Academy 1/48 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PF-31 ‘Fishbed-E’

Soviet Air Force

Academy’s MiG-21PF is one of the best-fitting kits I’ve built and goes together very well. The detail is good, although the cockpit is quite weak. I didn’t bother replacing it as I was going to close the canopy anyway. I built the kit mainly from the box, the only modifications being the nose pitot, for which I used brass tube and wire, and the underfuselage rod antennea as I broke those on the kit. I deviated from the kit instructions and constructed the fuselage as two complete halves before joining them. The fit was exceptional and the spine and fin also fitted with no visible joins. The undercarriage is marred by ejector pin marks, but most are difficult to see on the finished model. The only major inaccuracy I’m aware of is that the fuselage bulges above the wing don’t line up with the main gear bays as they should. The model is painted with Humbrol enamels, as usual, and coated with Klear and an oil wash. The kit decals were used as I could find no aftermarket examples I liked. I really wanted a natural metal USSR machine, but had to make do with this camouflaged example. The decals were okay, and went down quite well with Microsol, but they were brittle and broke easily. See if you can spot the major cock-up (hint — what’s the bort number of this MiG-21?). I only spotted it after the clear coat had gone on. Maybe I’ll try and fix it one day — I really should pay more attention when decalling! The finish was toned down using a Pollyscale Satin/Flat mix.

Year bought: 2001 (The Aviation Hobby Shop, London)

Year built: 2005 (Chesterton, Cambridge)

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