Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27 Flogger D,Iraqi Air Force,1991, ESCI 1/48

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  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 5 months ago:

    Time to get started on a project that was planned for the year. It is already June and running a bit behind. So my project is the ESCI MiG-27 Flogger, Mikoyan’s ground attack version of the MiG-23.

    Let see what is in the box.

    Now if anyone has looked or built any of Trumpeter’s MiG-23/27 family of jets, what is in the box compared to their’s is quite a shock. As the ESCI kit is quite basic. Less than a 100 parts compared to almost 300 on Trumpy’s . Extensive weapons compared to the bombs in this kit. I will be using weapons from the extras leftover from one of their kits to load this baby up.
    The instruction sheet is standard A-4 style which shows some pics of the real aircraft along the way with color call outs that did not specifically name any brands of paints. Though they are not accurate, as noting the interior in Lt Grey, which should be Green/Grey. But info in regard to Russian/Soviet aircraft at the time was not well known when this kit was produced in the mid-70’s.

    The decals are for 2 Soviet aircraft in USSR service. I will be using the Linden Hill decals for an Iraqi variant that served during the Gulf War in 1991. I will be using some of the left over stencils from the Trumpy kit.

    The first sprue in lt grey plastic contains the nose section, nose cone, exhaust nozzle and weapons.

    1st looking at the exhaust nozzle, it is way too shallow. So I will be using a resin replacement.

    The short ground attack nose is pretty much correct for the MiG-27, how accurate it is this I do not know, but I will use it as it is correct in representing a MiG-27. By the way the kit is pretty much a MiG-27, not a MiG-23, which has many differences. And one tell tale sign is the shorter nose.

    Another difference on a -27, is the style of splitter plates for the intake. The MiG-23 extend well forward of the intakes, the -27 are short and do not extend forward of the intake. The MiG-23BN has the -27 style nose, is very similar appearance except that is retains the -23 style splitter plates and that is an easy way to tell the two apart. As well as some other details such as the avionics and other internal differences.

    The next sprue contains the main fuselage body, wheels, landing gear and doors.

    The nose and main wheels. Do have nice detail and I will use them.

    Unlike Trumpeter which I believe it almost takes 10 parts to build the main landing gear struts. ESCI has only 6.

    The landing gear door just have basic detail inside the doors.

    2 piece nose strut.

    Upper and lower main fuselage. Notice lack of detail in the main gear bay.

    The next sprue contains the wings, tail and stabs. The nose gear bay and intakes. The wings are basic with no option for slats and flaps. They are able to be movable in the full swept or forward position in display.

    The intake trunks are basic with minor detail and no intakes back to the engine front turbine.

    The nose gear bay is shallow and very basic detail here.

    The ejection seat is really just a basic bang seat with separate side panels. A resin seat will be used to replace it.

    Finally the clear sprue with canopy and windshield. Along with a couple of landing lamps lenses.

    So a basic kit, fine raised panel lines. But at the time it was the 1st 48th scale MiG-27 offered in this scale. ESCI at the time is like todays Hobby Boss and Trumpeter offering models from European and Soviet Air Forces that most were not at the time. Though they could be hit and miss in quality. Like the Mirage F.1 was decent but the A-10 was not. The MiG’s like this one and the 23 were ok, shape was ok, not perfect, cockpits very generic. So some work will need to be done to get it to look a bit better than what is in the kit. More to follow as the build gets started.

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    This is going to be good !!!!

    I have one of these 1/48 scale MiG-27’s and a very similar MiG-23 in the stash. Both of them are the Hobbycraft boxing.

    Like you mentioned I’m fairly certain they are the ESCI kits in a Hobbycraft box.

    I’m excited to see what you have in store for us. Your building journals are always very detailed.

    Please don’t hesitate to post up the good stuff with the bad, as I hope to use this journal as a building guide for mine when the time comes.

