Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15
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1/72 scale kits of the MiG-15  (NATO "fagot") 
kit review / Building report

The MiG-15 fighter was designed after the Second World War by the Soviet design bureau Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB. It was the first successful jet fighter of the Soviets with a swept wing using German wing reaserach neat little layout and a Klimov RD-5 engine, based on a "bought and copied" English Nene jet engine. The MiG-15 got NATO code name "Fagot". 

First flown end 1947, it soon was used in the Korean War against Western armed forces, fighting against also American F-86 Sabres. The jet air combat was born in which the MiG-15 proved to be very manoevrable with a great rate of climb. It was thus also used by North Korea. 

The basic MiG-15 "Fagot A"  could fly about 1,042 km/hr and for better range had jettisonable underwing fuel tanks. Armament were two 23 mm canons of port and a single 37 mm canon on starboard side with a great punch. The canons were fitted in a lower pack inside the lower fuselage nose. 

A two seater trainer was the MiG-15 UTI, easily recognizable with its large double seat glazing. It had the same length as the basic MiG-15. NATO codename was "Midget". The cockpit hood has 3 main sections and the rear part slides to the rear.

An improved version was the MiG-15bis "Fagot B" emerged in 1950 with a more powerfull KV-1 engine. It had a bit fatter aft fuselage area with larger exhaust, a landing light in the air intake separator and often a doppler fitted in the lower aft fuselage. 

  older style tail                                              MiG-15bis tail
The rear fuselage airbrakes got another shape, being more rectangular and slightly bigger. The bis could also carry pylons for rockets or bombs. 

The USA wanted to investigate the MiG-15 in detail and did everything to obtain an intact MiG. A Polish pilot defected in a MiG-15 on the morning of 5 March 1953, allowing Western air experts to examine the aircraft for the first time. Soon, others defected as well like a North Korean pilot. 

Over 12,000 MiG-15 aircraft were manufactured, many in license in Czechoslovakia (as S-102 and S-103) and Poland (as the Lim-1 and Lim-2, and two-seat SB Lim-1 and SB Lim-2). In China the single seat J-2. Dozens of Air Forces over the World used the MiG-15.

See further references.....

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Many many plastic model kits in 1/72 scale were issued during the years of the MiG-15. Very old but inaccurate kits were from Airfix and old Hasegawa. The shape and looks were completely wrong, for example the old Airfix kit was too large and had a much too large intake.

The best old 1/72 kits were from KP from than Czecho-Slowakia. 

In more recent years, again kits appeared. The new Airfix kit is unfortunatley again inaccurate and has wrong looks. GRAN came with a kit but this was rudimentary. Hobbyboss of China than came with very good and cheap kits which are worthwhile. More recent, EDUARD came with a series of very nice MiG-15 kits which are very good and detailed. But they are a bit expensive when bought as full special edition. 

Most of these 1/72 kits will be made as models in various schemes and for various Air Forces. For 1/32 scale, please see the model report here.....

Over the years several 1/72 KP kits were purchased as these were the most accurate for years. A KP kit was also available as MiG-15 UTI two seater. Although good in shape and dimensions, the KP kits required a lot of alignment and had raised panellines. To get a good model and lot of filler and saniding meant that most of the detail panellines were lost. 
So these kit remained in the stack as far better and good kits appeared, particularly of Hobbyboss which are great value for money.

An unknown 1/72 MiG-15 kit as issued by GRAN from Russia. The box art and decals seemed great so in was bought at a Prague model show in 2005. 

The GRAN decals are nice (printed by BEGEMOT) for no less than 6 metallic MiG-15's with several "buzz" numbers from North Korea, two camouflaged North Korean MiGs and a camouflaged Soviet VVS aircraft.

There are about 50 parts in light white cream plastic and the kit instructions suggest it to be a MiG-15 bis but the features of this version are not seen in the kit. The only exception are the rear air brakes looking appropriate for a bis. The wing has separate parts for flaps that can be drooped down. 

The landing gear is very rudimentary: the main doors 38 and 39 should be mounted reversed and the nose wheel leg has no fork. But is has the lower flaps as seperate parts and panels are inscribed. The canopy has a lot of scratches. 

The fit is very bad and a lot of sanding and filling was needed. The tail exhaust pipe does not fit inside. 

This kit is not recommended but at the time it looked promising. It was made nevertheless in a scheme for a North Korean MiG-15. 

The drooped flaps is a nice option with this kit. 

Camouflage colours for the North Korean MiG-15 used were from Gunze Sangyo acryllics #303 khaki, #310 sand and lower blue with mixed paints.

Before the decals were applied, a gloss coat of Johnson Future/Pledge was applied to prevent decal "silvering". 

Undercarriage was refined and an antenne wire and other antenna's added and finally the canopy set. Gaps around were closed with white glue and painted when dried.

That completed this North Korean MiG-15. 


An old postage stamp of Tanzania shows this North Korean MiG!

The MiG-15 scheme is for a North Korean MiG-15 bis as flown by Capt. Boitsow with "10 kills" of the 16th fighter regiment, Korea war 1953.
A nice model in the World Air Force collection.

On to next MiG-15  [ Page 2 ...

  • Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15, 4+ publications, Czechia, 1997
  • MiG-15 in Action, Squadron Signal, USA, 1990
  • Wings of Fame series, article, Vol. 08, page 100 etc.
  • OKB MiG, Butowski and Miller, Aerofax inc, 1991 
  • Soviet and Russian Military aircraft series: (1) in Asia, (2) in Africa, (3) in Middle East; by Yefim Gordon and Kommissarov, Hikoki publications 

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Created this page
September 14, 2015