Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15bis
MMP was founded in 1996 by Roger Wallsgrove, to publish "Mushroom Model Magazine". This quarterly modelling magazine was developed from "Mushroom Monthly”, a club newsletter which ran from 1985 to 1995, achieving a world-wide reputation for quality articles, fearless and honest reviews, and a great sense of humor. From 1997 the magazine was produced in collaboration with Robert Peczkowski and Artur Juszczak (Stratus), which meant a big leap in print quality and design. MMP expanded into book publication in 1999, and since then they have built up a list of books on aircraft and aviation, naval, military vehicles, and military history. MMPBooks are distributed in North America by Casemate Publications.
Dariusz Karnas is a skilled modeler and amateur aviation historian. He lives in Przemyśl, Poland. He has authored or contributed color plates and / or scale drawings for over one hundred publications. These include MMP’s Polish Wings, Scale Plans, and Inside series as well as books in the MMP Yellow series: Fieseler 156 Storch 1938-1945 (2012) and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 (2004). You can find Dariusz Karnas on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Dariusz-Karnas/100008987326348 .
Andrzej Marek Olejniczak lives in Kalisz, Poland and is an illustrator and author. He has contributed to several MMP series, including Polish Wings 31 (Avro Lancaster), Polish Wings 32 (MiG-21MF), Polish Wings 34 (MiG-15), Orange (Reggiane Re 2000, 2002, 2003), Yellow (Saab 37 Viggen), White (Finnish Trainer Colours 1930-45), Single 45 (PZL Lim-1), Single 50 (Caudron-Renault CR 714 Cyclone), and Single Vehicle 4 (Type 95 Ha-Go).
This booklet is the forty-fourth in this series, Single. This series format consists of a 4-view color profile, scale plans, and photo details of a single variant; in this case, the MiG-15bis. You won’t find an introduction or background summary, as this series dives straight into the drawings, illustrations, and photographs. The front and back covers by Andrzej M. Olejniczak features a color top view of a North Korean MiG-15bis. Dariusz Karnas supplies four 1/72 line drawings and six 1/48 line drawings.
I counted 49 black and white photos and eight color photographs of the cockpit and main gear. These photographs include a mix of period pics, MiG-15bis manual or parts catalogue pages, and museum photos. There is a color illustration of a MiG-15bis main instrument panel with a legend, but for some reason, it does not match the color photograph on the prior page. Andrzej M. Olejniczak finishes the book with the full-page width color profiles (left, right, top, and wing bottom) of Mikhail Mikhin’s MiG-15bis in North Korean markings. Mikhail became an ace during the Korean War with nine victories (some references use twelve), retiring from the Soviet Air Force in 1980 as a General-Major of Aviation.
The MiG-15bis employed a Klimov VK-1 engine that featured improved metallurgy over the RD-45. Hydraulically boosted ailerons also assisted in improving performance. A notable visible difference is the rear fuselage air brakes where the MiG-15 air brakes were triangular, and the MiG-15bis air brakes were more rectangular. Some MiG-15bis airframes also had underwing hardpoints for unguided rockets. A rather famous MiG-15bis is on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton. This aircraft was flown to Kimpo Air Base in South Korea on 21-September-1953 by Senior Lt. No Kum-Sok, a North Korean pilot. It was flight tested at Kimpo before being taken to Okinawa where it was placed in US markings and evaluated by test pilots Capt. H.E. “Tom” Collins and Maj. C.E. “Chuck” Yeager. It was then air lifted to Wright Patterson AFB where it was exhaustively flight tested. Once testing was completed, it was offered to be returned to its “rightful owners”, but the offer was refused. Back in North Korean markings, it was transferred to the museum in 1957.
The sections include:
- 1/72 Drawings
- 1/48 Drawings [Page 03]
- Captioned Photographs [Page 09, 20]
- Color Instrument Panel Illustration
- Color 4-View Illustration
MMP Books’ MiG-15bis provides a quick reference for modelers. The drawings in 1/72 and 1/48 support the existing 1/72 and 1/48 model kits available and the captioned detailed photos provide a detailed reference. The color photographs of the MiG-15bis’ instrument panel are noteworthy for those looking for that extra detail. This booklet is essential if you're considering building any of the MiG-15bis kits, and there are many available in 1/144, 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32. This series is usually paired with a much more detailed book in MMP’s monograph series, in this case Dariusz Karnas’ MiG-15 tome that was released in MMP’s Yellow series in 2014. If you have any interest in MiG-15bis, this is your book and it’s at a very reasonable price point.
My thanks to Casemate Publications, Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.