Trumpeter kits 
Mikoyan MiG-17 / Shenyang J-5 &
MiG-15 UTI (Conversion)
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MiG-17 & MiG-15 UTI Conversion model in 1/32 scale Trumpeter / Hobbycraft
The MiG-15 was the first real operational Soviet jet fighter that was put into service after 1945 and that saw operational war usage, in Korea. The MiG-15 used a "copy" of a Rolls Royce engine that was made in the USSR and that was quite successfully at that period.  
Regarding the actual MiG-15 series, this type later evolved by Mikoyan into produce the larger MiG-17. The MiG-17 is in fact a sort of MiG-15 with longer fuselage and afterburner added to the jet engine. 

Trumpeter released  Chinese F-5, F-5A and FT-5 kits. These jets  are Chinese PLAAF versions of the MiG 17. The Trumpeter kits of MiG-15bis and the 3 other "MiG-17" kits share a lot of parts as the real ones. The F-5A is a radar nose version of the MiG-17 and the FT-5 is the Chinese trainer version. Actually, the FT-5 "MiG-17" two seater is unique as the Soviets never made a trainer variant of the MiG-17 but the Chinese did. The Soviets used the two seater MiG-15 UTI to train both their MiG-15 and MiG-17 pilots as that plane was satisfactory for training pilots for both types. The Chinese MiG equivalents were copies made using Soviet patterns and assistance of the planes made in China as the Communist Red Block. At that time the Cold war was going on.

two seater Chinese "MiG-17": FT-5 with decals and parts

The Chinese Trumpeter kit manufacturer issued these kits in 1/32 scale. 

Hobbycraft of Canada used a Trumpeter made moulds for their MiG-17F and a MiG-15bis kits. 

Trumpeter  single seat MiG 15 kit  looks a scaled up version of the Tamiya 1/48 kit. The MiG-15 kit was the first kit under their own Trumpeter name and nowadays many kits can be bought from Trumpeter, and these include some very exiting ones. The kit was also issued under the "Hobbycraft" and FROG label from Hong Kong. 

This first MiG-15 kit originating from Trumpeter is the simplest 1/32 model kit, newer kits being released becoming better and better. These MiG kits are rather simple and crude in some areas. However, the kits can be used as starting point for quite good made up models. 

OK, what do you get. 
Both Trumpeter MiG-15 as MiG-17 type kits come with a jet engine and include a trolley to handle the rear fuselage if this is separated showing the engine. This Klimov RD-45 engine was in fact a legal copy of the Rolls Royce Nene jet engine. The British labour government in those days wanted to improve the relations with the Stalin Soviets and agreed this deal. Stalin supposedly said to his people... "what fool would sell us his secrets?"....    

The kits have four main sprues, three in lighter gray and one in dark gray. The dark gray one contains the engine parts and trolley. Included are also unrealistic rubber tires and all other parts are plastic. Panel lines are engraved with riveting but not totally accurate. 



Between the Trumpeter MiG-17 kits and MiG-15 kits, 2 sprues are common.  Extra parts are there like 3 types of nose intake ring and two simple ejection seats. The FT-5 kit is a double seater variant of the Chinese MiG-17 so that is the main reason that you get some parts extra. 

General kit construction notes:

a. the elevators part numbers are mixed up on the MiG-15 instructions.

b. all trailing edges of wings, stabilizer and rudder of the kits are way too thick and need a lot of sanding to get them thin. This is quite some work but really necessary using a sanding block. 

c. there should only be a single trim tab on the right  elevator of the MiG-15. The MiG-17 has also this single small trim tab. 

d. the rudder of the MiG-17 has a small balance trimtab at the lower rudder, it's missing in the kit. 

e. the MiG-17 afterburner can (part # A1) is in many cases not installed on actual planes. 

f. the exhaust pipe is a bit rough with gaps; replacing it with a tube looks better. The MiG-17 engine pipe seems to be of a thicker diameter and looks to be larger than the MiG-15 jetpipe. By leaving off the rear afterburner fairing you can suggest this further.

g. at the exhaust outlet, put in a small piece of cart to cover the "gap" for both kits. 

h. the MiG-15 kit has trailing edge lower flaps; they will benefit from adding some structural details and filling the gap between the wing and the flaps.Also you will need to add some guiding rails if you set them open and you should set them to a more rear position. 

i. the MiG-15 wing fences on the kit are way too thick and a little bit too short, they should be over the whole wing chord. I removed them and add new ones from thin card.

j. The MiG-17 kit wing fences are too thick but can be sanded/scraped thin.

k. The windscreen of kit of the Chinese MiG-17 has a "cross bar" and is not correct; as I will use a Squadron vacuform canopy this will be solved. 
l. The MiG-15 air brakes need filler and the air brake bays are not deep enough; The brakes can best be assembled in closed position.
m. The MiG-17 stabilizer elevator hinges are not correct and a balance trim tab is missing. (see also point d.) Fill and rescribe.

  Comparison: left MiG-15 UTI, right MiG-17
n. You will need to add substantial nose weight to prevent a tail sitter in both kits. These are provided in the kits!
o. The ailerons on the kits have U-shape hinges; this is not correct and should be straight flat joints. Fill , sand and rescribe. 
p. The main gear bay is too shallow; remove the inner "roof" section and box in with card. (all, thus both MiG-15 and MiG-17's kits); rescribe in the upper wing parts.   

q. the nose gear bay wheel bay is missing as the bay is too shallow; cut out and box in.

r. The cockpit and ejection seat are very simple; add details here as in this scale a cockpit screams for details; the same applies for the instrument panels; Use / check references such as the internet or the 4+ booklet
  FT-5 instructions
s. the intake tubing is missing, you look straight into and onto the tub and wing joint. Add thin card to make a streamlined engine airflow intake
t. fill the holes for the access ladder
u. correct the location of the antenna on the right side of the cockpit as the hole on the kit is in the wrong position; there should also be an antenna wire! Yes, on a jet!
v. Fill and sand the gun fairings on the lower side of the forward fuselage. 
w. add some more detail on the undercarriages and the hubs of the wheels. 
x. The kit's canopy parts of the MiG-15 were scratched and damaged a lot and are very thick; I ordered a replacement part directly from Trumpeter in China through email but did not get it. I bought a
SQUADRON vacuform MiG-15 canopy replacement. 
You will need some putty and sanding in areas as usual but there is nothing that can not be overcome by the average modeller.

On to next [Page 2 ] ...

Trumpeter / Hobbycraft kits MiG-17 & MiG-15 
go to last page.... with finished models...
Best references:
- KP kits in 1/72 scale
- AeroFax OKB MiG,  Mikoyan Aircraft, Miller and  Butowski
- Squadron Signal MiG-15 (do not use the inaccurate drawings!!)
- MiG-15, 4+ Publications, Czech booklet
- MiG-15, Scale models, magazine July 1996
Internet 1 
Internet 2

KP Kits in 1/72, also used as check up 

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Created this page
August 8, 2004