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ya-gabor

Airfix new tool MiG-17F

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Hi Gabor.

 

Many thanks for providing us "Enthusiasts" with those very interesting and illustrated  comments about this stellar Airfix product. If we could evaluate the time you devoted to them , I am sure we would reach much more than 15$.

Keep on with this nice work , and please...give us news from your MiG-21MF...

Your comments on this little MiG-17 are worth the price of some less detailed books we could find in the "Specialised press !....

Madcop :thumbsup::cheers:

Exactly my thoughts too! 

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Hi Winnie, Madcop, Janman, thanks for comments.

 

So we should not care about authenticity of kits, should accept sloppy design, ignoring of details even if they are obvious, quick profit orientated manufacturers approach. . . 

A cheap kit is from now on a second class citizen where manufacturers are free to go back decades in design levels.

I don’t think so.

But the above suggestions, tips are for model builders who have to accept what is made by manufacturers but still would like to make it closer to the original aircraft.

 

 

Concerning the MiG-21MF in 72nd is on hold at the moment as I have several other urgent projects including some kit building. The re-issue of the Eduard MiG-15 is one of them. Try to make a quick build and try out the Hungarian decal researched by me.

Here is a peek of what is made. This is the ejection seat of Hungarian AF 338 in camo. Still have to add the harness release timer cable and the ground safety pins since my kit will not have a pilot in it, a final layer of varnish . . .

 

In traces it has some Eduard Brassin parts. :)  :)  :)  :)

 

6wu0buL.jpg

 

5XQam1T.jpg 

 

 

 

Of course I have to add that these two images are a complete off-topic and have nothing to do with the Airfix MiG-17 kit work! Only answer to the above off-topic question.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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You should care about your hobby of course! but take the manufacturer of this kit. It is AIRFIX! They aren't known for massively researching their kits, they do enough to make a kit they will sell thousands of because they are cheap. I doubt there is a single kit out there by Airfix that doesn't have numerous accuracy issues. Including MY personal favourite the Sea King. lots of little annoying mistakes and misses, but it certainly looks like a Sea King.

 

I appreciate your enthusiasm for sure, but Airfix kits are made for the masses, to sell many kits, and not just for the experts that want 100% perfection. Prove it with your wallet if you will, if you don't like it, don't buy it. This isn't Academy or Eduard or Tamiya. And you will pay %15 for this kit, not $30 or $40...

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I don’t think we should relegate Airfix to the runners up league, they do make (occasionally) really nice kits! There is no question about this! They are not the Frog or Novo manufacturer of today. Mass production does not contradict quality. Every company is after making money, this is a business with a lot of costs. Only in this case the product they try to sell is a plastic kit.

It is a question of willingness and decision on the companies side of “how deep we are going into a particular subject” even if only in terms of surface detail and general authenticity. Remember I am not speaking about “going in deep” in a way of super-detailing, opening up panels, separate engine . . .

 

There is no perfect kit, only for a blind onlooker. Even the so called “big names” in this business make mistakes, misinterpretations of facts, fall into common faults. . .  So Airfix is not alone. The problem here is the use of the latest technology and even then managing to make such a cockup. And the year is 2019 and not 1980!

 

I am sure they will sell a lot of this kits and in a way will feel justified for doing it the way they did it at the end of the day.

 

But let’s get back to what one would need to do to make something more decent out of this kit.

 

Best regard

Gabor

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<...> I doubt there is a single kit out there by Airfix that doesn't have numerous accuracy issues. Including MY personal favourite the Sea King. lots of little annoying mistakes and misses, <...>

 

The new one? The one that was also based on  a laser scan? 😮 What's wrong with it?

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The cockpit. Ejection seat

 

Of course the ejection seat is also wrong in this set. Why should the kit have anything right? Unfortunately! The problem here is that the seat and its headrest is the most visible item from the cockpit.

 

An early MiG-15 style ejection seat is provided in the kit, this kind of seat was used ONLY in the first generation MiG-17 (no letter type identification, this is the first non afterburning transitional version of the 17) as illustrated below. The seat is exactly the same as the one used in the MiG-15.

