MiG-29 Fulcrum models in 1/72 scale...
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MODELLING THE ZVEZDA
The ZVEZDA MiG-29
"9.13" kit from Russia has purchase price in The Netherlands of about
Everything is very well packed in a nice sturdy box. Three sprues have about 200 parts in finely molded gray plastic with neatly engraved panel lines. Two sprues have parts for the fine-looking weaponry. Nice goodies are a pilot standing and seated pilot, something we do not see often in recent kits.
And of course the transparent parts and a fine impressive decal set offering a choice for three Russian aircraft with a LOT small markings.
The instructions look good with Humbrol color numbers.
The top with wing and fuselage is a single part, and provides a guaranteed proper alignment. The area is smooth (as opposed to the incorrect “step” of the TRUMPETER kit). The main intake ducts are fully provided and the upper intake doors are molded closed. Furthermore there are separate intake covers and exhaust caps provided usable for a parked aircraft.
A single display stand is for sale separately to present the model in a flying position.
The appearance of this ZVEZDA model is generally very good and the fit is good with only a bit sanding and hardly any filler is needed. An example of the new generation of kits made with the computer using CAD / CAM.
I have seen a few Russian model reviews of this kit which confirm the kit to be quite good and accurate in shape. Some indicate that the instrument decals are a bit inaccurate, some missing small panel lines near the gear bays and the model may benefit from adding a little more details such as on the K-36DM seat headrest, inside the nose gear bay and landing gear struts.
The armament is also pretty accurately produced and with choices like R-73, R-27R, R-60M missiles, what seem to be FAB 500 bombs, P-24B unguided missiles, two large 1150L fuel tanks and the central 1500L fuel tank complete with various types of pylons.
Before the various components were to be removed from the sprues, I did some pre-painting with the airbrush. Some parts were assembled while still in the sprues.
Many parts have medium gray color like the undercarriage and cockpit interior for which I used Gunze Sangyo acrylic #306, about FS36270.
The nose in the kit is made from two separate side parts and a little putty is needed. Remember to put a weight in the nose to prevent tail sitting and the opening of the cannon at left under the cockpit can be drilled open.
The ejection seat looks neat with a separate parachute pack # C29 if the pilot is not put in the cockpit.
The model assembly posed no problems. Obviously install the delicate parts such as undercarriage, antennas, pylons and stores later on after the model got the desired colors. Use clamps while parts dry.
The main gear bays look good...
... and the vertical tails and nose fitted...
The model got a base coat of grey. Any imperfections were puttied and sanded.
The closed upper louvre intake doors are seen......
I decided to make the third colorful Russian version as per kit with the nice decals. It has some attractive markings including a shark nose. The paint colors suggested are a gray Federal Standard Colour System FS36373 with on top of a dark gray color of FS36118. Yes, I know these are not Russian paint numbers, but also ZVEZDA indicates these and they seemed right looking at pictures of the real aircraft.
Unfortunately I did not have exactly FS36373 so I used acrylic from Gunze Sangyo acrylic #306 FS36270 and for the FS36118 #305.
First a few rough coats of darker grey were airbrushed to suggest a bit a weathering darker effect. Than the final colors were applied with fine airbrush with soft demarcations. The lighter colour is was applied first overall.
Masking was done with REVELL masking film (or use paper and tape) and the darker FS36118 colour airbrushed.
and the result....
A black anti-glare panel was also airbrushed after the areas were masked...
The paint was a bit polished and is glossy so a good surface to apply the numerous decals with “silvering”. But take your time for the numerous small decals that will need a whole afternoon to apply.
Here an antenna drawing from a MiG-29 Flight manual...
This is not indicated by ZVEZDA but see these clearly in photos, though there are variations seen on real MiG-29 schemes. The gun blast panel was painted aluminum.
On the seat a harness was suggested with painted gray tape. The cockpit canopy and the windshield were installed. Decals are in the kit for instruments and side consoles. The IR sensor in front of the windscreen is a bit too big to fit so was cut smaller. The gun sight, sort of HUD, was also set in place.
The wheel hubs were painted bright green using color Revell Aqua 364 "laubgrun". The undercarriage parts in the kit were good and installed without any issues as well as all the doors. Seen here installed are also the fuel tanks.
The exhausts were fitted after they got various metal burned coats.
Final model finishing was similar as the TRUMPETER kit such as applying the static dischargers, nose wheel mud guard.
A semi-mat coat of varnish was airbrushed over the model using my standard approach of Johnson Future/Pledge with about 5% mixed in Tamiya X21 FLAT BASE.
The various covers are supplied in this nice kit. You may add a few grip handles on them but I used the kit parts, decided to paint them bright orange and set them on the model for a parked aircraft.
The result is a very pretty accurate 1/72 model of a MiG-29 "9.13" of the flying unit 31 GIAP of the Russian Air Force.
and a few views "set on a platform"....
Now, what is the conclusion?
Both ZVEZDA model as the Trumpeter MiG-29 model are much better than what was available before in 1/72 scale. The ZVEZDA kit is slightly better but the choice depends on the specific version desired.
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Created this page February 19, 2018