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Spiros Pendedekas
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Hobby Boss 1/72 MiG-15bis

July 10, 2024 · in Aviation · · 36 · 129

Yevgeny Georgievich Pepelyaev (Евгений Георгиевич Пепеляев) was born on 18 March 1918 in Bodaybo, Irkutsk, in Eastern Siberia, the son of a railroad worker. His elder brother Konstantin enlisted in the Soviet air force, and thus with the intention to follow the steps of his brother he worked in Odessa with the city aeroclubs. He graduated in 1938 from the 8th Military Pilots School and was sent to serve in a regiment deployed in the Far East.

With the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941, he was retained in the Far East despite several requests for a combat posting in the west, especially after his brother Konstantin was killed in action. In late 1943 he was still an instructor with the 162nd Fighter Aviation Regiment. He flew at least 10 sorties on the Eastern Front, (some sources indicate 12 sorties) flying the Yak-7B, but did not shoot down any German aircraft. In 1945 he was made deputy commander of the 300th Fighter Aviation Regiment, and participated in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, during which he flew four (by other accounts 30) ground-attack missions on the Yak-9T.

The 300th Fighter Aviation Regiment was then assigned surveillance duties covering the deployment of the US troops in Korea until March 1946, when the unit was sent back to the Soviet Union. In December 1947 he became the executive officer of the 196th Fighter Aviation Regiment. In 1949 the unit began receiving the jet fighter.

Soon after the Korean War began, Pepelyaev commanded the 196th Fighter Aviation Regiment. Secretly the USSR sent several air regiments equipped with the MiG-15 to the Chinese base Antung in Manchuria to support Chinese ground forces.

In December 1950 the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps with two fighter divisions was created; Pepelyaev's unit, 196th Fighter Aviation Regiment, was soon put in the 324th Fighter Aviation Division (commanded by Ivan Kozhedub).

Pepelyayev's personal combat record in Korea was spectacular: he flew 109 combat sorties, he participated in 38 aerial combats, and was credited with 19 aerial victories. For his impressive performance, he was awarded with the Zolotaya Zvezda (Золотая Звезда - Golden Star), which is the highest Soviet military decoration, becoming a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Upon his return to the Soviet Union, Pepelyayev was assigned to various mainly commanding positions. Following a brain hemorrhage that took place in 1961 during a tight maneuver at an otherwise routine flight, he was decommissioned from flight service and was assigned to the central command post of the Soviet Air Defence Forces. He was demobilized from the military in 1973.

After demobilization, Pepelyaev lived in Moscow where he worked as a main engineer at the Scientist Research Automatic Instruments Institute until retirement in 1986. In July 1993, he returned to North Korea together with Soviet flying aces Sergey Kramarenko and Dmitry Oskin, during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

In 1995, he was invited to visit Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama where he was inducted into the Gathering of Eagles Program. During his visit, he met with American Korean War flying aces Gabby Gabreski, John F. Bolt and Robinson Risner, and German World War II flying ace Alfred Grislawski. He died on 4 January 2013.

As for the charismatic Mig-15 that Pepelayef flew in Korea, little can be said that has not been said: light, sturdy and reliable, with a high thrust to weight ratio, it could fly high, was reasonably maneuverable and well armed.

Definitely not without its vices (instability at high speeds because of wing flexing, poor aileron effectiveness, heavy stick forces and primitive instrumentation immediately spring into mind), it was a charismatic machine that could only practically be outclassed by the equally charismatic Sabre.

This is yet another fine “Easy Assembly” kit: general shapes of parts look correct, molding is crisp, panel lines are finely recessed, detail is in most areas good and clear parts are nice as are the decals. Instructions are clear and the build itself is very easy.

In fact, what you get for the price is really outstanding, since the kit, apart from the flat instrument panel (something not that difficult to deal with) and the somewhat simplistic/generic cockpit, is not really out of place when judged with modern standards, standing as a simpler yet acceptable, cheap alternative.

The kit was built with some help from my young sons and should you wish to read the full build review, you may do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Happy Modelling!
Reader reactions:
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36 responses

  1. Nicely done, Spiros and sons, and an interesting write-up, definitely worth ice creams all round.

  2. Well done, Spiros! Like the red tail flash.

  3. A nice ending and result for a father and sons project Spiros (@fiveten). INteresting write up on the pilot.

  4. Very nicely done, Spiros! 🤩 @fiveten, That's a great looking MiG; hat's off to Pendedekas & Sons! 👏

  5. Very nice model. Congrats on a father/son project.

  6. Very nice job! Great teamwork Spiros and sons.

  7. Beautiful job, Spiros (@fiveten)! I have their F4U-4 "easy Assembly" kit in my stash that I should take another look at.

  8. Great little build my friend!

  9. Great build! I read that many areal victories was not confirmed by other side, so total list of kills could be reducted about 30% for both sides.

  10. This family project turned out wonderful, Spiros @fiveten
    Your sons must have been watching closely while you progressed on this beautiful build.
    The article is nicely written as well, thanks for sharing.

  11. Nice work, Spiros (@fiveten). The Mig 15 is one of those planes that looks cool and fast, even when it is sitting on the ground. I have built a couple of the Easy Build kits and they come out really well, as this one proves. Well done.

  12. You did a great job with this kit, Spiros @fiveten. I love the look of the Mig 15 and 17 and your nmf build is beautiful!

  13. Excellent build, and great teamwork from the Pendedekas Family Factory!

  14. @fiveten - Nice write up and nice build Spiros... as always. It's great that it was a family project!

  15. Superb result. One doesn't think of snap together kits producing such excellent results. It really looks the part.

  16. Nicely done Spiros and sons, well presented.

  17. It's so refreshing that your sons model alongside their Dad, Spiros @fiveten. Nice work!

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