1/72 scale kits of the MiG-23 and MiG-27 family (NATO "Flogger")
review / modelling report
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Kit #1621 from 1993 is for a MiG-23S "Flogger-B" as quoted by Academy. It looks very similar to kit #12455 but some parts have different numbers and look slightly different. It has the vertical tail with dorsal fin and the thick radar nose.
The kit itself is very basic and the
cockpit is a basic seat "hump" with a floor and no side consoles and no
As noted for the MiG-27D, it seems that the nose section looks inaccurate. So similarly as described above, another RV Aircraft spare nose was crafted on this model.....
Another extra was replacing the Academy kit vertical tail with a spare one from an RV Aircraft kit #72019 using part #18. NOTE: I made an error by using the kit boundary layer splitter plates for the Academy kit , so now had to make new ones from plastic card. I used the RV kit intake parts are template.
And similarly with the horizontal
stabilizer, using RV Aircraft #72019 spares. These replacement parts have
nice recessed panel lines.
This model was made in a scheme of a MiG-23MS of the Sudan air force seen in the book "Soviet and Russian Military aircraft" in Africa (see references) shows a drawing on page 236. These aircraft were delivered by Khadaffi's Libya and I used old Sudan style roundels found in the decal spares box.
Colours to be airbrushed used were:
The nose section radar "demarcation" line was set more forward and painted to suggest the simpler nose and the nose pitot configuration adapted.
The model was ready for the decals,
but first a couple of gloss coats were added with my
usual technique. The Sudan AF markings came from the decal spares box.
[ initially as one Sudan: 2,500,000 sq.km | between 25 - 35 million inhabitants ? | capital: Khartoum ][ now "north" Sudan 1,880,000 sq.km ]
The former British colony Sudan was the biggest country in Africa with in the Saharan North Islamic ethnic groups, in the forested South Christian groups. Some local British aircraft were in the 1950s C-47, Provosts and Pembrokes. In 1961 Sudan became independent and set up their air force using these aircraft but also a few new transport aircraft like from 1964 4 Fokker F-27 and PC-6 Turbo Porters.
Soviet Union sought economic
and after an military coup in 1969, Soviet aircraft were starting to be
delivered like at least 18 MiG-21M and various Antonov
transports. However, the Sudanese did not want further atheist Soviet
influence and expelled their Soviet "advisors". Relations with China
were strengthened and the Chinese supplied some 18 Shenyang MiG-17/F-5
and 10 FT-5 and from 1973 also Shenyang F-6 fighters.
Local internal armed conflicts with the Christian south of Sudan were
fought but also there were changes in leaders and
generals. All these years the
air force fleet was in poor condition. Technical support was
sought. Yugoslavia overhauled many old MiGs and aircraft like a few old
Strikemasters put into flyable condition by UK personnel and US
military "advisors" came in. A conflict with Libya's Khadaffi led to
plans for new Western aircraft such as of F-5E/F Tigers, new
well as helicopters and transports like Buffalo's and C-130. But
an Islamic coup in 1985 resulted in only 2 F-5E/F Tigers and 3 Strikemasters being delivered. Insurgents were still active in the South and West Sudanese Darfur and Khadaffi's Libya
supported terrorist groups in the sub-Sahara. Another coup took place in Sudan June 1989, the Western
adivisors were kicked out and relations with Khadaffi
strengthened. Ties with
China were still strong but also Sadam Hussain's Iraq aid was accepted
to support the air force. In 1987 at least a
dozen of MiG-23MS, -BN and a -UB "Floggers" were provided by Khadaffi. Meanwhile, crude oil exports became big
business. Additional Chinese F-6 and some 10 new Nanchang A-5 attack aircraft
were acquired from 2001 and
the conflict in Darfur became more serious and involved Chad. The first
MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter arrived from 2003 (now) Russia with at least 10 MiG-29SE and 2
MiG-29UB, totalling later to about 24 aircraft. Chinese K-8 Karakorums
arrived from mid 2006. From Belarus from 2010 at least 13 SU-25K
and 3 SU-25UB Frogfoots ground attack jets were acquired. In 2020 it
seems Chinese FTC-2000 jets have been acquired. Helicopters types
Mils including Mi-8, Mi-17 and later Mi-24 and Mi-35.
A separate South-Sudan declared independence on 9 July 2011 but tensions remained also in Darfur with various terrorist involvements in many countries across the sub-Sahara. Only just in 2019 a sort of agreement was reached between Sudan and South-Sudan with UN involvement.
