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ALF18

MiG-21 PFM

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Hi folks!

I have decided to add a little "Fish" to the mix here. I confess to being a Starfighter freak, and I could have built about 6 (I might still build a couple more after this).

In the spirit of variety, I have decided to try, for the first time, to build a MiG-21. When I ordered the two super-cheap 1/32 Italeri F-104s from Lucky Model, I added in the Eduard 1/48 MiG-21 PFM Profipack edition, kit number 8237. Thanks to those in this GB and elsewhere on ARC that described Eduard's kit options well enough that I could get this one. The main attraction for me was the Photo-Etched parts (PE). I am terrible at painting cockpits, and I love the way PE dresses them up beautifully with minimal effort.

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I opened up the box, and had a look at the available schemes. This being winter, and my paint area being just the garage, I do not want to do an Alclad finish. This last few days, overnight lows have varied between -32C and -28C, with daytime highs of about -17C. Howling winds drop the wind chill down to about -45C or so... for my American friends, when it's -45C, that's the same as Fahrenheit!

So therefore I looked for a scheme without natural metal. I have settled on this from the 4 or 5 available choices, the Egyptian one on the right-hand page here:

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I rather liked the box art version, but it was camo over natural metal. Also, I have long been fascinated with the conflicts between Egypt and Israel, where F-4s and MiG-21 played major roles. Both countries' camouflage schemes are cool-looking. In fact, I have a Kfir in 1/48 to do; it may end up in Israeli colours.

Of course, the cockpit was first. I quickly discovered that Eduard's instructions were different from most I am used to. Here, you can see at the top-left that there is a step where a small part is being added to another assembly. I am used to seeing the first step at the top left, going left to right, then down along the page... but that's not where you're supposed to start.

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In this case, you must start with the large diagram that is below the step I zoomed in on above. The sub-assemblies are arrayed around the large lower diagram, and in fact the two major options for the cockpit (Paint and PE) are shown beside each other above the larger diagram.

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Don't take this for complaining; after I figured out their approach, I found I kind of liked the way the instructions were laid out. In fact, one thing I absolutely love about them is how clearly they show the mating surfaces between parts, using a blue shading on the part. The nose wheel well assembly could actually be quite complex, because the angles at which things mate are not square, and without a great diagram it would be hit or miss getting it right. Here, you can see how all the parts mate, with the blue shading. These instructions are actually really nice!

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Next frame: my attempts to find paint matches for the cockpit.

ALF

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I mentioned that I love PE. My first major PE experience in cockpits was my CF-18 two-seater in 1/32, with a PE cockpit enhancement set. It was fantastic! One major problem, though, was the matching of colours between PE and the parts that I had to paint. In this case, the Eduard PE has a beautiful interior green colour that looks right to me. I have sat in some Soviet-era cockpits (some in places I can't talk about), and the vivid green is very typical. On a MiG-29 simulator project I worked on for "an Asian Country" when I was at CAE in Montreal, the cockpit was the same colour. We got the cockpit for the simulator from an aircraft plant somewhere in Russia, and hacked it up to make the sim's cockpit.

Anyway, I now was faced with the task of finding a paint match for this PE colour. My plethora of Tamiya paints was no help, and I was faced with the daunting task of mixing. The Eduard instructions give mixing hints (I repeat the diagram from the instructions; you can see paint mixing instructions at the top).

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That looked too hard to get right. I then moved on to the other paint jars I had, and stumbled on this stuff!

Testors Acryl 921514, Teal Green (gloss). The little dab on the plastic over the PE is a test swab. Too dark, but relatively close:

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I decided to add a bit of white to it, and mix it all up in an empty Tamiya jar I had. I put in all of the Testors green, plus three dollops (a very precise measurement using the TLAR method) of white. :woot.gif:

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Here I've started to figure out what to paint and where the PE goes. Dry fitting of the instrument panel background PE. The kit plastic is a darker grey, and very hard compared to the soft Italeri plastic I was working with on the 1/32 CF-104. Eduard has nicely provided two sets of cockpit panels; one set is blank like these for use of the PE, and the other set has the raised detail for painting. Much easier than having to scrape off detail to apply PE using an AM set. Beautifully done, Eduard!

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I painted the areas that were not covered, and then dry fit the PE in place. I am very happy with the paint colour match! Now if I could only figure out how many ml were in each "dollop" of Tamiya white paint... :rolleyes:

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More soon. Nothing much to do besides modeling and hibernating today...

ALF

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I am very happy that you build a Fishbed!biggrin.gif those Eduard's kit are top notch. and i'll follow your build with great interest!

and your cockpit color match is great!70.gif

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I am very happy that you build a Fishbed!biggrin.gif those Eduard's kit are top notch. and i'll follow your build with great interest!

and your cockpit color match is great!70.gif

Simon, this is my very first Fishbed, as I mentioned to you, so I expect to learn a lot about the aircraft and the kit. On the other hand, I have made several fairly difficult kits lately, and I really don't have the mental energy to be super-detailed with this one. I like this kit, because it allows one to be as lazy or detail-oriented as one wishes.

