Platz 1/72 MiG-15 UTI 'Finnish Air Force'
KIT #: AE-4
PRICE: 2800 Yen
DECALS: Seven options
REVIEWER: Frank Reynolds
NOTES: Eduard kit with metal weights


When people in the US who are into aircraft think of 1950s era trainers, they think of the T-33. This is a trainer development of the F-80 that lasted in military service 50 years. When people in Russia and Eastern Europe think of 1950s era trainers, they think of the MiG-15UTI. This was a two seat development of the MiG-15 fighter and lasted in military service for the same amount of time if not longer.

It would not be out of line to say that if a nation flew a Russian made jet any time during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and even into the 1980s and later, there is a good chance that their pilots learned about jets in the two seat MiG-15. The plane had all the attributes of the single seat version which included being easy to fly and equally easy to maintain, traits that put it in good stead with nations where skilled technical capabilities were often not available.

This ease of flying and maintenance has made the two seat MiG a favorite with warbird operators as well and one can often find these flying the skies in the hands of those wealthy enough to be able to own such a piece of history.


In addition to producing its own kits, Platz is known for reboxing the best in a certain subject from time to time. So it is with the two seat MiG-15 in 1/72 scale. This time it is the Eduard kit, which modelers have rightly determined to be the best there is of this aircraft. When Eduard released its 1/72 MiG-15bis kit, it was only a matter of time before we knew that the two seat plane was going to be done. Platz often upgrades the kits they repackage and so it is with this one as there are form fitting weights to add to the nose, which you can see in the parts layout.

Here is a rundown on the kit itself. The interior is nicely done as you can expect with nicely molded bang seats. The inside of the cockpit walls are curved as the intakes extend on either side to the engine. This is a feature that is missed by other kits. Once the cockpit is built up, it is trapped between the fuselage halves along with the exhaust pipe. One then uses the included nose weight pieces prior to closing the fuselage halves. The separate rudders are also trapped between the fuselage halves during construction. 

Two types of fuel tanks are provided and one needs to open holes in the lower wing for these. On the underside of the fuselage are two windows to help the instructor and student see the ground coming up during landing. This is another feature seen for the first time on this kit in this scale. The plane was used for gunnery practice as well and a single cannon is included. Apparently there are two different styles of main wheels for the plane and both are shown, though there is no indication of what scheme uses which style. 

You can pose the forward and aft canopy open if you wish and with all that p.e. in there, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Oddly, the kit has no provisions for open speedbrakes. These were seen open or at least cracked open a bit quite a bit. Two different styles of drop tanks are provided, with the Finnish version us
ing the slipper tanks and the larger ones used by the other versions.

Speaking of which, the kit provides markings for all four of the early MiG-15UTIs used by the Finnish Air Force and for one of the later planes. Perhaps the other three crashed or something. Those are in overall unpainted metal. These are actually Czech built CS-102s. A pair of Polish SBLim-1s are also provided with one in overall white from 1988 and the other in unpainted metal. Note that the alignment of the PAF insignia is correct for the time frame. In 1993 this was turned 90 degrees. Instructions are well done with Gunze and Model Master paint references. Instructions are in Japanese. A very nice addition to the kit is that an alignment jig is provided on the bottom of the box. One simply cuts it out and uses wood skewers to hold everything together. A very helpful addition.
For those wanting a nice kit with the added benefit of nose weights, then you should seek this one. Platz also makes a line of photo etch parts and masks for this one and they will also fit the Eduard kit.

August 2017


My thanks to Platz Model for the preview kit. If your local retailer doesn't carry it, ask them to order it for you.

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