|PRICE:||around $32.00 or so|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Russian: МиГ-25) (NATO reporting name "Foxbat") is a high-supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance/bomber aircraft designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau. First flown as a prototype in 1964, it entered service in 1970. With a top speed of Mach 3.2, a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles, the MiG-25 worried Western observers and prompted development of the F-15 Eagle.
The aircraft's true capabilities were not revealed to the west until 1976 when Viktor Belenko, a Soviet MiG-25 pilot, defected to Japan. Subsequent analysis revealed a simple-yet-functional design with vacuum-tube electronics, two massive turbojet engines, and sparing use of advanced materials such as titanium. The MiG-25 series had a production run of 1,190 aircraft. The MiG-25 flew with a number of Soviet allies and former Soviet republics and it remains in limited service in Russia and several other nations.
I'll admit I've not been keeping track of Foxbat models. I've built a couple of the Hasegawa kits and these are early second generation ones with thick plastic and raised detail. I'm sure that there have been others, but this ICM kit is the first relatively new one to reach me.
There are three very nicely molded grey sprues and one small clear one containing the kit's 98 parts. The parts show some degree of flash from nearly none to a bit so parts clean up is mandatory. The only ejector pin mark I found was on the inside of one nose gear door and that may be to help glue it in place. I did notice some teeny 'pock marks' on some of the fuselage bits. An application of Mr. Surfacer or even a coat of paint should make those disappear.
The missiles are all a single piece and I appreciate not having to glue on multiple fins. Fuselage assembly is complex as there are no fewer than six major pieces for the aft fuselage; top, bottom, two sides and two rear sections that include the fins. The separate nose section glues onto that so alignment will be critical. Also in multiple bits is the cockpit tub with a separate floor, front bulkhead and two sides that include the rear bulkhead. A generic seat and stick and instrument pane make up the cockpit assembly. Even the nose gear well is three parts; a top and two side pieces. Cockpit canopy and windscreen are somewhat thick, have some tiny flecks in the plastic and mine were scratched from floating around unprotected in with the rest of the parts. Despite the separate canopy, it does not appear to be able to be properly displayed open as there is no additional mechanism detail for that.
For under the fuselage there is a very long and skinny fuel tank that is not appropriate for the PDS variants. There are also four long range and four short range missiles that you can mix or match. These fit on pylons that go into the one-piece wings. Though there is no indication of nose weight in the instructions, I'd put some in just in case. Instructions themselves are printed on a single sheet with rather dark photo-realistic construction steps. Model Master paint references are provided. Markings are for four aircraft, all in overall Light Ghost Grey with Gunship Grey radomes. The two MiG-25PDs are from Ukraine and Libya, while the MiG-25 PDS aircraft are from Iraq and the Soviet Union. Decals are matte and fairly well printed, though it seems to me that the Ukraine roundels are a tad out of register. I've not had good experiences with ICM decals so would recommend aftermarket if you can find them.
Overall, an excellent kit. I've been told this is a rebox of the Condor kit, but wherever it comes from, it is very nicely done. Update: Apparently this is not a Condor kit but one that has been reverse engineered by ICM. A reader who has both kits has passed on this information.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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