Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
Sign in to follow this  
ya-gabor

Eduard MiG-21 bis and MF in parallel

Recommended Posts

So lets see what we can do out of the Eduard MiG-21bis and MiG-21 MF kit.

I would like to build in parallel two kits that represent the MF and the bis aircraft as flown by the Hungarian AF.

First to the MiG-21 MF, the main difference is that the Eduard kit is a replica of a late production MF which had many common features with the next generation MiG-21 the „bis†version. While the „early†or to be more precise the main batch of MiG-21MF’s was different in many ways. Here one has to take into account that the modernization process was continuous through out the production life of the MiG-21MF’s, so improvements were added both in the factory and also with the operators, in most cases during general overhaul. So as such you could not identify one particular plane and say that this is a 100% MiG-21MF.

As to the MiG-21 bis kit, I think more than enouth has been said of it both here on ARC and on other forums. The box has in it the new sprue J with a handful of additional antennas, a new spine and fin for the bigger sadle tank, the shorter nose ring and new covers for the alcohol container on the top of the nose. Unfortunately a new fuselage is not included that would correspond to the real MiG-21 bis but for those who are willing, can make all the conversions or just take the kit as it is and say the differences are not so visible. They are for me, so I will make them. In comparison to the MF kit the decal sheet has an option with decals for the instrument panels as well as a brand new photoetched sheet. Or to be more precise two of them.

I have heard so much about „building out of a box†phrase? I have tried, but have to say that I am not so good with cardboard modelling and it was a pity cutting up that nice box. I wanted to save it to keep all the plastic bits and pieces in more or less one place. So instead a decission was made to use the plastic parts to build the MiG-21MF and the 21bis.

For the start I prepared all the precision instruments in the worksop to tackle all the usual mistakes on the average kits and also drawing form the experience with the Academy and the OEZ kits. So the precision instruments would have been needed for the work.

MFbis1.jpg

And then the Eduard box arrived, first the MF and now the bis. Unfortunately I had to put away all my favourit instruments. . .

In the past years there was a lot written on this kit on the web even before anyone has held it in his hands. I wanted to make up my own mind and look for the mistakes mentioned by these „expertsâ€. One can look into published scale drawings, different books, magazines, look around on the Internet for precise information. But is it good enough to make an authentic scale replica of the real aircraft? I dont think so! Who did the scale drawings? Why should I trust him? Where did he get his information from? Which versions are seen in those publications? There is no real walkaround of just one particular aircraft. In most cases the publications have photos from different aircraft at different stages of their service life, different stages of conversion. There are also the paint scheme differences. Was it a factory fresh a/c, one in service or one in a museum, which has been overpainted several times. That is another story too. So what can we do?

What about the most authentic source? What can be more authentic than the real aircraft? Fortunately we have several of them saved in our museums, there are the ones waiting to be disposed of, and there are also a few on public display all around the country here in Hungary. For the start I went to see an early silver painted MiG-21 MF in a technical school. It is in very good condition and fortunately most of it was saved in the past decades so only the weather had a go at it. Fortunately it was never repainted, it has all the original stencils, national markings. I have spent several hours around the aircraft with the Eduard kit on hand. A close scrutiny of the aircraft, a camera, a measuring tape, the kit itself and some scale drawings to makes notes on. I was very surprised on what I have found!

MFbis2.jpg

MFbis3.jpg

The end result: the kit itself overall is 99% accurate! This is the first MiG-21 kit to represent the true lines of the real aircraft. As to the dimensions they are almost perfect to the last milimeter. WOW. But surely there has bo be a bad news too. Yes there are some things which have been slightly modified to take into account the limitations of injection moulding. From my point of view the bad news was that this is a later version of the MiG-21MF than the ones we had. There are a lot of small details, panel lines, service panels, bumps and some shapes on the plane which differ from the one in the kit. Did Eduard make a mistake? I was not sure what is wrong and have consulted the excellent Czech WWP book on the MiG-21MF to find that yes, the kit represents perfectly the aircraft used by the Czechoslovak AF. The Eduard enginers had it on hand and they made a perfect job of it. They have seen and touched the real aircraft and not just relied on some archive photos and scale drawings in their research.

In the next step I had to make a second look at our Migs, a kind of second opinion. This time it was of to the official Hungarian Air Force museum at Szolnok. They have here two versions of the MF as well as several MiG-21 bis (both the early Type 75A with the Lazur system and the later model Type 75AP with the RSBN ILS system) so it was a good opportunity to see if the first aircraft was just a one-off or all the others were also different from the kit version. Yes they were. Of the hundreds of aircraft we had, the MF were all the earlier production versions even though received in several batches over years. As for the bis apart from the early 75A's there were 75AP from different production batches up to the penultimate 8th series. There are differences between them but more on this later.

