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No promises. Just mucking about at my own pace with this 2 kits.

So, after so many years (decades) there is a chance to build a second generation MiG-21 in 72 nd scale. The last chance was with Fujimi kit in the beginnings of 1990’s. For the first generation 21 there is still the fantastic Modelsvit MiG-21F kit which is simply perfect. But here we have a look at the second (some call it 3 rd) generation Fishbeds.

 

The Fujimi back in 1992 built as a bis now In "long term storage"  :D 

 

 

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And today:

 

 

There are two kits on the workbench from Eduard, the “late version” or the Gorkiy Aircraft Factory (now the factory is named Sokol and its homecity has changed its name to Nizhniy Novgorod) of which about 200 airframes were produced for Air Forces who still needed a dozen or so of the by then primitive Type 96 or as commonly known MiG-21MF. This included the Czech AF.

The other kit is the main production batch of the MiG-21MF produced in Moscow in thousands. This is the true version of the export MF. Basically from this version one can also build a more or less correct Russian MiG-21SM used extensively by the VVS.

 

Originally I had no intention of doing the late version as it had no historic significance only a stop-gap solution for some air forces. The Moscow produced True MF version is far more important as this is  the type which was used in big numbers all around the world and of course we had it in our own service.

The Gorkiy version also has a faint relevance to Hungary as they were flown a couple of times by our pilots in Russian training. So this is the single reason for doing it. Few squadrons of the Gorkiy aircraft were used by the VVS but mainly in secondary role. So the bird I am building from the Gorkiy kit is a Russian aircraft in overall grey Air Superiority colour.

 

The two kits differ only in one sprue, Frame A which has the fuselage parts and the wings with all that needs to be added to them. (Actually for the Moscow version the frame is named B 70140.)

No differences in outline or shape, only the fine details, engraved lines and riveting. The colour difference is only due to the fact that the Moscow version I have is an early test sprue.

 

Here are the two different main sprues. The brownish is the new sprue for the Moscow version. One would not be able to see much difference from this distance but I will show the differing details on close-ups.

 

 

 chpLITY.jpg

 

 

 

The two service panels on the back near the fin are slightly differ on the two versions.

 

 

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The wings made in Moscow had an inspection hatch added for the wing fuel tank.

 

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Panels near the cockpit had a slight difference. A small intake was repositioned and the panel had different fast lock positions. Simply due to the fact that the Gorkiy plant was building in 1975 the more advanced MiG-21 bis which had these lock positions.

 

The door for ammo near the spine tank was a little different as well as the shell link removal door on the underside. From outside little difference but inside the airframe structure was completely changed resulting in a bigger gun ammo capacity.

 

 

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This is about it for the differences on the Moscow kit. Later will show some others which were ignored by the manufacturer.

  

   

Best regards

Gabor

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8 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

 

 

 

 

 

   

Best regards

Gabor

Hi Gabor,

first I Like to say I'm really happy to see you working on a 1:72 kit which is a scale I personally love.

Then I'm excited to follow the lesson is going to be performed here knowing You as the most expert on migs and mig-21 expecially I belive.

Moreover you're a very skilled modeler so I expect to learn new techniques durning the building process.

Finally I'm a mig-21 lover as well. Obsessed to tell it all. But not very expert. So this is going to be a tutorial to me because sooner or later this kit will be over my workbench.

 

So my best wishes to You for a successfully and extraordinary build.

 

Giovanni

Edited by Giovanni
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Here are some more details. Have a look at the plastic parts for the cockpit. I think there is not much need for any resin parts here. Made a comparison with photos of the real cockpit and about 98% of switches are there, exactly where they should be. With painting this will be as good as it could get in 72 nd scale.

 

 

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For those who don’t like painting there is always an option of the coloured brass parts included in the Profipack version of the kit. It has all the dials and knobs. But it is a two dimensional flat surface. Compare them to the three dimensional surface of the plastic parts. I prefer the plastic. But we will see how the painting goes.

 

 

I know that Eduard is doing a Brassin cockpit for this kit. In my opinion seeing the plastic parts I don’t think there is any need for the resin cockpit. Have to add that painting a one piece cockpit is not an easy task. OK, you just drop it in and no more work with it, but if it is not painted properly what is the use. I understand the policy of the company where they will make suck an alternative cockpit for every kit they have. But here the plastic parts are superb!

