Starting the Eduard 1/48 MIG-21 PFM. I will be using the decal scheme for the Polish Air Force. The scheme represents the aircraft as it appeared in 1996. The kit includes photo etch details so no extra accessories were added.
To begin I started with the cockpit and the engine exhaust. For the interior color, Vallejo makes a Model Color (70.838) which is a match to the interior color used on the actual aircraft. The cockpit section also has the nose gear bay attached. I detailed the bay walls and assembled them. The dash was multiple layers of photo etch and looks great. The exhaust was detailed with photo etch and then weathered with pastel chalk to add a level of realism. The main landing gear bay was assembled and detailed. I added some 32 awg wire for details. I added some weight to the nose cone so the aircraft would not drag the tail once fully assembled. All of these sections needed to be built so that the fuselage can be built up. Assembling the fuselage was a little tricky for the area around the cockpit. I had to trim the sides of the cockpit floor by removing about 1mm from each side to get the fuselage to meet together.
Progress on the MIG-21 is coming along nicely. Detailed the wings and fuselage with photo etch details they moved to the ejection seat. The photo etch details really highlight the seat. I then started to paint the aircraft. I used Model Master Aluminum buffing metalizer. The process is you spray the model and let it dry. It looks like a very dull and grainy appearance. Using an old cotton T-shirt I then buffed the paint to a shiny aluminum finish. You will need gloves as while buffing you can inadvertently leave fingerprints in the surface. I then painted the highlight areas like the engine exhaust cone, intake trim and the ventral fin on the bottom.
Next I went to apply the decals. There are over 155 tine stencil decals that needed to be placed. While tedious (took two evenings to do just them), they went on nicely. I then added the Polish Air Force decals. They went on very well and with a little Microsol came out great! Starting work on the R-3S missiles and then the canopy needs to be polished, detailed and painted. Should be completely done in a few days.
The MIG-21 PFM is now complete. I detailed the canopy and opted to leave it open to show the details of the cockpit. After reviewing some photos on line I dulled the finish a little. I then detailed the R-3S missiles by making the sensors look realistic. The method used is in my Tips and Tricks section.
How to make Laser and IR sensor heads
The missiles were then mounted as the final step. This was a very nice model to build. The fit was very good with very minor work required to line up the parts. Aside from the numerous decals they all went on nicely. Thanks for following along. Here are the final photos.
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