by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History In early 1953 the MiG-17F day fighter entered production. The "F" indicated it was fitted with the VK-1F engine with an afterburner by modifying the rear fuselage with a new convergent-divergent nozzle and fuel system. The afterburner doubled the rate of climb and greatly improved vertical maneuvers. But while the plane was not designed to be supersonic, skilled pilots could just dash to supersonic speed in a shallow dive, although the aircraft would often pitch up just short of Mach 1. This became the most popular variant of the MiG-17.
The MiG-17 was designed to perform the role of bomber killer and was never intended as a dogfighter, however its exceptional agility would allow this aircraft to score combat victories over much heavier and more modern American designs. Dismissing the aircraft as nothing more than an upgraded MiG-15, the Vietnam War proved to be something of a sobering experience for the US Air Force, as some of their most modern aircraft would fall victim to the guns of the MiG-17, even though this had itself been superseded by more modern designs. Lighter and much more manoeuvrable than the US aircraft, the subsonic MiG-17 would claim victories over such aircraft as the F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas Phantom, which would result in the US developing new agile air superiority fighters, in the years immediately following the end of the conflict.
Possessing both excellent performance and being easy to maintain, the rugged MiG-17 was produced in large numbers and became the standard Warsaw Pact fighter from the mid 1950s and for the next decade, with aircraft produced under licence in both China and Poland. An extremely cost effective aircraft, it was an attractive fighter option for many of the world’s smaller air forces and more than thirty overseas nations would eventually operate the type. Perversely, for a nation against which the MiG-17 was designed to combat, America would become home to significant numbers of these aircraft, most coming into the hands of private collectors, but a small number used in dissimilar aircraft trials and to perfect combat techniques against smaller, more agile jet fighters. Two beautifully restored examples have also been popular display performers on the US Airshow circuit over the years.
Info from Wikipedia and Airfix
In the box Airfix's new tool MiG-17F comes in the usual top opening box with a great painting of a Vietnamese MiG-17 flying behind a just shot down F-4 Phantom.
The kit comes on three light blue sprues and one clear sprue totaling 87 parts. A set of instructions and a set of decals completes the contents.
With this being a new tool, there is no flash, and pin marks seem to be in places that won't require any attention.
Exterior detail for the fuselage and wings is engraved panel lines and rivets. The photos make them look quite heavy, but they are very subtle. The rudder is in two separate parts. The instructions doesn't show it modelled in any position then in the neutral state, but as they are separate I'm pretty sure they can be modelled off center.
The wing control surfaces are moulded as part of the wings.
The fuselage air brake doors can be modelled open or closed.
The wing fences are moulded onto the wings, and seem to be a little thick compared to the real aircraft.
Interior detail is quite nice with the two part seat having a harness moulded onto it. A pilot is supplied if you fancy installing one in the cockpit. Unlike the lumps of misshapened plastic many moons ago that Airfix provided for thier pilots this one is quite well detailed.
The instrument panel is blank, but a decal is supplied for the dials. The cockpit floor as some moulded on detail for the rudder pedals. A control columon completes the interior of the cockpit.
The air intake is made up of three parts and also serves as the cockpit and nose gear bay. Weight will be needed in the front to stop the plane being a tail sitter, and this is shown in the instructions.
A rudimentry exhaust tunnel is supplied, which has a fan moulded onto the end plate.
Undercarrige bays are fairly detailed with spars and wiring moulded onto the underside of the top wings. The nose bay has a few spars, but being so small I doubt you would notice much in there anyway.
The main undercarrige legs are three parts each with the tyres and wheels moulded as one. The nose wheel and leg are one part. The bay doors have some nice detail moulded onto them for the insides.
The undercarrige can be modelled up or down. To model the aircraft inflight a couple of tabs need removing, which are highlighted in the instructions.
The clear sprue holds the two piece canopy, which by looking at the instructions can only be modelled closed. The HUD is a clear part and there is a clear part for under the fuselage. There is two canopies supplied, but only the one with the rear-view periscope is used. The parts are thin and crystal clear.
Underwing stores for the MiG consist of two drop tanks. Rocket pods are also on the sprues but these are not used.
One strange addition on the sprues is a fuel barrel, which in step 39 shows it mounted under the rear fuselage. I suppose Airfix added this incase you forgot to put any nose weight in the aircraft!
Instructions, decals and markings The instruction booklet, is 12 pages long, with the build sequence taking place over 8 pages. The build takes place over 39 steps, and each step is for only one or two parts to be built and fitted, so the build should be pretty straightforward. Each optional part is clearly marked and internal colours for the Humbrol range of paints are given along the way. The build sequence is easy to follow, and is in the new style of computer drawings that Airfix have adopted with the new parts shown to be fitted as highlighted red areas.
Decals are supplied for two aircraft, along with stencils. The decals are in register, have a little carrier film around the edges and have a glossy appearance.
The two marking options that can be modelled are -
A - MiG-17F "Fresco" (Shenyang J-5) – Aircraft flown by Le Hai, 932rd Fighter Regiment, Vietnams People’s Air Force, Thox Xuan, August 1969.
Two tone green with silver lower wings.
A - MiG-17F "Fresco" - Gosudarstvenny Nauchno-Ispytatel'ny Krasnoznamenny Institut Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily, USSR, 1970's.
All over silver with black wing walks.
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