flybywire

Mig-31 Foxhound

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I guess by this time, many modellers especially the expert ones have either reviewed or built the Hobby Boss or the AMK kits, could you guys please share which one between the two is a better kit, when all the pros and cons of both kits have been considered. Thanks in advance!

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There are a ton of posts here and on Britmodeller. I guess it comes down to version (early/late) and a couple of small nuances between them. I would be willing to wager however, that a poll would find the AMK as the more desired. Personally speaking, I do have the AMK and the molding and details put into it are nothing short of stellar.

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You could also watch Phil Flory's reviews on Youtube. They says nothing about the accuracy, but you'll see all the parts pretty nicely although I don't agree with him in all issues.

 

I'm compelled to say my view as well although my experience in this scale is next to zero. Thanks to Sebastijan I happen to own an AMK kit and I can assure you it looks magnificent. It's so marvellously engineered with the latest production technologies and full of crisp details. The critics might point out to the widish panel lines although they don't look that bad in real life at all. At least they are crisp and uniform as are the rivet details too.

 

The HB kit seems to have a lot more annoying seams, mould lines and ejection marks in visible places. Some say it has details that are omitted from the AMK kit but at least the ones I know of aren't that hard to fix.

 

For a slow modeler like me one of the best things on the AMK kit is that it looks so god damn good even as an unnassembled kit! I've made some dry-fitting too and everything seems to go very smoothly together. Also, the AMK kit seems to be a tad cheaper in many areas, at least where I live. I can't see any option for it if you ask me.

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As I have both the AMK and the HB kit at home I can share my impressions about them with you.
 

Variant:

Here it really depends which variant you want to build.

 

AMK: gives you the variants B/BS (mid production) and the BM/MSM (later upgraded machines).

HB: gives you the MiG-31 (without suffix), the earliest variant without refueling probe. The kit contains both the early exhaust with individual longitudinal outer petals and late exhausts

 

To be honest though, I think one could convert the AMK kit (B/BS variant) into the early MiG-31 (without suffix) without too much work.

 

Surface detail:

AMK: generally accurate though the panel lines are a bit on the heavy side (my personal opinion). Missing bumps near the parachute housing.

HB: Panel lines are finer. More rivet detail (maybe too much). Some raised lines on the fuselage sides (weld lines). Bumps near the parachute housing are there (though one should remove the one left of the housing). Prominent fastener detail on the vertical fins is missing.

 

General detail:

To be honest I thing both kits are very well detailed (wheel wells, cockpit, exhaust, ...) so I think there is no clear winner. Both make use of photo etched parts and feature full lenght intakes (though the wall structure is more accurate in the AMK kit). HB also has some metal reinforcements for the landing gear (AMK gives you the possibility to purchase a metal gear as an upgrade set). The only thing I don't like are the rubber tires in the HB kit.

 

General accuracy:

AMK: Very accurate in shape and detail. There are some minor details which are not completely correct (missing bumps next to the parachute housing, parachute housing, ...) but no dealbreakers. I think in the dedicated thread here on ARC are some more information about what can be corrected.

 

HB: the upper side of the nose is quite flat while the lower side is a gentle curve. I added a spreader in order to "bulge" the upper side a bit more. Another thing were HB made a mistake are the slats. They should be four-piece and the leading edge above the wing fence should be fixed. In the kit they are only two-piece and there is no fixed leading edge above the wing fence so you need to rescribe these areas. On one of the vertical fins is a blade antenna which should be removed (inner side).

 

Assembly:

I don't have them built yet but I've taped the main parts of both kits together to see how everything fits. Here the AMK kit is way better. Everything fits on the spot. The HB kit, though fitting very well too, has some problems with the fuselage fit (very flimsy, sometimes quite tiny mating surfaces). So some reinforcements along the joint lines are definitely needed.

 

Weapons:

AMK: provides the correct loadout for each variant, all missiles are single-piece with fins molded in place.

