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1:48 - MiG-25RBT "Foxbat-B" by ICM - released

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It's kind of a tough call, because for modellers, Belenko's aircraft is probably the single most interesting Foxbat flown (apart from some of the camo RBs, maybe), and it's *the* subject most would want to build.  It's the 'Showtime 100' of MiG-25s.  Except, that version essentially ceased to exist when Belenko touched down in Japan, so you're basically stuck with '71 - '76 CCCP.  You can build the MiG he defected in, but that's about all you *can* do with it.  With the updated interceptors, you can model any plane from '78 until... today, from Iraq, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Belarus, Ukraine, the USSR, CIS and Russia.  

 

So yeah, I totally understand why people would want a P.  At the same time, for the kit maker, is it worth the expense to model essentially one aircraft?  Especially (in ICM's case), one that has a somewhat awkward history for your country. 

 

That being said...  *if* someone releases an interceptor, backdating it to a P isn't all that hard, and is a good candidate for an aftermarket producer.  A new nose section, a new instrument panel, new wingtips and a new parabrake cover and you're mostly there.  Depending on how interested you are in accuracy, you can even do most of it yourself. Lots of good info can be gleaned here: 

 

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4 hours ago, MoFo said:

Especially (in ICM's case), one that has a somewhat awkward history for your country. 

 

 

Awkward? ICM is from Ukraine and Belenko was Ukrainian IIRC and his motivation was anti-communist so from a certain post-Soviet perspective he might be considered a hero rather than a traitor :) Thus, I don't see that aspect playing a part for ICM on releasing a P with those decals (but I'd expect the same if a Russian company was releasing a MiG-25P).

 

Personally, I'd prefer the later PD, but of course it would be better to have both options if possible.

Edited by ijozic

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9 hours ago, VADM Fangschleister said:

In 1976 it was a brand new airplane and The West was ignorant of its wild and woolly ways.  I always thought a diorama of the plane, complete with tarp over the cockpit and the muddy ruts off the end of the runway would be pretty cool. 

Well, doing a diorama with the tarp over much of aircraft might make your job much easier, since much of the detail Mofo is talking about would then be covered and you'd only be looking at general shape. In fact, for that exact purpose, you might even be able to get away with using the KH or Revell kits. Just a thought and I think your general idea is interesting!

Edited by madmanrick

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8 hours ago, MoFo said:

Except, that version essentially ceased to exist when Belenko touched down in Japan, so you're basically stuck with '71 - '76 CCCP.  You can build the MiG he defected in, but that's about all you *can* do with it.

 

Some MiG-25Ps were still hanging around after Belenko's defection, apparently - Linden Hill Imports' Azerbaijan sheet has a photo and profile of a MiG-25P in Azeri service (along with a -PDS and a weird -RU with air-to-ground missile pylons.)

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6 hours ago, ijozic said:

 

Awkward? ICM is from Ukraine and Belenko was Ukrainian IIRC and his motivation was anti-communist so from a certain post-Soviet perspective he might be considered a hero rather than a traitor :) Thus, I don't see that aspect playing a part for ICM on releasing a P with those decals

 

Awkward because Belenko wasn't exactly seen as a hero in the USSR, and both Russian and Ukrainian sources still frequently refer to the plane as being 'stolen', 'hijacked' and 'abducted'.  There are still a significant number of ethnic Russians in Ukraine who empathize with Moscow, and Moscow is still pushing a largely anti-Western agenda and isn't exactly forgiving of the event (see: that same Pravda link, and the various other articles around recent events).  *And* the ICM kit is apparently being criticized by some Russian modellers simply because it was made by a Ukrainian company, given the current regional tensions.  So: including Belenko's markings may upset a significant portion of their domestic market (or at the very least, they may not be as interested as Westerners are); and is likely to be controversial in one of their major export markets.  Some anti-Russian Ukrainians may be happy, other, pro-Russian Ukrainians (and Ukrainian Russians) may not.  And most have been told he's a traitor all their lives, anyway.

 

----

 

All that being said...  if you're okay with the KH kit, then yes, that could be used as the basis for a P.  That nose section is 'wrong' for a P, so it would have to be modified (or covered), but it includes an early parabrake fairing and (IIRC) early wingtip weights, so it's a decent starting point (if you're okay with the KH kit).  But, if ICM or AMK release a PD/PDS, I'd be surprised if someone didn't release a conversion to backdate it to a P.  Depends on how patient you are, I guess.  And how accurate you want it to be.

