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Revell 1/48 MiG-25P Foxbat…

August 18, 2014 in Aviation

I have always been fascinated with the MiG-25, as much as I am with the SR-71. The Blackbird is the faster aircraft, but according to my info, the Foxbat has flown to a higher altitude, over 123,000 feet (37,650 metres), actually the highest altitude ever flown by a land based air breathing airplane.* It was ballistic, of course, in a zoom climb, but it got there. And it got back. The SR-71 apparently would not have been able to perform such an exercise without breaking up. The MiG-25 has gone places few other aircraft have.

This model and I go way back, to the City. It has survived a couple of free fall flights from the ceiling to the floor below, and had to be somewhat rebuilt each time. The main landing gear always suffered the most, and this led me to try to make that aspect a little more accurate each time I repaired it. Other details were worked on over the years as well.

A Polish book from the publisher Altair, “MiG-25 – Stalowa Blyskawica” by Yefim Gordon and Oleg Putmakov (both Russian) became available in time for the last rebuild, and was a lot of help in figuring out the configuration of the landing gear. This was because of very beautiful and detailed drawings. It was such a good book (even though I can’t read it) that I bought a second copy! Thanks to the long missed San Antonio Hobby Shop for finding this book (and, no, they were not in Texas!). Stalowa Blyskawica means “Steel Lightning” in Polish, and this alludes to the fact that the MiG-25 was mostly made of steel, not titanium as the West initially believed.

Anyway, this is the latest iteration of my MiG-25P model, still from quite a few years ago, with some touch up paint, which gives it the look of “been sitting out in the weather at Monino”, or maybe somewhere at a PVO base in the Arctic or the Soviet Far East (perhaps Chuguyevka air base in Primorsky Krai, where Victor Belenko flew from when he defected to Japan, with his MiG-25). It also seems to have a replacement windscreen and canopy.

A couple of photos, from front and back, show the kind of “clumsy bird on the ground waddle”, like a “gooney bird”, look the Foxbat has on the airfield.

Certain details I added are the compound sweep angle of the wing (very slight at outboard wing fence) which only the interceptor has, the reconnaissance versions have a straight leading edge. And the inner wall of the engine intakes has an interesting double curve to it. These points are illustrated clearly in the Polish book. Also the “wasp waisted” anti flutter booms on the wingtips, featured by the MiG-25P. And some details added to the missiles. But it sure isn’t perfect, and I guess the new Kitty Hawk kit is a step ahead. But this is a model I have become attached to, after rescuing it as many times as I have!

I mentioned in my post on the Monogram 1/48 F-8 Crusader, that in a book on MiG by Bill Sweetman, in the chapter on the MiG-25 Foxbat, he credits the design of the F-8 Crusader as being inspiration for North American’s A-5 Vigilante, which then greatly influenced the design of the MiG-25 Foxbat. It has to do with the high shoulder mounted wing, and slab sided fuselage. In addition, it’s interesting that the initial North American mock up of the A-5 featured twin outward canted fins, a feature that was dropped from the production A-5 (a single slab rudder was used), but one that appeared on the MiG-25!

The MiG-25 has a tremendous amount of character and presence, and also an amazing performance, and it is one of the greatest achievements of the MiG design bureau.

* On 31 August 1977, “Ye-266M” flown by MiG OKB Chief Test Pilot Alexander V. Fedotov, set the recognized absolute altitude record for a jet aircraft under its own power. He reached 37,650 metres (123,520 ft) at Podmoskovnoye, USSR in zoom climb (the absolute altitude record is different from the record for sustained altitude in horizontal flight). The aircraft was actually a MiG-25RB re-engined with the powerful R15BF2-300.

20 additional images. Click to enlarge

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10 responses to Revell 1/48 MiG-25P Foxbat…

  1. Nice lookin’ build AND photography, Robert. I bet that thing is h-u-g-e in 48th scale, huh?

  2. Fascinating story both about the real thing and the model, Robert, it certainly shows no sign of any of the damage incurred, and, like Craig said above, the photographs are very good.

  3. beautiful finish Robert, nice work!

  4. Interesting finishes, Robert, which give a ‘lift’ to an otherwise (as you say) clumsy-looking bird. Obviously for you a model worth perservering with, judging from the free-flight mishaps.

  5. I share the admiration of this aircraft, Robert.
    Just yesterday I visited the SR-71in Duxford and thought that her hunter, the MIG-25, would perfectly complement the picture, if it stood right next to her.

  6. Fantastic build and an interesting read also! I was unaware that the MIG had the altitude record. The weathered finish you have achieved is amazing! I read a review on the kittyhawk kit recently mate in Aircraft Modeler International, and it wasn’t a good one. It is a nightmare to put together allegedly. Cool build on a very cool aircraft Robert, cheers!

  7. Very nice Robert. I especially like the way you pulled all the colors together.

  8. Great build Robert, like the weathering mate.
    Also I did not know that she held the record.
    Well done mate.

  9. Thanks for the nice comments on my old Revell MiG-25 Foxbat. I think I kind of lucked out with my touchup painting. The original finish (possibly from age, and Pactra enamel) seemed to have taken on a yellowish tinge that I tried to soften with a bluish gray, and this seems to have given a pretty realistic “aged MiG-25” look to the model, comparing it to photos and videos I’ve seen.

    One other thing I just discovered is that the nose shape of the Revell kit was not accurate for the MiG-25P interceptor version I was building, the kit nose is more like the reconnaissance version, longer, more tapered and pointed. The interceptor has a fuller shape to the nose, and this is something I tried to correct, and believe I was fairly successful. Can’t remember how I did it, but think it may have been just by adding putty and sanding to the correct shape. But also had to make it shorter.

    I did pretty extensive research on the various details like this on the MiG-25, when I was building the kit, and saved my notes, though in a quick look at them just now, I found them hard to understand. It will take a longer study to figure them out. But the nose modification was definitely in these. I still have 2 more Revell kits from when this kit was first released, and I remember reading that they actually used photos of the Hasegawa 1/72 kit on the box art. It looks like it, as they feature the interceptor nose, which the actual kit inside the box didn’t have! But maybe I could try a recon version next time.

    Anyway, I hope my Foxbat doesn’t take any more free falls to the floor. Since it no longer hangs from the ceiling, but sits on a shelf, perhaps it is safer now, although it is a high shelf!

  10. Bob,
    Very nicely done

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