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Academy Mig-21 MF Soviet AF & Export

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21; NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “Balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage.

Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters.[citation needed] Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight.

MiG-21MF (1970; Izdeliye 96F; NATO “Fishbed-J”)
M = Modernizirovannyy (“Modernised”)
F = Forsirovannyy (“Uprated [engine]”)
Export version of the MiG-21SM, with RP-22 radar and R13-300 turbojet. The choice of weapons loads was increased with the addition of the R-60 (NATO: AA-8 “Aphid”) and later the R-60M IR-seeking AAM. These were also licence-built in India by HAL as the Type 88.
[Source: Wikipedia]

Hungarian Air Force Mig-21 MF
Hungarian Air Force Mig-21 MF

Academy 1/48 MiG-21MF Soviet Air Force & Export


  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in light gray and clear
  • Accurately detailed panel lines and rivets
  • Precisely engraved cockpit and landing gear
  • Various air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons
  • Cartograf Waterslide decals
  • Illustrated instructions
  • Scale: 1/48
  • MSRP: $29.00
  • Skill level: 4

MARKING OPTIONS: One decal sheet with markings for 5 versions:
1) MiG-21SM Russian Air Force ‘Red 23’, Invation of Czechoslovakia
in 1968
2) MiG-21SM Iraqi Air Force, F-14A ‘Alicat’ Shot down by Gulf War
3) MiG-21 bis Hungarian Air Force ‘Red 1904’, Sky Hussars display
team ‘Capeti’, February 13, 1983
4) MiG-21 bis Indian Air Force ‘C2788’, 24 Sqn “Hunting Hawks”
5) MiG-21MF Egyptian Air Force ‘8676’, IDF/AF Style, 1982

For the third time I have the task of building ones of my favorite airframes and favorite Russian hardware after the T-34/76. This time is the Academy 1/48 Mig-21 MF from Academy kit 12311. As with the other kits, the cockpit is very humble. The good news is that this model kit has been in the market long enough and finding upgrades is not really that difficult and I’d dare to say, that expensive. The provided ejection seat is in my humble opinion not that bad out-of-the-box. But most definitely there’s room for improvement. The ejection seat on this model will be swapped by one in resin from True Details.

The overall fit is outstanding from the big fuselage halves to the smallest air brakes actuators. As it is to be expected, the decal sheet is printed by Cartograf. For a kit this price you get 5 well thought markings on the best quality decals our money can buy. The decal sheet alone could easily command half the price of the entire model kit. My marking selection left pretty much my options open regarding the stencils but the stencils supplies are very comprehensive.

My markings of choice was for the Hungarian Air Force Mig-21 MF. I wanted to depict the aircraft on the picture on the way top of this page. Other samples call for medium gray under carriage and this one is very close to the turquoise cockpit color. For this and the cockpit I used Acryl 1330 Aqua-Marine. After washing the parts with warm water and soap, I coated the parts with Tamiya White Surface Primer. White makes a nice base for yellow and for this I used Tamiya Flat Yellow XF-3. Decals added and sealed, I used Ammo Mig US Modern Vehicles A.MIG 1007. The engine nozzle was painted with Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum and Magnesium.

The real aircraft I’m trying to depict has 3 drop tanks, but the kit only offers 2. I made a silicone mold, poured the resin and problem solved. The kit includes K-13A RADER ATOLL MISSILE (X2) and K-13 ‘ATOLL’ Missile (X2). Rocket Pod UB-32 (X2) and Rocket Pod UB-16 (X2). Last but not least, a Gsh-23L Cannon Pod.


I wouldn’t hesitate to build another Mig-21 model kit in the near future. Some of the old readers know that I’m no big fan of building repeats but when it comes to the Mig-21 and F-16, I just can’t get enough.

The 1/48th scale Mig-21 from Academy is a great model kit at a great price. Yes, I would recommended it to a friend.

My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for the review sample.


George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.