Hasegawa 1/48 MiG-25RBT Foxbat B Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2018||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||MiG-25RBT Foxbat B||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07462||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$99.99|
For a brief history of the MiG-25 Foxbat, look here. During the Cold War, the MiG-25 came in four distinctive versions - the Foxbat A interceptor, Foxbat B reconnaissance, Foxbat C trainer, and Foxbat D SLAR. As the veil of secrecy lifted near the end of that Cold War, we knew that there were a variety of MiG-25 variants under each of the four NATO designators with at least five different variants under the banner of Foxbat B and another four under the banner of Foxbat D. For NATO recognition purposes, the aircraft with the small dielectric panels on the nose as well as camera ports was Foxbat B whilst the aircraft with the huge dielectric panels on the sides of the nose and no camera ports was Foxbat D. Two versions of the trainer Foxbat C were produced, the interceptor trainer (MiG-25PU) and recce trainer (MiG-25RU). Of course two additional Foxbats appeared at the end of the Cold War including the MiG-25PD/PDS Foxbat E (interceptor) and MiG-25BM Foxbat F (SEAD).
For years, the MiG-25R series flew wherever they wanted because nobody had the means to stop them, much like the SR-71. The Shah of Iran obtained the F-14 Tomcat because that aircraft's AIM-54 Phoenix missiles could reach the MiG-25R and sure enough, once the F-14s entered service in the Imperial Iranian Air Force, MiG-25R overflights ceased. The MiG-25R was also a regular spectator over Lebanon in 1982 after the Israeli Army experienced widespread brake failures and couldn't stop their new Merkava tanks before reaching Beirut. After careful planning, the Israelis invited US news crews to set up cameras on a rooftop in Beirut. I watched with fascination as a lone contrail approached the city at high speed, then stopped with a white puff of smoke. A short time later, another explosion and soon an aircraft trailing smoke appeared. As it grew in the camera's view, the MiG-25R was in a flat spin with the upper surface burning and it finally disappeared behind some nearby buildings and crashed. When it was safe, the news crews were invited to see the crash site in an alley where the aircraft had impacted nearly level.
Last year, ICM released a kit of the MiG-25RBT in 1/48 scale, the first of a reconnaissance Foxbat in this scale. The kit was well-received by modelers worldwide and ICM is due to release two more versions of the Foxbat this year. Hasegawa decided to issue the ICM kit in their own box and with new instructions and decals. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The finely scribed surface details are nicely done and the parts layout reminds me of the AMK 1/48 MiG-31 rather than the venerable Revell 1/48 MiG-25P.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Nicely detailed ejection seat (no pilot restraints provided)
- Positionable canopy
- Intakes rendered with variable ramps open and intake trunks to the compressor faces
- Nice afterburner chambers and nozzles
- Detailed wheel wells and landing gear
- Positionable rudders
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable stabilators
- Postionable flaps
- Clear windows for camera ports
- Optional centerline 5300 liter drop tank
The assembly of this kit is interesting. The main fuselage and nose go together similar to the Kitty Hawk MiG-25PD, but unlike the Kitty Hawk offering, this kit provides a pair of bulkheads for alignment and strength - one at the fuselage/nose subassembly join, and the other deep in the fuselage to mount the front of the afterburner sections. Various fuselage panels mount to the fuselage assembly and bulkheads much like a Zoukei-Mura kit.
Markings are provided for four examples:
- MiG-25RBT, Bort 55, Russian Air Force
- MiG-25RB, Bort 72, Russian Air Force
In addition to the distinctive markings, the decals also include a nice set of airframe stenciling. While both examples are wearing the standard MiG-25 gray, you'll find that some of these aircraft wore tactical camouflage in frontal aviation units like the ones just outside of Berlin. There are many good photos of these camouflage schemes online (thank you internet).
If you're a quarter-scale Soviet/Russian aviation modeler (like I am), you must be enjoying the sight of your subject 'wish list' getting shorter. Whether you prefer the ICM or Hasegawa boxing, the kit itself is worth adding to your scale flightline.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!