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MiG-29 UB in 1/32 Scale

by Frank Mitchell


MiG-29 UB


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There has been some talk of late about the 1/32 scale Revell MiG -9 kits and the problems with their engine exhausts. I thought it might be of interest to some modelers to hear about my trials with these kits and see how I attacked the problems.


Several years ago, I built the 1/32 scale single-seater, and even went so far as to make a mold for a new nose. However, I did nothing to the significantly undersized engine/nozzle area, which bugged me every time I looked it. Eventually, it bothered me to the point that I stripped that model for its usable parts and decided to tackle a MiG 29 UB.

Although the engine problem was said to have been fixed on the UB kit, I found that was not the case. I should underline that my conclusions about the changes on this model are based on my interpretations—your mileage may vary.



Correcting the Cans

After staring at all my references (there is a bunch out there) and scaling up several sets of plans, I came to the conclusion that I could use 35mm film cans as the basis for the nozzles. That meant that I would have to build up the lower fuselage area to match that diameter. I found that I could use the kit nozzles for the inner sets on the modified engines. The nozzles also needed to be extended in length. Most of the work would be on the bottom fuselage half; the top bulges appeared to be reasonably good, only some matching of curvatures being required.

I first heated and smashed some styrene around the film cans and simply tacked those in place on the bottom fuselage half. When adjustments were made so that everything lined up to my satisfaction, the plastic was firmly glued in place and faired in with epoxy to meet the kit engine contours farther up the fuselage and to meet the new nozzles at the proper angle.

The pictures below show the basic structure when roughed in and when later smoothed off with epoxy:



Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Once all that work was done and the areas re-scribed, I started on the interior. Lots of scratch-building was required, but I did add two K-36 resin seats, which helped a lot.

A couple of etched-brass sets were also used, but they weren’t of great help since many of the pieces had to be modified both because of fit and because of accuracy.

As I worked on this area, I could not get over the feeling that it just didn’t look right, so it was back to the plans and photos. I finally decided that the cockpit area was too low and that the entire area needed to be lifted in a kind-of upside down half-moon arc that was, if I remember correctly, between about 1/8 and 3/16” at its greatest height (at about the point of the rear seat).

The fuselage sides were sliced and plastic inserts added to raise the cockpit area to where I thought it was be close to accurate. The area was not completely removed since I had already done a lot of cockpit work.

The picture below shows the area that was re-worked along with the raised area behind the cockpit. Also shown is some epoxy around the nose where I thought the shapes could use some help.



From here on out, the model was pretty straightforward. Just a good bit of detailing and re-scribing, etc. I was able to use a fair number of parts from the single-seater including the missles, most of the landing gear parts, etc.



Painting and Markings

I have always liked the Eastern German markings so these were applied with Gunze, overcoated with combinations of Testor’s Flat and Gloss Clear coats.

The decals were mainly Micro Scale along with a few from the decal stash.


Images Copyright © 2001 by Frank Mitchell
Page Created 16 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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