MiG-19

Day Interceptor & Two Seat Variants
By Ivo Pavlovsky, Michal Ovcacik, and Karel Susa
4+ Publications, ©2003
ISBN 80-900708-8-4
Softbound, 36 Pages

Reviewed By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The MiG-19 marked a quantum leap in fighter aircraft for the Soviet Union, being the first Soviet combat aircraft to break the speed of sound in level flight. Not just a fast plane, though, the MiG-19 also was very maneuverable with a high thrust to weight ratio. The advance over the MiG-15 and MiG-17 was remarkable and exceeded the capabilities of Western designs at the time. Just how good a plane the MiG-19 is can be seen in its service record, with the first definitive plane flying in 1954 and over 8500 were built, with many still in service today. Fifty years for a service record is amazing for any aircraft, but in the rapidly changing world of fighter aircraft it is nothing short of phenomenal.

This latest title from the people at 4+ details the day interceptor and two-seat variants of the MiG-19, including those built in China. This includes the MiG-19, S, SV, and S-105 built by Mikoyan and the J-6, F-6, JZ-6, FT-6, J-6I, II, and III built by Shenyang in China. This is quite a list of variants to sort through, but the text does a good job of explaining the differences between them all. This detailed breakdown is important when it comes time to model a MiG-19, as some countries received Soviet-built examples and others received Chinese examples. With operators including Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Yemen, and Zambia, this clear description of the type differences is well worth the price of the book.

Complementing the textual description of variant differences are some very nicely rendered 1/72 scale drawings. These provide six views of the most common types, with scrap views filling in many of the small differences that make up the MiG-19 day fighter family. When used along with the text description, these drawings will help the modeler build an appropriate MiG-19 for the country they want to depict. To further help this decision along, the book is filled with photos of Soviet and foreign MiG-19s, providing plenty of inspiration, both in black and white and in color. For the detail lover, there are plenty of close-up photos as well, covering every angle of the plane.

For those interested in Soviet fighters, the 4+ series is an excellent one to own, and this new edition on the MiG-19 exemplifies this quality. The well-written text, ample photo coverage, and detailed scale drawings make this a worthy addition to any reference library.

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