HB: missiles splitted in halves and you have to attach all fins perpendicular to each other. An annoying problem is the cleanup of the seam, especially on the R-33s, because you have to preserve all the fine surface details around it. Also the loadout is partially incorrect. I've only ever seen the MiG-31 with a pair of R-40TD (improved variant, infrared homing). The HB kit provides only one R-40TD and one R-40R (early variant, semi-active radar homing). AMK provides the correct loadout of 2x R-40TD (B/BS variant).

 

Price:

It really depends where you purchase the kit, but in general the HB kit is slightly cheaper. I got the AMK kit heavily discounted at my LHS for 45€ (49USD ) (normal price was 70€ (75USD )) and the HB kit for 55€ (59USD ).

 

In the end both kits are very good representations of the MiG-31. I don't regret to have the HB kit but in my opinion the AMK kit has a slight edge over the HB kit.

I hope this helps you with your final decision.

 

Cheers,

Markus

 

 

Edited by Shorty84

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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.

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3 hours ago, MoFo said:

 

 

If you're absolutely torn, and just can not make up your mind, go with whichever is cheapest.

 Hmm... I'd rather drink cheaper beer for a week or two and then get the AMK kit. Unless Soviet era early Foxhound is exactly what you're after. 

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5 hours ago, MoFo said:

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)

The early exhaust were quite short lived and for 99,99999999999% of the options and people, they just simply dont matter as the early exhausts got switched to the later ones anyway.

 

So no, you dont "need" HB kit to build Soviet-era MiG-31. MiG-31B is Soviet era, so is MiG-31BS. Building MiG-31 ("Izd.01") from AMK B/BS kit is uber easy. Heck, even if one builds that boxing purely OOB with Soviet era markings it can easily be passed for Izd.01 (without refuel probe) or MiG-31DZ (with refuel probe). There are something like dozen people world wide that would be able to tell the difference...

 

But if one wants to build a true Izd.01 or DZ, and a 5 min of conversion doesn't kill one, one has basically has to remove the double raised sections around R-33's on the belly and add "odd rods" on the nose. Without getting much more into nitty gritty, that is pretty much it. Hardly a monumental task.

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This is a tough one for me. I have to have at least one Mig-31 eventually but I am really torn which one to pick... I would love to see a side by side comparison. 

 

I am leaning towards HB because it has the those welding lines, which are a significant part of Mig-25/31 family for me and I would like to have that detail.

 

However, fit is important and single piece missiles are great so that makes me want to pick AMK one... 

 

I guess I will wait a little longer hopefully a side by side comparison will show up somewhere. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, foxmulder_ms said:

This is a tough one for me. I have to have at least one Mig-31 eventually but I am really torn which one to pick... I would love to see a side by side comparison. 

I am leaning towards HB because it has the those welding lines, which are a significant part of Mig-25/31 family for me and I would like to have that detail.

However, fit is important and single piece missiles are great so that makes me want to pick AMK one... 

I guess I will wait a little longer hopefully a side by side comparison will show up somewhere. 

 

 

you better wait, at least, that HB bring its other MiG-31 versions.  

agreed on the side-by-side comparison... even if i already own the 2 AMK kits of the MiG-31! (if they bring the MiG-31M, i might consider buying it)

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29 minutes ago, foxmulder_ms said:

I guess I will wait a little longer hopefully a side by side comparison will show up somewhere.

 

Flory Models were supposed to do one, but I guess they didn't come around to that yet. I bought both, but I didn't have either yet in my hands (if I did, I'd gladly do some comparisons).

 

Without seeing either in person, I'd expect the AMK to be ahead, but the HB should be OK, too, especially if found for less than what AMK goes for usually.

Edited by ijozic

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15 hours ago, Berkut said:

The early exhaust were quite short lived and for 99,99999999999% of the options and people, they just simply dont matter as the early exhausts got switched to the later ones anyway.

 

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.

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And even with all that, the vast majority of modelbuilders will still build either;

 

a - BM/BSM

b - Russian Air Force frame 

 

...and not the super specific early soviet under 6 years lasting vanilla MiG-31's. How many soviet era AMK MiG-31B/BS builds have you seen? That wont be changing much over the time, and neither will it with HB one. Because the markings and references are for the options a+b as above. So my point stands. It is a niche thing and peanuts in the bigger picture.