The instrument panel has some nice detail parts, as does the rest of the cockpit. I looked over Mingwin's multiple panels, and was a bit confused at first, until I realized that the radar scope placement can vary between different Fishbed variants quite a bit. Phew.

Here's what I built up. In the centre of this pic, you'll see a glob of grey and clear plastic. Believe it or not, that is 3 different pieces from the kit. Resin would not be required for this; the kit has many clever tiny pieces that allow modelers to add detail here and there. In this case, it's the radar scope.

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Gluing the bottom PE layers in place, I realized that I may have painted the panel for no reason. I discovered that more than once during this build so far!

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That grey glob has now become a radar scope. I didn't know what colour to do the screen, so I guessed at red.

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Here's a side panel, which I had pre-painted green. As I figured out where the PE would go, I realized that some paint had been unnecessary here as well (for example, the top of this box will be covered by another piece of kit plastic, before the PE goes in place on top of that piece).

Despite my attempts to save time by pre-painting, I decided afterward that I maybe should have assembled things to the point where the PE was to go in place, dry-fit, figure out what still needed painting, then paint it, wait for it to dry, then affix the PE. In my attempts to save time, I actually missed some areas that needed paint, and found out I had painted under where the PE was going to hide things anywhere. With acrylics, things dry quickly enough that painting only when the time comes is going to be my future policy.

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Here's what the cockpit looks like with PE in place, glued into fuselage. I installed the right-side wall panel, but the left-side one will wait until I have the fuselage together. I was worried about getting the angle wrong on the vertical left panel, and dry-fitting confirmed that a pair of tweezers will be able to fit the side panel PE in place after the fuselage is together.

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More soon!

ALF

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looking really great so far ALF18!

i agree with you on the fact that the Eduard's MiG-21's kit doesn't need much aftermarket bits to look great, or any scratchbuild additions...(even truer if you have a ProfiPACK edition) ...only the "bis" needs a new nose to look right (to me)

and you shouldn't face much difficulties in main assembly stages (sub assemblies have sometimes, a lots of pieces, but it worth the efforts, as it allow the kit to have plenty of details)... certainly the best kit i've ever tackle!

can't wait to see more....as it should goes faster than my 8 builds...w00t.gif

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Looks good ALF. That colour match is almost spot on. She should look nice when you're done.

Heading out to the beach now. Sorry for rubbing it in. It's 'only' 19C right now. It's another good day to be me.

Mike

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Sounds like you need to wear your fur-lined slippers, at 19 degrees! Enjoy.

ALF

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There are lots of things to glue into the fuselage halves before closing them up. Here is a view with the cockpit installed.

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The instructions say I should add weight in the nose; something I suspected by looking at the overall aircraft arrangement. I put one of these huge suckers into the nose cone with CA glue.

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Sorry the next pic is fuzzy, but it shows the first part of fuselage going together. The fit was reasonably good; I had to squeeze some bits a bit hard. On the plus side, though, was the fact that the spine in this pic will be hidden under the fin/spine part that goes on top of it (third pic in this series). Minor gaps will therefore be invisible in the underlying tube.

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Thanks for stopping by!

ALF

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Have I ever stressed the importance of reading the instructions? Well, I was so proud of myself that I had noticed the requirement for nose weight, that I missed this little symbol on the instructions (little star by the clear lights G2 under the wings).

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If I had read the instructions, I would have noticed this:

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Eduard made a mask for these lights! Brilliant, but since I didn't read that, I used Tamiya tape, crudely chopped around the light, to act as masking.

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This is after it's glued in place, but before I added the silver on the inside (yes, Neo and AX_365!).

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Here's what the underside looks like. Another positive is that I noticed that I needed to punch the holes out for the 5 pylons, something I had forgotten to do on my 1/32 Italeri CF-104.

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With the bottom part of the wing in place, here's how it looks. Fit was very nice for this large part, even when I added in the landing gear attachment barrel first.

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More later!

ALF

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I then worked on the upper wing surfaces. To avoid the frequently-occurring gap problem (not necessarily this kit, but all kits that have a one-piece lower wing and two uppers), I glued the wing root portions in place, leaving the wings unglued until the wing root set.

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After much studying of the instructions (I do learn, when I feel like it), I installed the pylons for what look like ATOLL missiles to me. Sadly, I never did learn the Russian terms for these missiles, just the NATO reporting names for them. R-73 and R-27 style names do not resonate with me like ATOLL, APHID, ARCHER, etc.

I also installed the centreline pylon, to which I will affix the pointy fuel tank. I need to fix the colour of the nose gear well; I think it should be a grey colour.

After much deliberation, I have seen the speed brakes left open on many parked Fishbeds, but that involves chopping out the flush-mounted ones on the lower wing part, plus they will end up complicating the painting and make the finished kit more fragile and prone to snapping off of little parts. Therefore, the two forward speed brakes, and the rear one, will be shown closed. If that is horribly wrong, then so be it.

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Here it sits on its struts for the first time. I will do all the painting of the main colours before I finish painting the gear, wheels, and tires. This will allow me to mask more easily, and take advantage of the way this kit provides wheels and rims that are separate. I love that! You can paint the tires, separately from the wheel rims, then glue them together making for a nice, neat demarcation between the black tire and green hub.

