Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21
[ Page 3 ]


1/72 scale kits of the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 
kit review / modelling report

  ... continued from MiG-21 page 2....
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Another KP kit of the MiG-21MF was made.

However, I used two spare delta wing halves parts from the RV MiG-21 kit; these have nice engraved panels and thin trailing edges but not the oval shaped panels
. On real MF's there are small differences depending on the Soviet manufacturing plant. MF's made at Sedivka Gorki have a deep cut-out on the sides of the engine exhaust and an oval-shaped bulge in front of the lower fuselage main gear bay. But not any reenforced oval shaped panels on the upper wing halves as on MF' made at the Stracena Moskou plant.

I also used two spare wheels from the RV kit. This improved the crude old KP kit. 


The winghalves fit easily. Some putty was needed but not a lot. 


The wing fences were made from thin card. Also the pylons were fitted and the central canon fairing, retrieved from the other kits.

Some base grey coat airbrushed showed a good fit as well.



This kit is finished in MiG-21 MF of the SOMALIA Air Force. The book "Soviet and Russian military aircraft in Africa" (see references) page 223  shows a profile drawing with the scheme and some historical background. I used that as reference. 

The colours and the camouflage scheme used are my interpretations: 
Sand : Revell Aqua acrylic
Green: Gunze Sanyo 309  acrylic
Light blue (lower surfaces): AKAN blue 73008 acrylic (a new brand of acrylic paints from Russia)

These were applied with the fine Harder Steinbeck airbrush. The gear bays are not deep on this KP kit, so the "ceilings" were painted black.

Somalia roundels came from Berna Decal set 72-69 with general AF roundels and the buzz number from the spare decals box. Also some spare Revell MiG-21 F13 stencilling decals were used. The MF model was depicted as seen in 1993 at Mogadishu airport. 

NOTE: I later found that the Bort no. was not 626 but should have been re-arranged e.g 226 (as one of series 220-258...)


The canopy will be closed so the cockpit was only a bit detailed. Main detail is the "emerald green". The rear of the fuselage is aluminium. 

The smaller parts were fitted and a metal needle used as pitot. 
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MiG-21 MF  of the Somalia air force at Mogadishu. 
Obtained not earlier starting 1974, the Soviet Union supplied these aircraft but when the war started with Ethiopia, relations ended. China probably assisted to maintain the fleet and the F-6 (MiG-19) also was delivered. Later starting 1991, the country collapsed with many wars that continue unfortunately to this day. It is now total chaos with terrible human conditions. 


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Although unusual and looking odd, the MiG-21 MF can carry fueltanks on the outboard pylons.
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MISTERCRAFT / MASTERCRAFT 
This Polish brandname is confusing: also Mastercraft is used in the website name.... This kit #C-14 for a MiG-21SM kit with sub-title "303 CAD". The kit looks to be a mix of KP and CONDOR but the panellines are recessed. So, a good kit but the smaller parts remain very basic however. But not a bad kit to use for its price. 
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There should be a resin KM-1M seat included but mine was not in the box. The very basic plastic one is still in the sprues but unusable. The instructions have far too much text and this applies also for the colour suggestions. 

There is a big colour paint conversion table in the instructions but it looks inaccurate!! I recommend using the latest AKAN acrylic colours.
Decals are for:
(1) MiG-21SM Soviet AF (VVS) 1 squadron with a camouflage scheme , year 1985
(2) MiG-21SM that appears to be also for the Soviet VVS with metal scheme (not Ukraine as stated!)
(3) MiG-21SM Monino museum in a metal scheme, year 1985
(4) MiG-21SM Soviet VVS also of 1 squadron with camouflage scheme, year 1985

There is no exhaust pipe in this kit so I suggest to make one. I used a bit of a large bomb from the spares box to fit inside the aft fuselage. The canopy is a single piece part. The wheel bays are not deep. 
There are rocket pods and a fuel tank in the kit (with spare Atolls but very basic). The lower canon fairing is also there. Mistercraft suggests to send them a Self Adressed Envelope to get some extra stores like a S-24 bomb but I would rather have this included in the kit! 

I had two kits, so these were assembled in parallel. 

The cockpit in the kit has a "tub" with bulkhead but is basic. I used some spare etched metal details I had (e.g. EX72152 from EXTRATECH ). 
...

The panels lines were made a bit deeper with a scriber at the flap and ailerons at the wing. In STEP 7 the large intake scoops at the rear are parts #21 and the smaller ones #22. 
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Some putty and sanding was needed and although it seems a lot of work, it is not too bad after sanding was done. I used car filler Alabastine White Putty.

After the basic assembly, a grey base coat was applied with the airbrush. When the models looked OK, the colours schemes were applied with the airbrush. 

I had seen some nice information in the very nice book "Soviet and Russian Military aircraft in Africa" (see references) and used Berna decal set 72-76 which provides these. 

[A] MiG-21MF , Ethiopia Air Force, Asmara airbase. See info page 306 of the book which colours I interpreted as follows: 
Sand : Revell Aqua 17  acrylic
Olive green: Revell Aqua 361 acrylic
Light blue (lower surfaces):  AKAN 73008 acrylic

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When these decals were dry, with the airbrush the same paints and decals were "oversprayed" onto the decals in thin subtle layers and this gives a worn / African sun affected paint effect. Try it, you will be very surprised. 

Finally all smaller parts were added like gears, metal pitot tube made from a needle. As some spare wheels and gearlegs of an RV MiG-21 kit were available, these were used as these are finer than the Mastercraft parts. The windscreen and canopy frames were hand painted with the remaining gaps filled with White Glue and painted once dry. This seales all gaps. The large pitot tube made of a metal needle and smaller sensors set in place. Finally, I added static dischargers from thin fishing line that was painted rather than the vulnerable etched metal parts. 

