MiG-21SMT Photo Etch Upgrade
Eduard has released a photoetch exterior and interior upgrade for their new 1/144 MiG-21SMT. I’ve reviewed the kit separately.
Inside the envelope, you get a 2 ½ by 3 inch PE fret, cockpit and canopy detail decals, and the instruction sheet. There are enough parts on the PE to do one of the two MiGs in the kit, and some “extras” which could be used on the second aircraft, such as the two different sets of chocks or the tailpipe interior which doesn’t need to be installed if you’re using the exhaust cover.
As usual with just about any aircraft kit, the cockpit interior is done first. Because of the small scale, it presents some difficulty, but everything fits beautifully. The PE set includes additional side consoles, and there are decals for these. One thing which has me confused is that there is a nice set of PE parts for the instrument panel. And then you put a decal over the PE. Still not sure why, but it looks super. The same can be said for the seat belts. You add the seat back and cushion in PE, shoulder harness and lap belts, and then put a decal over it. The seat might be another of those spots where you could paint the belts and cushions and use the decal on the other kit in the box.
The PE parts for the landing gear doors are SO very nice. And there are PE parts for the hydraulic lines and brakes which are so fine and tiny that they just disappear into the wheel wells. Almost makes me wish I had a big enough hobby room to do 1/48 instead of 1/144. There are other exterior parts which I just had a hard time with, such as the IFF antennas (NATO code name “Odd Rods”).
Then come the parts which really make this set an upgrade, head and shoulders above the competition. The ladder is a great piece of workmanship, and I was able to assemble it using only two pairs of tweezers and a high-power magnifier. The Intake and exhaust covers are also such a nice touch. The wheel chocks are great, and you get two different types. But the additional thing which tickled my fancy and made me admire the designers was the drip pan which goes under the aircraft when it’s parked. Way to go, Eduard!!!
With so many fairly fragile parts like the ladder and chocks and the separate drip pan, I mounted my MiG on a piece of foam core, which allows the entire thing to be moved as a unit.
If you’re looking to build a contest winner, cost is no object, and don’t want to just go OOB, this would be the route to success. If you can pull it off, these additions to the already great Eduard MiG-21SMT would make it a show-stopper.
Many thanks to Eduard for providing all three of the PE sets for their new MiG-21s, which allowed me to build all three of the kits. And thanks to Steve Collins for his patience while I worked through 3 similar projects in a row, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to build them.
The instructions in this accessory set give you no color information, so some research is in order. My friend and fellow reviewer Brian Baker and I were at Glendale Arizona’s airport, and there was a MiG-21 out on the ramp, awaiting restoration. I’ve included a few photos below.