Eduard 1/48 MiG-21PF Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2015||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||84127||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still best kits of the MiG-21 in any scale||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The MiG-21 is one of the most successful supersonic fighters ever produced. The first production MiG-21 was the MiG-21F (NATO Codename: Fishbed C) day fighter which was equipped with 2 NR-30 30mm guns and a range-only radar that would provide optimum firing range data for the pilot, similar to the F-100 Super Sabre. When the K-13 (NATO Codename: AA-2 Atoll) missile (AIM-9B Sidewinder copy) became available, the MiG-21F was revised to remove one 30mm gun and replace it with two underwing missile rails and the subsystems to carry two K-13s, leading to the designation MiG-21F-13 (NATO Codename: Fishbed E). The MiG-21F and MiG-21F-13 were are considered 'first generation' MiG-21s as they were day-fighters only and powered by the early R-11F-300 turbojet engine.
The generation two MiG-21s started with the first all-weather interceptor variant, the MiG-21PF (NATO Codename: Fishbed D). These aircraft were armed with the K-5 (NATO Codename: AA-1 Alkalai) which were early radar-guided missiles. When the K-13 became available, the MiG-21PF would also receive these as well. The MiG-21PF carried over several design attributes from generation one including the forward-hinged canopy which doubled as an ejection seat shield for supersonic egress; and fowler flaps for take-off and landing.
Eduard released this first version of the generation two MiG-21 line-up with the MiG-21PF in their Profipack edition. Here we have the MiG-21PF in the 'Weekend' edition which provides the same plastic without the photo-etch and a smaller selection of decal subjects.
The kit is molded in dark gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts, and a set of fabric pilot restraints. When you open the box, you can quickly see that this series from Eduard is still the best MiG-21 produced by anyone in any scale to date. While I do like the Trumpeter 1/32 MiG-21MF and MiG-21UM kits, they have a few issues that are not in this box. First of all, the detailing is sharp and petit, no sign of the 'mad riveter' here. Second, the kit isn't over-engineered - you don't have details rendered in areas where you'll never see them again once the kit is built. Among the features of this kit:
- Detailed cockpit
- Detailed ejection seat
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of early canopy without periscope or later canopy with periscope
- Detailed afterburner chamber and nozzle
- Detailed main wheel wells (nose gear well nice too)
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable flaps, ailerons and stabilators (with some minor tweaks)
- Positionable speed brakes
External stores include:
- 2 x RS-2US (AA-1 Alkali)
- 2 x R-3S (AA-2 Atoll)
- 2 x S-24 240mm rockets
- 1 x 490 liter centerline external tank
- 1 x 800 liter centerline external tank
There are additional bombs, missiles, etc., on the weapons trees as this is a common sprue tree from the previous MiG-21 releases.
Markings are provided for two aircraft:
- MiG-21PF, Bort 40, Soviet Air Force, 1968, 'Operation Danube'
- MiG-21PF, Bort 851, JG 2, East German Air Force, 1980s
The profile of Bort 40 remains in many history books as one of the symbols of Operation Danube, the Soviet and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Czechoslovakia was already part of the Warsaw Pact when it was established in 1955, but when internal Czech politics started moving away from the Soviet sphere, the Soviets invaded.
The decal subjects provide modelers with more than a subject choice, the East German example is fully camouflaged which gives those with fears of painting bare metal subjects an interesting alternative.
This is a beautiful kit that will build up nicely. If you opt to build a more detailed version, Eduard's Brassin and photo-etch details produced for the Profipack edition are available and will of course work with this kit as well.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!