 

 

----

 

As for the Linden Hill decals...  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  They say it's a P, but the profile is a PD/PDS.  It's at an overhaul facility so it could have been an (essentially) scrapped airframe.  IDK.  Yefim Gordon says they had eight PDs, fourteen RBs and six trainers (and that the PDs flew anti-tank missions against Armenia, using R-60s as SAMs, which sounds... suspicious).  It's not like all the Ps were scrapped the day after Belenko touched down, but by 1982, the vast majority were upgraded with the new radar, becoming PDSs.

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2 hours ago, MoFo said:

As for the Linden Hill decals...  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  They say it's a P, but the profile is a PD/PDS.  It's at an overhaul facility so it could have been an (essentially) scrapped airframe.  IDK.  Yefim Gordon says they had eight PDs, fourteen RBs and six trainers (and that the PDs flew anti-tank missions against Armenia, using R-60s as SAMs, which sounds... suspicious).  It's not like all the Ps were scrapped the day after Belenko touched down, but by 1982, the vast majority were upgraded with the new radar, becoming PDSs.

 

Mike (O'Hare): That is indeed a typo. The 'P' should read 'PD'. Mea culpa. The Azeri MiG-25 interceptors at Zeynalabdin Taghiyev are indeed a mixture of Ps and PDSs. The Nasosnaya overhaul facility (the old Soviet name of the airfield) was responsible for upgrading Ps to the PDS variant. Even at the time of Azeri independence there were still P airframes (or bits of them) present at Nasosnaya. Yefm Gordon is not correct when it comes to the Azeri AF. They inherited more than 8 interceptors. 8 airframes were photographed in 2010, and the AzAF lost a number during and after the NK War.  They also inherited RBFs and RBShs. It was the Recce variants which allegedly flew air-to-ground missions in Karabakh.

 

Turkmenistan also inherited a number of MiG-25 interceptors at independence. Armenia obtained one PD (Red 04) from the Russians. It did fly in the early 1990s but never acquired Armenian roundels.

IMG_1466.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Linden Hill said:

 

That is indeed a typo. The 'P' should read 'PD'. Mea culpa. 

 

No worries.  I wasn't trying to disparage you, BTW; your research is usually top notch and it's a really simple error to make.  

 

Quote

The Azeri MiG-25 interceptors at Zeynalabdin Taghiyev are indeed a mixture of Ps and PDSs.

 

Okay, *NOW* I'm confused.  :)  Is Red 63 a P, PD or PDS?  And (since I'm guessing you photographed it), if it was a P, was it actually flight-worthy (looking), or was it just an old airframe still on the base?  

 

Quote

Yefm Gordon is not correct

 

That doesn't surprise me.  Claiming that the PDs were shooting tanks with AAMs is a pretty far fetched scenario that calls his other claims into question.  

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No offense taken! Typos are the bane of my existence. 

 

I didn't take the Azeri photos but a good friend did. He's much more knowledgable than I regarding the fine differences between 25 variants and production batches. Originally we thought 63 was a P. If I recall correctly, this was mainly because of the size and shape of the radio-transparent areas. We later figured, like you, that Ps would no longer be flying. It's still a bit of a conundrum, but it appears that 63 is either a partially upgraded PDS or an early PD. This airframe was photographed in flight over Baku as late as 2008. 

 

This is the sort of thing that makes the non-Slavic Post-Soviet air forces so interesting!

