Trumpeter 1/48 J-7B Fighter (14 posts)

  • for the past seven years I’ve stayed in north east China all year round, and the winters are severe and long. This year we decided to move south for a few months to escape the cold, and I needed a fairly simple model to build with not too many colours so as to minimise the number of paints I had to buy. I decided on this Trumpeter kit, it’s a Chinese model of a Chinese plane after all. The J-7B is basically a Chinese built MiG-21 – I’ll quote from the info sheet included in the kit: the Chinese J-7B fighter was developed from the J-7A, its first flight was on 30th December 1978. The biggest improvements were the new WP-7B engine and the new generation escape system. The new engine had greater thrust and service intervals of 200 hours giving much greater reliability. The new ejection seat was introduced in 1984, enabling five successful ejections in the following year. Other improvements included the repositioning of the parachute compartment, a newly designed canopy and windshield and extra fuel tank.

    1 attached image.

    Tags: 1/48, J-7B, Trumpeter

  • The kit consists of 155 parts on 10 sprues plus some photo-etched parts and two “rubber” tyres, and comes packed in a very sturdy cardboard box.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Construction is described in seven stages, and also includes colour instructions for painting and decal application (two different markings are included).

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Construction starts with the cockpit!

  • Nice pick, George. I’m a fan of the Mig-21 and all of its derivatives. Looking forward to seeing it built. A lot of those J-7s have been exported too.

  • A great project! Looking forward to it.

  • Thanks John and Greg for your interest. Here are some pictures of the seat, cockpit and nosewheel bay, waiting for the postman to bring some paint. The kit also includes an etched harness, although it’s not mentioned in the instructions. I don’t think we should complain about the sometimes inaccurate instructions from the Chinese manufacturers. I purchase all of my kits and accessories on the Chinese internet and have never seen any instructions in Chinese…….

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • I bought the Trumpeter 7B kit intending to use North Vietnam AF insignia on it, but before I do, would it be obvious to you and other MiG-21 modelers that the 7B is CLEARLY NOT a 21?

  • Nice work George. I’ll be following along with your build.

    I’m not a Mig expert by any means Job, but it does “look” like a Mig-21 to me. (Especially on the decal illustrations for the kit in the last picture provided by George).

    Maybe it’s a license built version of the 21 ????

  • Hi Job, thanks for your interest in this build. The J-7 series are Chinese built Mig-21s using parts mainly supplied by Russia, but they had to be modified as production went along. Most modifications were internal (different engines and avionics) and would make no difference to a model unless you wanted to open up some of the access panels. But (isn’t there always a but) the J-7B had a modified canopy, presumably to accomodate the ejector seat and parachute modifications, and does, to my eye at least, look different, it’s more of a “bubble” shape. The Trumpeter instructions point this out. Hope this helps.

  • I’ve made a bit of progress, painted the cockpit, seat, avionics panel and the little panel behind the cockpit which has the parachute and installed them in the RH fuselage half, along with the engine, which I’ve left unpainted as it won’t be seen, the undercarriage wells and the nose cone. The instructions call for 25g of weight to be put in the nose cone, I’ve filled this area with blu-tak in the hope this will be heavy enough. Trumpeter supplies some decals for the instrument panel but they don’t seem to bear any relation to the moulding….. I’ve applied them as best I could, they are mostly hidden anyway. Hopefully I’ll be able to close up the fuselage very soon.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Thanks for the information on the J-7 / Mig-21. I knew they looked very similar but wasn’t completely sure. The work you’ve done on front office looks great, and the stove pipe out back will be very convincing too once it’s all painted and the fuselage is buttoned up.

    This is a really nice kit…………. Thanks for posting my friend.

  • Thanks, Louis. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything more on this build, a few things have intervened, travelling, food poisoning over Christmas, and, more importantly, deciding on the finish for this model. I decided on a natural metal finish at the start, planning to spray it with Tamiya TS-30 silver from the spray can, which I know gives a nice even shiny finish, then I was going to highlight the panel lines. However, our good friend Louis recently posted an earlier build of a Japanese plane that he had covered with Baremetal foil, which looked a treat. Unfortunately this product is not currently available in China. Then I remembered that a gentleman by the name of Jack Crumbliss posted a couple of articles some time ago (in 2014 actually) praising the use of ordinary kitchen foil. The posts had a bit of a crusading flavour, and as far as I know we haven’t heard from him again…… Whatever, he used kitchen foil glued on to the model with Microscale Metal Foil Adhesive, which I’ve managed to obtain. Actual construction of the model is pretty straightforward and I don’t need to bore you with details of joining the fuselage halves together, etc, as fit is pretty good.

  • However, I will posted details and photographs of the foil process very soon.