    Thanks !!!!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks Louis, it it quite a difference. From building a Trumpeter MiG-23ML a couple of years ago and seeing the simplicity of the ESCI kit is incredible. Not to say the ESCI is a bad kit, that is not so, it is just how technology has changed how kits are made today. And of course what was available when it comes to research. It will take a bit to bring the kit up to a standard when it’s finished. I hope the transformation will make this worthwhile.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 4 months ago:

    As I always do on swing aircraft. I start with building up the wings.

    As the process on this kit is quite simple. The wings are made up of only 4 parts. LH/RH upper and lower wing halves.

    The small notches on the lower wing is for an attachment hard point for the ferry fuel tank pylon.

    The lower halves attach to the upper half, with the lower half meeting at a natural seam. But still need to work the seam a bit to make it that it is not to wide of a gap.

    Next up to airbrush the Russian Blue/Green interior components. More to follow.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 3 months ago:

    With the wings assembled. Time to do some work on the cockpit. The ESCI kit is quite basic. No side consoles or details along either side of the cockpit walls. Decal for the instrument panel. So this is a 48th scale kit, too large in my opinion to leave it as it is. So picked up an Eduards PE set which states for the Italeri, which essentially is a rebox of the old ESCI kit.

    Some modifications will need to be made to enhance the cockpit a bit. But before I do that I prepaint the interior components Aeromaster Warbird Acrylic Interior Blue/Green

    Generic cockpit floor devoid of any detail other than some locating slots for the seat and instrument panel.

    Each fuselage interior is painted Interior Blue Green.

    Now to do the mods and remove the molded in HUD and just a bit of the IP coaming,

    Temporally tape up the nose halves to check that both cuts are aligned. So far so good. The reason for this mod is to clear the PE Instrument panel and then to add the PE HUD and console over the IP.

    Next to add the side consoles on each side of the nose halves. Big help here in detail. Otherwise a very blah cockpit. Really unacceptable in 48th scale model. Can get away with it on a 72nd kit. By simply closing the canopy. Model this size though the view on a MiG-27 is not that great, still you can see enough of the interior to make a difference.

    With the side consoles carefully attached into each half. They were put aside to sit for 24 hours, reduces the chance to knock off those bits with handling. Meanwhile, next is to get the resin seat, using a set from SBS hobbies, they are from the Czech republic. Nice resin seat with PE enhancements, a very big upgrade from the basic bang seat provided in the kit.

    Using an xacto razor saw to cut the resin block carefully from the seat.

    For comparison I built the kit seat and what a difference a nice seat will look when installed. Difference in size and shape.

    Next is to work on the cockpit floor and some more detail work with in the flight deck. More to follow.

  • Sebastijan Videc said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Moving along nicely, Chuck! Can’t wait to see her closed and ready for painting!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Sebastijan, thanks, shouldn’t take long once I finish up the cockpit. Not much to this kit. Not a lot of parts compared to the Trumpeter MiG-23/27’s kits. But for a kit that is from the late 70’s. The shape is ok, the nose cone may be a bit off, however it’s close enough in profile, it will be ok.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Back to finish the wings. As my personal way of doing things. On swing aircraft i build the wings first.
    Now to get them painted. First using Tamiya Flat Black to pre shade the panel lines.

    Then Tamiya Lt Blue is air brushed over the under surfaces of the wings.

    The 3 color upper scheme I will use Mig Acrylics. From their Russian aircraft in the Middle East set range of colors. Mig0030 Sand Yellow, Mig0079 Clay Brown and Mig0206 BS641 Green

    First air brushing the Sand Yellow. You do not have to thin this paint, it is ready to go right out of the bottle. At least so far the Sand Yellow performed with out a hitch out of my Paasche H air brush.

    Next was to lay the 2nd color, Clay Brown, it feathered in free handed nicely into the Yellow. Covers very well.

    Last but not least the Green. Again covered very well. Nice paint to work with. I like it!!

    Next is to close up the nose. More to follow.

  • Erik Gjørup said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Looks promising with those colours – keep it comin’

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 1 month, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Eric, yes the colors look great, even dries a bit faded which I guess to scale. Will do some catching up this week.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    Once the seat was cleaned up and painted. I test fitted it into the cockpit floor and to check height and width to make it will clear both sides of the forward fuselage halves. It was perfect.

