The Eduard’s BIGSIN line of products is essentially a luxurious package of resin, photo-etched, and paint masks accessories to complement the company’s bestselling kits, or simply bring the full line of their previously released aftermarket (BRASSIN) dedicated to particular kits in a single package. This is meant to reduce your estimated costs for single products up to 15%. The play with the logo and the line, the way I understand it, must have something to do with the fact that the devil is in the detail, and it seems that Eduard found the box to hold its horns firmly in place.
The overall quality of the casts – the point that I will emphasize only here and underline – is probably the best on the market in terms of sharpness and neatness of details. From time to time, a product becomes a measure of class, and this is certainly the case with their BRASSIN line, which makes the backbone of this package. As with all Eduard’s BRASSIN products, the quality of resin is simply outstanding, the casts are blameless and spotless, absolutely bubble free and with minimal clean-up required.
Eduards BIGSIN Mig-21BIS set for their kit is a composite package of six individual and previously released sets:
- 648026 MiG-21 wheels;
- 648049 MiG-21 wheel wells;
- 648050 MiG-21 BIS interior;
- 648051 MiG-21 BIS exhaust nozzle;
- 648025 MiG-21 launcher UB-16 and UB-32;
- 48704 MiG-21 ladder.
Only two out of six individual sets included in this package are previously reviewed for Aeroscale, and therefore I will focus only on things that were not mentioned by others earlier.
648049 MiG-21 wheel wells
As it is indicated in the list, the BIGSIN package contains two individual sets that will assist modeler in superdetailing the wheels and the wheel wells. The wheel wells set consist of 9 resin and 19 PE parts with exceptional level of detail. All sets included in this package come with an instruction booklet or single page instruction (MiG-21 ladder), so the wheel wells are no exception. As it was referred to earlier, the casting is actually blameless, and it is essentially a “cut-it-out” and “drop-it-in” approach that significantly reduces demand on modeler, and will probably disappoint all who are accustomed to more “action” and “initiative” on their side. However, there is a particular thing in the instructions that is not mentioned. You are supposed to cut part C1 from the original kit (cockpit floor and nose wheel roof) prior to the front wheel well installation; although this step is explained in their 648050 interior instruction booklet (also included in the package), make sure that you keep your eyes wide open and simultaneously
consult all of the instructions provided in the package prior to each and every installation step to minimize possible mistakes.
648050 MiG-21 BIS interior
The interior set holds no less than thirty resin parts, two PE frets and a set of paint masks for the gun sight reflector, which is also included in the set. If you find appropriate pilot figure (or simply decide to go without it), there are also three 'Free Bonus' items included – beautiful resin pilot helmet, ear protectors, and maintenance seat.
The biggest piece in this package is single-piece cockpit tub, with large casting block on the underside. There are also free possible choices for to model the instrument panel, which was, I guess, the easiest way around for Eduard to acknowledge different levels of their customers’ skills. Regardless of your skill, you will have to make simple consideration of what works best for you: Resin base with two-layer photo-etch, resin base with single PE instruments layer, or complete pre-cast multipart resin instrument panel. The quality of detail in the interior set is extraordinary, so it really boils down to your own preference. Personally, I opt for resin parts because I find it hard to match the exact color of the cockpit tub with the pre-painted Eduard’s PE parts (Note: I don’t use Gunze, but some modelers referred that a 1:1 ratio mix of Gunze H25 “Sky Blue” and H46 “Emerald Green” does the job pretty well, but it is really hard for me to tell. I go with the AKAN paint range for the Soviet aircraft).
The cockpit tub is also meant to receive various resin gadgets and switches, which are included in the set and will require additional handling skills and good eyes in order to install them. The only problem I envisage is the fact that you will have to take care about proper installation sequence, because the etched consoles and plates are meant to sit over
the etched consoles and protrude through them. I can hardly imagine that the final result would be far from perfect. Eduard is always very responsive to modelers’ needs, which is probably the reason behind their decision to include two casting blocks with the smallest parts; it is good to know that there is a limited
room for mistakes, especially with the parts where probability of mistake is most evident.
The rear cockpit bulkhead, in my opinion, is a true eye-catcher of the entire interior set (apart from the resin seat), and it comes with integrated avionics, wiring, plumbing, and various connectors. The level of detail in original plastic parts is more than acceptable, but the resin is carried out to the point of extravagance. The cockpit bulkhead and the seat with its intricate and filigree details simply cries out to be primed, weathered, and washed to bring up the tiniest details.
The gun sight is a multipart resin and PE parts with clear resin reflector. The transparency of the resin reflector is, in my opinion, not as good as the plastic part, but it is better and more correct in size and shape. The forward cockpit area, which will be prominently visible through the forward windscreen, is also beautifully detailed, and it will bring the forward cockpit with the gun sight to higher level of accuracy and esthetic appeal. With so many resin and PE parts involved, there will be virtually no original plastic areas left to see when everything is installed. The effect will be only emphasized with the canopy in open position, with additional resin, PE canopy frames and placards that will make observers sigh in complete awe and admiration.
