MiG-15 bis Dual Combo
This spiffy little kit comes two to a box. There are 5 markings choices. This is the “out of the box” version review. I did the other half of the kit using the Brengun PE.
Since this is the second of these, I gained a little experience with the first, and I learned something. Well, I actually knew this from before, and that’s the MiG-15 model is a tail-sitter, and you need to add weight to the front. On my Airfix 1/72 MiG-15, I had to put about 6 finish nails in the intake before it would sit on the nose wheel. For this kit, the amount of lead needed just fills the top of the intake splitter.
As for the cockpit, there’s a decal for the instrument panel, there’s a seat in there, and the stick is there. This is a huge improvement over the JJ-5 (MiG-17) I built 10 years ago, which featured no opening for the cockpit, just a smooth surface with the canopy on top. Before putting the decal in, I painted the interior 36375 gray and the seat black.
Once the cockpit is done and attached to the intake splitter, this assembly is placed between the top and bottom fuselage halves, and the fuselage is glued together. I was gratified how well the parts fit. The plastic worked well with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. There was no need for any putty on the fuselage sides, just a gentle scraping to even it up.
The vertical and horizontal stabilizers are attached to the fuselage next. Again, I marveled at how well the parts fit. For these parts I used Tenax 7, as it sets very quickly and allows just a little time to get alignment right.
I left most of the small parts on the sprues and painted them there. I have an active and devious carpet monster in my workshop, and the less I have to handle the tiniest parts, the better. Also, I was able to pick an all-aluminum aircraft. So the painting of the plane was pretty fast. I did use a tiny sponge in the cockpit opening to protect the interior.
The kit comes with the marvelous Eduard canopy and wheel masks. I masked the canopy and painted it in one step. I put the wheel masks on, cleaned the airbrush, put the black paint on and painted the wheels. Then I had to clean the airbrush, get the aluminum out again, and paint the wheel doors next to the wheels that got oversprayed. I used a brush on this touch up.
The nose wheel requires some brush painting, as there’s no way to provide a mask for it.
There’s an area under the canopy which is the same gray as the cockpit interior. I also used FS 36375 for this color.
I sprayed the entire aircraft with Future, partly to give the decals a gloss surface to hold to, but mostly because the aluminum paint rubs off on my fingers.
The decals were another pleasant surprise. I have been interested in the aircraft of the 1956 Suez crisis, and the Egyptian MiG-15 bis fit right in there. I was happy with the way the decals came off the backing cleanly and only about 15 seconds after I dipped them in the water. I expected to have some trouble with the lines at the wingtips. I am happy to report that I was wrong, they went on SO nicely, and lined up beautifully. Whoever designed these decals deserves an extra coffee break.
I always wait and put the landing gear, canopy, antennas, etc. on last, as I have knocked a LOT of parts off while concentrating on the decals.
The main gear legs go onto the larger gear doors very nicely. I had no trouble getting alignment right. Having the doors on also made it easier to get the wheels on the gear legs and aligned. I put the inner doors on, then mounted the main gear. The parts fit so nicely. The only thing I had to be careful of was to get the tabs right on the inner doors and to get the sprue connectors completely removed, as the fit is that close.
There’s another gear door which attaches to the bottom of the wing and the larger door at a strange angle. This is made even more interesting because there isn’t room for my fingers in there. The tool used is the one which Walt Fink calls “tweezerpults”. Ping, and your part is gone forever. Fortunately this didn’t happen this time. The nose gear doors were equally interesting.
I also used some Testors acrylic flat on the wing walks to get the gloss off.
I put the canopy on using Micro Krystal Kleer. It required just a bit of alignment, and the project was finished.
Highly recommended. This little jewel builds easily into a fine replica of the MiG-15. Fit is superior, decals are great, and the subject aircraft are also historically interesting. I enjoyed this project very much.
Many thanks to Eduard for this great kit, and to IPMS/USA