When Eduard announced a new-tool 1/48th scale Mig 21, it opened up a world of possibilities as this was one of the most produced planes ever and served with a myriad of countries. The variants and markings are close to endless and they can be very colorful. This particular model is the Mig-21SMT version, a third generation plane with increased range. The kit is molded in Eduard's normal off green plastic on eight sprues plus a clear sprue, and there is no flash at all on the about 450 parts. It is also very complete with multiple sets of ordnance, variations in canopies, and a complete set of decals for the five schemes included – two Russian, one Polish, and two Soviet Union. There is also a complete set of stencils – over 100 stencils alone for the plane. In addition to that, there is a canopy and clear part mask, two photo etch frets – one colored and one plain – and four complete Brassin rocket pods. All of this for a little over $50 US, an excellent value.
My first choice was to select a plane and I chose the Polish plane, Yellow 9, which has a nice camouflage scheme. I also elected to add Aires wheels wells (reviewed elsewhere) and the Eduard Brassin exhaust (reviewed elsewhere). Construction started with the cockpit and was straightforward. The option of using the pre-colored photoetch or painting the plastic is provided. I used the photoetch and had two difficulties. First, the color callout is matched to Gunze Sangyo aqueous H46 which is no longer available here in my area. I searched for a close replacement and found a Vallejo color which was close. Second, I struggled to get the PE side panels to fit inside the cockpit once closed. I fiddled and pushed and glued and got it close. The fit of the remainder of the parts in the fuselage is excellent and I had it closed quickly.
Wing assembly is straightforward and the detail in the wheel bays is excellent. Flaps and ailerons are separate. The fit of the wings to the fuselage is good with almost no putty used. The landing gear is well detailed but fragile, so it was built and set aside
There is a page of directions on building the seat and excellent PE belts to add to it. The fit to the cockpit is tight and I had to really finagle it to squeeze it into place. I masked the cockpit and used the excellent Eduard masks for the canopy, and wing lights. There is also a mask for the green panel on the tail.
I painted the bottom of the kit FS24277 gray and followed the directions for the four-color scheme, working from light to dark. I glossed the kit with Alclad gloss coat and was ready for decals. Four days of adding decals – the main markings were quick and the decals worked very well. The stencils were profound and took time, but really brought the model to life. Once complete, these were gloss coated, and then a wash of brown/black watercolor was placed over the model and wiped off when dry. A flat coat was applied and pastels used to further highlight panel lines and wear.
For the armament, I elected to use the Brassin rocket pods which are little kits unto themselves. The fit is excellent and there are small PE parts to go in the build, also. These were gloss coated black and then Alclad was used to get the aluminum and steel colors.
I added the rest of the bits – canopy, windscreen and landing gear, and shot a quick flat coat. I then coated the lights red and green as needed, and the finished shots show the completed kit.
This is a fantastic kit! Will I build more? – yes! If you are going to use the resin and PE, experience with both will be helpful, but the kit is all-inclusive. My thanks to the people at Eduard for selecting such a great subject and putting out the ultimate kit of this historic plane. Thanks also to IPMS/USA for the review kit. Definitely recommended.