Here’s the complete MiG-21 MF in Bulgarian Air Force service from the late 90s at the then-still-active Dobrich AFB. This particular machine has been overhauled in 1996, it has possibly been rewired to use a recce container since the MiG-21R versions were no longer flying. This local modification is known as the MiG-21 MFR. A total of 7 conversions were made.
As pointed out in the review below, building this kit has been a small hell. Truth be told I started building it twice, but only the second attempt is now finished. This has been the single most frustrating kit I’ve ever worked on – investing so much time and effort yielded an average-looking model – “Good from far, but far from good” as they say.
Closing the weapon bay doors, cutting out their inside frames to add supports for the doors and filling this whole mess flush was the single biggest filling-sanding challenge. I am totally not proud of my first attempt at the vertical stabilizers – ended up in different angles and gaps, with filler constantly cracking on me. Potholes down joining lines due to the plastic melting under regular Humbrol modelling glue. Two nose jobs on my second attempt due to the same reason. Sanding the **** out of the nose and arrestor hook cover. Rescribing multiple zones more than once due to lost panel lines. Landing gear unstable at best. Multiple strip-downs and resprays for various reasons and about 10 meters of Tamiya tape lost in the process.
It’s finally done. After the splattering nozzle my masterful hobby-time organizational skills delayed this pic set.
Tracks: as most of them is rubber – Revell 78 was used to mimicking the areas. Glued over the wheels (sand center + 78 again for the rubber bandages) with Loctite gel. Inserted Q-tips to provide the sag – worked like a charm!
Cupola vision blocks were done the following way:
– the recesses were brushpainted Tamiya XF-11;
– Revell enamel transparent blue was mixed with their own gloss cote and painted over the XF-11;
Another “quick build” – OOB, with only the most needed corrections made to the kit, no preview and WIP images, and no work on other models “in between”.
I only replaced the styrene pitot tube with a home-fabricated detail, made from a 0,6mm syringe needle and 0,4 copper wire inserted into it.
The model is not bad per se, it’s just engineered in a way that makes it preferrable to build it “all opened up”. Wing should be in takeoff/landing position – otherwise gaps ensue, and the bump in front of the wing is smaller than it should be, and I found mine to be asymmetrical as well. Airbrake is intended to be posed open – you will need to remove some material from its edges to display it closed. Same applies to the canopy, which is wider the cockpit opening. I am also not a big fan of the way Academy suggests that you glue the Sidewinders to their rails, same applies to the wing pylons. There’s probably more.
I’ve used the Italeri 1/72 Ju-87D-5/7 kit (1070) to build a Bulgarian Stuka from the WW2 period. The Bulgarian Air Force had 12 Ju-87 R-2s (delivered 1942) and 40 D-5s (1944). Doras actively participated in the war against Germany, attacking the retreating Army Group E forces. Stuka’s surgical strike capability helped encircled Bulgarian forces escape the German “pockets”. After the war ended the Ju-87 were still in use for some time, later being replaced by Il-2 M-3s and Il-10s.
Nearly as old as the Hellcat below this little fella has suffered less. My experiments were limited to scratch-built cannon barrels (needle + thin copper wire, using the kit fairings), radiator back and flap.
Just like the Bad Kitty the kit was a victim of my metalizing experiments and suffered several stripping procedures (one of which was the reason for the complete discoloration of the cockpit). Due to overspray (I used the UHU Tack “sausages” too sparingly) camo was removed and painted again using straight Revell 83 and 16.
Well, some painted M1114s mod.2003 finally make it to The Web. Paints are mixes “by eye”. The green color is intended to simulate the green found on US military hardware, of whose official name I am totally clueless. I wanted to imitate replacement parts – such “patchy” machines can be seen on images across the web.
Below is my rendition of Revell’s 1/72 Hummel, shown in an early camouflage I once saw in a Russian (back then Soviet) magazine. The vehicle profile featured an interesting scheme of Panzergrau with wide hand painted (or sprayed) green “spaghetti”. When a model of the SPG showed up in a local store I decided to recreate the camo as close as my abilities allowed.
Since the build was going to be a kind of sentimental journey I decided to do the Hummel justice and use the opportunities I believed the kit offered – give it a little extra “character” than the box and instructions suggested it might have. I studied the kit reviews and a few build articles, so no surprises were expected. Out were my cutting tools and so – the build began.