Once again notes were made at Szolnok and further measurements. The hardest part of the whole program was waiting for me now. Several decissions had to be made:

Should I do an out of the box kit? Should it be a Hungarian version or should I do one of the ones offered in the kit? If it is in Hungarian markings should I do the conversions needed. And then how deep should I go into the conversion or simply save some time and take it as it is. Should I use aftermarkets? Where do I need them? Are there any around, is it worth waiting for them or can I manage myself? Since the ones around are mostly for the Academy kit and it would be some waite for news ones to go with the Eduard kit, the decision was made to make them where they are needed and use some of the Brassin kits.

Yes it was to be a Hungarian AF a/c, and yes I wanted to do all the conversions to the standard of our aircraft to build a scale replica of the real aircraft and not just something that looks like it. As for the MiG-21 bis kit it was a bit different story. Yes it was to be also a Hungarian aircraft but from its early days in service when they were still in the light grey (so called Teflon Grey), had all the original Russian stencils (so I could use the Russian Begemot sheet) and the cockpit was not repainted, so there was no problem in using the original Eduard kit instrument panels. Hungarian markings, numbers, squadron and individual markings are available separately.

Further questions were if it should be just a simple MiG-21MF aircraft in a sterile form or should it be shown in operational configuration. What I mean under this is that most kits show the aircraft as it was designed on the drawingboard of the enginers. Everything is perfect, everything is in place, there are no modifications. . . Compared to this, I like to see an „authentic scale reproduction†of the real aircraft in plastic on my table. This means that it is standing there almost ready for the pilot to walk up to it for a trainig flight. This is represented by lots of things: the rubber on the tyres is slightly compressed, it is slightly worn from previous flihgts, some auxiliary equipment is present like covers which are not removed until just the last moment before roll out. The RBF flags are in place, some service panels are open, safety pins are in the ejection seats, the natural drop in some of the control surfaces and so on. All the things that can be seen on a real aircraft prepared for a flight. Or it could be one covered up for the night or the a/c undergoing maintenance. But then there are certain things which have to be there or are most certainly removed . I am still regularly surprised to see kits at shows which are either completely sterile or extremely overdone. Ask any technicians what are the chances of having an aircraft in the maintenance shop, undergoing an almost complete overhaul but still has all the live missiles on the rails. Even then none of the missiles have the safety pins attached or the „last minute†protection covers on them. I hope it is clear what I mean by the difference betwen a „sterile†kit and a „service†version. Almost all the kit manufacturers produce „sterile models†unfortunately.

So some decissions made, the rest later on as it goes. First I wanted to see if some of the things in the box are what they should be. The colour of the photoetched panels was a bit striking at the first glance but then I took a piece of an original cockpit air vent for the canopy. It was and original, never before instaled in aircraft spare part. Concerning the colour it was interesting since it had never seen the light of day and only aged a bit since it was produced in the Russian aircraft factory. COmparison was made with the etched parts and also with the real aircraft.

This is the piece of the vent.

MFbis5.jpg

Here is how it compares with the Eduard etching:

MFbis6.jpg

And here it is on the frame of the MiG-21 MF. Now here you have to know that this particular plane has been overhauled and the cockpit repainted in a Hungarian Wallkyd Green colour (very simple, this is the paint that was available and looked similar). One can actualy see the original paint in some places as well as the new colour.

MFbis4.jpg

This is why I have chosen to build the MiG-21 bis as an early version so I dont have to repaint the cockpit in the Hungarian green colour.

This is it for now, more in a few days.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was not sure what is wrong and have consulted the excellent Czech WWP book on the MiG-21MF to find that yes, the kit represents perfectly the aircraft used by the Czechoslovak AF.

Which Czechoslovak MiG-21MF do you mean; they had early and late GAZ-30 machines and early GAZ-21 aircraft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which Czechoslovak MiG-21MF do you mean; they had early and late GAZ-30 machines and early GAZ-21 aircraft?

Hi pollie,

It is the last 20 so called "grey" aircraft. They had a lot of airframe details to be seen later on the MiG-21 bis aircraft. I will have photos of the details during the conversion.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very interesting article, but I think you have to consider colour scaling effect and paint weathering...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very interesting article, but I think you have to consider colour scaling effect and paint weathering...

Yes I know but it is not easy to do with a prepainted photoetched panel. The thing is that the amount of detail on them is ammazing and it would be very difficult to reproduce. I think Eduard should be approached with the suggestion of scale colour on pre painted items, but here there are problems a bit bigger than this too. I will do scale colour on the Hungarian "green" cockpit.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a great start. I am looking forward to more of course.

That is interesting that the colors of the PE and the actual interior match so closely. I know that has been one of the criticisms of the kit. Some mention the scale effect and say that it is still too light. But I think if they scaled it there would be just as much criticism. "It isn't accurate, or that is not how I would have shaded it." And the list goes on. Thanks again for your observations. It is quite rare that a scale kit is compared to the real thing like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi twhite80,

It was because of all the criticism that the comparison was made, I wanted to see it for my own eyes. This Russian cockpit colour is not an easy one to mix, Eduard made a good job of it. As to the scale colour question, well, we will see what could be done.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to see this progress!

I too have spent quality time with the 21s (and others!) at Szolnok, came home with a mountain of photos...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Litvyak' timestamp='1322703494' post='2296316'

I too have spent quality time with the 21s (and others!) at Szolnok, came home with a mountain of photos...

Hi Litvyak,

It's good to hear that there are people who have a close look at the real thing before cutting into the plastic. One can learn tonns of information from the real aircraft even if it is a museum piece or even better when it is in service or at an airshow. It help a lot in making an authentic reproduction of the aircraft.

Thanks for the interest. I am not a fast builder (it is amazing to see the speed with which some of the people are building here on ARC!!!) but the work is getting along, then there is the photography and writing it all.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Litvyak,

It's good to hear that there are people who have a close look at the real thing before cutting into the plastic. One can learn tonns of information from the real aircraft even if it is a museum piece or even better when it is in service or at an airshow. It help a lot in making an authentic reproduction of the aircraft.

Thanks for the interest. I am not a fast builder (it is amazing to see the speed with which some of the people are building here on ARC!!!) but the work is getting along, then there is the photography and writing it all.

Best regards

Gabor

Well, I did my Hungarian AF MiG-21 #1515 /before/ I went to Szolnok - it was my return to the hobby. But spending the time there was great from many aspects - not just the photography and climbing in/on/around the aircraft, but having the chance to talk with the people who run the place. It's a bit off topic, I apologise for that, but that's one of the things I like about smaller museums like Szolnok or the one near me in Langley, BC: there, I could talk with the people who work there and with the displays, who know about their histories, something I couldn't experience at a place like the Musee de l'Air et l'Espace or the Luftwaffenmuseum...

I'm very keen on seeing what you do with your MF, as "one day" I want to build another Hungarian 21, namely the MF 9512 on display at Szolnok, or perhaps a U in 1/32...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good evening everyone,

Not much, but some more work on this parallel project.

First the MiG-21 MF came under scrutiny to see what will have to be done. There are the differences of late and main production batch, so they will have to be addressed on the way. Perfect fit of parts almost every where was found.

MFbis8.jpg

But what about the MiG-21 bis kit.

MFbis12.jpg

Here is the new saddle fuel tank and the fin for the MiG-21 bis.

MFbis17.jpg

A dry run of the main parts was made to see the fit of the parts and the over all look of the

fuselage. Just as with the MF kit there are no problems and I would say that the 3D design of the kit is too good. Like the joint line between the fuselage and saddle fuel tank is not perfect on the real aircraft. There is a 1-1.5 cm gap at the meeting point, some sanding of the edge will imitate it when time comes. But first a road map was made for all the corrections/conversions that I was planning to make on the fuselage.

MFbis14.jpg

MFbis13.jpg

MFbis15.jpg

This was based on the long list that was presented before on the differences between the MF and the bis and also a list of the corrections/mistakes of the MF kit. Armed with the available materials, notes from official manuals, years of research, ton’s of measurements, archive photos and detail drawings the work was planed.

MiG21bisvMF.jpg

End of Part 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Part 2 for today,

Looking closely I was surprised to find that on the right half of the brake parachute housing the opening / locking notches were missing on the bis kit. Just an accident (by the Eduard design team) that will have to be rectified. It is good to see that on the bis kit the antenna on the top of the fin was changed to represent the right shape. All kits in the past (every scale and manufacturer) had it wrong, at last it was rectified for the bis kit.

MFbis16.jpg

I started with some surface details. Sanding away what was not needed and rescribing some panel lines. Adding fast openers on the panels in the right place and filling the old ones. The main problems are around the covers right after the cockpit (this is for the MF). On the bis this panel is longer on both sides, the fast openers are in different places and on the right side there is an additional panel just above the gills.

