Revell 1/144th MiG 1.44
I get the feeling the engineers at the Mikoyan Design Bureau are Gerry Anderson fans as this thing looks like it's straight out of Captain Scarlet or the Thunderbirds. The MiG 1.44 MFI (Multifunction Fighter) is a technology and airframe/ propulsion concept demonstrator developed in response to US projects that ultimately led to the F-22. It was rolled out for the public on January 12, 1999 (my 34th birthday!) and first flew on February 29, 2000 with Vladimir Gorbunov at the controls. Powered by thrust vectoring Lyulka-Saturn AL-41 engines it has a greater range than the Su-27 and supercruise (supersonic flight without using afterburners) capability. ( AIR Pictorial Aug. 2000; p.509 )
This isn't one of Revell's better efforts I have to say. Fit left a lot to be desired and a lot of filling and sanding was required at the wing roots, vertical stabilisers and canard fairings. There are a few outline errors as well mainly concerning the bottom of the air intake which should be curved when viewed from the front and more angular to the rear between the nose and main wheel wells. It's certainly close enough for me and hats off to Revell for producing this relatively obscure subject anyway.
I didn't originally intend to open the canopy but I felt the kit item was far too thick and I needed an excuse to finally use that Mattel Vacu-former that's been sitting around so I moulded a new one. Three attempts gave me one good windscreen and one good canopy so I cut them apart and glued the canopy in the open position.
My only other modification was to stick some engine fans in that gaping air intake. 1/144th jet engines aren't exactly thick on the ground so I had to improvise a bit. Mine were made from two leftover 1/72nd Hasegawa Tomcat wheels with the hubs made from the little generator fans from a 1/72nd Prowler's ECM pods. It's nowhere near accurate I'm sure but at least it doesn't look like a big empty box now.
Paint is Polly Scale British Sea Grey Medium which looks pretty close to the few pictures I could find on the net of this thing. The bottom is a mix of Polly Scale RLM 76 and Light Gray and the radome and dielectric panels are a Humbrol dark green/ dark gray mix. The tops of the fins look pretty faded and weathered in pictures (which is odd because the aircraft was brand spanking new at the time) so I sanded these lightly to depict that. Exhausts are done in various shades of Testors Metalizer and the data probes on the nose are brush painted with Metalizer Stainless Steel. You're not supposed to be able to brush Metalizer but it actually works quite well as long as you work quickly and apply it in one pass.
I had a moment of temporary insanity when the MiG was nearly finished: I left the door to the modelling haven open while I went downstairs for a bite to eat. At this point my faithful furry friend took the opportunity to have a look out the window over my workbench, apparently unconcerned that the model he was standing on wasn't designed to hold a 15 pound feline. I did my best to fix the broken landing gear legs but they'll just never be quite the same. Lesson learned; never leave the sanctuary unguarded....
For a single seat fighter this is one large airplane. It dwarfs the other 1/144th models in my display case and is longer than my 1/72nd scale Bearcat racer.
Above left & right: Scratchbuilt engine faces and the lower intake half which has been smoothed out with Milliput.
Above left: My first attempt at vac-forming with the trusty Mattel Vacu-former. What a great little machine. Toys were so much cooler in the sixties when people didn't get all uptight about burnt fingers and litigation!
Above right: I wouldn't normally bother detailing a 1/144th scale seat but since the canopy is open I thought I'd add the harness and ejection handle. Frankly, I'm impressed that Revell add any cockpit detail at all in this scale.
  See?? I do use the instructions....  
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