Hobbycraft 1/144 MiG-23

KIT #: 1112
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-23; NATO reporting name: "Flogger") is a swing-wing fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau in the Soviet Union and is considered to belong to the "Third Generation" aircraft category along with similar-aged Russian-produced fighters like the MiG-25 "Foxbat". It was the first Soviet fighter with a look-down/shoot-down radar and beyond visual range missiles, and the first MiG production fighter plane to have intakes at the sides of the fuselage. Production started in 1970 and reached large numbers with over 5,000 aircraft built. Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with various export customers.

Though initially feared and respected by NATO pilots for its alleged capabilities, the operation of the type by the USAF's 4477 FTS during the 1970s and 1980s showed that while blindingly fast, the MiG-23 was found to require a great deal of skill and could easily damage itself to destruction if more than a few G's were placed on the airframe.


I don't know enough about 1/144 kits to say for sure if this is a Hobbycraft original. I suspect not, but regardless, it is molded quite well with engraved panel lines. Too big for the scale, but this is a situation almost all 1/144 kits run into. The wings and tailplanes are single molds and free of molding glitches. In fact, I found only a teeny amount of flash.

There is no cockpit and a one-piece transparency. The wings are designed to sweep, which is neat. Landing gear look well done in this scale.  The kit includes pylons and weapons to put there upon. These are all the good points.

Hobbycraft missed several things. One is that the lower fuselage fin is molded in the 'in flight' position. It is normally folded on the ground. No biggie for many of us as that is easy to cut and reposition folded. Second, the MiG-23 normally would not carry air to air weapons and bombs. Third, the nose is, to my eyes, a bit too small and pointed for an interceptor MiG-23 and not at all the 'duck nose' of the ground attack version. Finally, someone forgot to mold landing gear doors as there are not any. Obviously the man who designed those parts was absent on the day the kit was finalized.

The small decal sheet looks as if it will disintegrate once water hits it. I'd find replacements. It is simple stars and bort numbers. Instructions are printed on the back of the box and offer no color information at all. Guess one gets that from the box art.  


I'd have to say that unless you want to work with some epoxy filler to build up the nose and fill in the gear wells for an in flight model, this one should be left on the shelf. Of course, you could be buying it for a youngster who cares not a whit about most of those glitch things, in which case he or she will be happy with it as the wings move.


October 2008

Thought I'd get this one just to see what it was like. Now you know as well.

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