The MiG-15UTI is the two seat trainer variant of the MiG-15 fighter from the Korean War. It has been produced by the USSR, Czechoslovakia (S103), Poland(Lim-2), China (JJ-2 / Shenyang FT-2). The MiG-15 UTI has been used by a lot of countries, including the United States, which uses it as a test pilot trainer for foreign students. The Eduard instructions provides 8 sets of markings, 2 Czech, and one each from USSR, Finland, Indonesia, Syria, Iraq and Algeria.
The kit contains two complete UTIs. The fuselage top and wing are one piece, with the fuselage bottom separate. This sure makes it easy to get the wing sweep and angle correct. There is a cockpit and a canopy mask, which is marvelous. The vertical tail and horizontal stabilizers are three separate parts.
The first steps are to paint the interior of the cockpit and instrument panels gray black. The seat cushions and seat back cushions are also painted black. There are decals for the instrument panels and for the seat belts.
I didn’t follow this very well, as I also received the Eduard photoetch upgrade for this kit. The metal instrument panels were very good and easier to install than decals, as were the seat belts. Many thanks to Phil Peterson, who shipped me the PE.
The intake splitter is then glued to the front of the cockpit. There’s a note from the Eduard Bunny about putting in a nose weight. I would have appreciated a little more info, like weight needed. More on this later. The cockpit fits nicely inside the fuselage, and the fuselage top and bottom fit pretty much flawlessly. It took only a quick swipe with a fine sanding stick to make the seam invisible.
I took a detour from the instructions here. I asked my wife which scheme she thought I should build, and she said she thought the Indonesian plane, black tail with lightning bolts looked good to her. So I held off putting on the horizontal and vertical stabilizers until I finished painting the parts, as the vertical stabilizer is mostly black, the horizontals are aluminum. I painted the vertical stabilizer black and installed it.
Once the fuselage assembly was together, I put the canopy on and masked it. I installed the vertical stabilizer and applied a mask. This was a HUGE time saver, as I was able to paint everything aluminum without worrying about the cockpit interior. After the paint was dry, I pulled off the masks and sprayed the whole thing with Future, as the aluminum tends to rub off if not sealed.
I’m happy with the quality of the decals. Every one of them came off the sheet cleanly. I had a little trouble with the nose numbers, as one of them wanted to fold around the paper instead of sliding off cleanly. I got it by putting a little extra water where the decal went, and it then behaved like I wanted it to. The decals on the tail were a challenge, as they were pretty complicated, but they were well designed to go where they needed to be.
It was now time to finish up. I always leave the small parts like landing gear, antennas, guns, or other small parts off because I know I’ll just knock them off when I’m handling the model to put on decals.
So I put on the horizontal stabilizers, the nose wheel, the main gear and the PE antennas, as well as the PE gear doors.
Once I had the gear on and all the other parts, I tried a nose weight. It was minimal, a small piece of lead sheet, about 1/8 inch thick X ¼ inch wide X ½ inch long. It slid right into the intake and out of sight, and the nose wheel sits nicely on the table.
I highly recommend this kit to anyone who builds small scale aircraft. Assembly is not difficult, but everything fits so nicely. There are 8 different interesting marking schemes, and the masks are well executed.
Many thanks to Eduard for providing this nice kit, and to IPMS USA for allowing me to build and review it.