by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The Mikoyan MiG-29 was designed as aerial combat aircaft in the 1970's for the Soviet Union. The aircraft was designed to counter the F-15 and F-16 during the late Cold War, and was nick named the Fulcrum by NATO. The aircraft since has gone on to be a multirole fighter, including the MiG-29S(9-13) which included upgraded flight control, improved hydraulics, and upgraded weapons systems to include ground attack capability.
This newer kit from Zvezda provides and example of this Mig-29(9-13) aircraft that NATO called the "Fulcrum-C" in 1/72 scale.
5 Plastic Sprues
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
1 Decal sheets
1 Instruction Sheet
To start off, I must say Zvezda does provide sturdy boxes, the kit comes insides a solid brown card board box that is slid into a thinner colorful outer box. Inside the inner box, the sprues are all packed into the same plastic bag, and I did find a couple of parts that had broken off the sprue at the bottom of the bag. The plastic sprues themselves did look very nice, the kit is molded in a grey plastic with some very nice looking surface details. There are plenty of finely engrave panel lines and some nice looking surface detail all around.
The kit is molded as a "top and bottom" sandwich for the main fuselage, with the front fuselage a side by side that sandwiched the front encasing the cockpit. The engine nacelles are seperate with each being two sides with an internal intake fan to be added.
As for the inner detail, I did find the cockpit a little sparse with no raised instrumentation, but some nice looking decals. The seats are nice and do include the shoulder harness, but there are no lap harness. A pilot figure is included, if you wish to include it, and for the scale, it does look rather nice.
The landing gear bays do look rather nice, with some nice ribbing details on the interior surfaces. The landing gear struts also look very nice, with some well done details. The light on the landing bay doors are also included.
The intake fan is well done on the interior of the nacelles, while the rear of the engines are seperate parts. They also have some nice surface details on the interior and exterior. Having them seperate should allow ease of painting.
The kit from Zvezda does include multiple stowage options for under the wings, including drop tanks, bombs and missiles. This should allow the builder the deck out their build as they see fit, with the instructions showing four options for the underwing stores. The bombs and missiles do look to be very well molded, with some nice surface details.
Some extras are also included in the kit from Zvezda to include a standing pilot figure, wheel chalks, and intakes and engine exhaust covers. All look to be well done. It should be noted that the instructions show an option for a display stand, but it is stated that the stand itself is available separately.
The instructions do look to be well laid out, with the main language in Russian, but English is included, but in some cases not as obvious. That said, the 15 steps should be easily followed to build the MiG-29. Paint and marking options are included for three aircraft:
- Training Center, Borisoglebsk, Summer 2001
- Russian Air Force, 426th Air Group, Armenia, 2015
- Russian Air Force, 31th GIAP
The instruction do have a seperate marking diagram for stencil data and ordanance. The decals themself are done on a blue decal paper, and while this causes them to look thick, I was surprized during decaling that they are very nice. And it should be noted there is a lot of stencil data to be applied. As for the look, the decals include good color and all look to be in register.
Building this MiG-29 from Zvezda proved to be fun, as the kit goes together very well and has nice fit. Starting with the main fuselage, the landing bay details are added, and are best painted prior to assembly, as once assembled getting paint in may prove a little difficult. Now the instruction indicate the paint should to be the same as the main aircraft, of which I did not check any references, but it did look a little strange to me.
The fit of the main fuselage was very good, and just some light sanding to clean up the seams was all that was needed. As for the engine nacelles, I did have to apply some putty as the joint did not close up all the way. During this part, I did leave the engine exhausts off to paint separately, which were done with Vallejo Metal paints.
The assembly of the cockpit is very straight forward as there only a few parts, and again instructions indicated paint color to be the same as the main aircraft. The decals for the instrumentation do look very nice once applied. All painting was done with colors from the instruc tions using Vallejo Model Colors.
Prior to sandwiching the wings together I consulted the ordnance options to ensure I drilled the holes correcting in the bottom half. The rest of the assembly went very well, with no issues. The landing gear was left off for ease of painting.
I washed the aircraft then applied Stynylerez Primer before painting with Model Air colors. When dried, I applied Future before decals. As mentioned early, while the decals looked thick on the sheet, they were nothing but thin and applied very nice. There are a lot of stencil data, which some I skip in an effort for speed. The underwing stores also include some nice stencil data.
Panel lines were done with AK Interactive enamel after another coat of Future to seal the decals, followed by a coat of Model Master Flat Clear.
I must say I was very happy with this MiG-29 kit from Zvezda. The moldings and details were very nice, and during the build I found the fit to be generally very good. The only drawbacks I found were the lack of detail in the cockpit, and I did find some of the paint call-outs questionable. Overall, anyone should find this to be a nice kit that builds and looks very nice in 1/72 scale, and I would definitely recommend this kit from Zvezda.
Note: I should have left the aerial of the nose until complete, as it broke during decaling and was eaten by the carpet monster.