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Chrome MiG-15 kit

Tamiya 1/48 MiG-15bis 'Silver Plated' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review 1997 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject MiG-15bis 'Silver Plated' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 89535 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful detailing throughout! Cons Touching up the chrome plate after filling seams is a pain
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the impression that I got from the rumor mill was that Tamiya was releasing a new line of their existing kits that had buffable bare metal characteristics in their plastic. The first two offerings in this new series are the MiG-15 bis and the P-51D. As I said, I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but what I found inside the MiG's box was my worst fear. The old Hawk Chrome-Plated kit technology had arrived in Japan. The instructions even point out (just like the Hawk days) to scrape off the plating at glue joints. In fairness, this kit is the nicest chrome job I've seen on any kit. [*SIGH*] This one is your call as I never did figure out how to build one of the Hawk Chrome kits without either seamlines or obvious silver mis-matched touch-up spots. If Tamiya is listening: Gentlemen - please consider offering a paint color that is a perfect match to your plastic plating process! (The instructions say to use Tamiya acrylic color X-11 for touch-up. I don't think so...)


Our former IPMS chapter president may have hit on a solution for building this beast (or the P-51). Since the seam lines do not coincide with normal panel lines on the real aircraft, Keith Liotta suggests using Bare Metal Foil to cover the seams, cut to the outlines of the normal panel lines. In addition, shooting random panels with various shades of Alclad or SNJ (or whatever your choice of metalizer is) will help "blend" the Bare Metal Foil into the model. Unless one of you has a better solution (and I'll pass it on if you do!) this appears to be the best work-around for either the MiG-15 or P-51D chromed aircraft. Heck, it might even work on one of those old Hawk kits....