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ya-gabor

Airfix new tool MiG-17F

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I dont see any topics on this new bird here. OK it is not a MiG-29 or the legendary MiG-15 but still it played an important part in history. 

It was annonced at the very start of this year that Airfix is doing a completely new tool MiG-17F version in 72nd scale. Few CAD images were shown at the time. WIth a month later more images were shared by Airfix including an article on the kits development here:

 

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/early-classic-jet-project-for-young-airfix-designer

 

Unfortunately it did raise some more questions. :(  :(

 

The MiG-17 was unique in its design. It was an interim aircraft from the very start on the way into supersonic flight of later MiG’s. In fact it was originally only intended as sub-variant of the MiG-15 with official identification “MiG-15 with afterburning engine and new wing”. It changed constantly through its service life from the early non afterburning version with small air brakes, small canopy, ejection seat inherited from MiG-15, all the way to the missile armed MiG-17PFU with longer canopy / periscope / “curtain” type ejection seat and the big air-brakes.

 

BUT

One thing remained constant, the actual wing which was very strange in a way. Yes it had a break, with the leading edge angle changing half way at the second wing fence. But also its cross section was different at root and from half way outwards. It was not a nice and elegant constant / continuous change but a very abrupt one. The “new” wing at the base had a much sharper leading edge which had to transition into the very blunt / rounded leading edge of the predecessor MiG-15 outboards. While the top surface of the wing remained the same profile, due to the roundness of the outer wing section it looks like it is much further down.

 

 

 

MSEkUyu.jpg

 

PAPf8ag.jpg

 

 

 

qLaD7ot.jpg

 

 

c5xwX9w.jpg

 

I have to borough here an image from a Walk around published on Prime portal which illustrates this point perfectly. Hope the owner does not mind.

 

 

r368hMm.jpg

 

 

 

Here are more views to show what is in question, first the Airfix LIDAR image

 

 

aEvmjdo.jpg

 

 

 

AgKEASR.jpg

 

 

 

In the freshly published Airfix interview with the designer there are some interesting things! They show the original LIDAR image of the scanned real fighter and even on this poor quality image the change in wing cross section is visible. On the final CAD images this “discrepancy” was corrected by the designer to a very nice and rounded cross section all the way, just like on MiG-15. Why???

OK I can accept people saying that the change in cross section is not so visible and what’s all the fuss about? After all it is just a 72 nd scale kit and this will not be visible (for most).

 

There is a contradiction in Airfix’s point of view. If the leading edge cross section question (a very minor one) is not important for this scale then why incorporate in the CAD design the miniscule undercarriage down / up indicators on the wings? 

Here is a view of the real indicator in my collection, in some countries it was called “soldier” and its diameter is just 10mm which in 72 nd is 0.138 mm!!! OK you can sand it off and make your own, more authentic size representation from something.

 

 

Bokeup7.jpg

 

 

On the actual aircraft there are 3 such indicators, one for nose gear and two for main gear. Why include only the ones on the wings and forget about the one in front of the windshield? Where is the consistency in design?

 

Most (not all) “afterburning” MiG-17’s already had a periscope on the canopy, which is visible on Airfix LIDAR image. Why did it disappear on CAD and from the kit?  If it was added on the plastic part, one could simply sand it off to represent the earlier version with no periscope. But to do the reverse and build a periscope is a bit more problematic (of course not impossible).

Same goes for the ejection seat. The one represented on the CAD is the original, simple MiG seat as inherited from the MiG-15, but it was mainly used on the early non afterburning versions. The “Curtain” type development of the basic seat was later a standard on all MiG-17’s. If it was just a difference in some internal systems, the rocket motor or the straps then no one would care. But the difference is in the most visible part of the seat, on its headrest! It is a big chunky box with the “curtains” D ring on front of it, a part which is very much visible on the kit!

 

I fully understand the frustration of Laurent with the nose cone shape of the new Modelsvit Mirage III kit. It is possible that some remember my completely useless endeavour to get the nose shape right for one of Eduard kits. Nothing could convince them and I am not speaking of subjective look at different photos, actual measurements of the real aircrafts for comparison did nothing even though we were still in early stage of development so it would have been possible.

The issue with the Mirage nose is a MINOR problem (by manufacture) and very few seem to care about it, far more people see the question of rivets as a unprecedented and unwelcome attack by the manufacture. 

 

Here on this MiG-17 the question of the wing cross section change will be just the same MINOR problem, if at all for most and they will barely notice it. Unfortunately the wing root is a far more visible part of the kit and here the designer made it nice, perfect, an aesthetically rounded while on the real aircraft it is a pointed / sharp edge. Of course it is the continuation of the leading edge cross section question, everything is connected with everything! This sharpness is not only on the leading edge but also on the wing to fuselage connection line only getting a little more rounded near the trailing edge. This is clearly visible on Airfix LIDAR scan also! Have a look. The CAD on the other hand shows a continuous rounded wing/fuselage joint line like on MiG-15.

 

But all this is just CAD.

I say as always, let’s see the real plastic in hands and make decisions on it then! Based on the amount of details shown by Airfix I would say by now metal is cut in China for this kit and there is absolutely no chance of revision here. Oh well. . .

 

Best regards

Gabor

 

P.s. I would love to see more details of the that “. . .FOD screen positioned in the distinctive air intake . . .” mentioned in the Airfix article! Having taken apart few real MiG-17’s there was absolutely no sign of that “FOD screen”. Neither there is any mention of it actual MiG-17 aircraft manuals from the 1950’s!

If Airfix (there is no name given to the author of the article) is speaking of the mesh found on VK-1 engines compressors then they should consider (and be aware of the fact) that this engine is actually a straight copy of the Rolls-Royce NeNe engine and all aircraft equipped with it (and there were a lot of types in those years on both sides of the iron curtain) had this interesting “FOD screen positioned in the air intake”. So there is absolutely nothing unique in it for the MiG-17!

 

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Impressive posting! I have the feeling that Airfix - with all it´s new social-media-policy - would be interested in those points and may even correct them. Have you sent your points to them?

 

 

HAJO

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Reading the Airfix article it is clear that design phase is long time in the past and now it is tool making or even further down the road.

 

The Airfix article with the Scan and CAD images was published yesterday, the first of February. Today is the second of February.

 

As usual with so many projects by the time they show it to the outside world it is either already finished or very close to completion.

 

Would they listen to any outside opinion? Did they do any changes on the Brit Phantom when problems were noticed and posted on forums?

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Gabor, maybe you can develop your insights and knowledge into a list of modifications for the upcoming kit? For example how to modify that characteristic leading edge? I would appreciate it for one, since I want to build a Lim-6 one day 🙂

 

Rob

Edited by Rob de Bie

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11 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

Why include only the ones on the wings and forget about the one in front of the windshield? Where is the consistency in design?

Just because the CAD designers are not always know about the real purpose of the some aircrafts’ mechanisms.

 

Anyway, it’s a very promising tool, so let’s judge on a real plastic soon...

 

Cheers!

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Thanks for your insights, Gabor! Very unfortunate they messed up with these details.

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Hi Janman,

 

Thanks, yes I know. It's a opportunity missed again. After that toy MiG-15 they did few years ago . . . 

 

Hi Rob de Bie, 

 

I have no idea what to do. A lot of cutting and sanding but is it worth it??? This is a small 72nd scale thing. 

What I dont get is how the designer made something that differs in places so much from the Scan data! The article was saying that the plans were checked and rechecked again before they went futher in design. Didnt anyone at Airfix look at the scan or the photos they took of the real aircraft??? and say "Hey this looks different"!  Sad!

 

ChesshireCat,

 

Sorry that it is not your scale!  :D  B)  :D 

 

Nikolay Polyakov,

 

Yes, this is only a CAD but the kit is going to be produced based on this CAD!

Unfortunately the more I look the more problems are found on it!

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

Edited by ya-gabor

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First concerning the canopy and the periscope. Laurent has raised the possibility that it is due to technological issues during injectin moulding which could result in its ommision

 

One has to hold it in his hand to appreciate the size of what we are talking about. Here is a recently made MiG-15 canopy which is more or less the same as the one used on MiG-17. Size almost exactly the same, shape a little different. Next to it is a MiG-21 canopy with a periscope. Once again this is also in 72 nd scale. The periscope on the MiG-17 is almost exactly the same size, just a fraction bigger but will have to measure the real thing to confirm this.

