1/48 Revell MiG-25BM

 Foxbat F

by Malcolm Reid



This is the Revell 48th scale MiG-25PD converted to a BM version.  The BM was a limited development of the MiG-25 to provide a Soviet SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) aircraft.  Protracted in development, it entered service in 1988.  Apparently less than 100 were produced.  The BM’s main weapon was the Kh-58 (AS-11 Kilter) anti-radiation missile.  References indicate that launch weight is 640kg, each missile has a 150 kg blast fragmentation warhead and uses inertial mid course guidance and the passive radar homing with a range between 70 and 150km depending on launch altitude.  The BM airframe was different to the standard P/PD as follows :
  • Extended nose more conical in shape than the P/PD versions to house EW and emitter detector systems.  These noses were painted with a false grey radome in an attempt to resemble to P/PD interceptor.

  • Distinctive antennae on the intake cheeks and forward fuselage sides

  • Revised inboard pylons (I assume to take the Kh-58 missile launch rail).

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The Revell kit is a dog.  I had to rescribe as many panel lines as possible as the limited panel lines on the kit are raised.  I bought the NeoMega cockpit set which is an absolute must considering the lack of kit cockpit detail.  I also bought the Eduard exhaust, interior (landing gear wells and intake detail) and exterior photo etch sets.  These are also definite musts, especially the exhaust set as the kit parts are anemic and too shallow.  The fit of the kit is bad and lots of filler was required all over.  The kit does not provide the prominent engine bleed air ducts on the top of the intakes.  I scratch built these with plastic card before realizing that the Eduard interior set provides the ducts in neat photo etch sections.  The kit inboard pylons were modified.  The intake cheek antennae were scratch built from plastic card.  The entire nose was made from a block of laminated Evergreen plastic bar and then rough shaped on a lathe.  Final sanding to provide the conical shape took ages.  Panel lines were scribed.  Luckily this solid nose provided sufficient ballast to keep the aircraft from becoming a tail sitter.  The missiles were also scratch built using laminated bar and a lathe (thanks Jonathan).  I initially thought of using the kit missiles as the basis but realized that they were too small in diameter.  The nose pitot was also scratch built with plastic card vanes.

The exhaust nozzles and afterburner cans were a real challenge.  Rolling the Eduard exhaust cans to provide a nice symmetrical cylinder was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. The Eduard afterburner cans have no detail – they are flat pieces of sheet which must be rolled.  I used a technique I learnt from a fellow modeler in Greece – I took a similar size section of thin plastic card, glued sections of stretched sprue lengthwise and covered this with tin foil which was then rubbed down over the sprue to provide a suitably corrugated effect (thanks Yiannis !).  The end result is 1,000 times better than the kit parts.  Painting the exhausts and the bare metal areas on the rear fuselage was a challenge.  I painted the bare metal areas as follows – Tamiya X-18 black, overspray with X-11 silver, heat discoloration using black and orange pastel and dry brushing with Humbrol H52 metallic blue.  The exhaust nozzles were treated in a similar fashion, but had an added wash of white spirit / black oil paint mix, over sprayed with thinned Tamiya X-26 clear orange.  This is a new technique for me and I’m reasonably happy with the result.

I used Bort 37 as my subject matter. There are several photos of this aircraft in a very tatty looking tactical camouflage scheme based in Eastern Europe.  I don’t find the plain grey versions too interesting, so I decided to try to replicate this aircraft.  I could not find photos of the top surfaces or port side so had to use a bit of artistic licence based on the starboard image.  Preshading of panel lines was done using Tamiya X-18 black.  I used XtraColour gloss paints – X626 light blue for the undersides.  Upper camouflage was a combination of X-617 tan, X-620 light green, X-619 red/brown + spot X-617 and X-616 dark green over sprayed with thinned X-618 dark green.  The upper camouflage was applied freehand in a random fashion using a Badger 200 airbrush. The radome on the subject aircraft looks to be a faded grey/blue colour – I replicated this with a mix of Testors RLM75 + 30% Tamiya XF-18.

Revell decals are notoriously nasty in terms of conforming to a model’s surface.  However, the decals were printed beautifully (especially all the intricate stencils) so I decided to use them.  I applied the decals using Future as a decal setting agent – only problem – when dry, Future yellows – this is particularly visible on the light blue underside. I had to make my own Bort 37 markings – this was achieved using adhesive clear laminate cut to shape with a sharp knife, applied to the aircraft and sprayed white.  This worked out very well.  After a long evening of decaling, it was time for weathering.  As per routine, I weathered using raw umber pastel for the undersides and dark grey pastel for the upper camouflaged surfaces.  The raw umber pastelling on the underside helped to detract from the nasty yellow decal patches.  Some subdued chipping was done using Tamiya X-11 silver.

That’s it then – another model for the cupboard.


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Photos and text © by Malcolm Reid