 

Here is the KM-1M ejection seat. Looks OK, but I am still not sure if it will be used. We will see, fortunately it is not a question at this stage.

 

 

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Now some bad news. There are shrink marks in several places. What to do about them? Still don’t know. I would not want to lose the nice surface details but on the other hand they do look nasty on the side of the fins. The reason for them is simple, inside the fin there is a cavity for the positioning piece to make the fin stand at a correct angle and making a positive positioning of the fin + top fuel tank part.

 

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With a camouflage aircraft I feel that the shrink marks here will not be so visible but if you want to do a natural metal version you are in deep trouble. There are some shrink marks on the wing top and bottom but they are not so visible. It is possible that these shrink marks are only on some early Gorkiy MF Profipack kits. A change in cooling of the press tool could solve the problem. Don’t know if they have made changes but on the Moscow MF the shrink marks on the fin are not so noticeable.

 

On the weapons sprue there are also some shrink marks, mainly with the thicker parts. The ones I seen are on the RS-2US guided missile bodies and some of the bombs. I have no plan to use either of them so  . . .

 

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It is interesting that the sway braces were incorporated onto the unguided missile launchers. It is a feature not really shown earlier by other makers. A nice touch!

 

 

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Best regards

Gabor

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Hi Gabor,

 

Really like this. Got several kits of the MiG-21MF. Even building on a old KP MF. 😊

I have 2 Eduard kits in the stash. Love them....

I will follow this with interrest.

 

Han

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A bit of work on the kit. I have already mentioned that while the cockpit is superbly detailed, there are other parts of the kit which have been neglected by the designers. OK I know as part of the Edu strategy the not so detailed kit parts are expected to be replaced with the makers own resin parts. I believe in case of the tires it is a waste of money. The plastic hubs are as detailed as they could be and based on the CAD images of the resin alternative there is nothing extra in the later.

Well the tires are not so nice in plastic but they have a perfect base for little modelling work. Thea are completely featureless, just a bald surface, but there is a big ridge in the middle where the mould line is. It takes veryl little time to sand them down and give the tire the right profile.

 

 

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As the next step I engraved the tire threads with a P cutter. Going from the middle to the outside one by one the lines were added. The rubber tires also have on the sidewalls lines going from the axis outwards. The easiest way to reproduce them was simply cutting / engraving with a sharp scalpel. The blade leaves a mark which after painting will be just right. The Brassin examples don’t have this lines.

 

 

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One feature of the Russian tires is a “measuring hole” found on the running surface left-right-left-right at equal distance. It is safe to use the tire till the holes are still visible. The holes were marked out and drilled. These holes are also missing from the resin replacements.

 

 

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All in all it took about 30 minutes to do each tire and it was fun.

 

 

Some basic colour was added. A green to the wheel hubs and a dark grey base for the tires. Various blacks will go on the tires later and some weathering to finish it off.

 

 

wvi5dL5.jpg

 

 

 

Best regards

Gabor   

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Concerning the sink marks I had a closer look at different versions of the kit. So here it is:

 

On the very first so called “Library Edition” kit the sink marks are not so visible on the fin. They are there, but not so visible as on the Profipack version next to it. The two are compared on the same picture, same lighting conditions . . .

 

 

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Also had a look at the new kit, the Moscow version of the MF. The sink marks are less visible. On the new kit the stub on top of the fuselage which goes into the fin base has been cut back in length. I would have imagined that the associated hole in the fin would have been also shortened. As far as I can see it remained the same.

Maybe if it was shorter then the thickness of the plastic is more uniform and the sink marks could be less so. The proper cooling of the press form can avoid this sort of sink marks and of course detailed analysis / design of the press form with Mould Flow could bring forward such problems. But who am I to  . . .

 

 

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And a sneak peek of the Budapest MiG-21MF production line . . .  :D  :winkgrin:  :D  :winkgrin:  :D

 

 

JxHQ3Fo.jpg

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Officially: in 2019 /early 2020 the next batch of MiG-21’s will be the R, the PF and PFM versions (used by Czech AF so interesting for Czech modellers and preferred by Eduard).