 

-  Please note the seat position (height) this is where the headrest should be. The seat was adjustable to the height of the pilot, but not the headrest was moving, only the back and the seat pan.

-  Also note the nose gear undercarriage down indicator sticking out from the forward radio compartment cover. This is a museum aircraft, in service life the indicator was red, only very few had it painted red with white stripes. 

 

 

9lKS6PA.jpg

 

For later versions, including the afterburning MiG-17F the new more modern “Curtain type” ejection seat was fitted. From the outside you can distinguish it by the very big headrest box with a firing D ring on top of it. The new seat had many other visible differences too which were inside the cockpit.

 

Here is a view of the bulky new headrest. This was a fairly complicated piece of equipment designed to stabilize the seat after ejection. The MiG-15 seat had a tendency to get into a spin after leaving aircaft. (just as many Western seats of that era)

 

 

rVYjPPs.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

It is puzzling why Airfix chosen two paint schemes both of which have the “Curtain type” ejection seat while they knew that the kit will have the old seat.

 

 

kmkFgXy.jpg

 

 

The right “Curtain type" seat could come from the spares box, an aftermarket version or even a little scratch building. :)

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Gabor.... a colleague  have right. You write on "bad" Airfix MiG-17 here, on Britmodeller, on czech modelforum - everywhere.... Why ? It is a cheap "Fresco" kit, most sell in  Toy shops.... This does´make sense - Airfix in this phase, when is kit short on the release really don´t make any adjustments.... And on czech forum modellers write - we bought, we build and we see 🙂 Any error here, any error there - it is a cheap  kit  for Kids, with attractive marking and gorgeous boxart for Pocket - money.... Their MiG-15 is horrible and ugly - this new MiG-17 is much better 🙂  Maybe in future make another company new "Fresco" for real modellers... When was Airfix ressurect and sell their kits for 5USD (100CZK)  i bought whole box and many types for 2x. And this is a Airfix sell strategy 🙂 I think a side by side with Eduard kit  was MiG-17 by Airfix nice 🙂

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Hi AICZ,

 

Did you read the part about: suggestions for making this kit better, ideas for corrections . . .???

 

All I do is to show the kit and show in comparison the real aircraft, and what can be done to bring them closer to each other.

 

Are the points I draw attention to invalid on this kit?

 

Hints and illustration of where one should place the undercarriage down indicator is blasphemy, which ejection seat should be put into it is sacrilege? . . .

 

This is a product and the price does not play any part in it. It is a plastic kit just like any other. Please don’t forget that the year we are in now is 2019. What was in the past has nothing to do with kits of today!

 

Best regards

Gabor

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I don’t think we should relegate Airfix to the runners up league ... .

 

Gabor,

 

I'm sorry you have to repeatedly "defend" your observations and recommendations to those who somehow know Airfix models are, by design, mere toys for the masses. You show tact and class in addressing these good-enough folks.

 

Gene K

Edited by GeneK

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The new one? The one that was also based on  a laser scan? 😮 What's wrong with it?

 

Size and shape is OK, but it is missing crucial details such as rivets, the Sea King is festooned with positive rivet heads. Also the rotor head is super simplifiedd, and the kits come only with the new rotor blades, not the old metal blades. There are others who have much more detailed data than me on it. I love the kit and have several, but it is overly simplified.

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Adding panels, details left off by Airfix.

 

For servicing the huge engine four big panels are fitted on mid fuselage. Two of them on top and symmetrically two on bottom surface. Somehow, even though the kit design is based on perfect 3D scans of the real aircraft, the two bottom service panels were completely forgotten (they must have went out for a tea and did not remember where they left off  :)  :)  ).

One has to scribe the panels as there is absolutely nothing here on the kit and drill the not so small quick release locks too. While on the top panels there are 8 locks (in each corner and mid way also) the bottom panels had only 3 on outboard side, to make it easy for ground crews. There is very little space under the bulky fuselage! On inboard side 3pegs are on the service panels inner edge. One hooks up the pegs into the recess on the edge of the fuselage and then swing the door upwards and uses the 3 fast locks on outboard side to completely close the door.

