re-issued this 1/100 Mig-21 Fishbed-F
over a decade ago. Part of the Scale Mini-Jet Series, it was kit number PA 1002
, and reissued as item 61602
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is an icon of the aerial legacy of the Cold War, becoming Russia's main Mach-2 interceptor. Entering service in 1960 the small, simple, high-performance jet bedeviled Western warplanes for 20 years, and continued to be a threat despite its shortcomings, even after more advanced Soviet fighters entered service. Some three dozen countries operated the MiG-21 in dozens of models and variants.
Today the MiG-21 (NATO code-name "Fishbed") is still out there in service with several countries. Perhaps the most dangerous is India's "Bison," a MiG-21 greatly enhanced with Western avionics, Israeli ECM, off-boresight missile capability, and a powerful engine.
This model represents the MiG-21PFM, NATO code-named "Fishbed-F," (P = Perekhvatchik
("Interceptor"), F = Forsirovannyy
("Uprated"), M = Modernizirovannyy
The production version of the Ye-7M was a modernised MiG-21PF, with an upgraded RP-21M radar, SRZO-2 Khrom-Nikkel IFF transponder and other changes in avionics. Further, later-production PFMs reintroduced cannon armament, in the form of the capability to carry a GSh-23 cannon and 200 rounds in an underbelly pod.*
There were eight versions of the "Fishbed-F":
1. MiG-21PFM (1964; Izdeliye 94; NATO "Fishbed-F")
P = Perekhvatchik ("Interceptor"), F = Forsirovannyy ("Uprated"), M = Modernizirovannyy ("Modernised") The production version of the Ye-7M was a modernised MiG-21PF, with an upgraded RP-21M radar, SRZO-2 Khrom-Nikkel IFF transponder and other changes in avionics. Further, later-production PFMs reintroduced cannon armament, in the form of the capability to carry a GSh-23 cannon and 200 rounds in an underbelly pod. Following tests in 1966, MiG-21PFM aircraft built after 1968 could carry the Kh-66 air-to-surface missile.
2. MiG-21PFM (1964; Izdeliye 94A; NATO "Fishbed-F")
Export version with a different IFF system and no capacity to carry S-24 rockets or ZB-62 napalm tanks.
3. MiG-21PFM (Izdeliye 94N; NATO "Fishbed-F")
Nuclear-capable version of MiG-21PFM.
4. MiG-21PFMA (Izdeliye 94A)
Polish designation of standard MiG-21PFM.
5. MiG-21PFMN (Izdeliye 94N)
Polish designation of nuclear-capable MiG-21PFM.
6. MiG-21RFMM (Izdeliye 94A)
R = Radar, F = Fortaj ("Reheat"), M = Modernizat ("Modernised") Romanian designation for the MiG-21PFM.
7. MiG-21 SPS
MiG-21SPS (Izdeliye 94A; NATO "Fishbed-F")
SPS = Sduv Pogranichnovo Sloya ("Boundary Layer Blowing") To avoid confusion with the local "MiG-21PFM" designation given to the modified MiG-21PF (izdeliye 76A), the East German air force redesignated the "real" MiG-21PFM of izdeliye 94A as "MiG-21SPS."
8. MiG-21SPS-K (Izdeliye 94A; NATO "Fishbed-F")
K = Kanone ("Cannon") East German designation for MiG-21PFM (Izd. 94A) aircraft wired for using cannon pods.*
A few years ago Tamiya reissued their 1/100 series, including the MiG-21F. This was the second in the 1/100 MINI JET AIRCRAFT SERIES, kit number PA 1002. My sample is an original kit and contains 33 plastic parts:
* a clear canopy
* two-part display stand
* 30 silver parts
Parts are provided to build it gear-up or down. These parts are packed in plastic bags in a two-piece box.
The surface detail is mainly recessed panel lines.
No detail enhances the wheel wells. A crude ejection seat is the only cockpit embellishment. The gear doors are thick and without detail.
Except for the landing gear doors, the parts are thin, and the sprue attachments are very sturdy. The detailed parts are crisp but several suffer from ejector pin marks and flash. There are no sinkholes and only minor seam lines are found along some parts.
The single-piece canopy is slightly distorted, and features light relief framing.
This is not today’s Tamiya fall-together fit. Your reviewer has built several of Tamiya's 1/100 models (see link below). The fit of this series has varied from trouble free, to troublesome. This was an impressive model 50 years ago!
Two K-13 air-to-air missiles and a centerline drop tank is included.
Decals and Painting
My experience with other original Tamiya 50-year-old decals has been mixed. Some have been outstanding. Some fell apart in water. The decals are thicker than most of today’s, but are almost perfectly registered.
Four Fishbeds can be built:
1. Red 66, VVS or PVO regiment
2. Blue 61, VVS or PVO regiment
3. Black 1708, Polish Air Force
4. Red 4326, North Vietnamese Air Force
All are in natural metal finish.
No, this kit is not the supreme Tamiya kit of today. Scaled to 1/100, it will not have many friends to display it with if you prefer all of your models the same scale. All the same, I enjoy these old oddities and I like them. This little model features good molding and recessed surface detail. It is a simple kit. Four decal choices are nice.
The main drawback is a lack of finer detail, and thickness of some parts.
Today 1/100 is a niche scale and yet I still enjoy aircraft in the scale. If you do, too, then this kit is a good choice for you.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on
1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series (1/100 Combat Plane Series)Tamiya
, during my early modeling days of the early 1970's, had a substantial line of 1/100 modern jets and helicopters, the 1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series
. As the international standard for scales sorted itself out, 1/100 yielded to the onslaught of 1/72. However, Tamiya's line was quite impressive for the time, featuring predominately recessed panel lines and the good fit Tamiya would be known for. The scale is about 30% smaller than 1/72, compact yet generally able to retain as much detail as 1/72 offerings. The scale goes well with ship modelers' 1/96 and railroading TT (1/100 through 1/120) scales. It converts easily in both metric and Imperial system. But in spite of gallant efforts to crank out many 1/100 aircraft (Tamiya, UPC, Marusan, Faller, etc.) this scale never really took off to the extent that it was envisaged, probably more due to the fact that 1/72 had by that time taken a stranglehold on the hobby. Subject availability does not reach 1/72, though Accurate Miniatures, Revell, Takara, Faller, et al., have some excellent 1/100 kits.
Wikipedia. List of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 variants.
[Web.] 24 March 2019, at 14:40 (UTC).