LiM-1 No.“712” (MiG-15)
Model kit and improvements used
My kit was based on the overtrees sprues. You can find them in other boxings of this kits which at this moment are for example the Weekend Edition (Cat.no. 7423) and Profi Pack (Cat.no. 7057). One of its occassional edition, a “Bunny Racer”, was presented on Aeroscale in the Reviews section LINK TO ARTICLE
For the upgrades I have used also Eduard sets of:
• Brassin cockpit - Cat.no. 672022
• Brassin airbrakes - Cat.no. 672021
• die-cut masks for canopy and wheels – Cat. no. CX375
Eduard improvements were supplemented by the fabulous Master set of MiG-15 & MiG-15bis gun barrels, antenna base & Pitot Tube (Cat. No. AM-72-070) and Saggitarius decals (Cat. No. 008), which had the necessary for me decals for the plane No. “712.” and Polish stencils.
The building process started traditionally with the cockpit interior. Not to waste time at the same time I have glued the wings, fuel tanks, drilled holes here and there and made the cut outs for the airbrakes.
Very annoying places where I spent a lot of time were front wheel well and air intake.
Eduard have contructed the kit in the way which makes a lot of joint lines on the surfaces which should be even – wheel well side walls and the air intake channel side walls. The air intake working space is very limited so the only way too fill the joints and make them smooth was to work with the smallest files I could find followed by the stripes of sanding paper glued onto toothpicks.
The wheel well was even worse, as first I had to remove the side walls reinforcements, then fill the gaps and smooth the surface and finally reconstruct the reinforcements with the stretched sprues.
These are not difficult things to do but very time consuming and give a real test of your patience, (I kept whispering: "Patience you must have my young padawan, worth it will be..." as Master Yoda had told me once).
Other places which needed a lot of care were joint lines between the wings and fuselage.
All other joints, leading or trailing edges also needed very careful sanding and polishing as the model from very beginning was intended to be finished in NMF which does not forgive any errors and ommisions in removing scratches or smallest gaps.
Except these points the building process was very straightforward, just follow instructions and think regulary.
In the assembly instruction Eduard says to put some weight into the “battery compartment”.
I did so accoring to the instructions (using lead and some thick glue) however it was all not enough and the model had the tendency to drop onto its tail.
My kit had to be placed on the base so it was a minor problem, but if you don't build bases please be adviced not to skimp on lead and add some extra for example behind the pilot seat or in the niche under the pilot office.
Painting and finishing
Well, painting the NMF wasn't my strong point. Although I read many articles around the web telling what to do I did it my way...and I was wrong.
To keep the story short I have used the Alclad products.
First I used their primer which gave me a nice matt surface with some grain here and there. So I had to polish all the surface.
Next was pre-shading with black of a few panels, gear door, airbrakes.
Finally Alclad aluminium metallizer applied in very thin layers. This enabled me to control the pre-shading effect and achieve different colours on all the surfaces.
Somewhere I made another mistake and in a few places, especially near the wing-fuselage joint and wing fins, got grain.
Another round of polishing and painting.
Finally a thin layer of Gunze clear gloss before the decals.
Onto the decaling, and for many years I keep using the Set and Sol agents and I'm always pleased with the effect. This time it wasn't different. Sagittarius decals worked very nicely.
When all the decals dried I made a subtle oil wash of randomly mixed browns, black and white colours.
Originaly the planes were covered with laquer to protect the aluminium skin from the weather conditions and the planes did not have the natural metal finish so the last painting step was the subtle matt varnish, applied in a very thin layer to leave a bit of shine often seen on the archive photos.
Eduard did a great job with this model kit. It has a lot of details, sharp panels lines, rivets and very good general fit.
Although the quality is very good it was, in my opinion, a difficult kit which requires good eyes and a lot of patience.
A very good effect is also enhanced by two details from the Master set – the antenna base and 37mm gun muzzle.
The Pitot tube and 23mm gun barrels can be made using the smallest injection needles (the 23mm barrels look even better if made from the needle as you can easily see the barrel depth which is just symbolical on the part from Master set) but I don't imagine how the 37mm gun muzzle could be made from scratch on an average modeller workbench. This detail is simply fabulous.
With the variety of users, NMF and camouflages practiced around the word, plenty improvement sets you can build a whole collection of the Fagots with the Eduard kit. “All you need is love and patience, my young Padawan".