u m m a r y
||7252 - MiG- 1.44
|Contents and Media:
available online from Squadron
||Excellent molding; clever parts
breakdown; fine detail; exceptionally clear canopy parts.
||No painting guide for interior
Reviewed by "Bondo Phil" Brandt
1/72 scale MiG 1.44 is available online from Squadron.com
Even the most jaded booster of American fighter aircraft has to admit
that, for the past twenty years, the ex-Evil Empire's really been
"getting with the (fighter) program." They had to, of course, because
since 1976 the F-15 in the hands of not only the hometown boys, but also
the Israelis had been beating the performance of existing Soviet/Russian
fighters like a drum. First came the Fulcrum, and then its bigger,
badder brother, the Flanker, which offered the first serious threat to
Western fighter supremacy. As in the game of Poker, the F-22 Raptor
"saw" the Flanker and "raised" the stakes considerably, as has European
development of the Eurofighter and Rafale.
Russia's answer to the American ATF program which spawned the F-22, was
the development (started in 1986) of a fifth generation, Multi-role
fighter (MFI) which has since morphed into the Mig 1.44, a fly-by-wire,
fire-and-forget, vectored thrust weapon system. Although F-22
development and production funding has, and will continue to be a
problem, it pales in comparison to the gigantic financial obstacles
facing Russia's post-1991military structure. Accordingly, the secretive
Mig 1.44's first flight, originally planned for 1996, didn't occur until
2000. Further development and series production is cloudy to say the
This curmudgeon really wishes Zvezda would move up to 1/48 releases,
'cause this surely looks like a nice kit and would be a perfect
companion to the F-22, Typhoon and Rafale. Overall airframe shape and
detailing of this close-held aircraft may be assumed to be accurate,
since Zvezda states that the model was developed with the blessings of
the Mikoyan Design Bureau.
Crisp with essentially zero flash. Engraving is very petite and sharp,
in keeping with the smaller scale. Sprue attachment points are fairly
small, equal to those of Tamiyagawa. None of those European limited
production releases wherein the spigots are gigantic, often larger than
the part to which they are joined. Instead of alignment pins, there are
corner guides, which allow for minute adjustments when gluing. There are
a few light sink marks on the two smaller underwing pylons, but that's
an easy fix. Surface texture is flat, in the manner of glass-beaded
molds, but seems to be much finer than that of, say, Fonderies
Miniature. In any event, the airframe is not NMF, but intermediate blue
over light ghost gray, and the fine texture of the parts makes for
excellent paint holding qualities.
The fuselage features side-by-side forward halves and top/bottom aft
sections. The delta wings are essentially one piece with cleverly
designed smaller bottom inserts that shouldn't require any filling. Two
of the three edges of the inserts form the natural gap that exists
between the slats, flaperons, and their junctures with the main wing
assembly. The third "gap" is covered by a weapons pylon. The cockpit tub
(four-piece seat; I'd probably substitute one of the nice and "busy"
resin aftermarket K-36 seats) is straightforward with no molded
instrument/console detail, using decals instead, as in Zvezda's
previously released Mig-31 Foxhound. Finely detailed, two-piece
afterburner assemblies offer two configurations.
The multipiece intake trunk strongly resembles that of the
Eurofighter and is cleverly shaped, using bowed vari-ramps to hide the
fact that there's no uninterrupted smooth tunnel to the compressor faces
which are glued to the main gear wells.
All gear strut assemblies are multipiece which, in 1/72, calls for
some delicate glue application. Wheel wells are added to the fuselage
assembly from the inside and have minimal piping details.
The windscreen and canopy are separate, fairly thin and exceptionally
clear. For those wishing to go the open canopy route, two simple raising
mechanisms are included. A display stand is included for those desiring
an in-flight presentation.
Decals and Color Guide
Exterior colors are called out and listed in Model Master paint
reference numbers, but no advice is given re cockpit, intake and wheel
well colors. The decal sheet is small but certainly adequate, especially
for a 1/72 model of a secretive aircraft. Two marking schemes are
The instruction booklet has eight pages of easily understood assembly
drawings with minimal bilingual text and decent three-views for
This curmudgeonly fan of Russian aircraft is impressed!
Zvezda is very, very close in overall quality to the Big Dogs of the
Now, won't some enterprising Russian/Ukrainian outfit please do one
in 1/48 scale?
Squadron for the review sample.
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Page Created 22 November, 2004
Last updated 21 November, 2004
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