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MiG-15 bis

by Gary Zuercher


MiG-15 bis


Tamiya's 1/48 scale MiG-15 bis is available online from Squadron.com




The Mig-15 came as a real shock to NATO airmen in their F-80s and F-84's in the opening stages of the Korean War. It was faster, could climb higher and had a powerful armament package that included a 37mm cannon that made mincemeat out of unescorted B-29 Superfortresses. Until the first F-86 Sabre Jets arrived, the MiG-15 ruled the skies over the Yalu River. 

After the American Sabre evened the score and drove the North Korean-flown MiG-15s from the sky, Stalin sent his finest WWII aces and commanders to North Korea, including Ivan Kozhedub and the pilot of the MiG-15 this model represents - Captain Nicolay Ivanov. An ace with seven victories, Captain Ivanov flew with the 726 IAP/133 IAD.



Tamiya's 1/48 Scale MiG-15


A good MiG-15 had been sorely lacking in 1/48 scale until Tamiya released their beautiful kit that includes a complete engine. 

Having purchased the Aries resin set I decided to go whole-hog and do the gun bay, cockpit and engine in resin. The Aries set is a gem. The instructions are clear and concise and the resin parts are, for the most part, bubble-free and fit precisely. The metal gun barrels and etched metal details complete this outstanding set. 



I had been working on this set for about three weeks when my wife asked me if I was done with the model yet and I had to admit I had barely touched the sprues!



Modifications and Additions


The gunpack is normally suspended under the gunbay on four cables for re-arming, but I thought it would be too hard to see so I scratch-built a little cart based on photos in the Modelmania book. The engine jetpipe jackstand was scratch-built from Evergreen strip and guitar string. I wired the engine with copper wire provided in the Aries set and fuse wire from an old computer. 



The rear fuselage interior was detailed using copper wire and Evergreen strip. Brake lines were added to the landing gear struts and the rear canopy area lightening holes were drilled out with a Dremel. The handy Cutting Edge formation lights were added to the wing tips and Minimeca aluminum tubing was substituted for the kit's pitot. I left the antenna wire off as I assumed it would be removed when the engine was serviced. A scratch built FOD cover was added to the intake.



Painting and Decals


Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo paints were utilized for the unusual camouflage, sprayed with an Iwata HP-B and finished off with a spray of 20% Tamiya Flat Base and 80% Future. The tan stripes were sprayed first with a lightened RLM 79 (to simulate FS 30257) and masked with rolled out snakes of Blu-Tak. The FS 24172 Green is Tamiya Dark Green and the underside FS 35526 is X-25. 

The interior color is Tamiya X-23. 



AeroMaster decal sheet #48-229 "Korean War Aces, Part 1 provided the markings and camouflage scheme and stencils were sourced from PropagTeam. 

Weathering was kept to minimum, but the panel lines were accented with brown lead in a mechanical drafting pencil and various panels were lightened with pastels and a wash of Testor's Acryl Interior Black was used in the cockpit, gunbay and on the engine.





  • Modelmania MiG-15, AJ Press. 1998 

  • MiG-15 - All Variants, Publikace 4+ Publications, 1997



Additional Images


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Model, Text and Images Copyright 2000 by Gary Zuercher
Page Created 15 April, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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