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Thanks for stopping by! Time to brave the minor snowstorm (only about 10 cm today) and go to work.

ALF

Edited by ALF18

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Progress is super slow. The extreme cold weather (even for here) has discouraged me from venturing into the heated garage to paint. This is my VW diesel Golf on arrival at work last week. Normally, the fuel consumption for the trip is 4.9 L/100km. The cold has increased the fuel burn quite a bit.

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Here's what the poor vehicle looked like near the barn, where all the aircraft spent the majority of the week sheltering. Too cold to fly the little bug-smashers!

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I just managed to spray the bottom with Tamiya XF-23 light blue. It's a big greenish in hue, but acceptable for me. Will mask and paint the top colours tomorrow.

ALF

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20150206_073404_zps3kpnrqyk.jpg

-37.5C...and that's without wind chill. :jaw-dropping: And I thought it was cold here. You win. Or at that temperature is it, 'You lose.'?

Stay warm buddy. I hope Max isn't freezing himself when he goes out to do his business!

Model is looking real nice. I can't say as I blame you for not wanting to got into the garage, heated or not.

Mike

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Wow thats cold

we only got max low @ -27 !

at that temp max probably comes back in with a pee-sicle

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Mike and Neo:

Yup, Max is not outside for very long at a time. He absolutely loves poopsicles, though! His tactic is to go out, poop, then ask to go out again about 30 minutes later. He then chomps away at the poopsicles. Too bad for him; I am onto his little scheme, so I go out and pitch them out into the yard beyond the trenches where he can run around. The snow is now piled up about 4 feet high along the trenches in "Maxland" outside the patio door. And yes, we definitely lose with this temperature. Most of the time, the windchill temp Montreal stations talk about is our temp before windchill - so add about 10 to 15 degrees colder, and that's what we have. Brrr.

I have made some progress. here are the wheels and seat. I mentioned that I like the separately-moulded hubs and tires, allowing me to get sharp demarcations in the paint.

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The little masks are really nice. Eduard provides multiple versions, for different canopy configurations. It took me a while to cue into how it all works in the instructions, but now I am loving them.

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Got it mostly together, and almost ready for primer.

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ALF

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I have primed everything now. I used blue tack to hold the canopies in place. I am also applying the Eduard masks here and there.

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I'm going to use the Egyptian Air Force scheme, because it is camouflaged, and with the cold weather outside I don't want to have to open up the garage door to spray Alclad. Using Tamiya acrylics, over Tamiya spray-can primer.

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Bottom colour done, now taping up for the top camouflage colour.

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Sand colour done (poor shot; looks more desert tan in real life). Masking for the dark brown, using Mike's magic medical tape method.

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Dark brown sprayed, seat ready for PE.

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Tamiya silver on the centreline tank.

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Masking tape off, and it looks like only a few little touch-ups are required. You just saw (in one post) about 3 weeks of slow work.

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Thanks for stopping by. I WILL meet the deadline.

ALF

Edited by ALF18

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Great progress that camo realy look good

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As I was painting, I did the PE on the ejection seat. This is quite a complex little job, but I think it is worth it. Maybe not up to Mingwin's standards, but it looks pretty good with the PE.

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I applied the national markings first. There are not many of them. One of the reasons I picked this scheme (apart from the fact it had no requirement to use Alclad), was the Arab-style numbers in black on the nose. The characters spell out 8312. When I was in the Gulf for 5 months, I learned these numbers from licence plates on vehicles that often had both Western and Arabic numbers.

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Would you look at all of these!? There are a LOT of stencils here. I didn't have the patience to apply them all, so I used a few, just as "decoration." My artsy side is coming out here. The beauty (for me) of doing a model of an aircraft I don't have a close attachment to is that I can use some artistic licence.

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I am calling this done. More pics in the finished builds thread.

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Thanks to all for their participation in this thread, especially Simon for his encouragement.

ALF

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Great work!!!

PS: Thats VW :-) working well in that cold :-)

Thanks Mario!

I must say, though - the diesel does not get very warm at -37. I really need the heated seats. I love my Golf.

ALF

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That looks really good ALF. Nice work. :thumbsup: Like Nick's Hellenic Starfighter, I don't think I've seen a build of an Egyptian MiG. A nice break from the Russian, Polish and Korean schemes. With all those stencils, you'd probably have been :wacko: - just like I am after applying the plethora of Sabre stencils.

What's next?

Mike

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That looks really good ALF. Nice work. :thumbsup:/> Like Nick's Hellenic Starfighter, I don't think I've seen a build of an Egyptian MiG. A nice break from the Russian, Polish and Korean schemes. With all those stencils, you'd probably have been :wacko:/> - just like I am after applying the plethora of Sabre stencils.

What's next?

Mike

Nice to hear from you Mike.

Definitely too many stencils for my GAF level on that day. I'm hesitating about what to do next. Maybe a Tiger CF-104 for the Tiger GB? Perhaps a SAR helo? Or maybe just something simple from the stash.

ALF

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