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1 hour ago, ya-gabor said:

Hi Janne,


Wish I had your speed of building kits and the fantastic eye for weathering!


Thanks for dropping in.



P.s. I had to cancel my visit, but I should go in the spring.


Best regards


Together we'd be unbeatable!!!!


LoL I'll most likeley be here then too 😄

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12 hours ago, Aigore said:

Together we'd be unbeatable!!!!


A true team work is what we were doing years ago in a professional model building company, everyone bringing their own "best resources and ideas"!

It does work sometime, but greed, envy and some playing the stupid boos can make it go all out of hand.


Best regards


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been quiet in the past weeks but working at the MiG-21 assembly line.

Sprue C looks strange, very strange. It is as if the “creator” woken up with a really bad hangover and did not really know what the heck he was doing. It was the last sprue in design and manufacture, and had to be made in a hurry at the very last moment. Since it was not ready in time the very first Library Edition of the kit was still lacking it. There are some problems here, both technologically and in view of what is included on the sprue. Technologically there are a lot of parts with considerable and very visible shrinkage. Far more here than on the other sprues, showing that it was done in the last moments with no time for correction.


In terms of parts there are also some strange things:

1. The most noticeable is that there is only a single MBD2 multi bomb rack provided. It was used only occasionally during operational serivce but ALWAYS IN PAIRS, one on each wing!  NEVER asymmetric load with just one bomb rack!!!


2. There is only a single UB-32 57 unguided missile pod. WHY??? Just as in the above case, NEVER used asymmetrically.

The front of the UB-32 (Part C50) is completely wrong. It is supposed to show the pod in the armed configuration where the 57 mm missiles are inserted in the tubes, but it shows the heads of the missiles protruding from the central “ring” of tubes as if they were much longer than the same missiles in the outer ring. Obviously the “creator” has never seen the real pod.


While the UB-32 was used every now and then (but on regular basis the UB-16 was used) the MBD2 almost never! The only question is then WHY include the MBD2 and UB-32 if only one is given. A complete waste of space on the sprue.


The problem for the modeller is that if he wants to build a “Fighter Bomber” as advertised on the box by the manufacturer he will not be able to do so from the parts found in the set. You would need to buy an extra Sprue C for that.

What kind of company philosophy is behind this????

I know they will never say “sorry, we messed up the design”. If it was just one kit then it would be no problem at all, and with the next kit more careful design / layout is made. But Sprue C is a common item to be found in all present and up coming Fishbed kits! It will stay with us!


Just one more thing. The MF’s mostly used the PTB 490 tanks (In Russian: ПТБ Подвесной Топливный Бак) both on the wings and on centreline. Depending on the country of use, the period we are speaking about and the availability sometimes the bigger PTB 800 was used on centreline. If only the 490 are used on early MF’s then one would need 3 of them but the kit provides only two. Oh well. Now this is what I would really call a MINOR problem, if problem at all since it is easy to solve from another kit.


As to the actual design of parts. In some areas it looks like two completely different persons with a contrasting approach were designing individual parts. I am planning to use the fuel tanks, so a bit more on them in the next posts.


Look at the PTB 800 (the big belly tank) and the small PTB 490 “cigars”. They are barely centimetres from each other on Sprue and the details have been added in a completely different way.


First the weld lines, while on the 490 they are OK more or less, on the PTB 800 they are grossly over scale and look stupid next the small tanks.







Before I stand accused of attacking the innocent Czech manufacture I made a comparison. Took a real PTB 800 and put next to it a PTB 490. The weld lines are the same on both as can be seen:






In the kit there are details on the PTB 490 tanks which are mostly seen on Czech production versions. It was a late design change to incorporate a front fuel filling opening on the tanks. It is something that made servicing the aircraft easier since the standard fuel cup was at the back and to fill it up one had to get under the wing and between the fuselage. Most of the ones we had on our MiG-21’s had only the single opening at the back end. In addition to fuel tanks delivered with the aircraft both PTB 800 and PTB 490 tanks were also manufactured in Hungary by Pestvideki Gepgyar (predecessor of Danubian Aircraft Co.) Hundreds were made.



As Baldrick would say “ I have a cunning plan” for the fuel tanks but more on this later. :D :winkgrin:   Since it takes a bit of time to make what I had in mind I have started work on the tanks already while the airframe is still in early stage of construction.


It was obvious that the weld lines on PTB 800 will have to go. They were sanded down together with all other surface features. While with real PTB 800 and PTB 490 I made measurements of all the panels, details, filler cups . . . to be able to reproduce them later. While the Hungarian versions had the same manufacturing numbers as the original Russian version they were different in some respect which will be incorporated in the build.

