1/72 scale kits of the MiG-23 and MiG-27 family (NATO "Flogger")
review / modelling report
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RV Aircraft MiG-23MF
All panels lines are finely recessed and very impressive. But there are no locating pins for the parts so alignment needs more care to avoid ridges. In the kit no external weapon stores are provided so any need to be sourced elsewhere. But fuel tanks are in the kit.
Decals are provided in this kit release
It was decided to finish this MiG-23MF "Flogger-B" in a Bulgaria AF scheme with a Begemot decal set.
Kit construction started with the cockpit and this looks nice with details. The interior colour used was AKAN 73005 "emerald green" acrylic.
The nose section took some small amounts of filler to fit the radar nose and also add nose ballast weight.
As on other RV MiG-23 kits, the main fuselage wing gloves with the swivelling wing is not a very tight fit. I added a 2 mm extra rod on top of the rotating pins. Still, the wing "wobbles". I decided to fix it later and ensure a correct position with dihedral.
For the MF, intake part #22 was needed and the vertical taill #17 with the dorsal fin. Some sanding and filler was needed to close the fuselage-tail gap.
The separate air brakes are nice but when closed do not fit, so sanding was needed on their insides. The wing glove leading edge parts #39, 40 need some putty (but there is an unused option to get the "notches" for the later MLD). The missile emitter fairing #43 below the wing glove is also there that was fitted to some aircraft.
The stabilizers fit well but each fuselage fairing is integrally moulded as one piece.
The exhaust pipe is a multi part plastic assembly and does not fit very well, it proved to be too "wide" to fit.
(The undercarriage assembly will be done after airbrushing the overall paint scheme).
When looking at photos, quite some variations are seen at Bulgarian Floggers, also in code numbers and colours. I opted for these acrylic colours that were airbrushed:Lower surfaces: AKAN 7008 russian blue ;
Medium green: Gunze Sangyo 340 ("FS34079");
Dark green: Gunze Sangyo 330 ("BSC381c/ 341");
Medium brown: Revell Aqua 82 braun ;
The brown appears to be darker on surfaces below the wing gloves on the fuselage sides. That may be caused by shadow so nothing was done in addition.
Decals were obtained from spare ones from a Begemot MiG-29 set #72-032. From the spares box white code numbers were retrieved, often also red ones are seen.
Final assembly of the undercarriage was now done. The multi part legs are a bit awkward but unused and thus spare parts are also here for different gear legs and wheels. Two types of nose wheels are also provided with parts #59 probably needed for the MF. (this is not well indicated in the kit instructions). The dorsal fin was folded.
The smaller details were set in place like the various pitot tubes etcetera. a matt coat was airbrushed with the usual technique.
[ 110,000 sq.km | capital: Sofia | 7,0 million population | GDP per capita 10,000 Eur nominal ]
Bulgarian air force was set-up very early in 1906. Earlier balloons
were tried out and in the 1910s some biplanes were acquired. In
the First World War the Kingdom of Bulgaria supported the Central
Powers with various German aircraft being flown like Albatrosses,
Fokkers and LVG B.II's and several floatplanes. Several captured
Nieuports were also flown. After the war under the Treaty of Neuilly the armed forces were disbanded and
not earlier than 1934 a new air corps was set-up. In 1937 German
aircraft arrived like Arado Ar.65 fighters, Heinkel 51 fighters and
Dornier Do.11 bombers and later on PZL aircraft from Poland. In the
Second World War the Kingdom of Bulgaria allowed the Axis powers to use
its air space followed later under German pressure with a formal
declaration of war against the Allied Powers. That had dramatic effects
and the oil fields of Ploesti were heavily bombed regularly by Allied
World Air Forces in Plastic collection
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