Only after this, about a year (or two) later 2020 / 2021 the SMT, the bis. (Never used by Czech AF so . . .  )

 

Based on original time table the first 72 nd Fishbed should have been out more than a year ago and by now we should have the bis and SMT. The plan (so many years ago) was to have the same production line in 72 as in 48, that is starting with MF, followed by SMT, bis, PF . . .  

 

But we have Me-109’s, Spits, FW-190’s, Tempest, Liberators  . . .   getting in the way.

 

My personal opinion based on discussions with Eduard and Czech modellers is that the later (SMT, bis) will not be made. But this is only my opinion!  And we are not even speaking of the two seater version/versions or the fantastic MiG-21F-13!

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Thank you for the summary. Always interesting to see your detailed and methodical pictures and great job on the tires, original ones look downright terrible.

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I did get a new set of Profipack Gorkiy MF today (ordered a little more than a week ago) and the sink marks on the fin are the same.  :crying2:

 

Concerning the nose cone mentioned by JBR on Britmodeller forum. I did see photos of several cones which had the tip missing ( 2-3 mm) and looked really bad. This can happen with any manufacturer. Hope it is a one-off (OK 2-3 off) reject which was missed by quality control.

While on the subject of the nose cone. I did a bit of work on it. It wasn’t as pointed as I would have expected so a correction was glued to its tip. Sanded and polished. The 6 bolts which fix the ring around the base of the nose cone (the metal part) were drilled in appropriate positions. The MiG designers added the bolts in asymmetrical positions with differing distances from one to another. Don’t ask me why. It looks strange but this is how it is on the real aircraft. A bit of measuring and the bolts were added.

 

A design change is seen on the 72nd scale kit. Now the nose cone and the intake inner ring (Part D68) are given as separate parts. The advantage for the modeller is that now you can add the actual nose cone (Part D56) at the very end of construction. No need for masking and it is also possible to avoid damage to the nose cone during the kit build.

 

 

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Those bolts are big! And I mean very BIG! Have a look.

 

 

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And here it is on the nosecone base ring.

 

 

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A base coat of grey was followed with the dielectric green. The metallic base ring is a brownish grey colour (unpainted oxidized metal on real aircraft). This is the same colour as that for the air intake ring. The very tip of the cone is painted red but with use it erodes in most cases leaving bare the metal tip of the glass fibre cone.

 

 

cp0fi2F.jpg

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Only a short update this time. There are two missing lines on the aircraft that I have seen so far. The more noticeable is on the left side running from the front airbrake all the way to the main wheel bay. It is next to the lower edge of the shell link door.

 

 

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Nothing special just a piece of Dymo tape to give support for a straight and steady line. A P cuter all it takes which removes the plastic in a nice clean way.

 

 

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A little cleaning was carried out and there you have it.

 

 

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On the “new” kit, the Moscow production MiG-21MF the line is there as it should have been on the first kit. But this sort of thing happens even with the best companies. It take about 10 minutes to correct (including a cup of tea after it . . .)

 

 

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Hi Sabre 45,

The brownish colour for the “metal ring” is nothing special. I still prefer the good old Testors “Gray Primer” No.2737. It is excellent! OK it is slow drying but the surface is fantastic to work on. Won’t be using it for long as it is no longer available around here. Down to the last bottle, so if anyone knows where to get it . . .

 

On this grey different Tamiya weathering masters (ladies eye paints, after all this is what it is. I think) were applied. Mainly rust and a little metallic powder. Have to add that the real thing is a brownish grey colour and not metallic at all!!! So I would avoid dedicated metallic paints for this.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor  

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The tail cone (both versions A14 and A16) is a bit of let down in the kit. The trailing edge is massive! It sticks out miles from all the fine details found in the kit. Not only the trailing edge but also the surface details on it are almost completely missing due to the way it was produced on the sprue.

 

This will not do. Started by thinning down the walls of the tail section. There is a bit of detail inside the tail, a kind of representation of the internal ribs but not much so there was absolutely no problem in wasting them. First a rounded coarse file was used followed by different grades of sanding paper. In the end it was polished. At the bottom of the tail section there is an indentation which was carved out, sanded and polished. Now came the internal ribs. Photos of the tail section show exactly where they should be but I also had a bit of help from my own previous measurements of the real aircraft. Internal ribs added followed by nuts for fixing screws.