To have a uniform end result decision was made also to sand down the 490 tanks too. One reason was that one needs space for sanding the joint lines of two tank halves after gluing them together. Also at the joint line there was a break in the weld line. It is much easier to make it from zero.


Parts cut from the sprue were glued together with liquid cement and put aside to dry for few days. Then came the sanding process, started with well used 400 (now more close to 600-800) with lots of water. Going up the line with 1200 and 2000 at the very end once again with lots of water. A final polish was given with paper tissue. The bodies were ready for the weld lines and further detailing.











Best regards


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Always a pleasure to find a new update, Gabor! 


Strange thinking with the C sprue. Very. But was it really compulsory to remove all the weld lines? I'm sure you have the technique to reinstate them so that most probably won't take too long to do. Do the weld lines otherwise correspond with the reality?

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Hi Janman,


1. At the joint lines the welds have a gap which I did not like


2. to sand the tanks down properly the original welds were in the way


3. sanding was used instead of cutting, even the sharpest new scalpel blade tends to rip out small bits of plastic from the surface where the original weld is cut. In the end it will be visible on the polished surface


4. to have a uniform weld line on all the tanks I preferred to make them from scratch


5. there is no special technique for the weld lines. It is age old. :D Just make some stretched sprue (used the kits sprues and made about 6 or 7 each between 50-90 cm long) and chose the one which looks right in diameter. Cut it and applied it with liquid cement. The advantage of liquid cement is that it makes a perfect bond with the surface but also it melts the stretched material a little making it look more like the random surface of a real weld! and not the 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            - uniform,

                                                                                                                                                                                                            - sterile,

                                                                                                                                                                                                            - boring

                                                                                                                                                                                                            - and so perfect weld lines presented on the kit.


6. the weld lines are more or less correct on the kit. Having measured few original ones have to add that there are in some places differences but this is minimal. And if I mention this it will be real nitpicking and after all I am not that kind of person. :D   :winkgrin::D   :winkgrin::D   :winkgrin:


7. the size and shape is almost good, the real PTB 800 is slightly wider and the front tip should be completely round and not oval as on the kit.


8. the shape and position of the filler cups is more problematic. I understand that on the kit they had to illustrate them somehow and there is a limitation to the amount of detail injection moulding can take. Will show what I mean, tomorrow will take some photos of the real thing.


9. the complete lack of detail on the underside of the tanks is more annoying. I did share the information with Eduard about 5 years ago with the “debugging list” for the 48th scale kit. As I see my work was a complete waste of time back then and it has fallen on deaf ears with development of the 72nd scale kit.

Oh well.   :shrug:  :shrug:  :shrug: That’s the way life goes.


The details (on the bottom) are in a place where it is possible to add them without any problem and extra cost in tool making. It only takes willingness and interest from the part of the manufacturer. Well here . . .


Best regards


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I did promise yesterday some illustration for the fuel filler covers. So here it is.


The spring loaded opening latch is of course flat on the surface but I understand that it is hard to reproduce this on an injection moulded part so the designers went with this idea of making it stick out on top.


As for my kit, if it is possible to reproduce during the build then why not do it.









Best regards


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Sorry this photo was left off from the previous post. Just to show what was made for comparison with the original kit item and the real fuel filler cover.


This is the final stage of how the tail section looks like with the newly scribed filler cover + latch and weld line (circle) around it.







Best regards


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Bit more comparison of the kit parts.









One feature of the 490 tanks which I don’t like in the kit was the thickness of the small fins at the back. In real life they are V shaped in cross section so it was easy (but time consuming) to sand them down to correct shape and give a blade like sharp outer edge. A simple replacement with a suitably cut plastic sheet would not have the same look, same goes for a glued on photoetch part. I know easier and faster but it all depends on what you demand from yourself.






Missing weld lines were added next to the fins from stretched sprue. All the weld lines on the body were marked out and appropriately thick stretched sprue was glued in place. Slightly sanded, corrected where needed and so a new weld line was going all the way around the tank body uninterrupted. Mind you the fuel tank was not a really Hi-Tech piece of equipment, all made by hand and so weld line details were not so perfect. The important thing was for it to be pressure tight.



Best regards


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I was looking around in my stash for what could I use in this MiG-21 build. It was by accident that I found something that I had for about a year. This has nothing to do with the Fishbed project but it was an excellent time-out from the monotonous research /design / scratch / paint / construct  . . . routine.


It is highly unlikely that I would ever do a WWI kit but I have fallen in love with this little gem the moment I seen it.  A true love at first sight!  This is something completely different and excellent opportunity to have a break (and since we don’t have Kit-Kat around here *) and try some different techniques.




