MiG Group Build, North Vietnamese MiG-17, 1/48 Hobbycraft / War Eagle
Our MiG Group Build is underway, and there are a lot of great builds happening right now… I have several MiG-15’s that I’m about to wrap up. I built this one on a whim, and had not originally intended to do so.
This model was based off a picture showing a North Vietnamese MiG-17, that was parked next to a MiG-21.
In order to better see what the plane looked like, I zoomed in and cropped it down to this.
To see just how close I came to the real plane, I took this picture of my model in a similar pose.
It’s not perfect, but it’s fairly close and that’s good enough for me… and I’m really liking this new display base that was sent to me by “Mr. P-40”, Tom Bebout. @tom-bebout
Thanks Tom ! You’re the best.
In real life aviation, FOD, (or Foreign Object Debris) is enemy number one for turbine jet engines. This is why sometimes you see pictures of aircraft with covers installed over the intake and exhaust openings. So you probably wouldn’t see a jet operated from a surface such as is depicted on this base… But I really like it, and I think it looks cool parked on top of it. Now I need to get in gear and build up some more planes and tanks that would look even better parked on top of this little masterpiece that Tom sent me. Here’s a close up of what I’m talking about.
I was originally not going to add the under wing drop tanks… But when I saw this picture taken from an American gun camera footage, and after noticing the tanks were present in the original reference photo, I decided to install a set.
I used a chrome plated set of drop tanks that I borrowed from a Tamiya MiG-15 that is currently on the work bench as part of the “MiG” group build. They are much nicer looking and have better details than the original kit supplied parts. The only other change I made during this build, was to add a set of replacement resin main wheels, and a new resin pilot’s ejection seat. The nose wheel is the original from the box.
More information on how this plane was constructed, along with 4 other Tamiya MiG-15’s can be seen by following this link.
I hope to have 3 more MiG’s done in a few days…
Overall I am very pleased with how this plane went together. It had not problems with fit, once I trimmed away the wing attachment lugs and sanded the ends of the wings flat where they join the fuselage. Once this was done, it was smooth sailing.
In order to keep this one from being a “tail sitter”, I added some nose weight by hiding two large metal nuts and a piece of threaded rod to keep them together. These weights are hidden behind a nose blanking plate I fashioned from plastic sheet. This plastic sheet material was then painted black.
It also serves as a blank to keep you from being able to see through the intake.
I gave the airframe a coat of “Metallizer” Aluminum Plate once it was assembled. Then I polished the paint to make it shiny. Once the paint looked nice and shiny, I gave the entire plane a coat of light green. After this dried, I went back and sprayed on a different shade of darker green for the camouflage.
This plane with Bort Number “3020” is a subject of controversy. Some sources, including Hasegawa, show that it was flown by a North Vietnamese pilot named Nguyen Van Bay. I found this B&W photo that shows some interesting details that are not visible in the color photo I posted earlier.
Other sources state that this plane was flown by the legendary “Colonel Tomb”. This is where the controversy kicks into high gear. It’s entirely possible that a pilot named “Tomb” didn’t exist. What is known is that there were several pilots flying for the North Vietnamese who achieved “Ace” status. This plane “3020” was displayed with kill markings on the nose. I personally do not know if this was for victories that were credited to the aircraft (since it could have been flown by several pilots), or was it the scoreboard of a single person.
Eventually when I have more time available I will do some more digging into this and see what turns up. I wanted a plane in my collection that was flown by a North Vietnamese pilot, and this one fits the bill nicely. I’ll end up with another NV plane in the collection, and it will be a MiG-21. If I had more time available, I would have added it during this MiG group Build.
I think it will look fantastic sitting next to some Phantoms that will eventually hit the work bench. I want to build “Showtime 100” and “Scat” as flown by Robin Olds. In the decal stash I have a set of Werner’s Wings decals for various Phantoms flown by “Steve Ritchie” and friends. Chappie’s plane has been one I wanted to build for a long time after I found out that the character in the movie “Iron Eagle” was loosely based on him. Sounds stupid huh ? This movie had some cool flying scenes but other than that it is… well… I’ll leave it at that.
Anyhow, here’s the rest of my pictures for the Hobbycraft MiG-17… It’s not that bad of a kit. What surprised me the most was how the original kit supplied decals still worked. And they are getting close to being 30 years old !
Many thanks go out to Tom Bebout for graciously sending me another larger display base, and to all of my friends who assisted me with research information and advice for the proper colors that were used on these early MiG jets.
Thank everyone, it wouldn’t have turned out as nice as it did without your help.
Comments are encouraged.