Triple Nuts 1/144 MiG-31 Foxhound
By Matt Bittner
I think the MiG-31 is pretty well known throughout the world. It was introduced in 1979 and is still flying, to this day. It was designed to intercept cruise missiles and their launch aircraft (a Bone buster), detect and destroy low-flying objects, provide long-range escort of bombers, and provide air defense in areas not covered by radar, or other ground-based air defence systems. Its max speed is right around Mach 3, making it one of the fastest interceptors in the world. While the design was based on the MiG-25, there are many differences which make it its own aircraft.
I want to start this review by stating there hasn't been an accurate kit in 1/144 yet. Revell has produced a plastic-injected kit a few years ago, but it was more like a bigger MiG-25 instead of an accurate, actual MiG-31. It is this reason why I've been wanting an accurate MiG-31 in my collection, and currently the Triple Nuts kit is the only one.
I'm no longer going to count the parts in Triple Nuts kits. Given they are 3D printed, it's sometimes difficult to visually separate the parts from the sprue without actually physically separating the parts from the sprue, which I won't do until I'm ready to work on the kit. Not only are the main parts in resin, but so is the canopy, which is clear resin. There are decals for two MiG-31s both in all-over gray, but one also has a lot of blue on it along with a dark-gray spine.
Most of the Triple Nuts kits I have don't have a very detailed cockpit, including only separate ejection seats. This one is the same way. It's not a huge problem as Triple Nuts only includes a closed-canopy in their kits and much can't be seen through the canopy. However, if you want to open the canopy and detail the cockpits you can to your heart's content.
The first instruction step consists of adding the ejection seats to the cockpits along with all major parts to the fuselage: wings, horizontal and verical tails, exhausts and nose cone. The next step has you add the nose gear, nose gear doors, forward missiles, underside parts of the intakes and the speed brakes, which can be displayed closed or deployed.
The final instruction step has you add the main landing gear and gear doors, the external missiles along with the stores on the wings. Most items are best left off until after painting and decaling, of course.
If, like me, you want an accurate MiG-31 in 1/144 in your collection, then Triple Nuts is the only way to go. It's a little expensive but definitely worth it in the end. It will make a great addition to your Cold War/Soviet/Russian display. Note that MAKO Models International is one of the "official" stockists of Triple Nuts kits. These kits are available from their eBay store.