The MiG 21MF [Fishbed-J] is the third generation of this famous line of fighter/bomber. The ‘M’ stands for Modernizirovannyy referring to the avionics and the ‘F’ refers to Forsirovannyy which relates to the uprated engine. This release allows the modeller to build two of the production versions of the MiG 21MF: the Moscow and Gorky models. The Moscow plant produced 1300 MiG 21MF’s between 1969 and 1974, whilst the Gorky plant built 231 MiG 21MF’s between 1975 and 1976. The Gorky aircraft differed from the Moscow built Migs as the Gorky plant was producing the MiG 21bis and efforts were made to standardise the parts of both types. The MiG 21SM was externally identical to the ‘MF’, but differed in the installation of the improved RP-22 radar. The ‘SM’ was only produced for the Soviet Union and never exported.
Eduards Royal Class MiG 21 MF Dual Combo contains:
●6 x plastic sprues
●2 x clear plastic sprues
●1 x small bag of resin parts
●1 x set of paint masks [canopy, windscreen, wheels and di-electric panels]
●4 x pre coloured photo etched frets
●3 x decal sheets
●1 x a poster with a unique MiG-21MF-related artwork
●1 x sticker game coupon
The recessed panel and the rivet detail looks first class and all look very consistent. There are a few slight shrinkage marks evident where the plastic is at its thickest: eg The sprue attachment points are fine and it’s good to see the excess run offs to ensure consistency of the flow of plastic. These obviously need to be removed. The clear parts are separately bagged and do look very good. The range of ordnance is impressive as is the marking options. The decal sheet looks pretty comprehensive. Care needs to be taken not to confuse parts from sprue A with sprue B. There are subtle differences as they depict airframes built at the Moscow [sprue B] and Gorky [sprue A] plants. You can spend a few minutes trying to spot the differences. Eduard posted a useful guide to the differences which I have reproduced.
The cockpit tub also incorporates the forward undercarriage bay. Eduard provides alternative ways to create the cockpit detail of this Mig 21 MF. There are the finely detailed plastic parts or you can use the pre-coloured photo etched parts included with this release. The PE parts are attached to the blank instrument panel [IP] and side consoles. There are also decals to reproduce the detail of the IP and side consoles. The decals for the IP are placed on on clear plastic part. The detail on the grey plastic parts is quite superb and there is the added bonus of a resin representation of the KM-1 ejection seat. Pre-coloured seat harnesses are included on the photo etched fret. To be fair the plastic seat looks impressive, though not as good as the resin one. The canopy and windscreen are separate and the side hinged canopy can be displayed open. There are paint masks for both the canopy and windscreen; you will need some liquid mask to fill in the area not covered by the masks. The masks do cover the crucial boundary between the frame and the clear parts.
The fuselage is split in two halves with separate one piece fin and spine. I do like the fine representation of the IFF aerials on the fin. PE replacements are available in this release, but the plastic ones look so good why replace them. The shock cone in the air intake is fitted after the fuselage halves are joined. This is a handy feature allowing the modeller a simple way to add the correct amount of ballast to prevent tail sitting. The rear part of the engine is made up from seven parts including some fine detail. The completed unit needs to be fitted before the fuselage halves are joined. The rear nozzle fairing is a separate one piece part.
The wings feature a one piece lower wing that includes part of the belly of the fuselage. The flaps and ailerons are separate. There is no indication in the instructions that they can be positioned in any other position than neutral. The horizontal tail planes are both one piece. It’s worth noting that the trailing edges of the flaps, aileron, elevators and rudder are really sharp.
Eduard supplies a set of resin wheels with paint masks although there are plastic wheels with separate hubs if you prefer. The resin wheels have a slight weighted look to them. There are photo etched hydraulic pipes for the brakes for that extra bit of detail. The detail in the undercarriage bays and the inside of the bay doors is also worth highlighting. The air brake on the belly can be displayed open or closed.
The release contains an impressive range of ordnance including:
●UB-16 rocket pod
●UB-32 rocket pod
●FAB 100 bomb
●FAB 250 bomb
●800 L Fuel tank
●490 L fuel tank
Of course all the relevant pylons are included along with an extensive number of stencils.
There are three decal sheets: the larger sheet with the markings is printed by Cartograf and the two sheets of stencils is printed in house by Eduard. All the decals are glossy with good registration and colour density. There is barely any carrier film to be seen even on the wing walk ways.
Marking options include:
No. 4175, 1st Fighter Regiment, České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia, 1979
No. 177, 26th Reconnaissance Air Regiment, Dobrich, Bulgaria, early 90´s
No. 03, Krasnodar Military Flying Academy , Soviet Union, 1979
No. C 41, flown by Cuban General Rafael del Pino, Angola, 1976
No. 1019, flown by 1st Lt. Sadik, No. 11 Squadron, Al Rasheed Air Base, Iraq, 1980
No. 7628, Tanta Airbase, Egypt, 1988
GNo. 23 15, Jagdgeschwader 1, Holzdorf, Germany, 1990
No. C1531, No. 101 Squadron „Falcons“, Sirsa AB, India, early 90´s
No. 4312, 3rd Fighter-Bomber Regiment, Malacky, Slovakia, 1993
No. 9414, 43rd fighter squadron, Čáslav, Czech Republic, 1996
No. 9107, flown by Mjr. Dariusz Pacek, CO of 10. Pułk Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego, Łask, Poland, 2000
No. F03, Tobruk, Libya, 2017
Well there is something here for everyone and a good mix of bare metal and camouflaged finishes. Eduard has slipped in a MiG 21SM [Option C], taking advantage of the external similarities with the MiG 21MF. Options A-C are Gorky built and the rest are from the Moscow plant.
The 28 page A4 format instruction manual has clear illustrations and instructions which are a great help putting the model together. The painting and decal guides are particularly well thought out providing the modeller with plenty of information at your fingertips.
The poster depicts 1st Lt. Sadik MiG-21MF numbered 1019 shooting down an Iranian F-4E Phantom II with an R-13M missile.
This is a stunning release from Eduard and the two kits in one eases any headaches about which marking options to go for. The quality and detail on the plastic parts is impressive and the inclusion of resin and pre-coloured photo etched parts provides the potential for a real show stopper. It has to be noted though that no one buying the Weekend versions should feel they are losing out for lack of detail. Andy Brazier has done an excellent guide to building the initial release of the 1/72 scale MiG 21MF from Eduard, you will find it here.