ICM 1/48 MiG-3 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||2000||Manufacturer||ICM|
|Kit Number||48051||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$13.00|
The MiG-3 was the first operational fighter off the (later to be infamous) Artyem Mikoyan and Mikhail Guryevich drawing board. The initial design for a high performance, high altitude fighter led to the MiG-1, but design problems forced the two designers back to the drawing board and the resulting corrections became the MiG-3. Equipped with the 1350 hp AM-35A engine, the MiG-3 dominated the high altitudes over the Soviet Union. With a service ceiling of over 39,000 feet (in 1941!) and able to reach 398 mph at medium altitude, the MiG-3 could bring its three guns to bear easily. Unfortunately, the MiG-3 was a handful to fly, and its low altitude performance was not very effective.
The Luftwaffe rarely flew at the altitudes ruled by the MiG-3, and the German fighters on the Eastern Front were more than a match for the MiG-3 when they descended to lower altitudes. Consequently, the MiG-3 was relegated to rear area defense duties by 1942. Over 3,300 MiG-3s were built and served in the Soviet Air Force.
ICM has introduced an instant winner with this kit! Comprising 122 parts, the ICM 1/48 MiG-3 kit is as finely detailed and crisply molded as an Accurate Miniatures kit, in fact, the interior detail is assembled similarly to AM's Yak-9. The kit features a beautifully detailed engine (with very nice exhaust stacks) under a removable cowl; separate ailerons, leading edge slats and rudder (elevators are molded onto the horizontal stabs); positionable landing gear; and even underwing air-to-air rockets. Molded in light gray plastic, the kit has a minimum of flash and pin ejector marks. The only flaws I could even find in the kit were some sink marks in the propeller and a pin ejector mark on the inside of each fuselage half's vertical stab.
The fuselage halves align nicely, just be careful not to trim off the rib that runs under the open underside of the engine cowling - it could be mistaken as part of the tree. The only fit problem is a very minor one - remove the pin ejector marks on the vertical stab inside each half. With them gone, the fit is perfect. Another commendable design feature is that there are NO pin ejector marks inside the fuselage where they'd be visible. The interior framework gets built up and installed inside of the fuselage halves (a la A-M's Yak-9 kits).
The kit decals are nicely in register, and feature markings for 10 different aircraft, five of which are winter schemes. At a retail price of only $13.00, this kit is a must for WW2 and Soviet Air Force builder. Finding the quality of other major manufacturers at these prices will make ICM a manufacturer to watch. In fact, they've recently released a long range Yak-9, with other Yaks on the near horizon. The big news is their upcoming Spitfires, including a Mk.IX. If that Spit is anything like this MiG, it will be a huge success.