Academy 1/48 Mig-21 PF






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Scott Van Aken




During the 60's and 70's, when one thought of Russian fighters,one generally thought of the Mig-21. It was being fought in the skies over NorthVietnam and the Middle East. It was being sold to just about every developingnation that could afford to maintain it. Though the PF is no longer being used,its older brethren still occupy positions of importance in many air arms aroundthe world. Not a bad legacy for what is basically a short range interceptor, arole it performs admirably.


Academy's kit of the Mig-21 was widely anticipated. Strangely,it has not sold as well as what was hoped. Not sure if it is because of thesubtype chosen or what it is, but there are still plenty of these kits to befound on the shelves, three years after being brought out.

The first thing you notice when opening the box is that thereare no more than two sprues per bad. This ensures that bits don't get broken offthe sprues and that there are not a lot of scratched parts. (are you listening,Hasegawa?) The parts are all up to the expected standards of the day and arenicely engraved. There are few ejector pin marks in difficult places and noflash. The clear bits are nice and clear. The one drawback I have seen is thatthe wheel well bumbs above and below the wing are staggered. I don't think theyare supposed to be.

Academy offersseveral options. First is the choice of early or late PF versions. The earlyversion had a narrower fin. You can also display the canopy open or closed. Theseat can be posed with the seat safety switch up or down. The ailerons and flapsare separate, but rarely is a Mig seen on the ground with these in any positionother than level. You can also position the speedbrakes open or closed. Thereare a number of underwing/fuselage options as well. The PF only had two wingstations and one fuselage station. Normally there is a fuel tank on thefuselage, but you can install a 20mm cannon pod should you wish. The wingstation has early AAM-2s or two sizes of rocket pods available. It is obviousfrom the way things are laid out that other models of the Mig-21 were planned,but I don't recall any of them reaching fruition.

The instructions are quite well done with color callouts givingFS 595 numbers where applicable. You have five decal options. Two early PFs fromthe North Vietnamese AF in overall natural metal,  another earlyl PF fromthe Chinese Communists, a later PF from the EgyptianAF in a four color camouflage scheme and a later PF in Soviet service, in a fivecolor camo scheme as shown on the box art. Decals are quite well done and inregister. Judging from other Hobbycraft decals, they will work well, though somecolors may be a bit transparent. 

Overall a very nice looking kit that should look nice on yourshelf.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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