 

With all that being said, i would be curious to see whether the early exhaust fit on AMK kit somehow... You know, for science.

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8 hours ago, Berkut said:

And even with all that, the vast majority of modelbuilders will still build either;

 

a - BM/BSM

b - Russian Air Force frame 

 

It is a kind of onesided prejudgement from your side. I think people should be allowed to make their own choices.

 

The only reason for building the currently serving versions is that nowadays there is lots more photography around Russian bases which makes the subjects more attractive (for some).

 

The Soviet era PVO aircraft were one of the biggest secrets of the state and as such little is known about them. Still more and more photos surface today on Russian forums from those days. Even if they did not have fancy colour schemes, the early MiG-31’s are still interesting (for some). Have to say that there were some “Named” early versions too! So . . .

 

AMK categorically turned down the chance of doing an early version (not only the engine exhaust but also many other changes discussed many times already). So I see no problem in another manufacturer doing the earlier versions and while at it correcting the mistakes of AMK. (and adding some of their own) The choice is up to the modellers. This is how it should be!

 

Personally I prefer the HB kit as it is more accurate!

 

Speaking of the AMK exhaust it is fairly primitive and the manufacturer has made a compromise in favour of a one piece exhaust ring which on the other side is missing almost completely the surface details. The details had to be sacrificed so that the part would come out of the mould. Have a look at a photo of a real exhaust and compare it to the kit offering. In this area the AMK kit is inferior.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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I for one have the B/BS kit and would prefer a Soviet bird, although an early Russian will do just nicely. Naturally the availability of references is a major factor here too. As a matter of fact I'm not that keen on building aircraft of today's Russia, as naive as it may sound. 

 

So are there some other dimensional issues on the rear fuselage that would prevent using an early exhaust with AMK kit? After market or an HB one for instance. Actually, I'm not quite sure where the problem lies. Surely the outer part of the exhaust is different but are there other differences too? Inside?

 

Gabor, you mean the inner detailing on the outer part of the exhaust? It surely is devoid of any details but the outer surface just needs some scribing. 

 

Why is the HB more accurate? For me it seems, apart from the issues dealt earlier (mud guard, details on upper rear fuselage etc.), AMK can't be that much worse that one could say HB is more accurate. The marvelous engineering alone is an important factor for me but many inner details on the AMK kit (gear bays, ducting and its ribbing details), better weapons, non-vinyl tires and a nice cockpit are really impressive too. 

 

 

 

Edited by janman

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2 hours ago, janman said:

I for one have the B/BS kit and would prefer a Soviet bird, although an early Russian will do just nicely. Naturally the availability of references is a major factor here too. As a matter of fact I'm not that keen on building aircraft of today's Russia, as naive as it may sound.

 

Yeah, same here. I plan to use the AMK B/BS kit for the 01DZ variant (with added refueling probe), not the B/BS which started entering service a year before USSR collapsed and thus basically served almost exclusively in Russian PVO/RuAF.

Edited by ijozic

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5 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

It is a kind of onesided prejudgement from your side. I think people should be allowed to make their own choices.

 

True on the first part, agree on the second one.

 

5 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

So I see no problem in another manufacturer doing the earlier versions and while at it correcting the mistakes of AMK. (and adding some of their own) The choice is up to the modellers. This is how it should be!

 

Yup. I just disagree it is some sort of groundbreaking major issue with AMK kit. Just a different focus, that is all.

 

5 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

Personally I prefer the HB kit as it is more accurate!

 

HB is more "accurate" than AMK kit in the same way Trumpeter 1/72 Su-27's are more accurate than Zvezda's Su-27's. Because the former contains some details that the later doesnt. Yet Zvezda's Su-27's are clearly more accurate.

 

Just because HB MiG-31 has some bumps around the engines (that are inaccurate...) that AMK kit doesnt have doesnt make it more accurate. Considering the sheer amount of bugs AMK fixed during the development of the kit, i wouldn't be shocked if majority of them are found on the HB kit...

