Mikoyan Gurevich A-144 Analog
Modelsvit


1/72 scale kit of the Mikoyan Gurevich A-144 Analog 
kit review / Building report

History
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 was designed in the Soviet Union as a high speed supersonic fighter in the nineteen fifties. It proved to be a very good design, with over 10,000 built in dozens of versions of the MiG-21 and exported to many Soviet influenced countries during the Cold War all over the World. A special test aircraft was the A-144. It was officially the MiG-21i 21-11 as a lot of parts are common with the conventional MiG-21. Purpose was first to test a tailless aircraft with ailerons and flaps. The next purpose was to familiarize Russian pilots of the forth coming Tupolev TU-144 flight characteristics and the A-144 had a similar curved wing leading edge and no tail. So test pilots called it the "analog". 

The A-144 first flew in March 1968 with 2 flying test aircraft completing over 140 test flights. The TU-144 flew end 1968 and pilots had so a bit of feeling for flying such a configuration. One A-144 aircraft crashed during a demonstration excercise flight. One Analog is still at Monino museum near Moskou. 
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The new brand Modelsvit from Russia issued this kit in 1/72 scale in 2013 with kit no 72003. (Another of their kits was #72004 with a A-144 to be finished in natural metal). 
The kit has about 83 parts in fine light grey plastic on 4 sprues and some transparant parts. It is short run, the sprue gates a bit thick but the panellines are nicely engraved and some nice details are there. The parts are not numbered on the sprues but part diagrams are provided. Colours are stated in Humbrol numbers. 

Decals on a small sheet are for a single light grey and white A-144 with some cheatlines. A nice coloured drawing is also included.

The cockpit interior is nicely done with details. The seat has no less than 8 parts. I only added some seat harnesses from tape.
Cockpit colour is indicated as being black also for the sidewalls and bulkhead. Having no information, I settled for the Russian interior green with black details often found in Russian cockpits using AKAN colour 73005 acrylic. 

The exhaust is bit difficult to get right with 4 parts. The nose wheel bay has detailed sidewalls. Add weight in the nose and than assembly is quick, with 2 fuselage halves fitting in the nose wheel bay, cockpit, nose intake bullet and ring and the exhaust. 

Wing assembly is with upper and lower panels and the lower fuselage airbrakes are separated parts. 

I did not fit yet all detail parts, but first do filling gaps and smoothening out the general airframe. 
Some filler was now needed at some spots, such as at the wing-fuselage joints and the lower wing inserts. 

After a quick sanding the base light grey colour was airbrushed. The smaller parts were not forgotten. 

After that, the remaining parts were fitted.... Note also the big wing fairings #B1 and #B6. It is unclear why they are there, may be to reduce the drag.

There are also various small intakes. 

Next came the white for the spine and various other sections of the airframe. 


The white areas with masked and next came the light airframe grey. Use the tail cheatline decal as a guide for the white tail curved panel. 
I used not Humbrol 64 but Gunze Sangyo GU308 grey acrylic. Some panels are in metal. 


and the result...

It was time for the decals, so the model got 2 coats of gloss varnish to prevent "silvering" (e.g. air bubbles trapped under the decal, spoiling the looks of the model). I used Johnson Kleer/ Pledge floor varnish thinned with some Isopropyl alkohol applied with the airbrush. 

The decals are quite thin and break quickly, be carefull when applying the cheat lines. When done, the undercarriage was fitted with prior painting the tyres, wheel hubs etc. I handpainted the metal exhaust area also. 

Final things to do were painting the canopy and windscreen and adding a pitot tube I made from a metal needle. The model got another coat of Future to seal off the decals and the canopy fitted! The windscreen had some tiny gaps, filled with with glue and after drying also painted the same light grey. Some engraved panellines were give a subtle line with a ordinary pencil. 

That completed a nice MiG A-144 Analog. The new brand Modelsvit is nice player on the plastic modelling market. 
 

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Well seen here is the camera fairing on the spine aft of the cockpit.


Back to MiG-21 modelling reports....
 


References

Mikoyan MiG-21, Yefim Gordon, Aerofax, Midland Counties Publications


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Created this page
August 17, 2015