The Sudanese MiG-23MS "534" has a desert scheme and aircraft was provided by Kadhaffi.
Zvezda MiG-27 (kit# 7228) kit
This kit from Russia looks fine, but
there are quitre some issues as it is rather basic. In the cockpit only
the "floor" and main panel #38A was installed at this stage. Here the parts
The kit's panel lines are "raised"
but I did not bother to rescribe these as the model would get a camouflage
paint scheme. And it has the small splitter plates, the simple MiG-27 shorter
exhaust and as separate parts the LERX: extended wing root glove for a
The scheme choosen now was for the Cuba air force (" Defensa Anti-A?rea Y Fuerza A?rea Revolucionaria") using the Aztec decal set 72-049.
I had to interpret the Cuban colours
and using for years now acrylic paints, choose the following:
Masking was obviously needed using
low tack tape and paper.
Discovered too late, I had to saw
off these LERX bits. I than used a lot of putty to get a straight leading
edge at the wing glove as all other MiG-23 versions have.... Now it was
Next came the decals, but first two gloss coats of Johnson Future were airbrushed at very low pressure ( 0,8 bar) at a mininum nozzle-model distance of 20 cm. Wait 30 minutes between each coat application.
The Aztec decals went on fine.
I used a PAVLA resin KM-1 seat
from set S72010 and completed the interior with some spare "instrument"
"America's back yard", the first military aircraft in Cuba were
Curtiss trainers in 1917 and some DH.4 bomber biplanes. A hurricane
destroyed many of these in 1926 and not earlier than the mid thirties
that a small Army aviation and navy aviation was established with WACO
and Stearman aircraft. After the war, in 1948 some P-51 Mustangs and
B-25 Mitchells were obtained. The first jets were T-33's from
1955 by the Fuerza Aerea Ejercito de Cuba.
Fidel Castro became active with guerillas in that period and March 1959 the existing Batista regime over thrown and a Socialist regime established and support from the Soviets announced. (The USA still had and has their Guantanamo Bay base). The Cuban "Defensa Anti-Aérea Y Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria" got their first MiG-15 in 1961. The first of the MiG-17 were obtained in 1964.The first MiG-21 starting with the F13 arrived in Cuba end September 1962 in utmost secrecy. Many more followed and these hundreds of MiG-21 formed the back bone of the Cuban air force for many years.
Only much later from 1978 over 80 MiG-23 MF, MLA, ML and UB trainers aircraft were supplied. Also the strike MiG-23 BN "Flogger H" was obtained with some 40 to 50 aircraft delivered from mid 1978.
> For more information about Cuba look on the MiG-21 page here...
MiG-23BN , code 723, l/n 8542 that also flew from Santa Clara, Cuba
Italeri MiG-27M (kit #075)
This kit originally comes from Zvezda of Russia which has a number of MiG-23 kits in 1/72 scale. But here the Italeri kit box top shows the peculiar LERX "extended wing root gloves" of the "M" and this is nice! A lot of comments as noted with the Zvezda kit as described above. This kit was made in a similar fashion and all parts are better separate from the sprues with a razor saw to avoid damage.
Main parts assembly was done simply
as per kit instructions.
A very nice photo was found on the
internet of a Kazachstan Air Force MiG-27M.
Light blue lower surfaces: AKAN
73008 acrylic: applied first also not forgetting the doors and pylons.
The model was ready for the decals, but first a couple of gloss coats were added with the usual technique.
Some decals came from a SU-25
set from "Authentic decals" 72-47 to get the Kazachstan markings.
These decals are very thin, so better put on top a coat of Microscale Decal
Film to keep each decal in one piece.
The main wheels have "holes" to fit the main gear legs, but I found these pegs to pose an inaccurate look as with the Zvezda kit. This was adapted to get a correct "sit". Also, there are 2 types of main gear doors. The nose wheel doors #2C and 3C have small bulges which is correct. The nose wheels have here no mud guards so some spare wheels from a RV Aircraft kit were used.
Also, an extra pitot tube on the nose was set in place. The laser window did not fit in the nose, MicroScale Kristal Clear did the job. The various blade antenna's are way too thick, replace with plastic card.
From an ICM 1/72 missile set, an Air-to-Air R27 missile and two FAB500 bombs were set in place. On the intakes, red protection covers made from thin card were set.
The model got a final semi-matt coat
with the usual technique.
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July 20, 2016;
updated End 2020