 

iafMbNm.jpg

 

 

KzTrd5I.jpg

 

 

 

There is absolutely no problem in producing it with traditional injection moulding process. If a small, mainly aftermarket company can make it, I believe the mega AIRFIX with so many decades of experience behind its back would have no problem what so ever in reproducing this!   

 

Why is it missing from the CAD is anyone’s guess, while it was there on the scanned example and was erased when designing the CAD. Maybe one day in the very distance future someone at Airfix will explain.

 

But it will also be interesting to hear the explanation as to why were two schemes chosen which both have the periscope on the canopy while the kit itself is lacking it.

 

Isn’t Airfix contradicting itself here???

 

OK, I know they communicated that the two paint schemes are preliminary choices, things could change till release of the kit. Certainly much easier and less costly to make a different decal than to start chiselling away at the injection moulding tool to make corrections.

 

I don’t know about the proposed Russian scheme, never seen a photo of this particular aircraft. Would love too.

 

On the other hand there are many photos of the distinct Vietnamese 3020 airframe. It was put on public display, possibly well after its service life along with SAM’s and other air defence equipment used in the war. The original aircraft number was painted over with a darker colour and the stencilled 3020 added. This part looks freshly painted while the rest of the airframe does have a lot of wear and tear, fading “free hand” camo spots all over it.

 

kizeBCO.jpg

 

This “free hand” camouflage is a wrap around scheme on the real aircraft with only the aircraft code having the darker cover patch. Airfix art work shows it as having a black or very dark under side with very consistently and in orderly manner applied mottling camo.

 

But what is far more interesting. The real 3020 had the late version of ejection seat with the “face curtain” big head box. Airfix CAD images show us the early small MiG-15 type ejection seat.

So neither the periscope, nor the ejection seat is given correctly in the future Airfix kit for this particular scheme. How authentic it will be?

 

One thing which was not there on the scanned airframe and was grafted onto the Airfix CAD is the SRD-1M “Konus” range finder antenna found on top of the radio equipment bay in front of the windshield. It is that long cigar shaped “thing”. The problem here is with its size. The real one was considerably longer than what is shown on the CAD and had some very distinct details. Oh well . . .

 

  

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Could it be that the persicope is missing from the CAD drawings because it simply hasn't been toggled "on"? I don't know how CAD programs work, but maybe it's like some graphics programs, where certain layers can be toggled off/on at will? 

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On 2/2/2019 at 10:04 PM, ya-gabor said:

<...> As usual with so many projects by the time they show it to the outside world it is either already finished or very close to completion.

 

Would they listen to any outside opinion? <...>

 

There's really only one way to find out..... :whistle:

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Yes, it is possible but unlikely. Please read the Airfix article which shows details of the kit and the designer is introduced with resin trial kits in background. This is the second time in a month that Airfix have shown images (5-7 images) of this future kit and on none of the images was the periscope “Clicket on” or "Toggled on" to be shown on the images if this is the case.

 

There are only two images where the periscope is visible. One is the scan the other is of parts break down.

 

As I have written before, let’s hope that the periscope is part of the kit and gives a wider choice for future builds, including a version where you cut off the periscope for earlier examples or Airfix gives two versions of the canopy one with, one without the periscope. So far there is no evidence of this.

 

Best regards

Gabor   

Edited by ya-gabor

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About the same time as I was writing this about an hour ago:

 

". . . or Airfix gives two versions of the canopy one with, one without the periscope. "

 

Airfix has confirmed that there will be two versions of canopy. As I have mentioned the art-work is still  in development.  But that’s about all.

 

Airfix written:

 

. . . its too late to make huge changes . . ."

 

So modellers will get what’s on the CAD.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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There are benefits to vetting your CAD with the community before committing to molds. It seems that even the best intentioned CAD designers can make mistakes. Of course, the company has to listen to the community when they do find problems.

