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ChernayaAkula

Four 1/72 Eduard MiG-21MF Fishbeds, all in-flight

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Must have been ages since I last did an in-progress thread. Last one was for a Hasegawa 1/72 F-16C Block 50 for the Viper II GB – that ended ten years ago or so. Sheesh, time does fly, whether there’s fun being had or not. :doh: Anyway, here’s a new IP thread.

This didn’t originally start out as a four-Fishbeds-at-once thing. The first one (from Eduard’s MiG-21MF Interceptor boxing) was started well over a year ago. It made good progress for a while, then ran out of steam. It then sat in primer and the beginning of a camo scheme for quite some time. I was able to get a couple more camouflage colours on earlier this year, but that was a rather frustrating experience. AKAN colours (water-soluble acrylics) and I don’t get along too well. Yet. I hope that will change at some point. Wouldn’t mind if it was sooner rather than later.

 

Here are the cockpit and ejection seat. Around thirty or so parts at this point. Pre-painted PE looks cool.

48508062017_ebe2d1696c_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-01 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

The pilot transferred from a Zvezda MiG-21bis.

48507882936_c3eceb4f6b_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-02 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

I guess he’ll be sufficient once the canopy is on. The coloured PE does look nice. The firing handles for the ejection seat are a nice touch.

48507882871_b12b630620_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-03 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

All closed and interior colour sprayed. I don’t think this was a proper colour by AKAN (didn’t have that one at the time), but a mix of some AKAN blues and greens.

The Fencer is a “smear bird”. Italeri boxing of the Dragon kit, built around twenty years ago and attacked (“painted” doesn’t quite cut it) with Revell enamels and a hairy stick. I painted the Fencer’s belly for practice purposes and because I had mixed way too much paint.

48508061812_782d912207_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-04 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

This is the scheme I’m going for. Anyone some ideas for a proper load-out? At the moment I’m considering a pair of R-13Ms and some bombs. Maybe.

48508061757_811bd67bc4_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-05 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

I also have Begemot’s decal sheet featuring this particular scheme. It provides more views than the Linden Hill instruction sheet. Since it’s quite an intricate scheme and having four different topside colours represented in various shade of grey in the instructions, I thought I’d make things easier by enlarging the plan and filling in the colours with coloured pencils.  It doesn’t help that some light colours are represented with dark greys in the instruction sheet and vice versa. 😵

48508061682_32deb7ce0b_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-06 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

This is where things ground to a screeching halt some time last summer. As you can see, there’s more green on the paper towel than on the Fishbed. :bandhead2: I had severe problems with paint drying on the tip. I used a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution Silverline with a 0.2mm nozzle for this.

48507882706_6b2c795930_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-07 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

My attempt at a paint swatch for the colours in my stash. I figured I’d paint one of the cockpit-hoods-on-popsicle-sticks-things for every new colour I’d use and then have a handy swatch, showing what the colours actually like once on primed plastic. The AKAN bottles have all sorts of weird and wonderful colours showing through their plastic jars, but these are hardly indicative of what’s inside once it’s been stirred. The things are actually fingernail art displays found on Amazon. Fifty for 2 or 3 bucks. They were primed with Badger Stynylrez.

48507882641_ac02f41762_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-08 by Motschke, on Flickr

Edited by ChernayaAkula

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This is where things stood a couple of weeks ago. The Soviet Fishbed got another few camo colours, all from AKAN. I used the non-faded versions as indicated in Linden Hill’s Azeri Fishbed sheet. They looked close enough. And I guess since the Azeris got their SMs from Soviet stocks, the colours should indeed be similar. Painting was so-so this time. I tried a dirt-cheap Fengda airbrush (from Amazon). That actually produced nicer results than my H&S. I don’t know. Perhaps airbrushing is a dark art after all. The Fengda was not without its vices. Suffice it to say, the Fengda is no more. :deadhorse1:

Also visible are three more Fishbeds. They’re from Eduard’s Royal Class and MiG-21MF Fighter-Bomber boxings. I thought maybe building a couple of the same kit at the same time would not let me run out of steam quite so quickly and that’s worked out fine. So far. :whistle:

I intend to build the Bulgarian and Cuban options from the Royal Class boxing and the Egyptian from the fighter-bomber boxing.

48060650288_99beb1542a_b.jpgIn_Prog_1man by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

Assembly line.

48507882571_6c4cd2ce5d_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-09 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

I found that shaving the slightest bit of the areas marked in red would improve the fit of the wings.

The two bits of styrene in the wheel well are as a backer for a little filling. This particular lower wing half was shot short.

48508061422_76a3880355_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-10 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

 

I’ve found this gap between the wing section and the assembled fuselage halves on all four Fishbeds so far. Needs a little filling. I used thin plastic sheet.