MFbis21.jpg

An opening was cut for the canopy opening handle and there is a bigger screw head below it responsible for pressurizing the cockpit. The rare corner of the forward radio compartment on both sides there are small opening for draining rain water from the seals of the forward compartment. They were drilled out too.

MFbis26.jpg

The biggest cut into the plastic was the opening up of the auxiliary air intakes under the cockpit. On the real aircraft standing on the ground it is always open a bit. OK this is not much, just 1-1.5 cm but since there is a perfect rounded surface of the fuselage even this small brake in it is visible. They are completely closed only in flight pushed against the wall and the seal by the pressure difference inside and outside the air duct. So the intakes were cut out and new intakes manufactured. I will most probably have the compulsory intake covers right under the aircraft as if they were just removed. Please note that there are two versions of the intake covers but more on this later.

MFbis25.jpg

As a side track I had a look at the fuel tanks. The long and slim ones for 490 litre of fuel have an extra cover on the front of them. I have seen it in the WWP book on some Czech aircraft but have not seen it on Hungarian examples. So they were removed. One panel line or to be more precise a weld line is missing from one half of the tank. This will have to be added from stretched sprue. Both the MF and the bis kit share the same sprue for the fuel tanks so the same mistake is there for both of them. To put up the fuel tanks under the aircraft and lock them and to drain fuel from them there are several opening on their underside. They are completely missing for both the 490 and the 800 litre tanks. They were drilled, nuts were made and glued into place and welds made around them. For the 800 litre tank a draining cap was also made.

MFbis27.jpg

MFbis29.jpg

MFbis28.jpg

So here is where I stand at the moment.

More soon.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply amazing! Thanks so very much for taking the considerable time to post all that info.

Gene K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awestruck! Thanks and I hope to see more!

I have hopes of one day building the Hungarian Gold one with the three sharkmouths!

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gene K,

Thanks. No problem, try to show what goes into the kit and what one would need to correct for a Hungarian version. That is if he has the urge and willing to invest time.

Hi sharkmouth,

More very soon on the building of the kit.

Concerning the "Gold one with the sharkhouths", it is infact yellow and soon there will be a new decal sheet from the Hunarian manufacturer HAD with markings for that particular aircraft. About a half hour ago at a local modelling club I spoke with the head of HAD and he is working on it. He also had a new decal for the 144 scale MiG-21MF kit.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic, Gabor!

I´m so gonna save this build thread, the facts and insights are invaluable! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work so far. This build will be a reference to many of us. Looking forward to your next update.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aigore and 11bee,

Thanks for the comment and for looking at the work in progress.

Here is a little more:

The area after the GS-23L twin barrel gun is typical of the late MF aircraft as it is shown on the Eudard MF kit (and the bis). There are many gills here venting the gun bay and the surrounding area in the fuselage. On the main production batch of MF's these panels were different. To make the changes on my kit some of the old gills were filled and new gills were cut in appropriate places. While in this area, also holes were drilled for drain tubes to be added at the very end of construction. Also the two "ridges" going back to the central pylon are not there for our MFs and on the bis it is also a bit different. So some more surgery, polishing here too. The paneling around the gun were restructured for the bis as well as a new gun cover was introduced.

Here is the area as it was:

MFbis23.jpg

and here is after the conversion:

MFbis24.jpg

More soon.

The two cirles show the holes for the drain tubes to be added later.

Best regards

Gabor

Edited by ya-gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good and very sunny (at least here in Budapest)day to everyone!

So here is some more "surface" work. This is applicable to both the MF and the bis kit. The bulge over the main wheel bays on the side of the fuselage surface on the real aircraft is beautifully blended into the surface of the aircraft, only the brake line in the surface on the top part of the bulge is clear and very distiguisable. The sides of the bulge are blended in and almost invisible. Will post some photos of the real aircraft soon, here I took the aluminium painted aircraft as the basis of my research since on it the bulge is more visible but even here the "side lines" are hard to notice. On the camouflaged aircraft it is even more invisible. First here is the original state on the kit. The shape of the bulge is very nice but the "side lines" are too prominent and visible. It is interesting to see on the kit that the same bulge on the lower part of the fuselage ahead and after the bay is nicely blended in so there was no need to work on this part only on the upper ones.

MFbis10.jpg

Here is the lower bulges. They look OK for me.

MFbis11.jpg

Some superglue was used here to act as a filler. Shaping, more superglue and wet sanding resulted in the form that I was looking for based on the original. The same process was carried out on both MF and bis fuselage.

