RV Aircraft 1/72 MiG-21MF

KIT #: 72029
PRICE: about $31.00 including shipping from the Czech Republic
DECALS: over 40 options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: High grade kit with p.e. and resin parts


The MiG-21 was designed as a point defense interceptor to be used against the expected waves of American bombers carrying their nuclear destruction into the Motherland. As such, it was designed to be fast and to get to altitude as soon as possible. Armed with a single canon and two rather poor air to air missiles (thought they'd be fine against lumbering bombers), the initial MiG-21F and F-13 fighters were perfect for the job.

Of course, all that speed came at a price. There was very little fuel carried, even with a centerline tank so their endurace was quite short. The aircraft had no on-board radar and the avionics suite was basic. Still, of all the thousands of MiG-21s built, these were the best flying aircraft.

As with all planes, the aircraft got heavier as more equipment and capabilities were added. All this reduced speed, reduced its turning abilities, and did nothing for endurance. The MiG-21 MF added a second set of wing pylons to carry more fuel and it could be equipped with a centerline gun, the gun having been removed in the previous versions after the F-13. It was probably the most exported of all the MiG variants as it had turned into a proper multi-role fighter, capable of carrying bombs if needed. Still its missiles and avionics were far behind those of Western powers. While even later aircraft got more powerful engines and were able to carry more fuel and improved weapons and avionics, the type was always a step behind what the 'other guys' were flying. Not to say that the MiG-21 was a sitting duck as the type was surprisingly effective during the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, despite was Israeli propaganda would have one believe. They were also inexpensive to buy and operate, though even that often came with the price of having to deal with the Soviets.

I have been a MiG-21 fan for a long time. I suppose it is due to all the different markings the plane carried and all the different countries with which it flew. In the last decade, there have been a number of recent tool kits from Zvezda and RV of this important Soviet fighter, these kits overcoming the subtle glitches of the Fujimi kit and the rather crude detailing of the even older KP kit.

This particular kit is a high grade boxing that includes a goodly amount of photo etch and resin along with an additional decal sheet that really increases the number of markings options available. The base kit is in tan plastic on two sprues. There are two fuselage halves with the fin molded into one side. Wings are top and bottom on both sides with the tail planes being single castings on each side.

The cockpit is mostly resin a resin seat, photo etch pull handle and a resin control stick and main instrument panel assembly. All three wheel wells are single pieces that fit into the fuselage halves and there is plenty of room for nose weight. Nose gear well is also resin. The intake piece is a single piece that butts up against the nose gear well with the exhaust being a five piece assembly. There is a single piece nose intake rim.

All the wing fences, various scoops, AOA mounts, antenna, ventral strake, pylons and various antennas and probes are separate. Both the forward and aft speed brakes are separate and can be posed open. Tear doors are separate items with the main gear having retraction struts. The centerline gun is three parts with the small aerodynamic 'wings' being separate. Windscreen and canopy are separate with two different canopy options, one having a bump for a rear vision mirror. The base photo etch fret has no instructions and  one has to hunt to see where they are used. Many bits like the various antennas and fences as well as the nose gear doors and gun gas deflectors are in photo etch.

The kit instructions are fairly well done, though not very crisply printed so one has to pay attention. The base decals have four Czech options from the 1990s, a Slovakian plane from 1998, a Hungarian version from post-1991 and an Egyptian version as shown on the box art. The standard decals are superbly printed and include the black outlines to the large orange bits on the Egyptian markings option.

What makes this a special boxing are the two additional photo etch frets and the additional decals. One of the two etched sets is a full color Eduard cockpit. The other includes a boarding ladder, intake cover and detailing for the afterburner. Both of these other frets include full instructions. The other upgrade is two decal sheets that provide an additional 37 markings options including Syria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Chad, Uganda, Ethiopia, Angola and many more. There is also a small masking set for the canopy and windscreen.


If you are a fan of the Mig-21 and are looking for a kit where you can pretty much go all out, then this is it. The killer additional decals will be enough to keep you in interesting markings options for many years to come.

You can thank me for ordering the kit so you can see what it is like.

March 2016

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