1/72 scale kits of the MiG-17 (NATO "fresco")
review / modelling report
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A few of AZ Model MiG-17 kits in 1/72 scale are also made. The kit has appeared in various boxes, the plastic parts are the same but with different decals. (also as MiG-17PF).
See page 1 for more details about this kit and its accuracy...
The first AZ Model kit will be made as MiG-17F of Burkina Faso in West Central Africa.
Assembly of the AZ kit starts with the cockpit and a bit complex seat in plastic. The cockpit has side walls and bulkheads.
At the intake ring, a few pieces of card were added to suggest some structure.
The nose gear bay is a bit deepened and the gear doors have some internal details. Do not forget adding weight in the nose to avoid "tail sitting".
The wing halves have large mould "pips" that need to be removed.
I inscribed the ailerons a bit deeper and sawed in their edges to suggest movable surfaces.
The assembly needs some putty and sanding but overall the fit is not that bad. On the lower wing some gaps needs care. At the canon fairing, white glue can be used as filler. I inscribed the panels again also a bit at the spine and lower fuselage.
After sanding, the model got a base grey paint coat to check for any big irregularities / flaws. Often, I airbrush acrylic paint Revell Aqua 75 "steingrau", this reveals all.
Next, the leading edges of the inboard wing halves were corrected by sanding off 1 mm from the root to the kink, see correction note (a) on page 1.
And the stabilizers got corrected leading edges through sanding, getting a bit more sweep, see correction note (b).
The model looked fine now and before adding the smaller bits like landing gears and so on, to get the air force paint scheme.
Decals came from Berna set 72-68 "MiG-17 African Air Forces part 1".
The lower areas were airbrushed in light blue /grey mix of with Gunze Sangyo H337, approx. "FS35237" with a few drops of blue mixed. The upper areas were airbrushed after masking Revell Aqua 84 "lederbraun" with few drops of white to make it slightly lighter due to the African sun.
Adding the landing gears and so on was no problem. The canopy (one piece "closed") was set, the gaps filled with white glue and painted. The 2 pitots were made from metal needles.
The model got a mat varnish by airbrushing a gloss coat of Johnson Future acrylic with 5% mixed in Tamiya X-21 "flat base" acrylic paint.
[ area 274,200 sq.km | capital: Ouagadougou | population 22 million | GDP USD 800 per capita nominal ]
Previously known as Upper Volta "Haute Volta" until 1984 in West Africa, the country gained independence as French colony in August 1960. A small air arm was set up with French aircraft from 1964. Aircraft of the "Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso" were a few C-47, Max Holste Broussard, Alouette III helicopters and Nord 262. In 1966 there was a military coup and in the mid 1970s, the Soviet Union got more influence and delivered a single second hand MiG-17 in 1978. End 1980 there was another bloodless coup with another coup in 1983. The country was called Burkina Faso since August 4, 1984. In 1984 Khadaffi's Libya supplied eight MiG-21bis fighters followed with a pair of MiG-21UM trainers. They were flown during the border conflict with Mali but there was insufficient technical support and they only flew a few times until 1993. A few Mil helicopters were also supplied. In 1987 there was another severe coup d'etat, it was probably backed by France.
The Force aerienne also operates a few civilian registered Aerospatiale Dauphins operated along with some Cessna's. Some 6 ex-Philippine SIAI Marchetti Sf.260 armed trainers were also operated with in the mid 1980s with 4 new Sf.260 also purchased.
Currently there is a sort of democracy but IS islamic fanatic groups are active with terror attacks.
The MiG-17F of Burkina Faso Air Army coded "BF 8401" was obtained second hand and their first single jet fighter. It was delivered around 1978 and flew still apparently during 1991 from Ouagadougou airfield.
(oops... again, to prevent tail sitting a thin metal wire was installed)
Ouagadougou airport at the country capital:
The next AZ Models MiG-17F kit was made for a "Malagasy" Madagascar Air Force aircraft. The book of "African Migs Vol. 2" discusses these Migs (see references).
The model was made similarly as described above with the noted small improvements. After assembly, the model was given a grey base coat. Any small gaps and scratches were repaired.
The overall colour of the Madagaskar MiGs is natural metal with different panels. The ALCLAD II system was used but as the aircraft are not highly gloss, not on a gloss black undercoat. The coat was ALCLAD II. Some small panels were masked with tape; during airbrushing the tape was removed and this gives different hues.
The decals came from Berna decal set BD72-69 "MiG-17 African Air Forces part 2". When the only few decals had dried, another pass with airbrushing ALCLAD weathered the national markings a bit more.
The "Malagasy Air Force" operated this particular aircraft with Bort no "242" in 1980 from Arivonimamo in the Itasy region. It probably only carries a flag on the tail but with a nice nose badge.
More information about Madagascar Air Force can be found here....
On Google Earth, it is seen that currently probably a MiG-21 and MiG-17 are on display at the Arivonimamo air base. A DC-3 is also seen.
The third AZ Model kit was made of an aircraft operated by the Mali air force in West central Africa. In the mid 1960s probably 7 MiG-17F "Fresco-C" were delivered and these were the first fighters of Mali after gaining independence.
As on the other AZ models made, corrections were done as noted above. For this Mali MiG-17F, the decals came from again the nice Berna set BD72-69 "MiG-17 African air forces Part 2" .
The colours of the Mali MiG-17 jets varied and what exactly the colors are is of course uncertain. Airbrushed were acrylic paints of AKAN 73008 light blue on the undersides and for the camouflage Gunze Sangyo acrylic paints H308 gray, H25 light blue and H5 dark blue.
Weathering was only slightly done as the few jets were kept in good condition.
After installing the undercarriage I found out that not enough nose weight was set to avoid "tail sitting". So a small metal wire installed.
[ area: 1,240,000 sq.km | capital: Bamako | population 20 million | GDP nominal USD 1,000 per capita ]
Mali was an empire from the 8th to 14th century. In the 1800s it was a colony of France across the Sahara from Senegal to Sudan. Mali gained independence in 1960. The last decades several revolutions and government changes appeared. Mali in the North East is largely Sahara desert with the famous town Timbuktu also on the Niger river.
The Mali air force "Force Aerienne de la Republique du Mali " was established in 1961 with French assistance starting with a few Broussards and C-47 transports. In the sixties the Soviet union started to provide "aid" and aircraft like AN-2 and Mi-4 helicopters. In the mid 1960s also the first jets arrived with MiG-17F fighters and a MiG-15UTI trainer.
From 2012 in the desert unrest started with the Tuareg rebellion and IS interference. (NOTE: a friend of mine, who is a specialized virus specialist, fought against the EBOLA virus under a UN mission. During her stay she escaped a terrorist bomb attack on a hotel in Bamako; fortunately she was staying in another Bamako hotel. The remainder of her mission to fight EBOLA continued, but under heavy personal armed protection).
As of today, still unfortunately, the unrest is still there and an International Coalition tries to stabilize the region.
More info about the Mali air force can be found at this page here...
MiG-17F Mali, coded TZ-36, still flying probably in the 1990s from Bamako. The base aerienne 101 is on the south side... Google Earth view of 2020 and the presidential B727 is still seen.
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