 

There are a few accuracy mistakes on the AMK kit that has slipped through the design process that i have yet to see pointed by anyone. I think it is fair to say that is true to HB kit too, especially since it is new on the market, and i have yet to see a build of it personally. (please link if someone has) There are a bunch of highly suspect areas on HB kit like the nose.

 

I mean by just using this picture;

 

EjwHx9T.jpg

 

And comparing to this;

 

u6PFCqe.jpg

 

I spot half a dozen of mistakes (in picture form here);

 

1; Fencers should be angled with the wing, not be completely vertical.

2; The flat antennas on the vertical stabs are just a mess.

3; The airbrakes are angled ?!?!? (shape issue with where they meet the fuselage it appears)

4; Shape of the landing gear doors are not even slightly wrong... They just completely off.

5; The "hooks" on the inside of the doors are wrong too.

6; Windshield front window is not quite there, but that is a pass since it overall looks completely fine.

7; No actuator details on the wings whatsoever. (yes, not just on this graphic, none found in the instructions either)

 

See the whole instruction here.

 

And all this just from the front view without breaking a sweat. Some of the issues listed above were issues on the early AMK CAD's but the difference is that AMK fixed them all or did not have them to start with. HB did not fix them and introduced some new ones.

 

I guess i find the mess of landing gear doors and airbrakes to be a bigger issue than 3 bumps around the engines that are barely seen on the aircraft and can easily be added, but that is just me...

Edited by Berkut

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20 hours ago, foxmulder_ms said:

This is a tough one for me. I have to have at least one Mig-31 eventually but I am really torn which one to pick... I would love to see a side by side comparison. 

I am leaning towards HB because it has the those welding lines, which are a significant part of Mig-25/31 family for me and I would like to have that detail.

However, fit is important and single piece missiles are great so that makes me want to pick AMK one... 

I guess I will wait a little longer hopefully a side by side comparison will show up somewhere. 

 

 

could someone point me a photo that shows those weld lines clearly? i have yet to see those (even more as a deal breaker...) and would like to see if i can replicate them on my AMK kits.

Edited by mingwin

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Mostly around the center fuselage;

 

FavTFJ3.jpg

KMdVx4V.jpg

6ENQozN.jpg

 

It is a nice little bonus on HB kit, but no deal breaker for sure. It is really super specific detail... Was mentioned to AMK during design, but they simply forgot to add it.

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@Berkut, do you realize how biased you are acting?

 

You are happy to parade the mistakes HB kit has but ok with hiding AMK ones.

 

If AMK has some super detail it is "good engineering" but if HB one has it, it is just a nice bonus which is super specific detail to be ignored, really?

 

Those welding what let Mig-25/31 fuselages cope with the high speeds. Without them there is no Mach 3. For some (like myself) there are significant. 

Edited by foxmulder_ms

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The bumps surely don't make the HB kit much better, especially when you have to sand off one of them anyhow! Probably more work with all the lost panel and rivet lines than adding them from sheet styrene. Same for those weld lines that even in this scale should be quite faint anyway. Again, how much of them will be destroyed when sanding off those two mould lines at the bottom. I still haven't found good close-ups so I'm not sure if they even are in danger. 

 

Fencers? You're talking about wing fences, Berkut? But you seem to be right.

 

Hobby Boss seems to have some panels that AMK does not have. Same goes for rivet lines although adding more rivets is a piece of cake. I actually prefer less since often some of them are lost during the build and when you redo them they are different since you're using your own riveter. One thing missing from the AMK kit are hinge lines from several hatches, especially near the back fuselage. 

Edited by janman
spelling

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for the most part AMK has

a) listened to the modeller's concerns and produced a pretty good kit.... albeit a bit more expensive, not at all bad for a startup company..

That's what closed the deal for me...

Otherwise, I don't give two hoots for all the bitching ...

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8 minutes ago, phantomdriver said:

... Otherwise, I don't give two hoots for all the bitching ...

 

+1

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17 minutes ago, phantomdriver said:

for the most part AMK has

a) listened to the modeller's concerns and produced a pretty good kit.... albeit a bit more expensive, not at all bad for a startup company..

That's what closed the deal for me...

Otherwise, I don't give two hoots for all the bitching ...

Word.

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