The model finally got a couple of semi-dull varnish airbrushed coats using a mix of Johnson Future / Pledge thinned with 30% pharmacy alkohol and with a few drops mixed in of Tamiya matting agent "Flat Base" X21 acrylic to get a mat effect. The canopy was finally installed, completing the model. 

 

[Ethiopia area: 1,100,000 sq.km excl. Eritrea | capital: Addis Abeba | population: 112 million | GDP US 1,000 per capita nominal ]

From 1889 Italy claimed in North East Africa areas of Ethiopia and Somalia as a colony. Military aviation started way back in 1922 under emperor rule with a few aircraft of various types including even some Fokker F.VII transports. In the 1930s Mussolini and Italian firms increased their grip because of great economic interests. During the Second World War in 1941 the British expelled the Italians and took over control and administration. Only after 1944 Ethiopia again was independent. With Swedish support with some Saab Safirs and a few B-17's a new air force was set up.
In the 1950s Emperor Haile Selassie convinced the United Nations to establish the country of Ethiopia with Eritrea as a province and he ruled until 1974. 
In 1951 some Fairey Fireflies were acquired. In the 1950s with US assistance T-28 and T-33 followed and also F-86F Sabres fighters and in 1965 F-5A aircraft arrived. 

The Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was overtrown September 1974 by Marxist officers. The Ethiopian air force was now the "Ityopya Ayer Hayl" and turned after some years of large unrest in 1977 to the Soviet Union for equipment and got the MiG-21 fighter in the seventies. Ethiopian etnical groups wanted independence and many  conflicts erupted with Somalia and Eritrea in the North. 

Aircraft types in the new marxist Ethiopean Air Force were first between 20 up to 40 MiG-17F fighter-bomber jets obtained in 1977 with a few MiG-15UTI trainers. Over 40 MiG-21MF fighters followed from 1978 with a few UM trainers with dozens of extra MiG-21 delivered the following years (probably over 100). These included also some 8  MiG-21R reconnaissance jets and from 1986 advanced MiG-21bis with also Cuban support. From 1977 also over 40 MiG-23BN "Flogger" fighter-bombers were delivered with a few MiG-23UB trainers. Additional MiG-23 were acquired including over 18 MiG-23ML and it is probable that nearly 100 MiG-23 were received. 

In 1995 a regime change was a fact with also Eritrea becoming independent after severe conflicts. Some 10 Ethiopean MiG-21's were upgraded in Israel by IAI and additional MiG-21 jets in Ukraine.

Tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea remained however particularly in the border region resulting in the Badme war from May 1998 to June 2000. From 2002 combat aircraft delivered to Ethiopia included Sukhoi Su-27SK and UB Flankers from Russia that are based at Debre Zeit. (as a reaction, also Eritrea acquired from Ukraine also several SU-27...). Fortunately, currently a stable relation exists between the two countries.    
 
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MiG-21MF , Ethiopia Air Force, Asmara (in the than Eritrea province, now a separate country)
Asmara airport


           MiG-21MF , Ethiopia Air Force


....Continueing with the second Mastercraft kit.....

The Berna decals set 72-76 has also a nice markings for a MiG-21bis , Malagasy Air Army (Madagaskar) at Ivato - Antananarivo airport; The great book "Soviet and Russian Military aircraft in Africa" shows it on page 170. I opted to make it using this kit although maybe not totally accurate. The MiG-21bis spine is a bit longer but looks similar as to a SM with particularly internal updates. This model was kept simple and "clean". 

For the overal light grey colour of the Malagasy aircraft Gunze Sanyo 306 grey acrylic was used. For the green antenna panels Revell Aqua 361 acrylic was used. I brush painted the gear bay interiors pale blue (AKAN 73008). 

On both models, some smaller stencilling decals were used that I had from a dedicated decals set EDUARD, set MiG-21 stencils #72004.


The canopy was set closed, gaps closed with White Glue and painted when dried. Two small rocket pods were fitted below the wing. 

Small static dischargers as on the other models were added and final assembly was as on the other kits. And a couple of semi-dull varnish coats using a mix of Johnson Future  / Pledge thinned with 30% alkohol and with a few drops mixed in of Tamiya matting agent "Flat Base" X21 acrylic. 

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[ area 587,000 sq.km | capital: Antananarivo | population 27 million | GDP US 500 per capita nominal ]

Madagascar, a big island at the South East of the African continent, became independent as Frech colony in 1958. The Malagasy republic established a small air force (Armée de l'Air Malgache)  with former French aircraft like a dozen Broussards and 10 C-47/ DC-3 and 6 Flamant transport aircraft. Later some Alouette helicopters were also obtained. The Soviet Union established relations mid 1960s with a pair of Yakovlev Yak-40 and Mil Mi-8 helicopters supplied. About 6 MiG-17F were obtained as fighters with a MiG-15UTI trainer;
it appears that these aircraft were delivered mid seventies with also operational support from North Korea! Another later delivery in 1978 from North Korea were 8 MiG-21PFM fighters and a UM trainer as well but details are unknown. Also from the Soviet Union some 12 MiG-21bis and 2 extra UM trainers were supplied, probably in the 1990s.
Now only a small fleet consists with transports like the Antonov AN-26, Cessna's, a B737 and a few remaining Alouette II helicopters. No fighters are available. The main base is at Ivato Airport outside Antananarivo. 

MiG-21bis , Malagasy Air Army  "TAFIKA ANABAKABAKA"  at Ivato - Antananarivo, the Capital City of Madagaskar  
 

 

MiG-21bis , code 138, c/n 750-138 that was used from ??? at Antananarivo and this particular aircraft scrapped beginning 2011.


 

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Created this page
May 12, 2015;  updated July 2020