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Well, I know I have seen pictures of the Azeri RU with the ASM pylons, but I have to go find them to verify. I have heard/read that they did a lot to "enhance" the AG capability of the AF including mods to the RU for carrying and targeting ASMs and hanging adapters on PD phone to carry rocket pods. Maybe the R-60 story is a translation error of the real story with respect to the PDs doing AG. Maybe when I do my Condor family model I will do it as the Azeri with mods if I can find those pictures. Guess I'll have to get the Linden Hill decals.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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On 1/18/2017 at 7:38 PM, MoFo said:

 

Awkward because Belenko wasn't exactly seen as a hero in the USSR, and both Russian and Ukrainian sources still frequently refer to the plane as being 'stolen', 'hijacked' and 'abducted'.  There are still a significant number of ethnic Russians in Ukraine who empathize with Moscow, and Moscow is still pushing a largely anti-Western agenda and isn't exactly forgiving of the event (see: that same Pravda link, and the various other articles around recent events).  *And* the ICM kit is apparently being criticized by some Russian modellers simply because it was made by a Ukrainian company, given the current regional tensions.  So: including Belenko's markings may upset a significant portion of their domestic market (or at the very least, they may not be as interested as Westerners are); and is likely to be controversial in one of their major export markets.  Some anti-Russian Ukrainians may be happy, other, pro-Russian Ukrainians (and Ukrainian Russians) may not.  And most have been told he's a traitor all their lives, anyway.

 

I was just trying to point out that it was 40 years ago and that the USSR has long been gone so perspectives have probably changed. Besides, we're talking about the airframe markings, not Belenko's figure set so either way it's not like they would glorify the pilot's action with the release.

 

Edited by ijozic

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The brand new 2017 catalogue by ICM has MiG-25RB as the No. 48902 kit release. No date is given but earlier it was scheduled to be released in late summer. It is not clear what will it have or how it will differ from the 48901 kit of the RBT. It would be nice to hear anything from ICM on any forum, but for the moment I dont see them communicating in any form about the plans.

 

As to the interceptor versions, certainly not in 2017,  if at all. :((

 

Best regards

Gabor

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There is too much confusion with this kit alone already. Yes I got it and it's nice in many ways, but it's neither RB nor RBT. The box cover has a different nose than it is supplied on the sprues. If nothing else that's odd. So which nose can we expect, when they announce the RB?

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17 hours ago, vesthepes said:

There is too much confusion with this kit alone already. Yes I got it and it's nice in many ways, but it's neither RB nor RBT. The box cover has a different nose than it is supplied on the sprues. If nothing else that's odd. So which nose can we expect, when they announce the RB?

 

If I understood correctly, it will be the same nose, but the parachute housing and the top intake tips would lose the lips (hopefully). Also, the antennas on the side of the intakes would be dropped and the antenna on the hump moved somewhat forward.

 

Shame no interceptor is announced in ICM's plans for this year, so hopefully AMK will manage to release their three variants during 2017. as announced. It would be nice if PD and BM would be among those three :)

Edited by ijozic

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On 18.01.2017 at 8:38 PM, MoFo said:

Awkward because Belenko wasn't exactly seen as a hero in the USSR, and both Russian and Ukrainian sources still frequently refer to the plane as being 'stolen', 'hijacked' and 'abducted'.  There are still a significant number of ethnic Russians in Ukraine who empathize with Moscow, and Moscow is still pushing a largely anti-Western agenda and isn't exactly forgiving of the event (see: that same Pravda link, and the various other articles around recent events).  *And* the ICM kit is apparently being criticized by some Russian modellers simply because it was made by a Ukrainian company, given the current regional tensions.  So: including Belenko's markings may upset a significant portion of their domestic market (or at the very least, they may not be as interested as Westerners are); and is likely to be controversial in one of their major export markets.  Some anti-Russian Ukrainians may be happy, other, pro-Russian Ukrainians (and Ukrainian Russians) may not.  And most have been told he's a traitor all their lives, anyway.

 

A bit strange to read arguments about Belenko. Any pilot of any country, who hijacked a plane and flew to another state, there will always be a traitor. And attitude to this pilot will never change, regardless of any change in his country. (As an example, what attitude will be to the pilot at his country after 10, 20 or 40 years, who hijacked, for example, F-22 or J-20?). So that the marking of the  Belenko aircraft never be popular with people who understand what is the betrayal.

