by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The MiG-15 fighter aircraft has became one of the post-WW2 aircraft development symbols, especially the one of the communist block lead by Soviet Union. It played crucial role in the Korean War, took part of the Suez Crisis as well as in other less important conflicts in Asia, Africa, Carribean etc.
The key part of the aircraft – the engine and the swept wing – were not developed in Soviet Union but in other countries. The swept wing was elaborated by German researchers and found its way to Soviet Union as a part of the war prize.
The engine, under licence built Rolls Royce Nene, was created by British engineers. The specifications that led to the MiG-15 birth were issued in 1947. Temporary Soviet attempts to develop their own jet engine failed and captured German Jumo 004 and BMW 003 jet engines became obsolete. Under such a situation Soviet Union decided to buy few tens of British Nene I, Nene II and Derwent V engines. The licence to built these engines was built also. Three type of the fighter airplanes were built using these engines. The Derwent was the heart of Yak-23 with straight wing and Nene found its way to Lavochkin 168 and MiG-15, both with the swept wing and horizontal stabilizator.
The Soviets believed that at least one of two different wing designs will fulfill the requirements. Finally Yak-23 and MiG-15 entered the serial production but only the latter became world-wide known thanks to its performance and high numbers of airplanes manufactured.
The first prototype under I-301 designation was finished on December 19 and made its maiden flight on December 30 , 1947. The second prototype powered by more powerful Nene II engine flew for the first time on May 27 , 1948. The third prototype joined previous two ones afterwards but test flight were so satisfying that serial production of the aircraft under designation MiG-15 was ordered on July 17 , 1948.
The first production aircraft was assembled in June 1949 and the serial production was step by step launched in many facilities across the Soviet Union.
The production MiG-15 was powered by RD-45F engine and armed with two 23 mm cannons NS-23KM and one 37 mm cannon N-37. The various bombs and unguided air-to-ground missiles (LR-130 and S-21) could be attached to the hardpoints on the wing undersurface. A bit later, in 1950 – 1951 the production of MiG-15bis begun.
Powered by VK-1 engine with the higher output these were easily recognizable thanks to the modified aerial brakes on the tail. The "bises“ were produced till 1953 when the MiG-17 replaced them on the assembly lines.
The Fifteens were manufactured outside the Soviet Union. The Aero and Let facilities in Czechoslovakia and PZL Mielec in Poland built them in relatively high numbers. The twoseaters were built by Chinese also. Apart of the fighters more variants were built.
The twoseater UTI MiG-15 was flown as a training aircraft. The majority of them left the production line in Czechoslovakia.
In Czechoslovakia many MiG-15s and bises were underwent the modification to the fighter-bomber MiG-15SB and MiG-15bisSB version with four underwing pylons.
The MiG-15R / MiG-15bisR was the recce version with cameras and MiG-15T served as a target-towing aircraft. The Fifteens were given with the NATO code designation. The singleseaters were coded Fagot A for MiG-15 and Fagot B for MiG-15bis. The twoseater UTI MIG-15 was known under the codename Midget.
Info from Eduard
In the box Packed in an end opening box this dual combo set of the famous MiG -15 has two grey sprues, two clear sprues, a set of instructions, a decal sheet and a set of masks.
Detail is pretty good with the cockpit having the dual ejection seats and control columns moulded into the cockpit tubs. Decals for the instrument panels and seat harness's are supplied, which in this tiny scale should be exceptional.
A single seat cockpit is also on the sprues which is not used.
The wheels wells have a nice bit of detail moulded into them in the form of raised spars and a rib effect. The wheels themselves are one piece each, and have a tread pattern moulded in, which looks good, but is a little overdone in this small scale.
The nose wheel is moulded as one part.
The main undercarriage legs look a little fragile, so care will be needed taking these off the sprues. Separate gear doors finish the main build sequence.
Two choices of main wheels are given, with one set having slightly more detail moulded onto them. Whhels and tyres are one pice each, but masks are supplied for painting the tyres.
Control surfaces are moulded in the neutral position on the wings, horizontal stabilisers and tail.
A one piece exhaust pipe slots into the rear of the fuselage.
Recessed panel lines adorn the fuselage and wings, and although overdone, it will look good once painted.
Underwing stores for the UTI is in the way of two underwing fuel tanks which are only used on five of the marking options. Bombs are supplied on the sprues but are not used.
Two one piece canopies are supplied, but due to the very small nature of these parts are a little thick with a bit of distortion.
A very handy thing for this kit is a set of masks for the canopy, and the wheels, plus various panels that need masking off.
The masks will be very handy as the MiG has a greenhouse style canopy and in this small scale will be troublesome to paint freehand.
The build looks pretty straightforward with the upper fuselage and wings moulded as one part, with the lower fuselage halve as a separate part.
The cockpit tub and air intake splitter fits inside the upper fuselage, before joining the lower fuselage half, with a note from Eduard making sure you add the "nose weight balance", which is not supplied, but probably was on earlier releases.
Eduard do sell an overtrees set (plastic parts, no instructions or decals) for this kit (No-4444X), if you wish to use the left over markings.
Instructions and decals The instruction booklet is the typical Eduard folded A4 size booklet, printed on glossy paper, with a logical build sequence. Internal colours are given for the Gunze range of paints.
Eight marking options are available, with full colour profiles for painting and decaling supplied.
A nice selection of camouflaged and NMF machines from different countries are supplied.
The markings are,
A UTI MiG-15, 18. sbolp, Pardubice, Czechoslovakia, September 1962
B UTI MiG-15, Air Museum Prague – Kbely, Czechoslovakia, end of 1960s
C UTI MiG-15, Soviet Union, 1960s through the 1970s
D UTI MiG-15, c/n 922226, Hävittäjälentolaivue 31, Rissala Air Base, Finland, Late 1960s
E UTI MiG-15, Indonesian Air Force, Jakarta-Kemajoran Air Base, Indonesia, 1960s
F UTI MiG-15, Syrian Air Force
G UTI MiG-15, Iraqi Air Force, 1980s
H UTI MiG-15, Algerian Air Force, 1960s through the 1980s
A smallish decal sheet is supplied which holds all the markings for the aircraft. Printing is crisp with good colour registration, and I believe is printed in-house by Eduard.
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