 

 

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Inside is finished. Now to the outside. The tail cone is detached when the engine is serviced. It is made of two rings which are attached to each other with screws along the panel line, but only on one side (towards the back). So don’t start riveting on both sides of the line. Each ring is made of three parts which are welded together. The weld lines are missing from both the 72nd and the 48th scale kits, so they were added too.

 

 

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There is a small heat shield on top of the tail cone which protects the parachute housing from extra exhaust heat. Ribs were added to it and it was glued in place. The base of the horizontal stabilizers is a fixed part on the sides of the tail cone. They were detailed too. The plan is to have the stabilizers moved a little out from the neutral position so the area under it will also be visible.

 

A coat of grey primer was added to see the finished part. Will have to add at a final stage a fuel drain / overflow  tube which is on the bottom right side of the tail cones inside.    

 

 

6MvO3Cc.jpg

 

 

 

I hope it is a bit better than the original kit part.

 

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Szia Gábor!

Very nice job as usual from you. Waiting for all new details you might add to the kit and looking for the news with great interest.

Keep up the good progress!

Cheers,

Pali

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Gabor!

 

You should cast it and send a copy to all who congratulate with You for the result :whistle:.

 

Here it's me: Congratulation! You surely boosted the kit part a lot! One can hardly believe that originally this was the kit part.

 

That's a #one work for sure!

 

Giovanni

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Hi Giovanni and Sabre45

 

A good try!  :D :D :D :D :D 

 

 

Hi Pali,

 

Thanks, I try my best. Hope you like it!

 

 

The tail section.

 

Actually did make few copies of it for myself in view of possible future Fishbeds on my workbench. I am not an enemy of myself so don’t plan to do this time consuming conversion every single time that I want to build a MiG-21MF. There is more than enough other corrections that need to be carried out “manually” on every kit. So I made life easier for myself by doing some copies of the tail pipe in resin.

 

On the inside surface of the tail cones there are ribs for strength. They are basically U shaped ribs/rings which are spot welded to the stainless steel skin. The ribs give a certain degree of heat protection to the outer skin and you will find that on the outer side where the ribs are the steel does not discolour from heat. While the area around it gets much darker.

 

Here is a little visual explanation on the real aircraft.

 

 

 

 t78M9UC.jpg

 

 

 

How did I make the rings. The exact place they should be was marked out with sharp pencil on the inner face of the tail ring. Stretched sprue was prepared. Approximate length was cut and slightly bended to the round shape resembling the diameter of the tail. One by one they were glued in place with liquid cement. Slight adjustment was made to make them the right distance. After leaving for few days to dry the surface was slightly sanded to give the ribs the right “flat” surface instead of the round stretched sprue cross section.

 

 

 

aLSCrqs.jpg

 

 

That’s about it.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Gabor,

 

Giovanni and I, we could make a try.😅

 

Nice work. Iḿ building the old KP MF. It was my fisrt KP and MiG-21MF kit.  No thinning the outlet or other bthinks, just ,mostly, OOB.

 

Han

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Hi Sabre 45,

 

Yeah, the original KP kit. Still have few of them somewhere. Back in those days (Socialism in Hungary and a very closed market) KP were the only kits openly available so people went out to buy it even if they did not need it. If it was in the shop you had to buy it for several reasons:

-  it could be the last time you can buy it

-  it is possible that a friend will need it

-  chance to exchange it with someone for a better kit

-  chance to send to Western friends who had less access to Eastern kits

-  and so on and so on

 

So few still left somewhere but I don’t think now I will spend time on them.

 

 

 

Concerning the question where exactly the ribs are inside the tail pipe, here is a view of the real aircraft where the location is visible. Actually there is not much use in detailing the complete tail as after the second ring there will be little visible. The third ring is barely visible from the engine exhaust section.

 

 

0BL5REO.jpg

 

 

Anyone thinning down the tail section and adding internal ribs should take into consideration that there is very little space to spare when the engine exhaust is fitted (this applies to both the kits plastic part (D58) as well as for the Brassin engine set).  Also consider the paint that goes on both so be careful! Dry fit to see where you are.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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