1/48 Revell Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

Gallery Article by H. Davis Gandees on July 6 2020



During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I’ve had a lot of time to build models…9 to date. If I didn’t have this wonderful hobby, I don’t know what my mental state would be after 4 months of staying home except for “essential” trips.

Many of us have kits that we bought years ago that have been left to collect dust and insects in the back of our stash. Yes, there have been more modern and accurate Mig 21 kits released, but during this time, I have found pleasure in building these vintage kits. This Mig 21 was actually from the Revell release of the “2 Plane Set” F4 Phantom-Mig 21 kit. Does it have issues, of course, it was released in 1977 when we all thought it was great, because there wasn’t another one! Building one of these vintage kits requires some effort and patience, but a presentable model can be made. 

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Fit and finish is not bad, and you have to try to preserve the raised panel lines. I avoid sanding if possible using a fresh single edge razor blade to scrape the seams. The build was straight forward except the canopy fit that required a shim at the rear and the right canopy rail to make it fit, although still not perfect.

Putty was required on the wing to fuselage joints, but that was all required. The turquoise cockpit color was replicated with Tamiya TS 41 Coral Blue. I made a full instrument panel including a radar scope hood, but it cannot be seen, which is probably why Revel didn’t include a detailed panel to start with. I think the forward tilting canopy ruins the Mig’s sleek looks, so it was closed. I planned to use Alclad II NMF, but photos show Mig 21s to be a dull aluminum color so I used Tamiya TS 30 Silver leaf. The green color was Testors small bottle green with a couple drops of black. Decals were from the scrap box and weren’t the greatest, but I used what I had. The two missiles were missing, so I used two Sidewinders (that the Soviets reversed engineered as K-13As) from the ordinance scrap box and modified their noses. The build took 26 hours.

The Mig 21 was the AK-47 of Soviet aircraft and quite impressive with Mach 2 speed and a 46,000 fpm climb rate, a real hot rod! Over 11,000 were produced and many are still in use around the world.

So, I encourage you all to pull out one of those crusty model boxes and build a vintage kit that you might enjoy! Maybe we should start a “vintage aircraft” category?

H. Davis Gandees

Photos and text © by H. Davis Gandees