I must admit that I have not built any model airplanes in a while, as I am mostly into armor (but originally started with planes ages ago – like many of us), but when I was going through the samples’ list for 1/35th scale helicopters, I ran into this kit and could not resist… To me the MiG-29 is the classic Soviet/Russian workhorse, and whenever they took off at the Kecskemét Airshow, all the eyes darted to the sky due to their loud engines (Hungary operated a fleet of MiG-29’s until 2010).
One of Trumpeter’s latest releases in 1/72nd scale offers an export (thus downgraded) version of the MiG-29, the 9-12A which was intended for Warsaw Pact members only. The 9-12B was exported to third countries, with less capable avionics and no ability to carry nuclear weapons. The naming is a bit confusing on the box art, as the “A” should be after the “9-12” and not after the “-29”.
The kit comes in a small box that seems a tad crowded to me, the main sprue is a bit bent and some of the tiny parts (landing gears, etc.) are in danger – but luckily I had no real issues. However, after taking the photos for this article, I removed some of the fragile parts and stored them away separately in a small box.
The lower and the upper halves of the fuselage are bagged individually with some foam as protection – this also applies to the clear canopies as well. In total, the kit consists of 164 parts in grey plastic, and 6 ones in clear. This total includes an extra tow bar, all the ordnance and pylons, plus 9 unused parts. For comparison, Fujimi’s offering has approximately 80 and Italeri’s around 70 parts.
The instructions manual is easy to follow and has 11 steps in total on 8 pages and in addition to the painting/marking guide in colour, a copy of the box art is also included.
The main part – the fuselage is split vertically into two halves with the wings themselves molded in place. I must say that both have superbly detailed surfaces with nicely engraved panel lines and other details. However, both have three very tiny raised imperfections (one behind the cockpit, one in the nose gear’s bay, two on each wings (upper and lower), around 0.5mm in size. My assumption is that these were the attachment points when the parts were injection molded. Removing these should not be a big issue but care must be taken so no damage to the finely engraved details around them. The outer flaps are fixed in a slightly raised position, but I could see this on real-life photos taken both in the air and on the tarmac. The auxiliary air intakes are also molded open, which again is seen mostly in flight but also before take-off or after landing.
For the pylons, holes need to be opened from the inside of the lower half of the wings – but the ones closest to the ends should be drilled from below so care must be taken not to fully pierce the wing itself.
The cockpit has very basic details only and is comprised of an ejection seat (2 parts), a control column, the main instrument panel (2 parts) which has recessed dials with a one-piece decal, two side panels which are flat with one decal each side. Some aftermarket additions can be useful here. On the plus side, the ejection seat is on a duplicate sprue, so our chances for a successful scratch building are doubled.
The canopy is clear and the parts of it that should be painted have a matt finish to make the process easier.
The tiny gun port should be drilled as well in order to give it a sharper look.
The one-piece nacelle looks great and easy to attach but some fine flash needs to be removed here.
The landing gear bays have basic details and most of these are molded on the fuselage already.
The nose gear is made up of 5 delicate parts plus the tires which have a nice patter for 1/72nd scale but some sanding will be required to give it a bit of ”weighted” look.
Part D12 is a grill-like thing which I assume protects the tires somehow – this is something I would have provided as PE as it should be a really fine part in this scale.
The main gears are easier in construction.
The pylons and the weaponry are nicely detailed to me and construction seems easy and straightforward.
Many of the wings are already molded in place, speeding up the assembly, however these wings appear a bit too thick to my eyes.
Both the pylons and the ordnance are complemented by a separate decal sheet for the stencils and a painting and marking guide in color.
The following are included in this kit:
- 2 x R-73E air-to-air missiles (AA-11 Archer) plus 2 practice rounds
- 2 x R-60 air-to-air missiles (AA-8 Aphid) plus 4 practice rounds
- 2 x R-27R air-to-air missiles, semi-active-radar-homing (AA-10 Alamo-A)
- 2 x R-27T air-to-air missiles, infrared-homing (AA-10 Alamo-B)
- 2 x PTB-1150 external fuel tanks
- 1x PTB-1500 external fuel tank (centerline)
An additional bonus in the kit is a tow bar that is made up of 8 pieces.
The decals are of good quality, however many of the stencils are unreadable due to their tiny size.
The painting/marking guide is easy to follow and it pictures a Hungarian and a Russian Mig-29, however I’d be more pleased with images that are bigger in size. There is also an error on the Hungarian side as the hornet badge (decal 5) is incorrect for this squadron, it should be a puma’s head and appear on both sides (as the short description also states the fighter belongs to the 1st ”Puma” Tactical Squadron).
Conclusion To me – who rarely builds model airplanes lately, this Trumpeter MiG-29 appears to be a great new kit, easy to build with very nice details for its small scale.
It has served (and in some cases still serves) with multiple European nations, so with proper decals and paint schemes many different planes can be built. Highly recommended.