 

Tn7ZIHd.jpg

 

 

BqD3egH.jpg

 

 

 

On the back of the aircraft there are two, more or less square panels, one on each side. Only the left hand side panel has four slit vents for the engine compartment. Airfix gives only the actual panel but the gills are left off. Scribing, sanding and a bit of cleaning afterwards that’s all it takes.

 

qJsowrt.jpg

 

 

Something else

A week ago there was an interesting comment from a kit manufacturer saying that they had enough of bad reviews, constantly pointing out bigger or smaller mistakes, people should say good things about their kits. I think it is the manufacturers who should pay a little more attention to the products they are making and selling to customers. Then I am sure there will be less mistakes to talk about!

 

More and more has been said of the cheapness and “mass product” category of these kits, how they are made for the general public, and how unimportant the hard core modelling community to manufacturers (that 5-10% of the market).

If the fanatics are so unimportant then why do manufacturers pay so much and invest in shows which are mainly for the rivet counting maniacs (90-95% of visitors), make big announcements of future kits at such shows like Telford?

It will be interesting to speak to Airfix’s Tom designer  about his views on this MiG-17 kit.  :)

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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To be fair to Airfix - those panels on the belly could only be properly done either with a slide mould (that would cost money Airfix don't seem to want to spend - or their toolmaker may not be able to pull it off), or separate pieces.  That would also cost money.  Trying to mould them with the fuselage halves split vertically would result in very wide panel liness, and being on the lower fuselage, I can see why they could be justified leaving them off and let the die-hard modellers add them.  The wrong shape of the wing really is something Airfix should have caught and done something about though.

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13 hours ago, jenshb said:

To be fair to Airfix - those panels on the belly could only be properly done either with a slide mould (that would cost money Airfix don't seem to want to spend - or their toolmaker may not be able to pull it off), or separate pieces.  That would also cost money.  Trying to mould them with the fuselage halves split vertically would result in very wide panel liness, and being on the lower fuselage, I can see why they could be justified leaving them off and let the die-hard modellers add them.  The wrong shape of the wing really is something Airfix should have caught and done something about though.

 

Hi Jenshb,

 

Your good will towards the manufacturer is commendable. :)  :)  :)  Yes, it is expensive to use slide mould technology or further breaking down the parts to achieve better surface detail. All would result in cost increase.

 

I could not agree with you in this particular case. Why?

Instead of talking let’s have a look at some examples. To make the comparison work, I took the same scale, same fuselage diameter (or approx. the same), same panel lines challenges for the manufacturer. Different manufacturers, with decades in some cases between them, but all with classic two sided injection moulding.

 

Exactly the same inspection panel on Eduard MiG-15 kit 72nd scale. Why the MiG-15 kit, well it has the same size engine, same fuselage diameter and curvature, same engine inspection panels in the same place. So the problem with adding details would have been the same for Edu designers. Still the details are there and even more with very simple traditional two sided injection moulding.

 

2UYBA05.jpg

 

 

Let’s go back some 40 or so years. This time have a look at a 72nd scale MiG-17 kit. This is the KP example with the actual underside inspection panel. The manufacturer here had a bigger challenge since at the time they were only able to make positive surface details. So it is sticking out from the surface meaning a bigger problem when removing the sprue from the mould. Still the details are there even if far from perfect representation of the real thing, but this is more than 40 years ago and such surface detail was considered to be fantastic back then!

 

 

t0SUhP9.jpg

 

 

For chance Airfix itself, in this case the Lockheed U-2 kit from 1984 72nd scale. The surface details are still positive, extremely fine and perfect lines. Absolutely no problem to show panel lines even closer to the “edge” of the part.

 

 

vCow5qy.jpg

 

 

More recently another cylindrical fuselage with same panel detail challenge near the edge of the part. This is a Revell Hawker Hunter kit in 72nd. Here very near to the “edge” there is even an engraved intake.

 

 

c3GM9sn.jpg 

 

 

In 2019 to reproduce these panels would have not provided anything unsolvable on this new MiG-17 kit.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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That's probably the first time I've seen KP's MiG-15 so up close and personal! 😀

 

Keep up the good work, Gabor! I can fully understand your frustration since I'm myself building an Airfix kit at the moment.