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I think discussing politically loaded subjects would be better left out of the forum, I have read the book written by Belenko and although i would not model his aircraft and would rather do one of the other ones which were in regular USSR or Russian service or one of the exported aircrafts, in the context of the Cold War i did understand fully what he felt and his reasons. We are not going to rewrite history, he made his choice, and lets be honest, the USSR in the 70's was not what you would call a country where people were free, otherwise there would not have been the wall nor shooting at those who tried to move to the West. Both sides of the blocks had their rights and wrongs, like i said we won't be rewriting history. And if VietCong soldiers can today shake hands with American soldieres who visit their country, then i say lets bygones be bygones. If one wants to travel the road of controversies, here is another one: i remember seeing an injected model kit for a Sukhoi Su-15 few years ago, which company name i forgot, with the boxart showing the aircraft flown by the pilot that shot down a Korean passenger aircraft with hundreds of passengers aboard, even though at the distance he was flying from it he could clearly see that the aircraft was full of passengers. The pilot was unapologetic about his actions and called it doing his job and duty. In other parts of the world it is called warcrime. So, just a little comparison to get things in perspective (though, i understand he was just a cog in a bigger machine and was trained to follow orders, there is something that also exists about not following illegitimate orders. I think there was a Soviet Navy sailor or officer who refuse one such order and avoided the launch of missiles that would have started WWIII. Makes me wonder what happened to him after, but the whole planet can call him a hero for saving everyone). Just like i said, better let bygones be bygones because if we start to nitpick at every event in recent decades from both the East and the West involving illegal acts during war, or in peacetime, we are not out of the woods my friends...

One thing i would like to know though, if you are knowledgeable about the subject, is why RB aircraft Bort 46 received a medal (for what mission exactly ? What were the distinguishing circumstances for the award ?), and its got so many missions markings, i would like to know if it flew those missions over Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Western Europe, any info would be welcome as i am interested in those histories from the Cold War, we know a lot about the SR-71 and A-12 missions, but very little if anything about the MIG-25 reconnaissance missions (apart from that flew from Egypt). I would like to learn more about the other ones.

MIG-25RB Bort 45 does also have a lot of mission markings and the same citation and medal markings, Bort 44 and several others also have the citation markings (though have no mission markings visible). I was wondering if those citation markings were for the whole squadron or were meant for individual pilots ?

Ok, back to the airplanes.

Edited by Stratospheremodels

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I agree with the "let's not devolve into politics" thought. However, I will say this: Modeling Belenko's aircraft is no different to modeling "Bockscar," "Enola Gay," Rudolph Hess' aircraft or any number of other planes that were flown by defectors. History is history, there are always two sides to it, someone that accepts it and someone that opposes it. Actually in the grand scheme of things Belenko's defection was a minor incident in the face of the Cold War. All it really served to do, was prove the state of the Soviet aircraft technology at that time. While it may have proven to be burr under the Kremlin's saddle, I would argue that most Soviet citizens were unaware of the incident at the time and furthermore wouldn't have cared if they did know.

Edited by madmanrick

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4 hours ago, Stratospheremodels said:

One thing i would like to know though, if you are knowledgeable about the subject, is why RB aircraft Bort 46 received a medal (for what mission exactly ? What were the distinguishing circumstances for the award ?), and its got so many missions markings, i would like to know if it flew those missions over Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Western Europe, any info would be welcome as i am interested in those histories from the Cold War, we know a lot about the SR-71 and A-12 missions, but very little if anything about the MIG-25 reconnaissance missions (apart from that flew from Egypt). I would like to learn more about the other ones.
 

According to Begemot Decals, Red 46 flew missions over Chechnya.

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2 hours ago, madmanrick said:

there are always two sides to it, someone that accepts it and someone that opposes it.

 

True, and the point I'm trying to make is, ICM are likely going to be on the *other side*.  The MiG-25P saw relatively limited use and has relatively limited appeal - except for a single airframe that many Westerners are fascinated by - and many Easterners are repulsed by.  Given the effort and expense required to cater to that specific version, it seems unlikely that an Eastern European company will bother to tool it, since they may not be fond of the subject in the first place, and are looking to sell the kit in a market who *definitely* view the subject unfavourably.

 

That's not a value judgement one way or another.  It's just a statement of fact: if they guys running the company find it offensive, they aren't going to do it.

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Yes, the little red stars on the nose of 46 and other recon aircraft are mission markings of Chechnia flights.

 

I would ask: will in the future people build kits with mission marks or even “worst” kill marks??? After all each kill mark is representing killing another human (in most cases) no matter which side of a given conflict he was on!!!

 

It is unfortunate that we are getting so far away from the original topic even if the questions raised are valid in some ways, but I think this should be discussed somewhere else.

