Hot on the heels of Trumpeter's new quarterscale MiG-3, Eduard have released a trio of aftermarket sets to accompany it.
EX229 - $6.95
Starting with the simplest, this is a sheet of painting masks for the cockpit canopy and wheel hubs. The MiG doesn't have a complex canopy, but the masks score by having rounded corners for some of the panels, which is a bit of a chore to do by hand, so they should be much quicker and easier to use. As usual, with Eduard's recent masks, they are die-cut from kabuki tape, which is flexible enough to follow awkward compound curves and yet sticky enough to be re-used a couple of times if you're careful.
48574 - $19.95
Trumpeter's MiG-3 comes complete with separate flaps, but the interiors are strangely empty - which is almost an open invitation to Eduard to step in with a set of etched flaps and liners.
Eduard's new flaps are a little different from their norm, in that each flap and bay is formed as one complete unit. They fold together concertina-style and include some very delicate frame details. The bays must be further folded to form shallow trays, before each individual rib is twisted and folded back into position. It sounds more difficult than it really is - and experience with Eduard's similar Fw 190 flaps shows it's actually quite a straightforward assembly if you work carefully. The metal parts are accompanied by a clear set of instructions which show that the modifications needed to the kit are very limited before the new parts can be fitted - it's really a question of major thinning of the inside surfaces of the plastic wing top-panels - and the MiG would make a good starter project for anyone wanting to try etched flaps for the first time.
49388 - $22.95
The main set in Eduard's MiG-3 line-up comprises 3 etched frets holding a total of 197 new parts. The set provides a complete new cockpit - the only Trumpeter parts which survive are a gutted floor, the pilot's seat and flying controls, plus the gunsight.
There are new etched liners for the cockpit sides - completely blank in the plastic kit - and folded side frames. By necessity these will end up rectangular in cross-section when complete, so experienced modellers may wish to use them as templates for replacements made from plastic rod for a truer 3-D appearance. The cockpit floor gets a thorough make-over, with separate recessed heel-troughs which must be folded to shape and fitted under the new metal fascia. Trumpeter's rather weak main instrument panel is scrapped in favour of a beautiful pre-painted version with exceptional detail in the bezels and instrument faces, while the seat gets a sorely needed harness. The inside of the cockpit canopy is detailed with a locking mechanism and handle.
Turning away from the cockpit, there's a new radiator core with detailed meshes and vanes, plus some interior detail for the radiator housing. The carburettor intakes receive grills to avoid a see-through look and separate positionable outlet doors. The undercarriage is detailed with replacement oleo scissors and wheel hubs, along with brake lines, while the mainwheel well and doors are treated to new liners and extra interior details.
Last but not least, Eduard replace the clumsy plastic fins and fusing propellers on the MiG's underwing rockets. To line up the fins the set includes a metal template which slips over the body of the rocket and is removed once the fins are attached.
There are quite a number of small panels to assemble and boxes to fold in the full set, so it will be fairly complex to use. In a clever move aimed at modellers who don't wish to go the whole hog, Eduard have released the fret containing the instrument panels and have released the pre-painted fret of instrument panels, seat harness and wheel hubs etc. separately as item # FE388 for just $7.95.
The three sets make an excellent accompaniment for Trumpeter's already nicely detailed MiG-3 and will elevate it to the next level. The original plastic kit is cheap enough to make adding these aftermarket sets an attractive and affordable prospect for experienced modellers. Recommended.
Highs: Excellent detail on the pre-painted parts. Backed up by very clear instructions.Lows: The etched parts will be complex for beginners. Side frames and cables may be better replaced with plastic rod and soft wire.Verdict: Combined, the sets will add up to a highly detailed replica, transforming the Trumpeter kit's cockpit and adding dropped landing flaps.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...