Mig-25 RBT Exhaust Nozzle
Amigo Models is a relatively new company in Russia which has been producing resin aftermarket accessories for modern Russian aircraft in multiple scales. They are perhaps best known for detailed replacement exhaust nozzles. I first became aware of them when they offered a highly detailed replacement set of maneuverable nozzles for the Kittyhawk 1/48 Su-35.
This set is designed for the ICM 1/48 Mig-25 RBT. The reconnaissance versions of the Mig-25 have longer exhaust nozzles than the interceptor variants. The nozzles in the ICM kit are correct for the variant but lack detail. Such a large engine begs for the additional detail that an aftermarket company can provide. Amigo does not disappoint and their engines are a small kit in their own right. This is a single medium set, just resin, but the renderings of engine are highly detailed and the moldings are superbly crisp. The components truly look the part. The resin is durable and well packaged. Despite a long trip from Russian via the IPMS-USA review team, nothing was damaged.
The assembly of the components is logical, but broken down into more components than I am used to. It is evident that Amigo did this so it could capture the complexity of the burner can and engine petals. The instructions, the markings on the resin, and the fit are good, making it very hard to install components backwards. The resin is not difficult to work, but a sharp razor saw to separate them from the pour blocks is a must. Like when separating any resin aftermarket, I advocate a slow approach so you don’t cut into the detail or leave a lot of excess resin which must be sanded a way. I left the engine petals on their pour stubs for ease of painting and weathering.
The trickiest component to separate was the afterburner ring. This is a beautifully delicate casting, but surprising durable. I used my micro saw and slowly worked in a circle sawing away excess resin. Once the top course was done, I worked my way down matching the concentric rings. As a result, I was able to avoid breakage; a heavier touch could have been catastrophic. In the end I think this resin representation is much nicer than photoetch rings I have seen in other sets.
With the components removed from the pour stubs, I painted the components with a base coat of Model Master Medium Forest Green enamel (thinned with lacquer to give it better adhesion to the resin) to replicate the heat coatings found in the engine. I painted components while apart for ease of access in the painting and weathering process. Next I airbrushed a various grays, tans, and browns to emulate the exhaust streaking found in the various parts of the burner can and engine petals. I then applied a wash of blacks and browns to pick up the detail and then dry-brushed with lighter grays and tans to pick up the detail. It was during this process that I came to really appreciate the details in the set. For the exterior of the inner and outer engine petals I used Model Master Metalizers in various shades to highlight the complexity of the components, followed by the same acrylic washes. RP07, RP08, and RP09 I painted with Floquil old silver darkened with Floquil Gun Metal because I wanted a more durable finish than Metalizer provides. Again this got the wash treatment but in wiping away the wash, I rubbed away some of the metallic. I touched it up, but later this area will get more weathering which will hide the discoloration.
I started assembly with the afterburner ring. To my great surprise, it fit perfectly with little nubs providing rests for the supports radiating out. A little CA in each location and the result was a solid bond. Next I used CA to attach the small ring transition to the afterburner assembly. To this I attached the long section of the burner can, again with CA. Later I re-glued this joint with epoxy as the joint popped; it is a narrow width to glue and the CA could not take the handling. Next I glued the inner petals to kit part E-19. Again, the fit was good, but I checked photos to ensure I had good alignment. At this point I test fit the outer petals and the result is quite convincing. Part of this assembly is meant to be cut away, but I have not done so.
Before gluing the burner can assemblies to kit part E-19, I glued E-19 to the lower fuselage. A test fit of the burner cans showed that they are just short of meeting the mid-fuselage frame by a small amount. I considered it beneficial to have a means to stabilizer the can assembly with this frame, so I found plumbing fittings the right diameter that I epoxied to the end of the afterburner section. I test fitted the pour stub, but it was too large in diameter. In hind sight I could have left them attached and either filed them down or made the hole in the frame larger. I then glued the burner can assemblies into E-19 and with the other end fitted to the mid-frame, I achieved a solid, and parallel fit for the burner cans.
As of this review, I still have not attached the remaining parts to E-19, so as to not damage them during assembly of the rest of the model.
The final verdict is that this set by Amigo is a great enhancement to the ICM kit. The detail and engineering of the components is superb and it really gives life to the big engines. My thanks to Amigo Models for this review sample.