 

Will ICM release any interceptor? Will it be the early P version or the upgraded PD / PDS? Only ICM knows this and all speculation about this are completely senseless and futile!!!

ICM have announced for the moment an RB version in 2017. This is the only fact of which we know at the moment!

 

Best regards

Gabor

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as they already sell a MiG-25PD in 1/72, i really doubt that they have is any such consideration as all those exposed above at ICM.  if the 1/48 kit sells well, they might be tempted by the interceptor, whether or not they have to tool a whole new kit.

Edited by mingwin

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16 hours ago, Stratospheremodels said:

One thing i would like to know though, if you are knowledgeable about the subject, is why RB aircraft Bort 46 received a medal (for what mission exactly ? What were the distinguishing circumstances for the award ?), and its got so many missions markings, i would like to know if it flew those missions over Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Western Europe, any info would be welcome as i am interested in those histories from the Cold War, we know a lot about the SR-71 and A-12 missions, but very little if anything about the MIG-25 reconnaissance missions (apart from that flew from Egypt). I would like to learn more about the other ones.

MIG-25RB Bort 45 does also have a lot of mission markings and the same citation and medal markings, Bort 44 and several others also have the citation markings (though have no mission markings visible). I was wondering if those citation markings were for the whole squadron or were meant for individual pilots ?

 

Well, I think your mission markings question was answered, but the citations and medal haven't been. The badges forward of the mission markings are all indicative of a Guards Unit from what I have seen and are applicable to the entire unit. Hopefully someone can say what each badges actually represents. The medal on the intake is the Hero of the Soviet Union. Aft of the medal is a name, the name of a WWII pilot from the same unit who was a HSU. I think it is a great way to honor the past. 

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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16 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

Yes, the little red stars on the nose of 46 and other recon aircraft are mission markings of Chechnia flights.

 

Actually, 39 stars for recon flights over Chechnia and 3 more for missions over Georgia in 2008.

Edited by brahio

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9 hours ago, parche said:

The badges forward of the mission markings are all indicative of a Guards Unit from what I have seen and are applicable to the entire unit. Hopefully someone can say what each badges actually represents.

 

During WWII the whole 47th Borisovskiy and Pomeranskiy GRAP (Gvardeyskiy Razvedyvatel'nyy Aiatsionnyy Polk - Guards Recon Air Regiment) was decorated with two Orders of the Red Banner of Combat and the Suvorov Order. So in 2000 the Guards badge as well as images of the Orders were applied on all planes of the regiment.

Additionally, some planes were named after the unit's airmen who had earned the Hero of the Soviet Union title.

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About the MiG-25P / Belenko question - the discussion has been very civil, so I thought I would add an interesting point that was made to me more than once when discussing this topic with Russians. Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was still dating the very cute Russian girl that would eventually become my wife and mother of my beautiful children, I convinced her to watch The Hunt for Red October with me - one of my favourite movies and a movie for which I didn't even consider how people from "the other side" might perceive it. In fact, my wife was a great fan of the James Bond movies, even when the bad guys were Russians, so why would Hunt for Red October be any different? I was rather disappointed when her comment at the end of the movie was: "So, the traitor won?". (She was extremely entertained by Sean Connery's attempt at Russian though).

 

Anyway, this resulted in quite a long discussion about defectors and the whole topic of Belenko - surprisingly she knew exactly who he was. He was a bit of a hero in my mind at the time, having read his book several times before. In particular, I was quite curious about her stance on other Soviet dissidents, for example someone like Solzhenitsyn and particularly in the context that she was personally very opposed to communism. She is also not particularly complimentary of the Soviet Union in which she grew up (with some exceptions). Her answer to me, echoed by several Russians to which I spoke subsequently on the topic, was that the difference was very simple: She completely approved of criticism towards leaders or a regime, and even outright activism. She also had no problem with people defecting for a better life for themselves and their families. But she drew a line towards "traitors that set out not to pressurize the government, but to directly hurt the safety and security of our country and its people". At least to me, that view explains why even modern day Russians see Belenko so negatively while the same people may praise other anti-Soviet activists.

 

Even then, I may still build a Belenko MiG-25P if available for its historical significance, whether good or bad. It would make for an interesting conversation piece.

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