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About MoFo

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    Arise... again.

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  1. That's not really true, though. Either literally or figuratively. The fact that you are disinterested in early Foxhounds doesn't mean *nobody* is. Most MiG-31 - more than 2/3 of the fleet - were built before 1989. Most MiG-31 were originally built as plain, vanilla, no-suffix, MiG-31, with Phazotron radars and no IFR probes. The production line changed from feathered exhausts to smooth exhausts in mid/late-1986. So, most of these original MiG-31, which comprise most of the MiG-31 that were built, were built with feathered exhausts. I have yet to find any information on exactly how long it took to retrofit smooth exhausts to the entire fleet, but it seems pretty probable that it would have taken at least a couple of years. So, from 1980 - 1986, *all* MiG-31 had feathered exhausts. From 1987 onwards, newly built MiG-31 had smooth exhausts, and the existing fleet was gradually retrofitted with smooth exhausts, so the feathers would become less common over time. Or more succinctly, for most of it's Cold War era service life, most of the aircraft would have feathered exhausts; for half of that time, all the aircraft would have feathered exhausts. Which would require the HB kit.
  2. Not any more. You can get a free educational license if you're in an accredited educational organization (middle school through college), of presumably by using the contact info of someone who is, but otherwise it's $500/yr+. You can get a free license for Fusion for 'hobbyist' use, though. If you can fudge education licensing, inventor would probably be the best option, since it's the most fully-featured, 'real' CAD software of the bunch. Though that probably comes with a much steeper learning curve. (I use Solidworks, but I'd assume Inventor is pretty similar) Sketchup is designed to be easy to use for the novice designer, but it's far more restricted in what it can do.
  3. IMO: If you want a Soviet-era MiG-31, you need the HobbyBoss kit. (or, from '81 though '87/88 when they started switching to the shrouded exhausts) If you want fine panel lines and are okay with a slightly trickier build, get the HobbyBoss kit. If you want a really easy build and are okay with heavy panel lines, get the AMK kit. There's not a lot between the two on balance. HB is a little more accurate in some areas; AMK is a little more accurate in others. The biggest differentiators IMO are the panel lines (AMK's really are very heavy), and ease of build (AMK's fit is very good). If you're the kind of modeller who suffers through building so that you can get to paint/weathering/decals, AMK is probably the better choice. If you're the kind of modeller who enjoys construction more than finish, then the HB probably has the edge. If you're absolutely torn, and just can not make up your mind, go with whichever is cheapest.
  4. No they haven't. They have started distributing to 3rd party retailers rather than pure direct marketing, but distribution is purely in-house.
  5. With silver paint? I guess you could use a metal etching primer if you're really worried about chipping, but it's not like the pitot is going to be handled, so normal masking/painting would apply.
  6. It's because they can. Trumpeter is a business. They exist to make money. And, on balance, they believe they will make more money selling their MiG-31 for $45 than for $25. That is why their kits cost what they cost.
  8. Pretty sure it's an even longer commute for them. ;)
  9. Resin wheels?
  11. You'd need a 6' ladder to judge a 1/350 S-64. For 1/35 it would take a scissor lift! (srsly, it'd be about 52' tall +/- an S-64) As a kid who grew up in the shadow of the tower though, that's the first image that comes to mind when anyone mentions a Skycrane.
  12. It's not the 1/35 Skycrane that would be the problem. It's the 1/35 CN Tower you'd have to build for the rest of the diorama. (bonus: some fly-bys from the 1975 CIAS at 8:30)
  13. Tamiya's lacquers can be 'problematic' over decals. (melting, wrinkling, destroying) I would imagine hardware store varieties would be even more so. Model Master and Humbrol both have satin clears. Alclad has a wide range of aqueous clears in a variety of sheens, from matte to gloss. Vallejo will have a number of clears in different sheens. Or you could add a drop or two of Tamiya's matte agent to some Future to make whatever sheen you're looking for.
  14. None AFAIK. You could try suggesting it to Roy, since it would go great with his existing sets... but then knowing what a saga it was to actually release those sets, he might not want to touch a B-1 for a while. :D
  15. For some reason, they're on the what's new page, and on the B-1 page, but not in the main catalogue, where I pulled the other links. Whoops!