    Once that was established, using Cyano cement I attached the seat and added some nose weight with a lead fishing weight sinker.

    Then I cemented both halves, no issue with the cockpit floor or seat from preventing the fuselage from fitting correctly. Good fit here, very little seam clean up on top and bottom center points.

    Next to build the PE replacement instrument panel. The gauge/dial panel is laid out. A bit of Testors clear cement is placed on the panel, then the instrument face panel is overlaid on part A. Then set aside to set for 24 hours.

    Next up the rear fuselage.

    More to follow.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    The new seat and IP will look great on this build. It’s a definite improvement over the kit parts. I might just do the same thing with my MiG-17. The seat and the wheels are not very impressive, nor is the IP. Other than that it seems to be a decent little kit.

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing the next installment.

  • Sebastijan Videc said 1 month, 2 weeks ago:

    I second that! Shaping up really nicely!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 1 month ago:

    Louis: Esci was quite basic. No cockpit really, other than seat, IP and floor. The PE added side consoles and enhanced instrument panel. The resin seat is a million times better. A must for this scale. A bit more will be added to the exterior to bring it up to snuff when I park it next to the Trumpy MiG-23ML.
    Thanks Sebastijan, always encouraging.
    Next some work into the rear fuselage section. Way much simpler process compared to very complicated but not difficult to assemble Trumpy MiG-23.

    First we open up the holes for the weapons pylon on the wing gloves.

    The upper half is prepared and will flip it upside down to place the wings into the pivoting points before attaching the lower half.

    The wings are movable, so are the wings on the Trumpy kit. You can pose them full sweep or forward position. The control surfaces are not pose able.

    Really despite the fine panel lines a much more simpler build process. The seams do need a bit of clean up on both sides. Though not difficult to get them to blend in.

    Next up, attach the nose cone and install the intakes. More to follow.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 3 weeks, 2 days ago:

    After cleaning the side seams, Put the fuselage aside for now. And will attach the nose cone.

    It is a direct attachment to the forward fuselage section. Not perfect but careful alignment to make sure the nose does not set crooked. Still a bit of an edge around the nose to fuselage point, but will be easy to fix.

    Now to work on the rear fuselage section. The leading edges of the wing gloves are cleaned up, trimmed and cleaned up the area where the nose cone will attach to the fuselage.

    Next to mask off the insides of the intakes, paint the forward section Dark Green and the rear section Lt Ghost Grey.

    Next to add some of the detail bits to the upper portion of the rear fuselage.

    The vertical tail is assembled and put aside, I can see an issue and will deal with that in a bit.
    The lamps under the intakes are painted with Molotow Chrome pen behind the lenses before inserted into the intakes.

    Next to remove and assemble the upper cooling intake scoops.

    Black is used to paint inside the scoops before attaching them in place on top of the rear fuselage.

    Now the issue with the vertical tail.
    After I had assembled the LH/RH halves of the tail, I can tell the tab that fits into the slot was going to be a bit wider than the slot that it is supposed to slip into. So using a bit of sanding files to widen the slot, took awhile to resolve the issue. Starting from back to front I worked the tail into the slot, very tight fit. So tight I didn’t want to pull it out once it was in. So I didn’t run any cement into bottom edge. All pressure fit.

    Now to attach the nose to the rear fuselage section. This is all a butt fit, no tabs or notches. So with a dab of Tamiya cement I then attach the nose to the rear section. And then put it aside for a couple of hours to let it set. Make sure the nose and rear section are aligned, panel lines line up as any body lines as well.

    The top leaves us with a very easy to fill gap, the lower nose to fuselage is good. As expected, at least thankfully no step.

    Finally to install the intakes, first the splitters are attached to each side of the nose. Then the out panels are attached as well. For an older mold, the part fit is good not Tamiya, but no headaches or major issues up to this point.

    Finally this part of the build is done, with the intakes installed, it looks very much like a Mig-27.

    Now to go over the airframe for some cleanup and some other detail bits. Next to attach the horizontal tails and the glass. More to follow.

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