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JeroenPeters

AK Interactive 1/48 Mig-21PFM

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1:48 Mig-21PFM

“Days of Glory and Oblivion”

AK Interactive

Catalogue # AK 148003

Available from AK Interactive for €49,95

 

mig21-1.jpg

 

Introduction

Already the third collaboration with Eduard, that establishes not only as a paint and weathering brand, but also kit ‘manufacturer’. I’m hyphenating this, since the sprues are 100% Eduard, but the schemes and some other parts in this kit are AK’s work. Eduard is known for it’s clever engineering, good fit and well researched subjects, so in that sense one of the best parties to collaborate with. What AK Interactive adds is a selection of interesting schemes (with lots of scope for intensive weathering), extra parts and superb instructions and decals.

 

Days of Glory and Oblivion

The theme of this boxing clearly refers to the golden days of soviet and communist aircraft design and development, followed by the demise and abandonement of numerous airframes. Left to the elements and final decay. In other words: there’s two ways to go with this kit. Full shiny AK Xtreme metal (or Alclad J ) or bring out the chipping fluid, grime, pigments and washes. 

 

The kit

This kit is basically the same kit Eduard offers in their #8237 kit and is concerns the PFM version of the Mig-21. PFM stands for:

-       P = Perekhvatchik ("Interceptor")

-       F = Forsirovannyy ("Uprated")

-       M = Modernizirovannyy ("Modernised")

Actually only one scheme features the PFM version, with the other two being the East German Mig-21SPS, where SPS = Sduv Pogranichnovo Sloya ("Boundary Layer Blowing"). To avoid confusion with the local "MiG-21PFM" designation given to the modified MiG-21PF the East German air force redesignated the "real" MiG-21PFM as "MiG-21SPS."

AK Interactive has selected a total of 3 schemes to choose from. Not a whole lot, but this is compensated by the inclusion of a full stencil set (I’m talking hundreds of ground crew stencilling):

 

A • Mig-21PFM, Soviet Air Force, Operation Danube, Czechoslovakia, 1968

B • Mig-21SPS, c/n 944302, JG-8 “Hermann Matern”, East German Air Force, Marxwalde, mid 1970’s

C • Mig-21SPS, c/n 944302, Museo del Aire, Madrid-Cuarto Vientos, Spain, 2015

 

Scheme A and B:

 

mig21-31.jpg

 

Scheme C:

 

mig21-32.jpg

 

As you can see scheme B and C are actually the same aircraft. B depicting what it looked like back in the 1970’s and C how it resides now in the Airforce museum in Madrid…

 

 

The kit consists of:

•  372 plastic parts (with 26 parts in clear plastic)

• 1 fret of photo etch

• 3 resin wheels with flat or punctured (NOT FLATTENED) tyres for scheme C.

• decals for 3 versions (including full stencilling)

 

Sprue M: 

 

mig21-2.jpg

 

Just look at that surface detail. Sharp as a knife:

 

mig21-3.jpg

 

mig21-4.jpg

 

Inside fuselage:

mig21-5.jpg

 

Sprue E - Weapons and external fuel tanks x2:

 

mig21-6.jpg

 

mig21-7.jpg

 

Sprue C:

 

mig21-8.jpg

 

The cockpit rear wall show sufficient detail on their own. No real need to get the Eduard Brassie interior...

 

mig21-9.jpg

 

mig21-10.jpg

 

mig21-11.jpg

 

Sprue D (Just look at the sheer amount of little parts. Hard to believe we're looking at 1/48 here):

 

mig21-12.jpg

 

Separate types on the wheel hubs, superb detailed gear...

 

mig21-13.jpg

 

mig21-14.jpg

 

mig21-15.jpg

 

Sprue N:

 

mig21-16.jpg

 

mig21-17.jpg

 

The kit lets you choose from two types of instrument panel. Grey plastic. Paint it and maybe die out the instruments from the decal sheet separately. Or use the flat part and apply the full instrument panel decal on it. I'd go with option A... These parts are also featured in clear plastic. Lots of options.

 

mig21-18.jpg

 

Sprue L: 

 

mig21-19.jpg

 

Again: lovely surface detail...

 

mig21-20.jpg

 

Inside wheel wells:

 

mig21-21.jpg

 

Sprue G: 

 

mig21-26.jpg

 

Superb clarity:

 

mig21-28.jpg

 

And here's the transparent instrument panel option:

 

mig21-27.jpg

 

Extra parts:

 

mig21-22.jpg

 

Pre coloured seatbelts:

 

mig21-25.jpg

 

Punctured tyre:

 

mig21-23.jpg

 

The decals... Impressive set of stencils. Daunting almost. The decals appear to be printed by AK Interactive, which in my experience go down really well and respond to agents nicely.

 

mig21-34.jpg

 

Good detail on the instruments and check out those weathered numerals...

 

mig21-35.jpg

 

How's this for weathered decals?

 

mig21-40.jpg

 

So how does this kit compare to the Eduard Profipack Edition? Brett Green reviewed the Eduard version some time ago, here, and gave it a two thumbs up for building pleasure, fit, detail (in all areas) and surface detail. Looking up close at this kit, I can only concur. The only real difference between the kits is the coloured PE set. In the Eduard kit (which is about the same price) the PE includes cockpit sidewalls, instrument panel and seatbelts. Also included in the Eduard kit is an extra uncoloured PE fret containing various parts. To be honest: the cockpit of this kit is detailed pretty well without the aid of any PE. But if you do want to go Full Monty, you could get the Eduard Brassin upgrade for the cockpit which costs about $29,95. But let’s get back to the whole idea behind this kit! This kit is all about the use of AK paints and weathering agents. For instance: if the decayed museum Mig is what sparks you, then you want to leave the canopy closed and maybe even fog it up! Add the included resin punctured tyres (which are not in the Eduard kit ofcourse) and you’ve got yourself a Jamie Haggo. Or go shiney metallic and try some AK Xtreme metal for a change.

 

 

Here's a look at the Eduard Brassie cockpit, so you can decide whether to go all out, or keep your pit closed.

 

648111_1.jpg

 

648111_3.jpg

 

Tempting right? Look at that helmet in the seat...

 

The instructions seem to be drawn by Eduard (which makes sense, since you need the 3D master models in order to render these drawings), but all the colour codes are added by AK Interactive and call only for a combination of colour description (i.e. Light Grey) and AK paint coes (i.e. AK481). I am always a fan of brands that provide colour charts with Tamiya, Mr Hobby, Gunze, etc.. colours, but this being a paint and weathering brand, it makes marketing-sense they only provide their own line…

 

 

Instruction booklet: 

 

mig21-29.jpg

 

mig21-30.jpg

 

And last but not least: There is an extensive 3 page full colour walk around of the Madrid Museum Mig-21:

 

mig21-33.jpg

 

Verdict

If you just want to build a 48th scale Mig-21, you could just go out and buy the best one out there: The Eduard version… or the AK offering. Simply the one you bump into first. The prize is about the same and they were both pushed from the same mould. The plastic, details, engineering is the best out there and won’t disappoint. The Eduard Profpack has a few more PE parts, but the AK version offers cool weathered schemes and resin punctured tyres. So if you want to build a derelict Mig-21 like the one in Madrid, you really want this kit. There are a lot of walkarounds online providing photo’s of this particular plane and there are also a lot of photo’s included in the instruction manual. Another great kit that was given a new make-over by AK.

 

My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review sample.

 

Jeroen Peters

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A very interesting concept with decay and flat tires. This is the sort of stuff you usually have to brainstorm yourself, so to see it as a prompter for a modeller to achieve out of box is a great idea.

 

Superb review, and I hope we see you build this one.

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