Friday, July 5

Review: Eduard MiG-21F-13 S. A. 1/48 set

Gary Wickham has been churning thru the Brassin Add-ons for the Mig-21 in 48th scale from Eduard – he is a pretty good judge I suppose as he made the excellent special edition Bunny Fighter, also he has reviewed the landing gear and wheel sets to go along with this kit, and today we look at some internal details of the "F" model in a detailed and interesting review…

Eduard MiG-21F-13 S. A. 1/48

Kit No: 49621
1/48 scale
Photo Etch parts: 2 frets
Clear Acetate Sheet
Available from: Eduard directly & most model shops

A short-range day fighter; the MiG-21F-13 (NATO reporting name Fishbed-C) was the first MiG-21 model to be produced in large numbers. Unlike the MiG-21F , the MiG-21F-13 (F = Forsirovannyy ("Uprated") & 13 = refers to K-13 missile system) had only one NR-30 cannon on the starboard side, with only 30 rounds; however, it added the capability to use the K-13 missile system, of which two could be carried on underwing hardpoints.

On early-production MiG-21F-13s the launch rails were of the APU-28 type; later models had these replaced by APU-13 rails. The launch rails were removable, allowing the MiG-21F-13 to carry two UB-16-57 unguided rocket launchers, two S-24 rockets on PU-12-40 launch rails or two FAB-100/250/500 bombs or ZB-360 napalm tanks. The F-13 had further upgrades: an improved ASP-5ND optical gunsight and an upgraded SRD-5ND ranging radar.

The MiG-21F-13 was also built under licence in China as the Chengdu J-7 or F-7 for export, as well as in Czechoslovakia as the Aero S-106, though the S-106 designation was not used for long; subsequently, the Czech-built units were referred to as "MiG-21F-13" just like the Soviet-built aircraft. (source: Wikipedia)
This photo-etch detail set focuses entirely on the cockpit of the MiG-21F-13 kit by Trumpeter. The set contains two PE frets, one which is color pre-painted and self adhesive and the second the more traditional plain brass. The main fret (FE 621) is actually available separately from Eduard as a Zoom set provided only the instrument panel, sidewalls and seat details.

The second fret adds parts that allow you to detail the canopy framing, cockpit tub, more seat parts and the hud/windscreen area.
The early first generation Mig-21 cockpits were visibly different to later generations in that they were largely black rather than the green-blue we most often associate with Soviet cold war fighters.

The MiG-21F was a classic day only fighter and included no radar. The main acrylic canopy was hinged at the front to open forward. A 62mm bulletproof windshield is mounted immediately aft of the canopy hinge.

Eduard provides the instrument panel in two parts, the main section containing the dial faces and the smaller section (part 1) the bezels. The sidewall details are pre-painted in a dark gray (rather than black) and I have found that these colors can be somewhat difficult to color match when painting the rest of the cockpit (and Eduard does not help us by providing color match recommendations)
The first thing you will notice with this set is that fair amount of chopping is needed to selectively remove the plastic parts to be supplemented by the PE parts. This is pretty much par for the course with Eduard PE sets and modelers need to check the instructions carefully (measure twice, cut once).
The Trumpeter plastic instrument panel is replaced completely by the PE parts and to understand what are giving up by using the PE, here is a photo of the kit IP. I am not a huge fan of PE for instrument panels (or any parts that need some depth) but in this case I believe the two part arrangement engineered by Eduard will do the trick.
Construction continues by using a combination of kit plastic and Eduard PE parts in a fairly logical arrangement. Care will be needed when removing the extraneous plastic areas. I personally have not used any of the Self Adhesive PE sets so for now I will believe Eduard when they say “the component will be permanently affixed when pressed onto its intended location, its location can be adjusted”.
Page 3 details the construction of the port cockpit sidewall. Notice that we are adding pre-painted parts to non painted parts so check the assembly sequence and make sure you have painted the parts you need to before you go sticking the pre-painted parts on.
Page 4 focuses on detailing the kit SK-1 seat by discarding or removing much of the molded detail. Harness belts are provided in PE and careful bending will be needed to ensure the paint does not flake off.

I was not able to find too many photos of an actual SK-1 seat with the parachute harness in place.  Using available reference it looks like Eduard has done a pretty good job of providing us all the parts to assemble a detailed SK-1
The final page continues with the seat assembly and finishes with the detail to be added to the canopy framing.
The following images (borrowed from Eduards website) show better than any words just what the end product adds to your model.

To my knowledge, none of the mainstream resin makers have as yet provided us with a drop in cockpit for the Trumpeter MiG-21F. This Eduard set lifts the kit cockpit (and seat) to a point well beyond what you could achieve purely out of the box and with a bit of elbow grease will give an excellent result.

Gary Wickham
Thanks to Eduard for this review kit..