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MiG-3 Kit

Trumpeter 1/48 MiG-3 Late Version Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2008 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Mikoyan MiG-3 Late Version Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2831 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build, excellent price! Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $27.95

First Look

MiG-3 Kit
MiG-3 Kit
MiG-3 Kit
MiG-3 Kit
MiG-3 Kit
MiG-3 Kit

In mid-1939, work started on the design of a new fighter for the Soviet Air Force (VVS) designated the I-200. This aircraft was to be a lightweight, high performance fighter powered by an inline liquid-cooled engine. The design bureau behind this fighter was led by none other that Nikolai Polikarpov, but after a falling out with Josef Stalin, Polikarpov was eventually stripped of his design burea and work proceeded under the direction of two new leaders - Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The I-200 would be redesignated as the MiG-1. This aircraft first flew in April 1940 and a numbe of problems became evident in flight test.

The MiG-3 was the result of a number of changes to the MiG-1 design to improve handling and performance. Some of these included the movement of the engine four inches forward which solved a weight and balance problem, increasing wing dihedral by one degree, strengthening the landing gear, improving armament and armor protection, and more. The MiG-3 was intented as a high-altitude interceptor, but the early version had oil and fuel pressure issues altitude, so it was pressed into low altitude and ground attack missions where it even more inferior in capability.

The later versions of the MiG-3 solved the altitude performance issues, but the AM-35 engine that powered the MiG-3 was discontinued so that the full production output could be directed to the new AM-38 engine destined for the Il-2 Shturmovik.

Last year, Trumpeter released the early version of this subject with an outstanding kit that was reasonable in price and simple in construction reviewed here. This kit captured the details of the MiG-3 very nicely as it was a scaled-down version of their previously released 1/32 scale kit ( reviewed here).

Trumpeter has returned with another release of this kit since the first release was dubbed 'early version', it stands to reason that the 'late version' would not be too far behind. Like the first kit, this model is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The mad riveter has not been set loose on this model, the details are scribed and clear of excessive rivets.

What's new with this kit?

  • Engine hood has revised nose gun fairings
  • Ventilation grilles on sides of fuselage deleted
  • Leading edge slats added to the wings

As before, you won't be lacking for details and options. Among the other highlights of this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Positionable radiator exhaust flap
  • Radio tray behind the pilot
  • Positionable canopy
  • Separately molded landing flaps and ailerons
  • Optional RS-82 rockets
  • Positionable canopy

The only real bit of photo-etch you might want to add is a set of seatbelt/shoulder harnesses.

Markings are included for three examples:

  • MiG-3, Black 7, 'For Stalin'
  • MiG-3, White 12
  • MiG-3, '95'

This is another nice offering from Trumpeter and I hope we'll see more of their larger scale subjects bround down to 1/48 scale in the future!