The KM-1 ejector seat is a kit in its own right. It is comprised of something less than 20 resin and photo etch parts. With original 16 plastic parts (and additional PE in ProfiPACK Edition), the original plastic parts were more that acceptable in level of detail and representation, and far better than many resin counterparts I’ve seen before. However, level of detail in resin has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The intricate web of pipes and other seat paraphernalia behind the seat will most surely be buried and lost in the cockpit the cockpit tub, unless you decide (and please do!) to go with a maintenance scene and leave the ejector seat on display next to the aircraft. (Remember, you have resin maintenance seat included in the bonus items!). If you decide to go a mile further, there are number of ways to make appealing diorama scenery with ground crew, maintenance team, or pilots around. The etched seatbelts are prepainted PE parts, and some localized versions of Fishbed’s may have carried different colors, which means additional effort on your side to source it out and represent correctly. To sum up, the resin seat is, in my opinion, the most perfect resin replica ever executed in any scale.
Prepainted photo etch fret contains all cockpit switch banks and panels, seatbelts and placards. The colors of the fret are very consistent and sharp, and it looks acceptable to the naked eye (although the macro photos will make delicate pixilation visible). As it was indicated before, additional bare metal fret contains metal frames for the canopy and canopy console rims to form the etched ring around the canopy in open position. Both frets are crisp and well executed, although I find Eduard’s PE frets a bit too heavy in terms of thickness.
Unless you are starting with their Weekend Edition MiG-21Bis kit, the entire interior set might be a bit overgenerous and extravagant if you compare it with the ProfiPACK edition and its contents, apart from the resin seat. With all this in mind, I would urge you to consider additional “money-saving” approach and start off with their Weekend Edition MiG-21Bis kit, which is probably the best suited platform to receive all the details of the BIGSIN package.
648051 MiG-21 BIS exhaust nozzle
The level of details in original plastic exhaust nozzles are as good as you can get in plastic. But the perspective really changes once you lay your hand on its resin counterpart. The set includes parts for a full exhaust section from the rear of the engine, with afterburner and the exhaust tunnel to the nozzles at the rear. It makes a complete tub once the parts are joined, with no seams and clear indication of proper installment orientation. I don’t have to mention that the detail in the tunnel is simply superb; fan blades are very thin, with the multi-part afterburner with elaborate details, and the PE overlay to emphasize the overall appeal. The nozzle is very crisp, and you can see all of the actuator rams and fairings encapsulated in the mould. Careful painting and weathering will additionally flavor the overall realism and authenticity of detail, thus revealing the full potential of the parts included in this set. As with other BRASSIN exquisite marks of quality and excellence, I don’t have to mention that this set is no different, but it is exactly this set, in my opinion, that reveals the simplicity and user-friendliness of clever design and engineering.
648025 MiG-21 launcher UB-16 and UB-32
The BRASSIN range of products now covers many weapons choices for various aircraft, and particularly the MiG-21. This particular set presents us with two sets of UB-16 and UB-32 containers for the S-5 unguided air-to-ground 55mm missiles. Although often seen on MiG-21’s, it can be also utilized for other types of the Soviet and the Warsaw Pact aircraft like L-39, MiG-21/23/27, Su-7/17/20/22, Yak-28/38, as well as in various helicopter types. The casts are simply beautiful and the breakdown of parts well thought-out and executed. Accompanying etched components only add to overall impression of perfection and richness of this set. If you don’t intend to use it on your MiG-21, I strongly advise you to keep it in store for latter – these launchers will simply adorn the kit of your choice.
48704 MiG-21 ladder
The boarding ladder PE fret is nice addition by Eduard. Although the set can live without it, Eduard’s decision to have it included in this set underlines and emphasizes the overall idea behind the luxurious set. With so many details included in this package (and so much money spent), it would be a real disappointment not to show-off and present it in its full glory. If you decide to open up the cockpit and pose your model in some sort of diorama or maintenance scene, then the addition of boarding ladder is more than obvious. The ladder is a single PE fret with 9 parts, and will require some skill in PE handling. Painting guide is not indicated, but in most cases it was fiery red.
Rarely do we need to pause and think much about what to say in the end. We all say "um," repeat words or phrases, and revise our message... Whatever the case, this is simply brilliant set! It is one of those sets that establish a completely new benchmark for luxurious aftermarket packages. Virtually perfect in almost any respect, the BIGSIN MiG-21Bis package is a highly specialized set of aftermarket “tools” and upgrades aimed at transforming an already beautiful Eduard kit into a beast rarely seen in modeling universe. The cost of the set may initially scare off many younger modelers and even many older ones, who earn a bit more, but it should have been clear from the onset that it is and remains to be a kind of collector’s item – cast out of fires of the modeling gods and muses, a bit extravagant and elitist. Nevertheless, the set actually
saves your money, but only in case that you’ve already decided to go an extra mile with their MiG-21Bis kits. It proves to be good and thoughtful investment, and the one that will most definitely be highly esteemed and adorned when displayed.