On the right hand side you see where filler was used to plug the gap from the short shot.

48508061327_d532e368c4_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-11 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

This was an attempt to get a kind of support for liquid putty. I originally planned to use Magic Scuplt. It’s easily manipulated into gaps and can then be smoothed with water, making sanding redundant. In the end, thin plastic sheet worked just as fine.

48508061262_b91e332820_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-12 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

I want to build all four Fishbeds in-flight. The Zvezda pilot is okay, but I wanted something a little better. This is an Aerobonus Soviet Naval Air Force pilot. As you can see, he’s standing with his arms down by his side, head looking sideways. Since he’s still on the tarmac, he’s not wearing his oxygen mask. The level of detail is very nice, though. That should make painting a lot easier.

Some Frankenstein’ing is in order!

48507882336_b97d253ec4_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-13 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

First steps. First cuts?  🦈Legs cut off. Aluminium wire was sintered to allow the legs to bent, making the torso fit the ejection seat and the cockpit.

48508061112_e4139e4778_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-14 by Motschke, on Flickr

Getting him ready for moulding. An oxygen mask was added with Magic Sculp. The legs were cut at the knees, but easily reassembled thanks to the aluminium wire. The arms were also bent. They were cut at the elbow and also reconnected with aluminium wire and CA. Ha, no needle and thread for this Frankenstein! :taunt:

The arm on the right has a throttle added to the hand..

48507882186_0b2c9d5185_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-15 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

The first round of moulds didn’t really work out. Lots of bad casts. So I revised the bases for the parts. Mould boxes made from LEGO (of course!).

48508060942_7a08fb869d_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-16 by Motschke, on Flickr

Edited by ChernayaAkula

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Making new moulds using the revised basing. Also making a mess. :doh:

Actually bought new-ish LEGO parts just for this purpose. You can get them in any size you want from shops selling individual parts (used and new) via BrickOwl.com. For some colours, the prices for 4X2 bricks are a cent per brick! Perfect for reconfigurable mould boxes.

48507882051_33cab55daa_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-17 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

With the revised bases I was able to get much better casts. They do need more clean-up, though. The resin I use was pretty easy to cut with sprue cutters and scalpels, so clean-up wasn’t too bad.

The pilot on the right is glued to his ejection seat and already has the stick fitted to his hand. They all need slight adjustments to allow them to board their cockpits after they’re painted. The rudder pedals had to be cut out because of fit issues (don’t tell anyone).

48508060792_7dbd3d20e4_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-18 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Batmen. :ninja:

The black primer brings out the detail much better than the tan resin.

48508060717_8d1ba090e7_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-19 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Pilots painted and with oxygen hoses and mike cables. Pilots were painted with a mix of Revell Aqua, Vallejo, Citadel and AKAN. The oxygen hoses were made by wrapping quite thin copper wire round a slightly thicker wire. They turned a bit oversize, but aren’t too bad, I guess. The mike cables are even thinner copper wire. All wires were sourced from various old appliance cables. I was a little careless with painting the seats because you won’t see any of that afterwards anyway. Painting things nobody will see? Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

48508060607_5607d86dc7_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-20 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Pilots fitted to their cockpits. Added a dab of Tamiya X-22 to make their visors shiny.

Bit of dry-brushing and some dust pigments on the IP panel coaming for some discolouration. The HUD lens was painted with a mix of clear Mr. Color orange and yellow tones. The whole HUD assembly is made from a transparent part., which I think works nicely.  I painted the bottom silver first. With the transparent colours added to it, it looks quite convincing. 

48508060522_5d13c26733_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-21 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

One step back. The part just ahead of the windscreen (D32) has some slight fit issues. Eduard did some clever engineering on this kit and a lot of seams are hidden. With the spill-over from the air intake (still slightly flashed-over in this pic), it makes sense to design the parts this way. It would be really nasty to have a seam running down the centreline here.

I used red marker to give me a reference when sanding. A few swipes with some sanding files were all that was needed. Rescribing was a female dog, though. Will have to see how this looks under primer.

Also obvious is that AKANs interpretation of Yucky MiG Cockpit Green isn’t quite the same as Eduard’s pre-painted PE’s is. Then again, once it’s all buttoned-up, that won’t be too much of a problem. In the previous pic (with the pilots), the difference is hardly discernible (also thanks to a bit more brushwork with mixed colours).

48508060412_7c6e5e55d9_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-24 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

The fuselage’s tail pipes. Original on the left, thinned down version on the right. I don’t know why Eduard moulded them so thick. An issue of plastic flow in the mould? Some scraping and filing produced much thinner versions.

48508060477_1d7fef2fa1_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-22 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

So much for now. More when there’s… well, more. :coolio:

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Cheers, guys! :thumbsup: Gad you like it.

