Mikoyan Gurevich UTI MiG-15 and License Build Versions

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Lechosław Musiałkowski Illustrator: Andrej M. Olejniczak
ISBN
978-8367227469
Other Publication Information
Portrait Soft Square Bound, A4 (8.25” x 11.625”), 112 pages
MSRP
$25.00
Product / Stock #
Polish Wings 37
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Cover

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 we have built up a list of books on aircraft and aviation, naval, military vehicles, and military history.

Lechosław Musiałkowski has authored aviation monographs, including the Polish language Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowejseries: Łódź latająca Catalina ;Samolot transportowy C-47; Samolot bombowy Boston (Havoc); Samolot bombowy B-25 Mitchell; and the English language MMP series Mikojan Guriewicz MiG-15. Wersje jednomiejscowe w lotnictwie polskim; Bomber Aircraft of 305 Squadron [2014]; Polish Wings No. 19 Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 and Polish Versions [2015]; Polish Wings No. 24 Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-19P & PM, MiG-21F-13 [2018]; Polish Wings No. 28 Tupolev Tu-2, Sukhoi UTB-2, Shcherbakov Shche-2 [2017]

This is Lechosław Musiałkowski’s latest in Mushroom Model Publications' series of aircraft used in the Polish Air Force and in this case is focused on the MiG-15 Trainer. The front cover features a color photograph of a SBLim-2M, “203”, in Babimoście in 1991. This airframe was formerly an UTI MiG-15Art with the serial number 27003 and is also featured on Page 107. The rear cover features a color photograph of SBLim-2Art, “6010” during 1991 in service withthe 2nd section of the 1st Squadron of the 7th PLS MW in Siemirowice. This airframe, factory number 1A-06010 is also featured in Pages 96 and 97. I counted 148 black and white photos along with 58 period color photographs that include detailed captions. Many of these photographs have never been published before.Andrej M. Olejniczakcontributes 52 full color views and several scrap views highlighting markings. The great part of these color side views is they are backed up with period photos of the aircraft that is being portrayed.The Table of Contents focuses on the following sections:

  • Acknowledgements
  • UTI MiG-15 in Poland
  • CS-102
  • SBLim-1
  • SBLim-2
  • SBLim-1Art
  • SBLim-2Art
  • SBLim-2M
  • End of Life
  • Colours and Emblems

Lechosław Musiałkowski kicks off with the introduction of the UTI MiG-15 to the Polish Air Force.Page 011 serves up one color and three black and white photographs of the UTI MiG-15 along with examples of the detailed captions. Markings varied a bit and the author covers the differences in detail. The next chapter follows up on the Polish Air Force’s purchase of 98 Czechoslovakian manufactured UTI MiG-15s under the designation CS-102. These CS-102s were delivered between 1955 and 1957. A CS-102 with the tactical number Red 04 is featured on Page 34. She is wearing natural metal covered in a a clear lacquer. Notable is the shell collector fitted to the lower left nose for the UBK-E heavy machine gun. Both black and white photographs feature Red 04 with OSL-4 (Officer Flying Training School 4) based in Dęblin in southeastern Poland where the Polish Air Force University can be found.

Poland did obtain a license to build MiG-15 fighters under the designation Lim-1, Lim-1.5 (Avionics Upgrade), Lim-2 (MiG-15bis), and the Lim-2R (Reconnaissance variant of the Lim-2).Poland also built a licensed version of the RD-45F engine that carried the Polish designation Lis-1 with the licensed VK-1A engines used in the Lim-2 carrying the designation of Lis-2.Poland still was not interested in a home licensed build of the MiG-15 trainer, so they elected to modify their existing MiG-15 fighters at their repair facilities by adding a second seat.These conversions were considered to be successful and the SBLim series continued to serve as trainers for the MiG-17, MiG-19, and MiG-21 fighters that served in the Polish Air Force. The SBLim-2 series was a result of a shortage of the MiG-15’s RD-45F engines and the increasing need for jet trainers.The solution was to use the tail section of MiG-15bis / Lim-2 / CS-102 airframes and mate them to the front of UTI MiG-15 aircraft. Page 73 depicts a SBLim-2 that is painted with aluminum enamel. Serving with the 45th LED in Modlin, it bears the emblem of the Gasior Squadron that is shown in the scrap illustration.

An additional role identified by the Polish Air Force was for artillery spotting or reconnaissance in support of ground troops. SBLims with this role carried an observer / navigator in the back seat. Aircraft with this configuration were referred to as ‘Arts’ and the designations SBLim-1Art and SBLim-2Art. A camouflaged SBLim-2Art is depicted on Pages 98 and 99.Note the 7th PLS MW emblem on the tailfin. As new reconnaissance aircraft entered the Polish Air Force, some SBLim-2Arts were converted back to trainers and were designated SBLim-2M. One of these is shown on Page 108. This SBLim-2M is finished in aluminum enamel and wears the badge for the 2nd flight, “Konik Morski” [Sea Horse]. Originally a Czechoslovakian CS-102, Red 604 had been converted to a SBLim-2Art before being converted to a SBLim-2M trainer and serving with the 7th PLS MW until 1991.

Kit wise, only 1/72 and 1/144 plastic injection kits are available. KP’s 1/72nd scale kit has been released since 1979 and has been re-released under several labels since then. Other UTI MiG-15 kits are available, but the cream of the crop is probably Eduard’s 2013 New Tool MiG-15 that was released with new parts to address the UTI MiG-15 in 2015. Similarly, Eduard released their New Tool MiG-15 in 2014 which was followed up in 2017 with parts for the UTI MiG-15. 1/48th scale is rather lean with only the Ciro Models C-403 resin conversion kit that was released in 2001 for the Tamiya 1/48 MiG-15bis kit. Part has also released a photoetch set [PTPS48118] for the SBLim-2A in 48th scale. Gran Ltd. Decals [and stencils] to address Polish UTI MiG-15s, CS-102s, SBLim-1, SBLim-2 variants are available.

Polish Wings 37 provides an interesting view into the Polish Military training needs as they entered the jet age.Lechosław Musiałkowski is able to include a lot of detail on the PolishMiG-15 trainers and ably crafts the storyline through the different variants. This includes serial numbers, aircraft markings, Polish Air Force Training Units, and service stories. What I really enjoyed in this book is the use of actual photographs to support the color profiles of each airframe. MMP Books features this in many of their books which I think is a huge attraction. This really brings these period photographs to life. This book is essential if you're considering building any of these aircraft in scale. If you have any interest in Polish (or Russian) aircraft, this is a must-have book.

My thanks to Casemate, Mushroom Model Publications, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

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