As stated it is too late for Airfix to make any changes to the molds, unless they are willing to eat the cost of redoing them. Modelcollect learned the hard way with their B-52G. Fortunately for them, they listened to the community when problems were found and were willing to make a correction set for their G and has made recommended corrections to the H. Probably at considerable cost. Listening to their customers has gained them a lot of standing in the community and probably more sales.

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I am sorry but have to repeat and clear few points here which have been shown on previous page. I believe there is some misunderstanding here.

 

First

There is a break in leading edge angle of the wing on the MiG-17. All versions had the same. This is included in the Airfix CAD images. There is no problem with this.

Here is the CAD

 

OhWRm9h.jpg

 

 

and the real aircraft

 

 

IahE4X6.jpg

 

 

Second

The construction of the wing has a speciality where from the same point of leading edge angle change (second wing fence) there is also a change in wing cross section resulting in that particular kink seen on the leading edge.

The fairly sharp leading edge at inboard wing section (the one with more angled leading edge) transitions within a very short distance (just 46 cm from rib11 to rib13) into a very blunt, rounded leading edge of the outer wing section.

I have illustrated this with photos above but here is another close up to show this where parallel panel lines on wing leading edge clearly show how it changes from “sharp” to blunt / rounded.

 

3DK4Y65.jpg

 

 

 

Third

While the leading edge kink could be neglected (if one is not so keen on details) but the wing root attachment is far more visible. At the front it is almost a right angle joint. Going backward there is a “softening” with a minimal radius roundness. At fuselage frame 13 where the wing main spar is connected to fuselage the radius of the panel is the biggest. Going towards the trailing edge the roundness decreases once again.

What is shown on Airfix CAD is a constant and very rounded wing root cross section similar or same as on a MiG-15.

 

 

DeGeQ3Y.jpg

 

 

 

LPU2qOb.jpg

 

Concentrating and emphasizing the question of the gear down-up indicator as the main problem and by doing so degrading (ridiculing) all other issues is not a serious approach.

Above I have emphasised that the gear indicator can be sanded down in about 2 minutes with no problem. So this is just an observation and it has no real importance, just one of the really minor points noted in connection with the CAD.

 

It would be nice to see some CAD details on cockpit details, trailing edge of wing top surface above the flaps . . .

 

What will the actual kit show is a long way in the future. The points raised above are observations of the CAD images and comparing them to the real aircraft, it is sad that some people take it as an attack on unquestionable sacred  Airfix.

 

 

The question of rivets on “true” natural metal airframes has been raised in another forum. Have a look here on what is seen of the rivets on a real airframe. I am not saying Airfix should have them on this kit, but Modelsvit did a great job on their Mirage III.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Fellow modellers have pointed out previously that it is possible that the CAD images shown by Airfix are only downgraded / earlier versions which are not representative of what the final CAD is from which the plastic parts will be made.

 

I hope so.

 

All versions of MiG-15 and MiG-17 had a derivative of the Rolls-Royce NeNe engine named either as RD-45 or VK-1. In all cases they had four big service panels. Two either side on top and two on the bottom surface.  The ones on bottom were slightly off-set in comparison to each other. The panels gave easy access for engine system inspections. For the ones on top you had to remove just 8 quick release crews. On the bottom it was just 3 for each panel. Opposite to the side with screws the other side had 3 locator pins. It was a design consideration since there was barely much room under the aircraft. So when buttoning-up after servicing you simply pushed the locator pins of the panel in place and locked the three screws on top.

 

The MiG-17 had lots of small and bigger panels all over it. Most of them were rarely opened, but this four very big engine inspection panels were opened every time and they were of a large size. I know people don’t really care if the panels are there or not. I would say it is OK if one or two of the smaller ones are missing but these four panels are important.

 

This is how it looks on the real aircraft from the bottom. (photo from a Russian site, sorry it had no name to go with it)

 

 

BqD3egH.jpg

 

 

On Airfix CAD this particular area looks a bit naked.

 

 

JpAyzBm.jpg

 

 

I am sure it is only an early CAD and the panels were added before it went to the tool makers. Or was it?

