Eduard Mikoyan MiG-15 Royal Class Build in 1/72 Scale

I tend to build models in batches so the Eduard Royal Class boxings are naturally attractive to me.  They present the opportunity to complete multiple variants of an aircraft type in one package, and are a bargain for what you get.  In the case of the MiG-15 you get four complete kits, color PE, canopy masks, resin details, markings for eighteen aircraft, and a small souvenir skin section from a real MiG-15.
Here are the main sprues.  While there are several options, the MiG-15 is a relatively simple aircraft and this is reflected in the model.  You do get the choice of three different drop tank designs on each sprue with a fourth done in resin, along with four bombs so the modeler is not lacking for stores.
“Construction starts with the cockpit” is a cliché which I cringe to repeat, but it is accurate.  In this case I completed the cockpit & nose wheel well assembly and then cleaned up all the other bits which required painting in the Russian interior light blue gray, FS36375.  I mixed the paint from equal parts of Testors Navy Blue Gray and Dark Ghost Gray which matched the shade on Eduard’s PE fret nicely.
Most of the PE goes into the cockpits and looks quite nice when installed.  My box was short one of the frets for the MiG-15bis so I used the decal versions for the instruments and side panels and fashioned seatbelts from masking tape.  The results are not as good as the PE but still look the part.  In this picture the PE cockpit is on the right, decals to the left.
Here is the MiG-15UTI cockpit with the sidewalls / inlets installed.  The cockpit has been given a wash of a dark brown to bring out the engraved detail.  It looks great in person but the white balance here does not do it justice.  The instructions call for “weight” to be installed in the nose and under the cockpit floor, which I interpreted as six lead fishing weights because that is what fits.
Assembling the major components traps the cockpit and jet exhaust assemblies, the nose inlet ring is added to the front.  Fit was OK, I’ll chalk up any discrepancies to my own ham-fistedness.  Eduard kits are known to have tight fit tolerances and to be unforgiving of lack of finesse on the part of the modeler.

Part II here:

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