down. This necessitated for Amodel to inject new plastic to cover all the flaps bits and pieces as well as re-engineering their existing engine nacelles with the appropriate cutouts for the flap recesses!
At a time were many companies try to save money on molding expenses, Amodel went ahead and added complexity just to make their product better! Of note is the fact that the surface detail on the wings is different from the Bison B. The real Bison C did have re-profiled wing leading edges and different wing fences but I am not sure about the detail on the actual panel lines. The tail wings are also pretty cleanly molded and full of scribed surface detail.
Three new sprues are also included. One is to cover the new nose and one to cover the new tail turret that properly contains the different rear looking radar.
The last new sprue covers the new tail ruder parts, the new refueling probe, wing fences, aerials, scoops, etc.
The rest of the sprues are the same as with the Bison B. Again note worthy are the fully detailed landing gear parts, bomb bays and wheel wells which are models within themselves.
One disappointing item is the wheels . The mold was apparently going bad on the Bison B, got worst on the VM-T and it is really bad on the Bison C. The defects are identical on all the sprues from all the kits I have. My goal is to fix up the best of the wheels and cast resin copies.
The clear parts are very decent for a limited production kit and they will look just fine after dipping the in Future.
The decals look very complete with many stencils to dress up the model. Two aircraft are covered by the decals. One is the Monino example Red-30 and the other is Red-10. The decal surface looks a little dull and I am not sure how well it will come out on the natural metal finish.
The kit should be fun to build for all modelers with experience in limited run kits and provide for a very unique and huge subject. If Amodel does the Bison A we will have a complete Bison family!
The kit was purchased from Guy Holroyd at Linden Hill Imports. Guy's prices are always unbeatable and are the lowest in the US for big Amodel kits.