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Photograph Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2013
MiG-21 SMT Hump Back, Soviet Air Force No. 92
Air Power Series. Boy, I sure want to like this one. It has a very this-missile's-for-you agressiveness, with multicolored panels, just-right darkened panel lines, and a mostly good paint job. However, the SFPs and MSFPs just drove me crazy.

SFPs and MSFPs...The Small Fiddly Parts and Multi-Small Fiddly Parts on this model are in the landing gear, canopy, aerial, and weapons attachments.

The well covers...for the folded landing gear are small 1" by 1/8" SFPs that fit (a wry chuckle here) in slots under the wings. Of course, fit is relative, and only occurs after a little whittling on the middle plastic peg with an X-acto knife.

Removing that same cover, however, requires a finger nail, an X-acto knife, a broom, a flashlight, and about half an hour's search time (my Beagle knew something was up, and cooperated fully, nose to floor).

To remove it, one end of the cover is pryed up with the X-acto knife, then a fingernail is inserted in the gap, and held there. Then, the other end of the cover is pryed up with the X-acto knife until the cover pops free. This is where the broom, flashlight, search time, and optional Beagle come into play. At some point during the prying process, the stress on the middle peg becomes too much and the well cover fires out of the wing. The broom is used to sweep the entire living room looking for the part (we distinctly heard it hit the hardwood floor), the flashlight is used to search dark recesses, and the Beagle just gets in the way. This pop effect happened with each cover. I won't go into details, but my wife is wrong: holding the model above your head and prying toward your lap doesn't work any better than the other way around.

The landing gear assembly...is definitely a MSFP. There are eight parts to the gear-down ensemble: two little doors and a strut/wheel combo in the nose, and two main gears with one brace each and a central wheelcover gizmo under the wings. The nose doors are inserted best with tweezers, and I didn't even try the braces when fitting the main gear.

The canopy...is a SFP, and I couldn't get it to fit in the open position. While the opening part of the canopy fit into the little slot (shades of another model maker's efforts on the Bf 109G), the windscreen wouldn't stay down on the sides: push one side down, the other pops up; squeeze the bottom of the wind screen and slide into the little slots, and it just pops out again.

Disappointment, learn to live with it...or opt out. I'm afraid I'll have to opt out of any more HM MiG-21s. Any other manufacturer wanna give the '21 a try? Please?

Another thousand words. A picture of some of the SFPs and MSFPs is shown below. For those knowledgeable: you will notice that the pictures in this section were shot without the aerial attached to the nose. That's because when it is attached there is a 1/16" gap between the antenna fairing and the fuselage. It's ugly, dude.

Conclusion...if you like model making, you'll just love this plane. If you like model collecting with as little fuss and feathers as possible, this model could be a real crazymaker.
 
 
Type Air superiority fighter
Hobby Master item

HA0125

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Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2013 Email Diecast Airplanes & Waterline Ships