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Eastern Express, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No. & Description

Item #72117


USD$11.99 RRP

Contents and Media:

68 pieces in injection molded plastic; 2 parts in clear injection molded plastic.



Review Type:

In-box review


Great to see this version of the famous Mig-21 family for the first time in any scale; correct canopy; generally accurate tail fin and EMC pods; and unique Russian armaments.


Detail lacking in cockpit; inaccurate nose shape, and shallow engraved panel lines.



Reviewed by Rupesh Santoshi

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Eastern Express's Mig-21-93 in 1/72 scale is a good rendition of a less known, and even lesser modeled, subject.

The MiG-21-93 of RAC MiG / SOKOL (Russia), is one of three ongoing upgrade programs to improve the avionics, weapons delivery and electronic counter measures of existing Mig-21bis aircraft. The Indian air force is the only upgrade customer, having commenced conversion of Mig-21bis aircraft to -93 standards in 2000.

What you get in the box are three large spruces, a new two-piece "bubble" canopy, a smaller spruce with the distinctive Mig-21-93 chaff dispenser and control panel, an instruction booklet, and decals for the Russian -93 demonstrator aircraft. The panel lines have very shallow engraving that will likely disappear under paint or light sanding. Overall, this kit is a fairly accurate rendition of the -93 that was displayed in the late 1990s to Mig-21bis customers looking to upgrade the aging Mig-21bis. For those looking to model the Indian air force Mig-21bis upgraded to the -93 standard (called “Bison”), some work will be needed to make an accurate replica.



The fuselage looks exactly like the Kopro Mig-21MF kit and is molded in soft light grey styrene. Therefore, larger nose of the -93 is not represented accurately. The wings are accurately molded and look to be the correct dimension. The vertical tail fin and rudder shows the Radar Warning Receiver Antennae of the -93. The new -93 spruce also includes the distinctive Conformal ECM Dispensers (for chaff and flares) that go above the wing, flush with the fuselage. However, these look slightly different on operational aircraft than the demonstrator aircraft which this kit represents. It also appears that some filler will be needed to fit these ECM dispensers flush with the fuselage.

There are several different control panels, presumably to accommodate the various version of the Mig-21 that come from the same fuselage included in this kit (e.g., MF, Bis and -93). Sadly, the instructions are silent on which control panel go with each version. Indeed, even the control panel decal included in the kit is incorrect for the -93 version that has digital displays, not analog.

The cockpit tub is very basic and there are two ejection seats in the kit. Both are poor renditions of the KM-1, but will suffice if the canopy is closed. The newly molded "bubble" canopy of the -93 comes in two clear pieces. The main canopy structure is very clear and accurate for this scale. However, upon dry fitting it became clear that the windshield will not fit properly over the coaming -- you will have to use putty to fit the canopy snugly onto the fuselage. Otherwise, the fit of the kit parts is good.



The kit's highlight is the full spruce of unusual Russian missiles with crisp detail. You get a pair each of accurately formed R-77 RVV-AE air-to-air missiles, Kh-29T TV-guided air-to-surface missiles, Kh-31/P2 air-to-surface anti-radar missile, a pair of fuel tanks, and pylons and missile rails to boot.



In my opinion, these by themselves are worth the price of the kit.



The decals are for the plane depicted on the box-art, which I assume was a demonstrator version of the aircraft.



The decals look crisp and in-register.





If you wish to build a -93 you will need good references and should be prepared to do some work on accuracy. It appears that the fit is good and the general shape of the -93 is captured well. Besides, there isn’t any other -93 kit out there. Finally the kit is great for the advanced Russian weapons set, which can be used on any of the new Mig-29s, or Su-27/30s.

Review Text Copyright © 2004 by Rupesh Santoshi
Page Created 02 December, 2004
Last updated 01 December, 2004

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