1/48 Eduard MiG-21MF

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Aug 27 2013



For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my Eduard ProfiPack MIG-21 MF. The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the former Soviet Union. Early versions were considered second-generation jet fighters, later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Some 50 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. North Korea is said to have many MIG-21s still in service.

Aviation history shows the MIG-21 as the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War. It also had the longest production run of any combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants). A total of 10,645 MIG-21s were built in three factories in the USSR. The MIG-21 has seen its share of combat over the years in a number of wars and conflicts. Its kill to loss ratio is not all that great, but with a well trained experienced pilot, the MIG-21 was a formidable fighter aircraft.

The model here depicts a MIG-21MF (aircraft number 7809) serving with the 10th ELT of the Polish Air Force, stationed at Lask AB, Poland, between 2001 and 2003. 


Click on images below to see larger images

This was an out of the box build—no after market accessories. Overall, construction is straight forward just following the instructions, which are very good—the illustrations are excellent. The parts fit was pretty decent except for the wind screen and canopy. I spent a lot of time trying to get these two pieces to fit properly. I may have caused the problem when building the cockpit. Some gap filling and sanding was required when joining the two halves of the fuselage. Also, some seam filling was required when joining the wings to the fuselage. The rest of the kit went together nicely—very little filler was used.

I did have a bit of trouble attaching the main landing gear struts to the landing gears—the attachment points are very poor. Construction of this kit took a long time because there are so many parts, for example, the ejection seat is made up of 20 some parts. Many of the parts are very small, and there a lot of PE parts. The cockpit instrument panels are all PE parts. For under wing and fuselage things I equipped my MIG-21 with two R-3S air-to-air missiles, and two under wing fuel tanks.

All paints used for this model were Model Masters and Floquil enamel paints. Here are the paint colors I used:

  • Nose gear                        Light Gray 

  • Main gears                       Light Gray 

  • Wheel wells                     Interior Green 

  • Fuselage underside        Light Ghost Gray 

  • Fuselage topside            Medium Gray 

  • Camouflage pattern        Gunship Gray. 

  • Fuel tanks                        Light Ghost Gray 

  • R-3S missiles                  Reefer White

In preparation for decals I brushed on two coats of Future and let it dry and cure for three days. This is an intense decal model. Most of the decals are small stencils. The instructions recommend using red and blue decals for camouflaged aircraft. I found that the blue stencils almost disappeared on my model. So I used red and black stencils.

The decals for this kit were a bit fussy. Typically I cut out a decal and immerse it in warm water to loosen the decal. However, immersing the decals for this kit in warm water made the decal difficult to place on the model. I found that as the water cooled, it was easier to move a decal on the model. In fact you could use cold water with these decals. Note also that these decals come loose from the paper almost immediately after hitting the water.

Despite the fussy decals, they are well printed and they adhered nicely with no silvering. Just as a precaution to prevent silvering I applied a touch of Micro Set setting solution to each decal. Solvaset is too strong for the decals. Once decaling was complete I cleaned up the model with a damp cloth, then applied a light coat of Future over the model. To finish off the model, I airbrushed it with a coat of MM Gloss Lacquer Finish.

To sum up, I found this kit a bit difficult to build, mainly because of the large number of parts, the fit problem with the canopy, and the fussy decals. This is definitely not a week-end build. The parts fit was reasonably good and the cockpit and external detail was good. Additionally, the instruction illustrations were excellent. Despite the problems and the large number of really small parts, I was satisfied with the look of the finished model. This is not a kit for beginners. I would recommend that only modelers with a good deal of modeling experience tackle the Eduard MIG-21MF.

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson