° wing and tail sweep with two wing fences on each wing to improve airflow over the wings. The RD-45 was fed by a split-forward air intake. It made its first flight on 30 December 1947, demonstrating excellent performance, proving itself superior to the rival Lavochkin La-15 design.
The lower half of the nose is a separate piece to allow Eduard to mould the original and bis cannon arrangements separately and accurately and before it was cemented to the fuselage, more plasticine were crammed into the cavity. After the piece was securely in place, the nose / intake lip was assembled and cemented. Holes for the external fuel tank were drilled and the wing halves cemented together. The wings were then joined to the fuselage where I found that the fit was not good. Well, it's time for the filler then. The tailplanes however went on without any problems. I was thinking of cementing the cannons at this time but seeing how close they would be to the landing gears and that they may interfere while I work the gear and the doors, I left it for later. The two clear parts for the bottom of the fuselage was dry fitted at first, showing that the round one (the cover for the ARK-5 radio compass) having a rather poor fit and needed some sanding before it can fit in the recess.
Painting and Decaling
Although it was clearly stated in the diagram that the MiG is painted overall silver (specifically Mr. Color Super Metallic 'Super Fine Silver'), I suddenly had doubts whether it was actually silver, or bare metal or painted aluminium. After consulting various sources, I concluded that the MiGs were left in bare metal. However, I have run out of Tamiya AS-12 and so with a heavy heart, I sprayed Tamiya TS-30 Silver Leaf. The lower portion of the extreme nose is painted SM 04 Super Stainless - another colour I did not have at the time. However I believe that portion of the nose was reinforced to withstand the cannon blasts. I thus looked to photo references of MiG-19s, which have reinforced skin next to the cannon muzzles, for ideas and came up with my own concoction for that colour (which may or may not be accurate). There is no mention about the clear parts underneath the fuselage. So after hunting down pics on the internet, the clear rectangular part was painted over while the ARK-5 radio compass cover was left off as it is.
As mentioned before, there is just one marking scheme, a Korean War veteran back in Mother Russia in the mid-1950s. The scheme feature faded original Bort number 1976 and the North Korean insignia overlaid with the V-VS Red Star and new Bort number 30. Ideally, the original markings should be printed with lower colour density but Eduard have them in full colour and instructed the modeller to lightly overspray them before applying the newer markings. After giving some thoughts, I decided to have the model in the original markings only. After the decals have recovered from their setting solution bath, the panel lines were enhanced with Ak Interactive Paneliner (I used the 'for blue and grey camouflage'). At this time I sort of have an idea of transforming the all-silver paint job into something that mimicked, more or less, a natural metal finish. Random panels were given washes or maybe something akin to a filter layer of aluminium, metallic grey, smoke (Tamiya X-19). It wasn't perfect of course but at least it gave that natural metal-ish look.
As usual I started by fitting the landing gears first so that the model can stand on its own. It ended up with the tail on the worktable - not enough ballast in the nose! Thankfully the rear cockpit decking was not yet in place so I can fit some more plasticine in the cavity behind the cockpit. I also realized that the left wing have more anhedral than the right wing and the same goes with the right tail plane! The wing is not much of an issue as the model look balanced on its landing gear but the same cannot be said for the tail plane! Anyway, the finishing stage goes on and I drilled holes into Part B12 as photos of the real aircraft show it to be perforated. The final, more fragile parts were cemented after the drop tanks have been fitted - although the kit also provide slip-on style external tanks, only the finned type were used with different attachment pylons for variety.
The Eduard MiG-15 family definitely filled the void in 1/72 scale. While the Airfix and Hobby Boss kits are still available, the former still retain some inaccuracies while the latter was a bit simplified (although still accurate). The Eduard kit is well moulded with very nice surface detailing and although lacking the extras such as PE parts and paint masks, it still represents a value for money. Fit is generally very good although the hiccups I encountered may be purely as the result from my clumsiness. A must if you build and collect 1/72 jets due to its place in history. Now I'm off looking for its adversary, the Sabre.....