 

Got a bit more work done on the Fishbeds.

Kicking off with the – in my eyes – only real, REAL weak point of the kit: the air intake!

(What is it with Eduard and the Fishbed noses?)

The intake ring is dull. The intake rings on the left and right are from the box. DULLl. Rounded. More Farmer than Fishbed, I’m afraid.  The Intake ring in the middle is my sharpened version. Took about ten minutes with a deburrer, files and sand paper. The intake diameter is now also a bit larger (albeit still too small!). OOB the inside diameter is 11,04mm. The actual MiG-21MF intake has a diameter of 89cm (measured at a German museum in Cottbus by modelling colleagues on flugzeugforum.de), which translates to 12,36mm on a 1/72 model. My sharpened version has a diameter of 11,44mm. Still too small, but the sharp lip improves the look of the model considerably, I think.

The inside diameter of the metal replacement parts by airdesign.sk and Miniworld is 11,5mm each.

49014732566_746a3ac8a4_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-25 by Motschke, on Flickr.

 

 

The in-flight stands.

Since all four Fishbeds are going to be in-flight, they need stands. Trying a solid square rod (2x2mm) this time. Original plan was to use 2,5x0.5mm strip styrene to fashion sleeves that would accept the rods. The sleeves were to be embedded into the model. Only built one sleeve this way.

49129937241_5f66182e0e_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-26 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

Used 3x3mm L-strip (0.5mm thickness) by Tamiya on the three other sleeves.

49129483593_466da48acb_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-34 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Needed some trimming down to 2,5mm. Fit is quite tight. Almost a bit too tight.

49129483558_5c7541ffc1_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-35 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

I could have installed the sleeves before closing the fuselages. On many types, that would’ve made much more sense than the way I did it on the Fishbeds. I drilled a hole next to the ventral fin and enlarged it with square files so it would accept the square sleeve. The sleeve now sits between the last “engine bulkhead” (part D50) and the afterburner flameholder (part D41). Couldn’t be helped, but is invisible anyway.

49130120182_92ef2ec246_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-27 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

The drilling and routing were done with a Proxxon MicroMOT 50/EF on a Proxxon drill press stand to ensure the drill and router bit wouldn’t wander.

49129446438_e666b79d48_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-28 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

This is what it looks like under primer.

49129972521_6c9f7f06b8_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-36 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

With the rod installed. Neat enough.

49129972461_016b863c06_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-37 by Motschke, on Flickr

Edited by ChernayaAkula

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While I had the drill stand set up, I figured I’d give the GSh-23 cannons a bit of attention.

On the right is an OOB part with the “ears” for the cooling air intake/shell ejection ports added. On the left the modified parts. From the front:

49129446413_1b2d26b4d7_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-29 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

49130120037_886f7c9172_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-30 by Motschke, on Flickr

From the rear:

49129446303_11206de2d5_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-31 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

I opened up the holes in the “ears” with a drill bit and the help of a vise. A matchstick helped securing the part without snapping the ears. These holes were only starting points, though. I hollowed out the parts mostly with fresh scalpel blades.

49129937296_bc2cd38010_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-23 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Fit of the guns was greatly enhanced by running the chisel a few times against the ridges on the fuselage flanking/pinching the gun housings.

49129446233_0caa759e32_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-32 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Ready for priming!

49129936831_798b7a352e_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-33 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Primed!

I fashioned a couple of stands from some woodworking left-overs. Never – NEVER! – throw anything away!  :rofl:The post has a hole that accepts a wooden rod which in turn fits the tailpipe quite snuggly when some making tape is wrapped around it. The Fishbed-on-a-stick can now be easily handled for painting and is just as easily stored for drying. Now I just need to get started on the painting……

49129972391_380d6078b5_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-38 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

So much for now. Hope to get some paint down soon. I hope to get the Fishbeds done this year. Famous last words, eh? Took me ages to get this update up…. :whistle:

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Very nice! Did something like that with 4 1/48 Phantoms a couple years ago.

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Great job on the conveyor belt building Moritz! Nice way of thinning the stash, somehow, even if for a second.😄

 

And airbrushing is certainly a dark art...

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Thanks, phantom and Berkut. :thumbsup: Though I must say the airbrushing being a dark art part has gotten a wee bit lighter.

----------------

Get the Fishbeds done in 2019?  Yeah nah, that obviously didn’t pan out. Didn’t touch them at all for the remainder of 2019. But now it’s 2020 and I’m happy to report that some progress has been made.

Primer had ample time to dry…. :rolleyes: … and things kicked off in 2020 with some pre-shading, thanks to the Artool FX masks and Tamiya paint. Three topsides…

49448309877_c08ef7bf40_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-39 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

…and four bottoms. On the lower right is the Soviet SM that had most of its topside camo colours applied already.

