Academy 1/48th Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21bis Iraqi AF
1st review of the year is Academy’s MiG-21 kit that was issued back in 1998. And in keeping with the early theme of Mig 21’s and also a week ahead of the start of Operation Desert Storm back in Jan 1991. The Mig-21 in the Iraqi Air Force saw a lot of action against the Iranian Air Force during the 80’s and as well as seeing action against coalition forces early on in the Gulf War before air superiority was gained. On Jan 17th, 2 MiG- 21’s were shot down by F/A-18C’s of VFA-81 on a strike mission, the only 2 shoot downs of any Iraqi fixed wing aircraft by the U.S Navy during the Gulf War. 2 more MiG-21’s were shot down by one F-15C of the 53rd TFS/36th TFW on Feb 6th. Pretty much what the Iraqi Air Force had to face during the war.
Academy released this kit in 1998, first new mould MiG-21 in years. With only the OEZ and not so bad Revell MIG 21 in this scale available up to this point. The kit itself is the PF version and not really the variant used by the Iraqi Air Force during the Gulf War. But not knowing at the time Academy would bring out the MF and Bis variants later in the year. As you open the box for the first time you can tell that Academy had planned to make several versions eventually with the modular design of the fuselage. Separate spine, tail and forward fuselage sections. To bring the kit up to a Bis standard was the availability of an update set, don’t recall who was the manufacturer of the update set was, but it provided a Bis style spine, a tail and cockpit set with a Bis style ejection seat. The only item lacking was the correct windscreen and canopy. The PF has a forward hinged opening canopy, the later variants have a side opening canopy with a separate windscreen. At the time I couldn’t get one to modify this kit, I just built it closed. Which was too bad as it really hid the updated seat and cockpit details. The cockpit details were rather bland in the kit, the resin set really enhances this area. Using Aeromaster War Bird Acrylics and Xtracolor enamel for the scheme of Sand/Lt Green over Russian Lt Blue. Russian Green for the wheels,shock cone and dialectric panels. Russian Interior Grey/Green for the cockpit. Super Scale sheet for the Iraqi markings. Model Master Aluminum for the metal areas and exhaust for the interior of tail pipe. Though built when the kit was released back in 98, not totally accurate for a Gulf War era MiG-21, it is what was available at the time. The kit itself had accuracy issues even if it was built as a PF, and has since been surpassed by the Eduards offerings now available. Still it was welcomed when it first appeared at the time, still a good kit, it was fun to build, the resin bits has with stood the test of time as it is now over 15 years old, surviving several moves over the years. Thanks for viewing.
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.