Until the release of first of Eduard's MiG-21 kits in 1:48 scale the number of available kits of 21's in this scale was limited to a few rather old kits. The Czech company have set the quality standard to a very high level. Although the plastic parts are made almost perfectly for this technology there are still some details which can be done better, although it requires different technology than plastic injection. This is where we tend to use photo etched brass sets.
The set contains just one medium size fret with more or less 80 pieces (some details are multiplied so I say more or less). What I liked from the first glance is a fact that we get pure brass fret, without that galvanic covering layer which made soldering impossible. I always had to remove it first with a sanding paper. Whenever I can I prefer to solder the metal details than use CA glue as the soldered weld are much more reliable than glued. Although it may be a technological step back this is the first point for Eduard from me.
After a brief study of the fret layout I noticed another good point from Eduard – clever design. Details selected for this set do not double up with the content of the fret from the Profipack kit so you will not find here any detail for the cockpit interior as these are provided in the kit. Instead the designer has provided details, which really need replacement.
I think we can divide PE details into three major sections. First are details for the exhaust nozzle. These are parts for jet turbine and exhaust internal structure. Second section, which looks for the biggest one, are details enhancing undercarriage. We can find here main wheels covers, brake wires and details improving internal structure of the wheel bays. Last, but not least, big section are details for armament. We can find improved rails for wing armament pylons and a belly pylon for a fuel tank, tiny propellers for bombs fuses, muzzle for GP-9 gun and exhausts for R3S and S24 missiles. Other details provided by Eduard are smaller antennas and sensors and few details for the air brakes but these will have to be assembled in the “opened” position to reveal the improvements.
Some of the details are so small that will require jeweller's precision and patience. It will be a good exam for your skills, eye exam and a psychological test of coping in a stressful situations. Some kind of bonus from Eduard – three tests in just one set of PE.
It's a very useful set an perfectly supplements the plastic kit for which it is dedicated. Most probably Eduard will release soon a “Weekend edition” of the PFM. If you will wish to combine this PE set with the Weekend kit you will still need some improvement for the cockpit (e.g. seatbelts). From the other hand if you like to super detail your scale replicas and consider buying Brassin sets some details will be multiplied and thus redundant (but will still fit into the spare parts box). For the Profipack boxing it fits great. Just consider carefully what you have and what you need.
related reviews Eduard 1:48 MiG-21PFM Profipack kit review by Paul Cotcher
Brassin exhaust nozzle set for Eduard's MiG-21PFM review by Michał Sindera
Brassin interior set for Eduard's MiG-21PFM review by Michał Sindera
Comparative review of Eduard 1:48 MiG-21PFM Profipack kit with Brassin and photo-etched improvement sets by Michał Sindera
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