This is a Spandau LMG 08 gun in 1/32 nd scale from the Polish MASTER Company. There is simply nothing to it, no extra work, no need for additional research just few hours of pure fun!!! Have no intention of mounting it on an aircraft kit, I think it is a true Master piece (no pan here) on its own!!!   :worthy:   :worthy:   :worthy:









What I did differently was the painting, or not painting to be exact. The gun should be a gun metal colour and the choice here was for a chemical “painting”. I used the Master’s “blackening agent” which attacks the brass chemically and forms a matt black layer. It could not be more simple than this. All the brass parts were placed in the chemical bath just for 5-10 minutes with a continuous shake to get a constant and even contact with the surface of the fluid. One important note is that all brass surface should be completely grease free! Now this is very important as the chemical will not react with the surface where not completely clean, where you have grease form fingerprints for example! So I placed all brass parts in a very strong household detergent to give it a complete wash. After this they went into the blackener.









This is after first blackening dip, I like to have several goes to make it a perfect finish!








Few minutes is all you need, the difference is clearly visible immediately after placing them into the liquid. Took them out and into a clear water rinse they went. Mind you it is recommended to use plastic tweezers as the agent will react with other metals too. Placed them on a paper tissue (Zewa for those of you in Germany) to dry them off. The parts had a completely matt surface but the top layer can be cleaned off easily with just rubbing with a another tissue, or in case of the photoetched parts with a stronger plastic brush. The end result is a nice and what is more important natural gun metal finish. Still no hands here as the parts went into the chemical bath for second time. There is no real need for this but I like it this way. Wash and second cleaning of the black layer. The advantage of the “cleaning” with another tissue is that it will not affect the black layer in different little corners, giving a natural shadow while the highlights will be much lighter but nice metallic. If you don’t like the result, put the brass back into the agent and the top black layer will form again and you can start experimenting to see what you like.


There are no repeated layers of paint, primer, varnish. . .  All you get is a pure metal finish with the exact colour needed for the gun. It looks fantastic!!! Well I like it, that is the most important for me and it was a good break from the plastic of the Fishbed.  :D



Minimal assembly is required and plenty of choices are given by Master. There is a simple version of the sight and a bit more complex, which needs more patience and some careful bending of parts. Of course I chose the challenging one with the big rectangle box sight.  More work but also more fun.  And after all this is what it is all about!



For those of you in the "Euro Zone" here is a bit of size comparison









For all the rest here it is in hands to show its size   :D  :D










Important to follow the instructions and read it carefully before getting the glue in. Also watch your parts, some are very small and the deep and soft carpet loves them!

OK, I will have to paint the resin gun parts and the ammo belts, but it is not much work. Will do the painting when next time the paint shop is open. After that just adding all the components together, all in all few minutes of work and you have a beautiful Spandau gun as a result!


I simply love this Spandau from Master! It was a perfect afternoon working on it!




Next time it is back to the MiG.  :winkgrin:



* OK we do have in shops Kit-Kat but it is manufactured in Europe (I think in Bulgaria) and the taste is completely different from the one in the UK.  :(


Best regards


Edited by ya-gabor
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Back to the MiG factory. :D


Here is a bit of work on the RATO (Rocket Assisted Take Off) “bottles”. Took out some photos made many years ago (you never know when they are going to be handy) and did a little detailing of these parts. As usual some stretched sprue was used to imitate the welding of the main body. The attachment points were cut off, kit parts (D31 and D70) show them together with the RATO bottles. As indicated in the instruction sheet if you want to fit the starter rockets don’t fit parts D13 on airframe.









The attachment points were detailed. The straps for the winglets had the tightening end pieces added. They are on the inner face of the bottle, so if it is fitted to the aircraft not much is seen of it. But I have no intention of attaching them and the straps add a nice touch to the bottle. On the other hand the winglets are very visible, Strange that they are missing from the kit, while for the 48th scale kit they were included. No problem, thin sheet of aluminium was used to make them with some additional rivet details added.

In its original form these SPRD-99 rockets had no winglets, they are a later addition which helps to separate the rocket from the aircraft after they are released.






The wall of the exhaust was drilled to the appropriate thickness and some details added.  The after end of the bottle was “redesigned”. Obviously because of the injection moulding limitation Edu was not able to reproduce here the original shape. No problem.






Not much more here. Now it is off to the painting shop. :yahoo:  The RATO bottle will be natural metal.

The bottles had a lot of stencils on them, missing from the kit. Will have to add them from spares.


Best regards


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Hi 11bee and Pal,


Thanks for dropping in and for comments!


This build is just playing around with bits and pieces of plastic. It is fun!  Isn't this what the hobby should be about??? 


