MiG-29 has attracted the attention of multiple scale model manufacturers even when it was only seen in blurry pictures. Available kits vary in scale, accuracy and markings in area so wide it would take a book to describe.
The reason I picked up Revell’s 1/144th MiG-29 was its R-60 missiles that I used in another model. I was thinking of giving it away, because strange as it may sound I am not a big fan of the aircraft for a number of reasons. I elected to keep it though, so it will be briefly presented in this article.
The kit details are molded on two white sprues and a single transparent one with just the canopy on it. There is also an instruction sheet and a comprehensive decal set for an earlier scheme of the Swifts demo team of the Russian Air Force.
First thing you will notice is that despite the transparent canopy and the visible opening there is no cockpit detail whatsoever. Like NONE. At all.
Fair enough – small scale – “who’ll notice” eh? I’ll call the first sprue A, since it has the upper fuselage half. Also seen are tailplanes – both horizontal and vertical stabs. Panel lines look good for the scale, important detail is present, including the characteristic intakes at the top of the LERX, which are pretty well defined in semi-opened stance.
You can also see the main intake ducts, whose thickness is most definitely overscale for even 1/32. Each intake is formed by 2 vertically split halves, so you can file them out. There are also FOD doors that close when the 29 is taxiing on the ground – apparently the model was intended to be posed on a runway. The 4 odd-looking parts at the lower left corner are supposedly the R-27 missiles – perhaps more suited to fit as a rocketry class diorama in 1/35.
There’s even an indentation for the gun opening and some schematically represented gun gas vents.
Panel lines appear consistent, which is a nice change from Academy’s F-15 where detail on the vertical stabs was noticeably deeper and wider than on the rest of the model. Various bulges and bumps are represented. Ejector pin marks of any concern so far are only visible on the intake halves, but since they are going to be all filed away – this shouldn’t pose a problem.
Gear doors are thick, and while on most other aircraft they can easily be replaced by a flat piece – these will take much more work.
Gear legs – quite possibly the fines details in the kit, featuring even the scissor links.
Sprue B, with the lover fuse half and the wings. There is no intake trunking in the model, but the openings towards the turbine faces were not blanked-off either. There are also no engines. If the intakes are not closed off by the FOD covers you will be able to see through the model.
Maybe it would be wort it to try and create a few parts?
The R-60 look-alikes – not bad for 20+ year old model in the scale and the main reason I go myself the kit. The wheels are not too bad. Thick gear doors again, and that wing pylon and missile rail are not really to scale…
An interesting solution for mounting the wings to the fuselage, those MASSIVE rails again, the extremely long engine nozzles, and the nose cone, the shape of which really concerns me – it looks a bit too pointed to me.
Looks like it will be wheels-up, no-armament ship – but I will certainly use the pylons without the missile rails to avoid filling and sanding the wings.
The canopy, which is fairly decent in terms of clarity, though extremely thick. I wonder whether any attempt at installing cockpit interior will be successful due to the limited space below it. Maybe try and smash-mold one from plastic packaging?
7 construction steps – simple enough. Yes, you are to blank-off the intakes… and install those terrible things under the wings.
The decal sheet – fairly extensive, which should cover most of the aircraft.
Though the painting instructions suggest that you need to match the decal color on the tailplanes.
It’s gonna be a tough call, this one – lack of cockpit and engines being the biggest challenges. Let’s see how it turn out.