Monday, June 11

Modelsvit MIG21F in 1/72nd scale, Build & Paint Guide: "Farewell Old Friend"

Clayton has already given us an in-box review of the Modelsvit Mig-21F in 72nd scale. Today he puts the kit together and paints, weathers it, & lastly ads a diorama that shows the kit in its twilight years, derelict with one last visit from its former pilot in his painting & construction guide...

In-Boxed: MIG-21F

From:  Modelsvit 
1/72nd scale
Kit No# 72021
Price: $56 AUD from Creative Models Australia

In-Box review of this kit from Clayton
Today: Modelsvit MIG21F in 1/72nd scale, Build & Paint Guide: "Farewell Old Friend"

Many of you would have seen my inbox review of this kit, and I know there was some interest in how it would actually all come together. It is probably for that reason I have been stalling with this build because it really wasn’t clear sailing for me… but more on that later.  
Looking at the parts and the simplicity of the instructions did lull me into a false sense of security. I can’t lie. 

Construction starts with the cockpit tub. The breakup of the parts is excessive, and the assembly is made up of a lot of fine, small pieces. That said, the construction all came together well enough…there was just quite a lot of work in something that would barely be seen in the finished model. 

Weight was added to the front nose section to stop the kit "tail sitting" using some weighted putty. 
The engine assemblies are now begun. The detail is fine, and as you can see there are some etch pieces to fit.  Whilst I love the detail that actually makes a difference to a model, this to me just seems to be too much. You would be hard-pressed to see any of this on the finished model. It is a whole, effort verse reward thing for me. For me, this isn’t worth the effort. 
The previous assembly is now inserted into the engine shaft, and another etch piece is run around the inner circumference. It is fine, delicate work. 
The cockpit assembly and engine tube are now enclosed by the two main sections of the model. There are no locating pins on these sections, so it is all done by eye.  I had to shave a significant amount of plastic off the cockpit assembly in order to get these pieces to fit.  The rear sections just didn’t want to come together for me. It was here I became acquainted with the putty.
In the hope that the wing sections would hold everything together, I assembled them and fitted them to the body of the jet. The two halves of the wing sections really didn’t come together very well at all and it was something I would need to deal with later in the build through filling and sanding. 

The picture is actually quite deceptive and doesn’t look too bad, but the parts really didn’t line up very well, and there were some nasty gaps present. 
Again, the picture probably doesn’t represent my pain. Putty is applied and sanded to the best of my ability, but the detail on the model is so fine it was apparent that a lot of it would be damaged. And whilst I don’t have any pictures to demonstrate it, the alignment on the underside assemblies was always going to be hard to correct on such a small, fine model. 
The model was then primed using One Shot Primer from Ammo. The closed canopy section was used to mask the cockpit during this stage of the painting. 
Because there was so much sanding required, a lot of the surface detail was damaged. Out came the scribing tool.  Definitely not one of my strong points. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t have the skill-set to correct some of the misaligned sections around the wing roots, so it was something I was just going to have to live with.
I then moved onto the wheel assemblies and the external tank. The assembly on the external tank was pretty horrid as you can see, but amazingly, the wheel brackets and pieces in those sections were stunning, especially giving the size of some of the parts. 
I’d been constantly testing the finish of the model by doing a few light coats of the silver, but I could never get the finish to a level I was content with. Filling, sanding and scribing on this model with such delicate detail just became a constant source of frustration for me. 
On a high note, the kit comes with a comprehensive masking set for the canopy – internal and external. Once I got the model to a point where I just couldn’t deal with improving it any further, I fitted the mask to the canopy and got it ready for the paintwork. 
The model received an all over coat using Matte Aluminium from AMMO. The flaws were highlighted, but I had to find some peace with it because I wasn’t prepared for another round of sanding and scribing. This was as good as it was going to get. 
A basic masking job was done using various masking tapes in preparation for a darker shade of the aluminium to add some variation in the panel work. 
A small amount of black was added to the matte Aluminium in order to achieve the darker colour. 
A gloss varnish was applied, and once fully dry, the decals were applied.  The kit comes with a highly complex decal set with full stencilling, but to be honest, I just couldn’t bring myself to tackle the job. I was pretty unhappy with the amount of time I had spent on the model for the result I was getting and couldn’t justify another few hours in fitting tiny stencils that would possibly get lost during the weathering process. In saying this, the decals were stunning. They were very easy to use, very thin, and settled beautifully onto the model.
A line wash was added using DEEP GREY from the Ammo range of enamel washes. 
I’d really been struggling with this model in the fact that it was never meeting the vision I had for it in my head. A natural metal finish needs to be as close to perfect as it can be, and unfortunately, I could just never get this kit to a point where I was content. On top of that, the underside pieces were so fragile due to undefined connecting sections. As a result, the model kept breaking in my hands whilst handling it. 

In frustration, my solution for this was to take the line of displaying the model as a decaying, derelict aircraft. Weathering armour gives me a great deal of joy, so I took my learnings from that and applied them to this model. I needed to salvage something out of it.
The model mow received a post shade using a thinned mix of Tamiya Dark Grey and Flat Black. It was a little heavy handed but will come together as we go on.
Small dots of oil paint are now touched along the model. Starship Filth, Dark Brown and Buff. The paint is then dragged in a downward motion it simulates wear and tear.
The finished result is quite convincing.
Adding things like ropes and tarps to armour is an easy way to give your model some life, so I decided I would throw a couple of straps and tarps on the model to help sell the retired look of the model I was going for.  I made this using a two-part putty and thinly rolling it out. 
The model was then sat on a small landscaped base I had on the shelf to represent it as a decaying machine from years gone by.  I managed to find a figure in the stash that I felt added a little interest to the story of the pilot farewelling his old jet.  ‘Farewell Old Friend’

And finally, the Mig21 model story had some closure for me. 
I make no secret of the fact that I really struggled with this model. I could never get it to a point where I was happy with it, and that became a real source of frustration for me. I am a perfectionist (for the most part), but I do like to move quickly through a build, so when I can’t get those two things to meet, I struggle. 

The model itself is a real contradiction. Some of the detail in the wheel brackets and the wheel bays doors is beautiful, but then simple things like the two halves of the wings fitting together was an issue. The decals and the masking set were also worthy of a mention as being really nice inclusions. 
The kit contains a lot of very small parts and requires a high level of skill to build, so don’t go into this one thinking it’s going to fall together, because its’ not. 
Whilst I feel the ‘Farewell Old Friend’ diorama was a pretty good save for me on this one, it wasn’t the direction I had intended to take at the start of the build. It really became a matter of adapting my vision to go with where the model was taking me, and that was frustrating in itself. 
This is a model for the masochists and true aircraft modellers who are up for a challenge. This model requires patience and a level of discipline and skill that unfortunately I didn’t feel I was able to provide.  

Now quickly! Find me something with tracks…I need to get my confidence back!

Clayton Ockerby

We got our kit from the Creative Models Australia - Thanks to them for sending it to Clayton to review and soon to build up for you...

Thanks to Mig Ammo for the paint & weathering materials Clayton used in this build - they are available in the AMMO Store online
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “Workbench Hobbies” or join him on his Facebook page