Eduard Mikoyan MiG-15bis in 1/72 Scale

Here is the Mikoyan MiG-15bis in Soviet markings from Hi Decals, which performed perfectly.  The pilot in this case was Nikolay Shkodin of the 147 GIAP who was credited with five victories  (4 F-86 and one F-84G) during the Korean War.  Shkodin survived the war and retired as a Major General.

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Eduard Mikoyan MiG-15 in 1/72 Scale

These markings are from the kit, and are for the aircraft of a Soviet pilot flying in North Korean markings.  The pilot was Anatoliy Gogolev of the 176th GIAP, 324 GIAD, who credited with three victories.  The Soviets started “secretly” flying for the North Koreans early in the Korean War, the first engagement between the USAF and their former allies happened on 01NOV50.

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

One of my favorite parts of a build is painting, and the MiG-15 wore a wide variety of schemes for quite a number of air forces over its operational career.  I wanted to portray one of my MiGs in Soviet markings.  Surprisingly I had to search a bit for one in camouflage versus a natural metal finish.  Here is one in a segmented scheme.
This one is a little further along, having had decals applied and fully glossed up awaiting a sludge wash to highlight her panel lines.  This one depicts a nightfighter scheme in North Korean markings.  The upper surfaces are done in the same colors but a different pattern, the undersurfaces are in varied tones of “scale black”.  This one was the most fun to paint.
Here are the undersurfaces of the Soviet MiG showing the effects of staining and washes to highlight the panel lines.  The small “bustoffable” parts are in place but have not yet been painted.  I replaced the cannon barrels with Albion metal tubing, the pitot tube was also replaced with metal as otherwise I have a habit of breaking such things off when handling the model.
The finished product.  This is an early MiG-15.  The markings are from the kit, and are for the aircraft of a Soviet pilot flying in North Korean markings.  The pilot was Anatoliy Gogolev, credited with three victories.  The finish here is Alclad Dark Aluminum, sealed with a mixture of Testors Gloss and Dull Coat.
Here is the MiG-15bis in Soviet markings from Hi Decals, which performed perfectly.  The pilot in this case was Nikolay Shkodin who was credited with five victories.
This is another MiG-15bis, this time in a nightfighter scheme.  These markings are from H-Model decals, no problems with these decals either.  Pilot was I. P. Galyshevsky, who claimed a B-29.
Last is the MiG-15UTI trainer.  These are the Eduard kit markings for an Egyptian Air Force machine in service in the 1970 – 1980s.  No particular significance other than I liked the camouflage.

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

After the major assembly is complete comes the chore of sanding.  This is always a low point for me but it is unavoidable.  Overall the fit of these kits is good, but mine needed some work to eliminate the seams around the intake rings and the panel under the nose.  Nothing which can’t be cured with a little elbow grease.  There were minor gaps at the wing roots on a couple of the MiGs which were addressed with Perfect Plastic Putty.
My go-to primer is Mr. Surfacer 1000.  I checked all the seams and sanded and primed again to correct any errors.  The Mr. Surfacer is a good idea in general, but it is vital for a natural metal finish as it prevents flow lines in the plastic from showing through.  If a super shiny finish is the goal this is where you should start buffing, the smoother the surface the more reflective the final finish.
I will be using Alclad for the NMF on this one, so the model received a coat of the Alclad black primer.  The NMF is unforgiving, so any errors must be corrected at the priming stages or they will show through the finish.
Here it is under a coat of Alclad Dark Aluminum.  The Alclad dries quickly and results in a very hard and durable finish.  Still it is wise to keep handling the surface to a minimum so the model is moved and stored using the wire in the tailpipe.
The nose of this particular aircraft was painted red with a cutout for the side numbers.  I measured the decal for the numbers with dividers and then transferred that measurement to masking tape which was applied to the appropriate areas on each side of the nose.  Then I masked off the rear border of the color and enclosed the model in a plastic shopping bag.  I find red is a very persistent color, it always manages to find a way onto unwanted areas unless you take precautions.

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.