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Russian Air Force MiG-29S 31st GIAP

The Subject
The MiG-29S (or 9-13S) aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force in 1994. This upgraded version of the MiG-29 fighter was equipped with the new SUV-29M4 fire control sysytem connected to the Ts101M digital computer, which improved air-to-air and air-to-ground capability.
The Kit
After the outer box, with the great artwork, is removed Zvezda packeage the model in a tough inner box. Great thinking so you can have your parts separate from the main call out should you want to pick it up and have a closer look. Several pictures of other products are shown along with colors required to complete your model as well as an unpainted built kit on the back side.

Four separate bags hold the main sprues, keeping them protected during shipping while another hold the clear parts. Oddly enough though the decals were not in a bag but the pilot figures were. Zvezda have chosen to make some connection points on the trees very small, thus you may find a few loose parts in some bags. They're definitely forgiven for that being shipping is what it is. Be mindful of the edges on the outer box for they are a bit sharp and with the excitement of pulling it off and getting to the meat of the model you might... eh em slice a layer of skin.

The surface details catch your eye right away. Especially when you had lower expectations. Those evaporated quickly when I saw panel lines and raised parts looking as great as they are.

The number of parts is convenient and was another surprise. Remember, this is a 1/72 and often lacks in detailed components. Not the case. Zvezda tooled this kit as a 1/48 in many ways. From pistons to landing lights, wheel wells to access panels it's all there. The clear parts have a plus and minus. On one hand there is no center seam to polish out and on the other because the plastic is so flexible it took to getting a few scratches. Soft plastic does scratch easily but a cure for that will be in the build. I like soft plastic being a sculptor knowing there is less risk of cracking even with the most careful of practices.

The decals are thin and in good register yet not too bright and toy like. One thing I liked was multiple markings were on the same carrier film. This gives you the choice to lay down one or cut and place each separately to eliminate silvering. Nice touch. Graciously there are 4 options to build up and I had to go with the one which has the most color, being 31-th (31st) GIAP. That leads to the weapons options you have. Please bear in mind Zvezda give you all this stuff in a 1/72! There are multiple rockets and bombs, fuel tanks and a pod or go with nothing at all. You chose how much or how little is needed for your kit.

The diorama options include a seated pilot or standing, POB engine covers with or without, Tire braces and an optional stand (not included) should you wish to have wheels up. The only trouble was to decide what base to make because Zvezda had started the process HA HA.

Now let's get into the instructions. Super easy to follow and not so condensed you need a magnifier to ream them. It's great to have the room to make notes and move from one step to another because you're going to paint and cement parts out of order anyway. The only part of the instructions that was in error were the stencils. Not a huge deal-breaker by no means. You'll see the mistakes quickly and figure out how to correct the flaws. Mind you, I did not put the #72's on the front and another #68 on the canopy frame because it was too big.

All that in mind let's have some fun!
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About the Author

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...