MFbis20.jpg

More soon.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's wonderful to see such comprehensive work. This can only come from someone with intimate knowledge of the subject- and that's you, Gabor! Amazing detail work, my friend- cheers!

chuk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi chukw,

Thanks for the comment. I love this aircraft and had spent a lot of time around it. Lets hope the end result will be as authentic as I plan it to be.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gabor,

At first - thank You very much for your work here!

Simply amazing...

First to the MiG-21 MF, the main difference is that the Eduard kit is a replica of a late production MF which had many common features with the next generation MiG-21 the „bis” version. While the „early” or to be more precise the main batch of MiG-21MF’s was different in many ways.

Bad news...

So...the details of the Eduard MiG-21MF's fuselage are not authentic for the main batch of MiG-21MF's.

Not for most of the WP's aircrafts, not for Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc....

Not for Soviet MiG-21SM, SMT :(

'Just' a very good base, which needs extra work.

I must to say that - this was a bad choice from Eduard...

Edited by RobertS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it is too early for you to talk about the final painting - but I hope it is not offtopic here at the moment:

As for the MiG-21 bis kit it was a bit different story. Yes it was to be also a Hungarian aircraft but from its early days in service when they were still in the light grey (so called Teflon Grey), had all the original Russian stencils (so I could use the Russian Begemot sheet)

I am sure you will check the Begemot sheet, but be careful, there are many missing stencils, even so big ones, like this one >

begemot.jpg

Photo taken at Pápa airbase in 1979, HuAF MiG-21bis 75AP '6253'

These kind of 'sports' for mazohistics only >

HuAF '6305' MiG-21bis 75AP 75046305 in 1984

bis3.jpg

HuAF '6145' MiG-21bis 75AP 75046145 in 1984

bis4.jpg

Soviet VVS MiG-21bis 75AP in 1976

bis7p.jpg

Soviet VVS MiG-21bis 75AP in 1979

bis8.jpg

Soviet VVS MiG-21bis 75AP in 1980

bis6u.jpg

Soviet VVS MiG-21bis 75AP in 1981

bis5.jpg

and so on...

Probably all of these are original factory stencils on the first gray-paint.

Gabor - I wish you good luck for a lot of old photos of gray HuAF MiG-21bis from the '70s and '80s, there were endless variations for the original Soviet stencils...

As for the MiG-21 bis kit it was a bit different story. Yes it was to be also a Hungarian aircraft but from its early days in service when they were still in the light grey

A unique option - a gray HuAF Mig-21bis with camouflaged spin-tank :)

There was a short period in 1984, when '6305' flew in this configuration...

Edited by RobertS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching with interest - many of my builds have become HuAF planes. And I have an Academy MiG-21 in the stash...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear RobertS,

Thank for all the photos. Very interesting. I know the details were different for the stenciling of the MiG-21 bis in its original Russian configuration and the one later applied to the Hungarian AF aircraft. I have seen the original factory materials on the MiG-21 bis stencils both in its original Russian form and the Hungarian. During the period when the overhaul of the first aircraft was prepared a lot of work was carried out by the enginers at the Pestvideki Gepgyar (later Danubian Aircraft Co.) a lot of techologies had to be prepared for the new aircraft, a lot of translation was carried out from Russian documentation, the whole overhaul timetable worked out, overhaul for all the new equipment prepared, enginers/skilled workers taking exams of the new systems / repair procedures, new tools introduced and so on. In this process a complete documentation of the first aircraft was also made including all the original Russian stencils. This was translated into Hungarian and a new map prepared for the stencils to be put in the exact place of the Russian ones. New stencil templates from aluminium were cut in the inhouse workshop before the first aircraft was ready for painting. If I remember right there are 234 individual marking types on the bis with some of them in more than one place. In addition there are 41 level measuring point markings (none in the Eduard decal nor on the Begemot sheet). I have no idea who designed the Eduard decal sheet I can only guess that they took the MF as a starting point (like the S1 and S2) on the nose cone were never put on our aircraft but they were on the Czechoslovak MF's. Unfortunately some very prominent other decals were never considered or produced on the Eduard sheet. An offer of help was provided to Eduard in summer with the correct stencils (for the Russian) but no interested was shown.

As to the individual markings of the Hungarian example in the decal sheet it is unfortunately completely wrong. More on this later.

The Begemot decal is good in some ways but there is also a Hungarian decal sheet from HAD which has some specific local stencils on it as well as markigs. This is of course a bit in the future. More on this later.

Best regards

Gabor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...