49448081436_4786669947_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-40 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

First camo colour. Gunze H27 Sand, to be precise. Thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner, it went down nicely.

49448309792_aec5e5958b_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-41 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

Underside light blue. Gunze H67. I hope you can see the preshading showing through just a tiny bit on the leading and trailing edges. Difficult to get on camera.

49448309747_1ef272a83b_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-42 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

 

Masking the radio-transparent bits. 30 minutes of masking, two minutes spraying (Gunze H26).

This is the Egyptian Fishbed. The sand colour is a tad brown, I guess. Both the sand and green (Gunze C136) have been faded ever so slightly slightly using highly-thinned Tamiya white.

 

49448081286_d9ffe9ff2a_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-43 by Motschke, on Flickr

49448309632_535b392bba_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-44 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

The Bulgarian camo looks fairly complex. In the end, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared.

49448081186_4b60bc1d23_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-45 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

This is where things are at right now. The Bulgarian (missing half its pitot rod because I’m a klutz :rolleyes:)  and Cuban/Angolan MiGs.

For some odd reason, the two greens –Mr. Color 135 and 136  - were much more difficult to work with than the sand colour, Mr. Hobby Color 27. I thinned all three with Mr. Leveling Thinner. I suppose the Mr. Color colours should have been easier to thin – being lacquers -, given that the thinner is actually for these very colours. Still, even with a bit more thinner in the Mr. Color colurs, these tended to clog and dry on the tip much faster than the Mr. Hobby Color. Conventional wisdom has it that the Mr. Hobby Color should’ve been more difficult, being an acrylic. Right?

 

49448081146_7ee33309cd_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-46 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

49447606728_f459756418_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-47 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

The Soviet SM and the Egyptian MF. Note that the Egyptian and Cuban/Angolan MiGs use the same colours. The Egyptian one has been faded a bit.

49447606698_1242be73a0_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-48 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

49447606658_1704563126_o.jpgChernayaAkula-Edu72Fishbedx4-49 by Motschke, on Flickr

 

I need to repair some overspray on the undersides. I will probably try fading the other camo schemes and radio-transparent bits a bit (more). Maybe add a little chipping and then it’s time for the pre-decal gloss coat. :banana:

Will also need to work on the load-out.

The metal bits also need painting. I’ll be using AK Extreme Metal for this. Still debating whether to lay these down before the decal gloss coat or not. Thoughts?

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Sweet paintjob! Fetching schemes too 😄

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Moritz! I love your "production line" style of building, casting, scratching, & painting.  Just watching this build, I have already learned a few new techniques!  Thank you.  Your MiGs are progressing along beautifully!  Respect!  Dutch

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Thanks, Aigore and Dutch! :thumbsup:

 

I have multiple kits of most of the types in my stash, so I guess this production line approach will be the way to go for many future projects.

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WOW! ...like a factory! I have the MF version and I want to do it as an Egyptian one. I will follow you with a lot of interest.

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Great work! Have MF in works, have same problems as you... now I will also grind intake to get thinner edge 🙂 Cockpit color looks very nice? Akan mix?

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Looking good!  I like the preshading with the template- it creates a neat effect for sure.   

 

Steve

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Thanks, guys!

 

On 1/31/2020 at 2:05 PM, mario krijan said:

Great work! Have MF in works, have same problems as you... now I will also grind intake to get thinner edge 🙂 Cockpit color looks very nice? Akan mix?

 

I think thinning the intake improves the look over the OOB intake considerably.

Cockpit colours are Akan all the way. For the Soviet cockpit, it was a custom mix of random greens and blues eyeballed to look about right. I didn't have the Akan colours for Fishbed cockpits on hand at the time. On the three other Fishebds, it's Akan's proper Fishbed cockpit colour. Sadly, the pre-painted PE is a tad too blue.

 

I have done more work on the Fishbeds, but nothing worth taking pics of, really. Faded the tan colours a bit. Will do more fading on the other paints and add some chipping.

Have decided to paint the metal bits before the pre-decal gloss coat.

 

I'll deviate a bit from the Eduard instructions for the Angolan bird. I've got the Africa@War volumes 31 and 34 on Angolan and Cuban forces in Angola by Adrien Fontanellaz and Tom Cooper. Cooper says they didn't carry roundels on the wing, while Eduard recommends roundels in a rather vague way: "The wings likely carried roundels ". I'll go with Cooper's suggestion, even though it's less colourful that way. Some colour returns, though. Cooper's profile of "C41" has a natural metal canopy (Eduard suggests tan). Some other Angolan Fishbeds also had it  that way (EXAMPLE). Anyone know why? Keep the cockpit a little cooler by reflecting sunlight better than a painted canopy frame? Replacement canopy?

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