 

Best regards

Gabor

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OK, Airfix has shown the first test shoots of the new kit. Remember that it is May now and it has been 5 months since this kits program and the CAD images were released.  They say they are working on it. In the past 5 months basically nothing happened. It is visible on the sprues that they are a perfect reproduction of what was shown in first days of January on CAD’s. I remember that people were saying that possibly the images shown in January were of “early design phase and surely correction will be made to them”.

 

I am sorry, but in 5 months nothing was changed and it is all visible now on the actual plastic parts:

*   The wing is absolutely the same.

*   The change of profile on the leading edge is not there.

*   The wing root is made nice and rounded ala MiG-15 which is completely wrong for MiG-17

*   The area over the flaps seem to have a “depression”, something that was visible on CAD’s too but it is still not clearly shown on the sprue photos.

*   The big engine service panels on the bottom of the fuselage are completely missing. Those 4 service doors are the biggest and most noticeable surface features of the MiG-15 / MiG-17 family of aircraft.

 

nGK2X8W.jpg

 

 

 

v6fFbHo.jpg

 

 

Not surprising that back in January Airfix did not show interior brake down of the kit. Now it is evident that they have several more mistakes.

*   The cockpit details are a bit strange and the floor is so deep inside.

*   Now this is a real joke and the stupidest mistake!!!  In the new Airfix MiG-17 kit about which they write so much in their workbench post, which is supposed to be a quantum leap with its afterburning engine.

 

"In the never ending quest to develop aircraft possessing even greater speed, the MiG 17 design attempted to overcome the effects of compressibility by adopting an even greater sweep to its wings and was the first Soviet designed aircraft to introduce the engine afterburner, allowing pilots to access greater thrust on demand."

 

 

 

 

If they know that there was a new afterburning VK-1F engine inside the MiG-17, then

WHY DO THEY ADD THE OLD (NOT AFTERBURNING) MIG-15 ENGINE TO IT???  

This is very silly and stupid! Obviously the designer had absolutely no idea what he was doing!

 

 

1y5uifk.jpg

 

 

I have serious doubts that Airfix ever scanned a real aircraft and that the Airfix team spend time for familiarization with the real plane as they state in official Airfix post:

 

"For this particular project, the research team had the opportunity to scan a restored example of the aircraft, with Tom and other members of the Airfix team also having the opportunity to make a further research visit, checking specific details and taking plenty of reference photographs on the day. "

 

Did they lose all those notes and reference photos somewhere on the way???

 

It is more likely that they scanned some other producers kit and used that.  If they did indeed scan a real aircraft then the results were not really utilised in the design of this kit.

 

Sad to see all this!

 

Will the new Airfix Buccaneer be to similar high and authentic standard???

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Hi Robert,

 

You are welcome. All I can do is to show the original aircraft and compare it to the CAD and plastic parts. Everyone can make up their mind on what they see.

 

But there is something else too :dontknow:   :crying2:

 

 

 

Can anyone please at Airfix design team please tell me (and all the modellers) what has happened to the wing on the new MiG-17F kit???

 

I would really like to hear about this.

 

Please have a look at the real aircraft and the Airfix CAD and sprue images.

 

 

eMrKJjf.jpg

 

 

 

WmC54aU.jpg

 

 

 

It was visible in those January CAD images that something fishy is going on at the trailing edge of the wing (not only the leading edge problems) but I was not sure if it is only the lighting adjustments on the CAD’s or something else. Now it is fairly obvious that a considerable “shrinkage” was added to the wing aerodynamic profile. On the real wing (as on all wings for that matter) the top section is a continuous curvature going backwards to the trailing edge. This is how aircraft fly, how the wings make a lift ever since the Wrigth Bros!

 

bfgeI21.jpg

 

 

 

 

jGlv2fE.jpg

 

 

 

epF8gxV.jpg

 

 

 

Here we have nice convex curvature which suddenly turns into a concave and level out to a completely flat surface going back to the trailing edge. The inner wing fence shows this perfectly!

 

There is no such wing profile, even the Russian don’t design strange things like this!!

 

 

 

If one looks at the Airfix LIDAR scan it is obvious that it reproduced perfectly original aircrafts lines. It is also obvious that this information was COMPLETELY ignored for CAD by the Airfix designer!

