1/72 Omega I-250 "MiG-13"

Gallery Article by Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy") on Aug 3 2021

 

      

The plane
Mikoyan's I-250 project was a wonderfully fascinating aircraft which was under development during the final year of the Great Patriotic War (WW2 to westerners). Needing to catch up to the jet aircraft already fielded by Germany and Great Britain, Mikoyan developed a hybrid aircraft, basically half-jet, half-piston-engined. The "jet" was not actually a complete jet system, as it lacked turbines which in turn would have driven the compressor. Instead, the compressor was connected by a shaft to the traditional piston engine, one driving the other. Called an "accelerator," the unit was only activated while in flight for an extra boost, much as afterburners are used today. Sukhoi attempted the same approach in its similar Su-5.

The I-250 first flew within weeks of Germany's surrender, too late for the war. The type was further developed into a production model with a larger tail. Sixteen were built and delivered to Baltic Fleet Aviation units near Riga. Serving under the designation "MiG-13", they were withdrawn from service in May 1948, completely obsolete with the production of the vastly superior MiG-15. 

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The build
I had long been fascinated by the I-250/MiG-13. There is a vacuform kit of the subject, but I found the Omega resin release to be a more viable option. The cockpit detail is very sparse, but would not be very visible with the closed-canopy build I was planning. By this time MiG cockpits would be a bluish gray. 

Three main modifications were done. The easier of the two was to enlarge the tail slightly to MiG-13 standard, matching it to OKB drawings. 

The second modification was to completely rebuild the somewhat complicated main gear legs. The challenge was to make it match the appearance while also being strong enough to support a heavy resin aircraft. I started with brass rod to support the load and the shape, and then added plastic tubing over it to match the details. A tailwheel from the RPM MiG-3 finished the undercarriage.

The final modification which really enhanced the aircraft's appearance was to use Quickboost resin exhausts for the Bf-109F. 

Finally, one might note the radio antenna, which is very uniquely mounted on the windscreen framing. Two tiny intakes were added just ahead of the windscreen, and the wing-mounted pitot fashioned from thin brass rod.

The markings
Like the concurrent MiG-9, most I-250's/MiG-13's appear to have been finished in light gray. By this time the Soviets were using the Cold War standard markings of both white and red surrounds to the red star. 

This is a very welcomed release of a fascinating subject which led to the development of the early MiG jets. Enjoy the photos!

Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy")

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Photos and text by Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy")