by: Milan Mitev [ ]
IntroductionThe rather new MIG-29SMT kit from Trumpeter is a gorgeous miniature of the real plane, which boasts a fabulous historical background, starting from the typical silhouette of MIG-29 from the Cold War era, to the upgraded versions, which are famous for their unique humpback silhouettes.
But overall, it is a MIG-29 one of the most famous and iconic Russian jets featuring two engines with intakes under the fuselage, as well as bold rugged shapes.
The good thing is that in this 1/72 scale kit the details are exceptionally fine, crisp, thin and delicate.
Take a look!
The ContentsThe box is normally small for a 1/72 kit and has a beautiful boxart on top, depicting the plane flying in the air.
Some very subtle weathering and pre-shading effects show how it could look like after painting. Yet that`s only on the boxart.
Inside the box, we can come across a space full of plastic, which for a kit in this scale seems overwhelming.
- Plastic parts: so many sprues with a wide variety of details small and larger, make a good first impression of a very sophisticated and contemporary kit.
The fuselage part is stored on top, in a big transparent bag, while the two upper and lower halves of the fuselage look like they are test fitted.
The enormous amount of detail is another great advantage, but I will mention this later as the greatest advantage of this kit.
Almost every sprue is packed in its own transparent bag, which makes the orientation between the srupues easier, as well as contributes for a safer storage of the parts.
Not to mention that the most delicate clear parts for the canopy are each wrapped in an individual foam wrapping.
The quality of the plastic parts is flawless.
Last time I have seen a 1/72 scale kit was quite some time ago, and I could say that the overall quality of the plastic looks even better than some 1/48 scale kits!
Here Trumpeter provides us with super thin and sharp details, the landing gears are made out of nearly a dozen parts each, the canopy is absolutely crystal-clear and without a seamline in the middle, the optional parts are so much that could make the choice difficult, and of course there is neither flash nor big deep round ejection pin marks in the intakes, for example.
I don`t know its price, but this kit looks like it is from a very high quality!
- Paper parts: They are another pleasant surprise, because they seem to be more complicated, than one could expect from a 1/72 scale kit.
A big instruction manual with horizontally-oriented rectangular pages will take you through the key steps from the build, while the schemes and the explanations are easy to understand and meanwhile look complicated.
Or let`s take the painting & markings guide it is colorful, glossy and big.
It shows that the kit offers only 2 options for aircrafts, which are almost the same indeed.
But the little differences is what make it interesting, and undoubtedly 2 opts are better than 1.
This kit also features another complimentary, colorful and glossy sheet, which is a promotional sheet for other Trumpeter`s kits.
The biggest PROS out-of-the-box:
- Exceptional detailing of the plastic parts in terms of rivets and panel lines. They are very fine and barely noticeable, which is normal for a 1/72 scale kit, but the great thing is that they are everywhere - all over the wings, the vertical stabilizers and basically onto all the visible surfaces.
A very little if none complimentary riveting will be required. This kit probably features more rivets and panel lines than some kits in the bigger 1/48 scale!
- A towing tool featured in the box as well. On first place, there is not a pilot figure in the kit, which suggests that the kit should be build as a parked standalone model.
Then - the strange item that looks like an extraordinary elongated landing gear pylon.
It is indeed a tool for towing the plane and connects to the nose landing gear.
This unique, yet small object, permits to display your model in a wonderful diorama scenario where it enters in a hangar or something like that.
he towing tool itself is very well detailed and is assembled by several parts.
- Clean intakes.
They don`t have round marks from ejector pins, which require filling and sandin, which is a very good benefit regarding the time consuming factor when building the model.
- Complex and detailed nozzles.
Although in 1/72 scale, this MIG-29SMT model features two nozzles, and each nozzles is made out of numerous (5) parts.
Of course some issues are also present such as the thick edges of the turkey feathers, but overall, the complexity and the great amount of detail is present as well.
MIG-29SMT enjoys a reputation as a highly-modified M-version and the variety of loadouts even in 1/72 scale makes no exception.
Four of the kit`s sprues feature different types of weaponry for all the pylons, as well as big fuel tanks, which are very unique and symbolic for MIG-29.
The details onto the loadouts look beautiful, ranging from raised lines to crisp engraved and recessed lines, as well as rivets, sharp tips, and other smaller details.
DecalsThe decals themselves are spread over 2 small sheets and are beautiful in color and contrast, respectively featuring decals and stencils for the 2 different airframes.
And a great touch is that there are decals for the instrument panels in the cockpit.
ConclusionThe few disadvantaged of this kit:
- The trailing edges of all the surfaces may need some light sharpening in order to make them look even better and are not thick in any case, but might easily be transformed into a little thinner and sharper edges, just like they are on the real plane.
- There is not a figure of a pilot included in the box, which means that it is recommended to either display the model on the ground, parked, or search for a complimentary figure of a pilot.
- Some minor flash, but on key places.
The intake vents on top of the fuselage just need more cares in order to get rid of the flash and make them look consistent, sharp.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.