So what is the use of spending time and money on scanning the real aircraft???

 

Dear Airfix what has happened???

 

Best regards

Gabor

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I’ve come to the conclusion that Airfix is aiming at the casual builder and doesn’t give a rat’s a** about accuracy.  As long as it’s vaguely shaped like what it says on the box, the details contained therein don’t matter.  

 

 

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What if the tail shape it's a spot on and can be mated to AZ Mig-17 fuselage ?

 

Luigi

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Hi Luigi,

 

Everything is possible. But

*  will they fit?      -  is the fuselage diameter right on the Airfix?

                               -  is the fuselage diameter right on the other kit?   We will only know when the kit is released.

*  Will you buy a not too cheap Airfix kit only to use the tail section (if it is right at all)?

 

The two kits (for this grafting experiment: AZ around 20$, Airfix around 25-30$), plus

*  an aftermarket new engine section with the right VK-1F tail,

*  new correct version ejection seat,

*  a photoetch set to get for example the T shaped radio altimeters, IFF antenna and the secondary pitot (not on all versions of MiG-17) next to the forward radio compartment which are nowhere in sight on the Airfix kit,

*  The Polish Master gun barrels (plus pitots) would really be a super extra, far from compulsory.

*  Maybe the right aftermarket decal sheet with the markings you would like, plus stencils of which there were a lot on the MiG-17. . . 

 

All this would add up to a price tag of over 70-90 USD. Is it worth it???

 

Remember this is only a very small 72nd scale kit, little more than handful in size???

 

 

Why not make a good and authentic kit in the first place??? It takes the same time and amount of work to produce it good. The only question is, has the company the will to do it right with attention to details, after all they did look at the real thing (did they???).   Do they care at all?

 

Sleepy-s point is perfectly valid!

 

This is a very sad story from Airfix in the year of 2019! 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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All very valid points Gabor, well made and explained. Like you say, they seem to have ignored what the scan info altogether.

 

You would have thought they would have learned a lesson after their laughable MiG-15.

One thing we can be sure of, Hornby would not release a train with this many errors!

 

 A great opportunity missed by Airfix. Let's hope Eduard release one in the future.

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6 hours ago, old_Tonto said:

 A great opportunity missed by Airfix. Let's hope Eduard release one in the future.

 

 

Well there is not much that one can say, or should it be simply: No Comment.

 

I can only show and compare the real aircraft to what Airfix is showing in CAD and plastic parts. There is a faint chance that there are some other question marks also in this kit. But one can say / show for certain if we see more details of the kit.

 

Looking at communication from Airfix they are perfectly happy with what they have.

 

We are only modellers after all and why should we count. . .

 

Eduard? I dont think so, not in the next 4-6 years.

 

Best regards

Gabor  

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On a Czech forum questions were asked about the tail section of the new Airfake MiG-17F kit. 

 

In theory

Airfix is stating that they have made a 3D scan of a real aircraft and measured everything on it.

 

In real life

it was already visible that the 3D scan was NOT used in making the CAD of the model as seen on the wings, wing to fuselage joint, underside of fuselage . . . Based on this it is possible that the engine exhaust and airbrakes are also questionable.

 

It is interesting that last Friday (2nd August 2019) Airfix again stated in its Workbench that the engine intake has FOD doors (like on MiG-29???).

 

“Although perhaps least evident to the naked eye, the MiG 17 is around 3 ft longer than the MiG 15 and its engine incorporates a FOD screen positioned in the distinctive air intake, designed to allow the aircraft to be operated from rather rudimentary airfields and protecting against the possible ingestion of foreign objects.

 

I think Airfix has absolutely no idea what they are doing / writing about!

 

The two schemes were shown, photos of the actual subject are also available and it is perfectly visible that both aircraft had the late model ejection seat with big headrest and curtain type D ring. Based on sprue photos the kit has the early MiG-15 style ejection seat. It is not surprising that the ejection seat is not shown on the side view drawings / paint instruction so as not to draw attention to this (mistake).  

 

v8MXMvX.jpg

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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