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Brian Kirwan
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Mig 17F Angola (1;48 Smer/ Airfix)

June 5, 2021 · in Aviation · · 15 · 2.3K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Mig 17F Angola (1;48 Smer/ Airfix)
  2. Uganda Mig17 F

Gents and Ladies,
Here is an older kit I did a while back its the 1:48 / Airifix kit of the Mig 17F.

I used Tom Coopers African Migs as reference for the background info and photos. I drew up the decals for bort numbers and printed them out myself. Wing roundels are a combintaion of paint and decals. Tri-colours on the rudder were painted.

There are alot of versions of artwork for this a/c knocking about which wildly contradict each other so pick one . Indeed a number of photos of the a/c show changes in markings and colours over time so is it correct, dont know. Apparently this a/c ended her days as a wreck at Cuito Cuanavale AB

These were Angolan planes but were flown by the boys from Havana.
Interesting country .


Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. This is a great result, Brian!
    Have built this kit once (as Colonel Tomb's plane) and Iloved it a lot.
    I have another one to build.
    Well done on this! I love seing examples with not so common markings!

    • Hate to take a Bowie knife to the "Colonel Tomb" balloon, but he never existed.

      VPAF pilots flew either the MiG-17 or the MiG-21; they did not fly them interchangeably, since the 921st FR was equipped with the MiG-21 and the 923rd FR flew the MiG-17.

      According to the VPAF's official history, "Aerial Engagements in the Skies of Vietnam - From Both Sides," which US pilots whose experiences are in the book say is a far more accurate history than anything yet produced officially by the US (that's going to change soon, but it won't be from an official US source, since the US continues to "parboil the books"), the pilot Cunningham engaged was Lieutenant Tra Van Kiem, who was flying his first mission. Here is my account, in "Going Downtown," which will be published this coming October:

      "Cunningham closed with the MiG and decided to fire a missile at it to scare the pilot, but Kiem opened fire first. Surprised, Cunningham pulled into a vertical climb, planning to come over the top and down on the enemy fighter. “I pitched straight up. I was going to get another easy kill and then bug out. I expected to see him in the horizontal, running, about three miles away. As I rolled back up and started bringing my head back, looking for the horizon, what I least expected to see was the MiG canopy-to-canopy with me, but there he was, about 400 or 500 ft away from me, going straight up.” Kiem kept up with his opponent through three of these maneuvers. The canopies of the two aircraft were close enough that each pilot could clearly see the face of his opponent. Cunningham was convinced he was up against a highly-experienced opponent, since the MiG-17 was not supposed to be able to maneuver like this in the vertical plane. Kiem got on Cunningham’s tail twice and opened fire on the Phantom.

      "Finally, Cunningham pulled into a vertical climb, then suddenly chopped throttle and put out his air brakes to reduce his speed. Kiem shot in front of him and he immediately fired an AIM-9G. Kiem’s fighter was slightly damaged by the missile’s explosion, but he had stalled and when he fell off he was unable to recover. He was found two days later, still in the cockpit of his fighter."

      Interestingly, the VPAF records confirm all five of Steve Ritchie's victories, but only three of Cunningham's (one of the first two in February and 2 of the 3 in May).

      Back to the discussion at hand: this is one of the best MiG-17 models I have seen, and it makes me want to search out and get one of these kits.

      • This kit was frequently being reboxed by SMER. At about 2018 it was reboxed by Mistercraft (the new SMER?), @tcinla. It is not hard to find here in Greece, with its price being less than 25 Euros.

        • Yes Spiros
          Its both cheap and easily available. I read some negative comments about the kit but having built two of these the only major shortcomings are the cockpit canopy which is way too thick and the decals depending n which boxing you buy will be dodgy. That and its a tail sitter
          I enjoyed building it and will buy another.

  2. Always nice to see these early Migs Brian - great to see this Angolan example!
    Nice work!

  3. Great job on a rough kit, Brian.

  4. Awesome MIG, Brian.
    And a great chosen scheme.
    Great work on the weathering.

  5. Gents
    Thanks for the kind comments

  6. Terrific looking MiG, Brian, definitely liked.

  7. Very nice! I really like the scheme and unusual markings on the MiG. Well done.

  8. Very cool! I've got a Mi24 Hind that I will be doing in Angolan colours as part of my Border War collection. There are Angolan decals available on the SaAirforce website

  9. Thanks for the link Neill. Great stuff
    I am familair with MAV stuff though I ususally buy form Aviation Megastore in Amsterdam.
    Border War is a fascinating subject which is been beter served with books and references . I am in the middel of new Helion title 'The battle of Cuito Cuanavale' and have a growing stash of Border War stuff which I have to build .
    Maybe we should do a group build ?

    • Would love to see a group build. Aero Creations in South Africa make kits for the G5 and G6 Howitzers which were used. I've also got a South African Ratel planned as a tribute to one of our close family friends fought at Cuito, I have audio of his Ratel being struck by a T55 tank round (which luckily deflected) Angolan MIG23's were also really cool!

      • Niell
        Sounds good we need to drum up a bit of support in here . I have a Baxmodels Ratel 90 and Bateluer and the Takom G6 all in the stash waiting for some love . I also see that MinArt have just brought out the T34/85 Mod 1960 ; handy for some Cuban tanks circa '75 .Apparently the kit includes markings for Rhodesian tanks !

        What are the rules in here for a group build ? Minimum number of particpants ? Length of time ? Who has the answer?

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