Now the fuel tanks will be used only a bit differently than what one would expect. They are not a main part of the kit, just something hanging on the wings. But shouldn’t the same amount of attention be payed to them? 


This is not a race, building these kits is purely for the fun of it! I am not doing it for competition or for a publication or for a company, just for myself. So it is up to me on how much attention is payed to different details.


I would not like to be in the place of those teams which are right as we speak doing the 24 hour build in the Iron Bunny  competition by Eduard. They have a handful to do in the coming hours. Well good luck to them with the FW-190’s they are doing! 24 hours of modelling is tough and I don’t think they would be happy to hear that soon I will have a very pleasant sleep while they are hard at it sniffing glue and paint and all those small plastic parts. . .   Sorry guys!  :D:D:D


Hope to have some photos tomorrow. The RATO is now painted. :D  Well just one, but since it will not be used on my kit, for the moment one is sufficient. Some varnish, decals and it should be ready.


Best regards


Edited by ya-gabor
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Definitely better than the original RATOs and drop tanks!


Whenever I've encountered RATOs on my kits (the newest addition seems to be Modelsvit Blinder) I've always discarded them. Also when I've built models of our AF. I don't know why.


Okay, I noticed you're not going to install yours either, but were they actually used very often in the first place? 

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1 hour ago, janman said:

Okay, I noticed you're not going to install yours either, but were they actually used very often in the first place? 


Hi Janman and Sabre45,


Thanks for comments and following my not too speeeedy build! :D  :D


As far as it is known Hungary never used the RATO bottles on the MiG-21’s but GDR and Czechoslovakia did have them. It is possible that others too, but I have only seen photos of these two users. (did the Finnish AF have them for the Fishbeds???)  The same “bottle” was also used on the Su-7’s where a slight adjustment of the attachment system was needed as indicated by the stencil on the “bottles”.


How much was it used in peace time?

There are few photos of trial take-offs with the “bottles”. I would say it was not the safest procedure and some extra stress was exerted on the airframe so it was not part of “everyday” flight ops. Still it was part of the MiG-21 package. Build a kit with it? Yes, maybe if reproducing a certain RATO launch of a particular airframe it would be authentic. But it would not be part of a simple choice whether to use the R-3S together with PTB or a “clean” interceptor with just AA missiles on it.  


Why was it included in the Edu kit?

Good question. It is certainly a gimmick. The Czech did have them, so why not include. The 48th kit had it and in many respects the 72nd is a down scale of the bigger brother.

Could the same space on the sprue have been used more wisely?

Probably yes. Like adding enough bombs and another MBD2 bomb rack or a second UB-32 unguided launcher which are more common to see under the wings than a RATO.


Why did I make it? Because I liked it, just as the Spandau machine gun previously. Had the info for it in my archive so why not make it. Did not take much time and it was a challenge to see what can be done out of it in 72nd scale. If it was not included in the kit, I would have never tried to scratch one or a pair of them as it has so little importance in relations of everyday ops. and history of the MiG-21.


Best regards



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The Finnish AF certainly had RATO bottles and if one thinks about the nature of operations of our AF, which heavily depended on using temporary highway bases* during a possible war but also during peacetime, I'm sure they might have had their place.


I assume they weren't used on a regular basis though and I haven't seen many photos or stories of them in use. Here's one though:


Your scratched fins really stand out just like on the real bottle. Ours were white, btw.


*) The highway bases still are an important part of the strategy, which also has its effect on the HX program for finding a new fighter type to replace our Hornet fleet. Is the F-35 really suitable for this..?

Edited by janman
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This thread is a never ending source of infos,and Gabor,your craftmanship is great.

Unfortunately I slowed down my Zvezda Bis build for both some lack of mojo and principally for lack of time...

Only this morning I glued the cannon gas purge PEs.

Hope to start priming ASAP mine.


Again,great job Gabor!!!!




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Hi Janman,


Yes, long time ago I have seen that photo, now I remember. Unfortunately it is not easy to get that book  :(   a friend had an example but he had a very heavy chain attached to it for safety . . .  :D  :winkgrin:  :D  :winkgrin:  :D  :winkgrin:  :D  :winkgrin:   


That white RATO is in stark contrast to the very dark camo of Finnish bis! One day I will have to do one.  B)   B)  


Very nice those white RATO’s!!!  I have only seen one other white example. Normally they are painted metal but as far as I know after jettisoning it is possible to return them to the maker and they are refurbished and filled up again. I would say repainted too. Who knows.


Decals tomorrow will go on my RATO. Hope to share images of it soon. We have a long weekend here (2 more days) so plenty of time to do it.


P.s. Congrats for Kimi Raikkönens win this evening! :worthy:  :worthy:  :worthy:   


Best regards


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