1/72 Condor Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25RU

Gallery Article by Ratish Nair "Ratish" on Jan 26 2015

India Republic Day

 

      

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25RU - Indian Air Force No.102 Sqn 'The Trisonics'

The MiG-25 is without doubt one of the most intriguing aircraft of the Cold War era with legendary performance and stories from hot-spots around the world. One of the arguably favorable fallouts of Viktor Belenko's defection with his brand new MiG-25 in 1976 was the relaxation of export restrictions on this incredible machines by the Soviet Union. India acquired around 8 aircraft of the reconnaissance variety in the early 1980s including couple of two seat trainers. The whole Indian acquisition and operation was under wraps for much of the eighties with very few even around the base where they operated from knowing of their existence. Unlike other theatres where the MiG-25 operated, these flew regular recce missions over rival Pakistan almost unchallenged given its incredibly high speed and altitude capability. The big jets ushered in a new era of strategic reconnaissance in the IAF that has only recently been supplanted with military satellites. No.102 Sqn based in Bareilly in the state of Madhya Pradesh operated the Foxbats from the beginning until the late nineties when they were passed on to No.35 'Rapiers'. The planes were finally retired in 2006. 

 

Click on images below to see larger images

The Condor kit is a great representation of this aircraft and is perhaps the only one to offer the two-seat variant. The only downside is the kit is geared towards being built as an interceptor-trainer - the PU rather that the recce RU variant. However, this is can be easily fixed by replacing the wingtip pods with simpler looking cylindrical ones. I am not sure that is the only difference, but it seemed to make it look acceptable for an IAF example. The kit has finely recessed panel lines and is generally quite a good fit. It does lack details in the cockpit and I went with closed canopies to avoid working too hard on the instruments. The biggest drawback I felt was the lack of details on the interior of the giant intakes and it would have been nice to have fanblades and the unique 'Christmas tree' structure (Methanol injector / airflow regulators?). The tail pipes are huge but again, could do with more details. Otherwise, it builds into a nice looking jet with no major issues with the overall shape. Decals are from Begemot and paints are Tamiya acrylics. I added a little hood inside the rear-seater's cockpit as is the norm on Russian two-seat trainers.

The MiG-25 was also known as the 'Garuda' or a mythical eagle-like creature and the large 'Trisonics'-bird badge looks awe-inspiring. Hope you all like the build and feel free to email me if you have any queries about the kit. 

Ratish Nair

Photos and text by Ratish Nair