MiG-29UB Limited Edition
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29UB is a 4th generation air-superiority and multi-role fighter, 2-seat trainer variant. The original design for the MiG-29 saw the F-16 and F-18 as its primary adversaries. The first aircraft were received by Soviet Frontal Aviation units in 1984. The aircraft was designed to take off from small, unimproved fields, have a useful combat radius, and a quick turn-around time. It was also to carry a variable payload of weapons.
This is my first Eduard Limited Edition adventure. The kit is the original Academy mold. The kit has engraved panel lines, well detailed tandem cockpits, multi-part canopy, optional position speed brakes and bypass inlets, multi-part exhaust nozzles, and external stores (drop tank and 2 each R-27, R-73 and R-60 missiles).
Die-cut canopy/wheel masks, resin ejection seats, cockpit tubs, chaff/flare dispensers, antennae, position lights, and flight helmets are included. Photo-etch parts for exterior and interior details with color instrument panel are also included.
Decals and a color painting guide for 6 aircraft: Polish Air Force, 1st TAF Squadron, Minsk Mazowiecki AB, 2009; Russian Air Force, 31st GvIAP, Zernograd AB, 2006; Czech Air Force 11th Fighter Regiment, Zatec AB, July 1989; Slovakian Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron, Sliac AB, 1993; Azerbaijani Air Force Zeynalabdin Tagiyev AB, 2007-2011 and Czech Air Force 1st Fighter Regiment, Plana AB, 1993 to 1995. Decals also include stencil data and weapons markings.
There are 16 pages to the instructions, with seven sheets of exploded views of the construction steps, five full color plans, and profiles of five aircraft. Page 2 has the sprue layouts, PE, canopy mask, and resin parts shown. The bottom panel of this page also shows colors and paint legend, with the colors being based on Gunze Aqueous and Mr. Color paints. The last page shows the locations for the extensive stencil markings.
There are two decals sheets included. The larger sheet has the national markings for the five possible aircraft that could be built from this kit, with the bottom of the sheet dedicated to the many stencils. A small decal sheet includes the very large marking for the Polish aircraft flown in 2009 at the Goraszka air show.
There are two PE frets included: one that is pre-painted for cockpit detailing and the other to enhance the exterior surfaces.
The cockpit construction is show in step “A”, while the seats construction is shown in step “E”. The cockpits are made from resin parts that offer much greater detail than the original kit plastic parts. The ejection seat rail tips were broken off the back-seat position when I received the kit, but both were found and superglued in place. The rudder controls are part resin and very petite PE parts. The seats are multipart resin and PE, and require a good amount of care to assemble and detail. The headrests are separate parts that include two parallel rods and a bar that fit into respective openings on the top of the seat. Careful sanding was required on the rods and bar before the parts slid into place. This is a very neat idea, but is cleanup-intensive. I am afraid that some of the fine detail and parts on the back side of the seats will be lost to view once the seats are installed in the cockpit tubs. The instrument panels are multipart PE and will require some fine bending as part of the assembly.
Overall, the delicate nature of the many fine PE and resin parts makes for an intense effort to bring everything together. Care is required to avoid damage to the assembled parts as they are interfaced into the next construction steps.
The fuselage is comprised of the front section and the aft section, both of which are made from two parts, plus the two-part under nose section. A good deal of effort is required to avoid steps between the various sections. The previously assembled cockpits fit into the underside of the fuselage top, and much care is required to get the parts to fit just right. There are several PE grilles, louvers, and escutcheons that must be applied to the fuselage exterior. Also included are resin blade antennae and red resin navigation lights.
I did find that almost all joins required filler to properly blend the juncture of the two parts.
The kit’s exhausts are composed of five plastic parts and one PE part per side. There are some rather robust sprue attachment points that must be carefully removed. Once the parts are cleaned up, assembled, and painted, they display a suitable representation of the exhaust nozzles.
The speed brake doors located at the end of the fuselage and between the two exhaust nozzles may be posed open or closed. Alternate parts are included to allow either position. Some care is required to align the external hinges properly with the mounting holes on the petals and the fuselage top and bottom sides.
Several mounting holes must be opened before the top and bottom halves of the wings are fitted together. When fitting the wings to the fuselage, I found a significant gap on the undersides that required filler. The wing mounting tabs were not a snug fit and I needed to align the wings carefully while the solvent cured.
Overall, the landing gear is quite sturdy when assembled. The plastic debris deflector (part D11) is replaced by a PE part that required a bit of fancy bending to match the contours of the deflector. Once bent to shape, I found the PE part did not fit the nose wheel, so I used the plastic part instead.
Under Wing Stores
The kit includes a full complement of missiles for the six under wing pylons. The missiles’ fins are a bit thick and could use some thinning to achieve scale thickness. The kit-furnished centerline fuel tank had one mounting stub, but I added a short length of brass rod in a somewhat concealed location to assure a rigid mounting of the fuel tank.
Painting and Decals
Decision time. There are five colorful camouflage schemes for this model, and all are quite striking. Canopy masks are included in the kit. I chose the Polish version. The decals went on well, with just a bit of solvent to follow the panel lines.
The base kit is the original MiG-29 two-seater as issued by Academy several years ago, and is beginning to show its age. There is a slight bit of flash on some of the parts, a few semi-concealed ejector pin marks, and raised mold lines that require attention. The panel lines are quite fine and may need to be replaced where sanding is required. The addition of the resin parts and photo-etch raise the overall quality of the kit quite nicely. The resin and PE elevate the model to the level of the more experienced modeler. Some of the resin parts have some very petite details that require extreme care to avoid damage during removal from the casting blocks and assembly. The decal marking options offer the choice of several attractive color schemes.
The end result of the effort is a highly detailed model of a very sleek aircraft. This model is recommended for the experienced builder and lover of modern Russian aircraft. Some effort and care will be required for the installation of the PE and resin accessories included in this kit.
I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build and review this kit.