Kitty Hawk Models, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Kitty Hawk Models Item No. KH80119 - MiG-25 PD/PDS
|Contents and Media:
||Around 398 parts in grey plastic and eight parts in clear; eight photo-etched parts; two bent steel rods; one steel ball; markings for four aircraft.
||USD$66.95 available online from Pacific Coast Models
||Welcome and long overdue quality rendition of this important Soviet aircraft; excellent moulding and surface textures; high level of detail; lots of ordnance; steel reinforced undercarriage.
||No intake ducting; incorrect representaion of inlet ramps.
State-of-the-art surface textures and great detail. Highly Recommended
by Brett Green
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The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (NATO reporting name: Foxbat) is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that is amongst the fastest military aircraft to see service. It was designed by the Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau.
The first prototype flew in 1964, and the aircraft entered into service in 1970. It has a top speed of Mach 2.83 (as high as Mach 3.2, but at risk of significant damage to the engines), and features a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles.
When first seen in reconnaissance photography, the large wing planform suggested an enormous and highly maneuverable fighter. This was during a period of time when U.S. design theories were also evolving towards higher maneuverability due to combat performance in the Vietnam War. The appearance of the MiG-25 sparked off serious concern in the West, and prompted dramatic increases in performance for the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle in late 1960s. The capabilities of the MiG-25 were better understood in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. It turned out that the weight of the aircraft necessitated large wings.
Production of the MiG-25 series ended in 1984 after completion of 1,190 aircraft. A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in Russia and several other nations. It is the second fastest and second highest-flying military aircraft ever fielded after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.*
* Background information courtesy of Wikipedia
Despite the importance of the MiG-25, we have only seen two plastic kits in 1/48 scale, and the most recent of these was the Revell 1977 vintage release. Very much a product of its time, the Revell kit has some outline accuracy issues, poor fit, ill-placed raised panel lines and very basic detail, especially in the cockpit. Perhaps the most generous thing we can say about the Revell kit is that it was better than the Lindberg offering!
36 years later, Kitty Hawk has added a MiG-25 PD/PDS to its growing 1/48 scale lineup.
Kitty Hawk’s 1:48 scale MiG-25 PD/PDS comprises 398 parts in pale grey plastic, eight parts in clear; a photo-etched fret with eight metal pieces; two bent steel rods and one steel ball. More than half of the grey plastic parts are dedicated to the four extensive weapons sprues.
Surface detail is fine and crisply rendered. In addition to the panel lines, the plastic features selected rows of recessed rivets. Ejector pins have been carefully planned so that none (that I can see so far) will be present on visible surfaces once the model has been built. There is the barely discernable ghost of the interior wing structure visible on the outer surfaces of the wings, but this may disappear under paint (and even if it doesn't, it looks like stressed metal anyway!)
The sprues are packed into a surprisingly compact box considering the large size of the aircraft. This is partially facilitated by the parts breakdown - separate wings in left and right, upper and lower halves; fuselage split into front and rear sub-sections - but more on that later. Sprue attachments are quite heavy by today’s standards, so a little extra time and care removing and cleaning up the parts will be prudent. The parts are quite delicately detailed on the sprues though.
Detail is well done. Photo-etched harness straps supplement the good-looking three-piece ejection seat, while the side consoles and sidewalls are suitably busy. Rudder pedals are not present though, so you might like to make your own. Alternative one-piece photo-etched instrument panels are supplied for either the PD or the PDS variant - a nice touch. Plastic versions are offered on the sprues too, which feature deeper detail. I think I actually prefer this option.
The radar assembly is provided. If you want to show off the radar, you may simply leave the nose (parts PD3 and PD4) off. A metal ball is provided as nose weight. If you don't plan to display the radar, you could leave out the assembly and instead use the ball as far forward as possible in the nose for maximum effect.
The inlet ramps are designed to be built closed, which is just as well as there is no intake ducting or engine face fans supplied in the kit. The only problem is that the MiG-25 inlet ramp did not drop to a completely closed position. I think the easiest solution to this problem is to ignore the perforated photo-etched parts PE1 and PE2, glue the plastic inlet parts in place (parts F16, F20, E11 and E12), and paint the lower parts red to represent FOD guards.
The jet exhausts and nozzles are enormous, a characteristic of this awesome aeroplane. This sub-assembly is supplied in plastic and is nicely detailed. The exhausts are sandwiched between the upper and lower main fuselage halves. I have test-fitted these large parts and it appears that the locating holes are too small for the pins. I recommend drilling out the holes before assembly, and test-fitting thoroughly.
The wheels wells are five part boxes with internal structural detail, and the main undercarriage legs are well detailed. They feature steel rod cores to take the weight of this big model. Cleverly, the similar-looking metal reinforcements are coloured silver for port and gold for the starboard side. The main wheels are suitably large and provided in solid injection moulded plastic (no vinyl here, thank goodness).
The speed brake, ailerons, flaps and rudder are all separate parts and may be posed to taste. The all-flying horizontal tail may be pivoted to the angle of your choice.
An abundance of ordnance is provided, including R-60, AS-11, R-40T and R-40R missiles; FAB-500 bombs with the choice of single or double racks, FAB-1500 bombs and a (huge) high-speed centreline fuel tank.
The canopy and windscreen offered as separate parts.
The attractive decal sheet offers four options. The colourful markings make up for the uniformity of paint finish, which is any colour you want as long as it is grey!
The options are:
MiG-25 PD Blue 75, Soviet Air Force 1979.
MiG-25 PD Blue 56, Ukranian Aor Force.
MiG-25 PD, Iraqi Air Force
Bonus markings for Red 31.
The decals are crisply printed and in register, and are glossy in finish.
Stencils are included for the airframe and for the ordnance.
At last we have a kit that is worthy of this famous and, for some time, mysterious Cold War interceptor.
Kitty Hawk's 1/48 scale MiG-25 PD/PDS is well detailed, boasts crisply recessed surface features and plenty of ordnance. It is easily the best 1/48 scale Foxbat available.
Keep in mind, though, this kit will not fall together. The parts breadown of the fuselage in particular, with its pancake mid/rear section, vertically split nose and multi-part intakes, means that you should be prepared to spend plenty of time test-fitting and adjusting as required before committing to glue.
Your efforts will be rewarded though, as I have no doubt that a large and impressive Foxbat will be the result!
Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
Thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for the sample
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Page Created 24 October, 2013
25 October, 2013
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