Trumpeter 1/48 MiG-21UM Mongol B Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2015||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||MiG-21UM Mongol B||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||2865||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||Nice detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$44.95|
By the time the MiG OKB had produced the first Mach 2 fighter with their MiG-21F, the only advanced two-seat trainer was the MiG-15UTI (NATO Codename: Midget). The MiG-15UTI had served as a suitable tranisition trainer for the MiG-15, MiG-17, and MiG-19 airframes, but the MiG-21 was a completely different aircraft. Not long after the MiG-21F and MiG-21F-13 airframes entered service, MiG OKB produced the MiG-21U (NATO Codename: Mongol) to aid pilots into this new aircraft. When the generation two MiG-21PF entered service with a new engine and a wider chord tail, the new tail was added to the trainer rendering the MiG-21U. When blown flaps were added to the MiG-21 line starting with the MiG-21PFM, blown flaps were added to the trainer rendering the MiG-21US. The trainer was updated once again with upgraded avionics to support training into the generation three aircraft starting with the MiG-21MF and rendering the MiG-21UM.
After eight years, Trumpeter has finally released a scaled down version of their MiG-21UM kit previously released in 1/32 scale. This kit follows another scaled-down version with the MiG-21F-13 released in December. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus one tree of clear parts, one pair of rubber (vinyl) main gear tires, and one fret of photo-etched details. According to the specs, the kit is comprised of 178 styrene and 8 photo-etched parts. Among the features and options in this box:
- Nice two-place cockpit
- Detailed ejection seats
- Positionable canopy
- Positionable rear cockpit periscope
- Positionable landing gear
- Postionable speed brakes
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable stabilators
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable drogue chute doors
For external stores:
- One centerline fuel tank
- Two K-13 (AA-2 Atoll) missiles
Markings are provided for four options:
- MiG-21UM, 9313, Polish Navy, 1996
- MiG-21UM, Bort 113, Libyan AF, Tobruk AB, 2007
- MiG-21UM, Bort 10, 929 GLITs, Russian AF
- MiG-21UM, 3756, Czech AF Airshow Team, 1995
A note on the Czech AF decals - Martin Sedlacek reminded me of an error Trumpeter/Hobbyboss tends to repeat on their Czech subjects - they assume that the roundel is the same at any position of the aircraft. The roundel is divided into blue, white and red thirds. The blue field always faces forward while the red field faces down on the vertical stabilizer and inboard (toward the fuselage) on the wings. If you want to do the Czech AF airshow subject of this kit, you'll have to get aftermarket decals.
While Trumpeter has retained the important details when they scaled this kit down, they did not over-engineer this kit. Instead of a full engine that would not be seen after assembly, Trumpeter only provided the afterburner section. One of the criticisms of the 1/32 kit was the compressor face of the R11 engine which bore no resemblance to any MiG engine. While they used the scaled-down version of this part as the front end of the afterburner section, it can't be seen after assembly.
While Eduard has been producing a variety of MiG-21 variants in 1/48 scale, this is the first full-styrene kit of the MiG-21 trainer produced in this scale. Trumpeter has also produced the only MiG-21 trainer in 1/32 scale while HiPM produced a limited run resin and styrene kit of the MiG-21UM many years ago. It looks like Trumpeter has done a nice job on this kit as we shall soon see.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!