Eduard 1/72 MiG-15bis Profipack
The MiG-15bis was the second production variant of the iconic swept-wing Russian fighter. It differed from its predecessor in its choice of power plant (the VK-1 engine as opposed to the RD-45F of the MiG-15) and the enlarged fuselage air brakes. It also had a larger jet pipe, ground-adjustable trim tabs, and the new ASP-3N gun sight.
It was armed with two NS-23KM 23mm cannons and one N-37 37mm cannon. MiG-15bis production lasted from 1950-53, and it was also produced in Czechoslovakia and Poland. The MiG-15bis was superseded by the MiG-17.
The kit comes in Eduard's usual stout cardboard box. The kit comprises 75 injection molded parts on 3 sprues; 10 of these are destined for the spare parts bin. There are 9 clear parts in their own bag. The rest of the parts are molded in grey plastic. There is also a set of canopy masks and a pre-painted photo-etch fret with approximately 22 detail parts. The canopy masks and photo-etched parts are in their own self-sealing bags, adding to the deluxe feel of this kit.
It is well molded, with subtle rivet detail on the wings and fuselage. The cockpit is a multi-piece assembly. The photo-etched fret includes a new instrument panel (you can use the instrument panel decal if so inclined), sidewall consoles, throttle quadrant, seat harness, etc. There are 2 styles of drop tanks included. The raised detail on the main wheels and front wheel is particularly impressive. All of the small detail parts (landing gear and landing gear doors, etc.) are well molded, with no sink marks or flash. Useful wheel well detail is molded onto the upper wings, and there are 2 different styles of inner and outer wheels.
These are separate pieces and will be easy to paint. I particularly appreciate the sprue attachment points: they are small and positioned so that you can remove the parts with minimal damage. Cartograph of Italy provides the decal sheet which includes 5 different options, all in natural metal:
C/N 123025, flown by Col. Yevgeniy G. Pepelyayev, CO of 196th IAP, Antung AB, Korea, October 1951
C/N 1315376, ex-64th IAK, Soviet Union, mid 1950s
MiG-15bis, flown by Henry Perez, Cuba, 1960s
MiG-15bis, Egyptian Air Force, October 1956
MiG-15bis, JAG 11, Bautzen AB, East Germany circa 1956
The sheet includes the national insignias for each option, the individual a/c numbers where applicable, and a small set of stencils. The sheet is glossy, in-register and well printed. The instructions are well laid out and illustrated in Eduard's customary fashion, with color callouts for Gunze Acqeous and Mr. Color paints.
I compared the wings and fuselage to the 1/72nd scale plans in Yefim Gordon's MiG-15: All Variants (4 + Publications). The wings matched the plans exactly. The fuselage is slightly more slender than the plans, the rudder is more narrow in depth and it has a more acute angle. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the plans, but the Eduard kit certainly looks the part.
The elderly KP kit was a very good kit in it's time, but the new Eduard MiG-15 supersedes it in most aspects. It is more detailed than either of the recent Airfix and Hobby Boss MiG-15 kits. Both of those undercut the Eduard kit in price, but they are aimed at a different audience. The Airfix kit also suffers from noticeably undersized main wheels and the Hobby Boss MiG-15 is compromised by it's "Easy Kit" approach.
If you want an accurate, well detailed kit the Eduard MiG-15 is the one for you. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Eduard for providing the review sample.
MiG-15, All Variants, by Yefim Gordon, 4 + Publications, 1997.