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Hi Janman,

 

Just a small correction on the photo above it is a MiG-17 kit from KP. You mentioned MiG-15.  I do have few KP 15's also somewhere  . . . but this is a MiG-17PF.

 

Frustration? 

I dont think so. If the manufacturer does not care, why should I? No, it is simply showing what can one do at home to correct some of the mistakes of the kit. Try to help to those who will want to make something out of this kit.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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1 hour ago, ya-gabor said:

Hi Janman,

 

Just a small correction on the photo above it is a MiG-17 kit from KP. You mentioned MiG-15.  

Ah, my bad. I know, just messed up myself. I was going to say MiG-17 so that was just a typo. Thanks for correcting though!

 

Well, I'm glad if you can tolerate such incompetence. I'm fed up with my Airfix Hawk for the time being and had to start another kit as a remedy. 🙂

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4 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

Exactly the same inspection panel on Eduard MiG-15 kit 72nd scale. Why the MiG-15 kit, well it has the same size engine, same fuselage diameter and curvature, same engine inspection panels in the same place. So the problem with adding details would have been the same for Edu designers. Still the details are there and even more with very simple traditional two sided injection moulding.

It may be related to the fact that Eduard produces the toolings in-house while Airfix mold making is outsourced to a Chinese company. Mold maker used by Airfix may want to avoid undercuts that may arise if the panel lines are too deep.

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2 hours ago, Laurent said:

It may be related to the fact that Eduard produces the toolings in-house while Airfix mold making is outsourced to a Chinese company. Mold maker used by Airfix may want to avoid undercuts that may arise if the panel lines are too deep.

 

Hi Laurent,

 

Nice try. :)  :)  :)

 

f you have a closer look of the plastic parts as well as of the CAD images it is possible to see that there are numerous panel lines much closer to the “edge” of the part and they are perfectly reproduced on the plastic. So the tool makers did what was on the CAD with no problem.

 

 

pSdTz7g.jpg

 

 

b2dayMd.jpg

 

 

hEb3rAW.jpg

 

 

We can dream up all sorts of theories, the truth is that these panels lines and other details were simply left off for no apparent reason. I am sure Tom the designer can tell more. . .

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Some more details left off, forgotten or made in a strange way on the kit.

 

 

Most (but not all) MiG-17F had a secondary pitot on the right side of the radio compartment cover in front of the windscreen. 

 

 

1oZhNUO.jpg

 

 

Of the two paint schemes Airfix has chosen the Russian one definitely did have it as seen on photos of the actual aircraft.

 

 

jVPsPaT.jpg

 

 

 

 

The radar range finder antenna on top of the cover in front of windscreen is shown by Airfix as a faint bulge on the surface. In real life it was a prominent long semi circular cross section rod with lots of fine details on it. The antenna is about 2/3 in length of the actual panel. Sand down Airfix’s feeble attempt, polish the surface and add a brand new antenna, scratch from a stretched sprue with detailing. There should be a circular service panel next to the antenna on left front part of the panel. Scribe, sand and polish.

 

 

DLRvOzo.jpg

 

 

Please note that the range finder antenna was not fitted to all MiG-17F aircraft, so if you are building your own choice of aircraft, not the ones provided in the kit then have a close look at reference photos to see if it had this antenna or not.

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Here is a real antic piece that I have received from a very good friend. Thanks Pali!

 

sp9rPys.jpg

 

 

sgip1iY.jpg

 

 

Half a century (or so) ago I did build few of them along with all kits from the KP stable for the very simple reason, they were the only kits available. Back then it was nice but of course time shows. It had all raised rivets and panel lines and few other discrepancies. For example the tail sections diameter is way too big changing the overall shape of the fuselage.

 

 

CI46rGQ.jpg

 

 

And of course the wings, the leading edge is constant here too. Actually the panels and rivets were extremely fine and delicate, still look good today. It is interesting that after all this decades the decals still had white and not a yellowish colour. Of course it is possible that they would fall apart when placed in water.

 

 

It is a true antic piece but I am not sure there is a real chance of starting a build of it although there are some noteworthy details on it. Here are those antennas on the tip of the wing. They are made perfectly, point in the right direction and have the correct shape.

 

oGlvy4U.jpg

 

This was a good opportunity to dig out from my collection the original antenna and include it here. This is what it should look like, if one plans to correct them on the new kit.

 

 

 

jfxq3Lq.jpg

 

Best regards

Gabor

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I had this! The exact boxing. Bought it from the Finnish Aviation Museum, but never built it. Around the same time I tried to build an Airfix MiG-21 with Finnish markings, but both were thrown into a trash bin. I was around 20 and thought this hobby is for kids. And here we still are. 😀

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Yes, those were the days. Around here KP kits were easily accessible and at a very friendly “Socialist” price (virtually for pennies) from the Czechoslovak Cultural Shop. So we had to build what was available.

 

OK sometimes in the central Hobby shop (once or twice a year) a party of Western kits was delivered and sold in milliseconds. I remember mostly Heller kits. One has to remember that in those days Hungary (just as all other Iron Curtain countries) was a closed Socialist economy and anything coming from the West had to be payed for with hard Western currency. Now this is what was not available freely but every now and then the trading company managed to squeeze out the means to buy few crates of Western kits and sell them at the Hobby shop. Mind you the price of the Heller kits was not so friendly but if you wanted to have something different from the usual KP or Polish kits then this was the way to go.

 

The KP MiG-17 kit was excellent for starting to learn what one has to do in model building. If it went wrong there was no problem in getting another one and start again. There was plenty of time since the release of the next kit from KP was still in the far future. The only hint as of what is to come was the box side art work. Remember the anticipation for the MiG-21 kit. No big Telford show announcement, no predicted date of release. The kit was simply there one day in the Cultural shop.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Let’s get back to the cockpit, the only problem is that it is messed up too. I don’t speak of the details, would not expect Airfix to be able to do anything decent in this field. But the cockpit walls and floor in general. If you use parts given in the kit then the ejection seat simply disappears in it. Well actually not since its back part (C42) is taller than the real thing, adding to it the seat pan (C43) the imaginary Airfix pilot barely has a little forward view.

 

Speaking of the Aifix pilot, it has a hard shell helmet (as visible on the box art-work too), something not used during the period. Only a soft leather black helmet was used for example by Vietnamese pilots.  

 

The way the kit is designed (after so much research into the subject and several visits to see the actual aircraft) the floor is so deep inside that there would have been no place at all for the gun pack which is exactly under the cockpit. Move the cockpit floor part C8 upwards (if it is possible) inside the cockpit tub parts C5 and C6, or use an aftermarket complete cockpit (the easiest solution when and if someone will make one) or start a scratch building project based on photos and drawings. All this would require considerable surgery since the side walls of the air intake and the nose wheel bay are part of C5 and C6. Cut off the front part (air intake and the nose wheel bay), draft in a scratch or aftermarket cockpit, add an AM ejection seat or scratch your own . . .

 

It is fun (or not), but is it worth it? If you want to have an authentic kit, then certainly but I know many will not care, “It looks like . . . ”  Would they be so indifferent if the kit subject is a Tomcat, Buccaneer, Phantom . . .

 

Here is the Airfix parts C 5 and C6 making up the side walls.

 

M8VTYbN.jpg

 

Here is a sketch from factory drawings showing the position of fuselage frames but what is more important is the cockpit floor and its typical slope with the huge gun bay under it.  

 

AkJb2H8.jpg 

 

 

Remember some posts ago I raised the question of parts B12 and B13 which to me looked like an Oil Drum.

Well it was confirmed by Airfix at Telford that they are in fact parts of an Oil Drum. WHY???

 

 

hDiZ4E3.jpg

 

 

Can anyone at Airfix give an explanation for this? I know they will not, although on their workbench site pages after pages of detailed explanation are given for basically everything. So maybe . . .

Will the Airfix decal sheet have appropriate scale markings for Shell or Exxon to go on the oil barrels?   😊   😊    😊    😊    😊    😊    😊 

 

In our day of age when every manufacturer is hard at work on reducing part number in kits to save production costs, why would someone add totally meaningless parts completely unrelated to the kit???

Please someone explain this!

The same space on the sprue could have been more wisely used to add a second version of the ejection seat for example, increasing the options in the kit.   

 

 

Best regards

Gabor

Edited by ya-gabor

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