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Academy 1/48 Mig 21-PF

Here we add the 1/48 Academy MIG 21PF to our finished models section. A simple and affordable, yet a fair representation of this Soviet era aircraft.

History: 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.

Some 50 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants).

Academy 1/48 Mig 21-PF

This is the Academy 1/48 which in my opinion falls in second place after the new Eduard Profi-Pack Mig 21 MF currently in our stash. The Academy kit features a very sparse cockpit with what I’d call made-up knobs and dials.

The ejection seat is not that bad compared to the rest of the cockpit. The whole cockpit was going to be dressed with after market parts from True Details. Unfortunately the eBay seller from which we did placed our order, never delivered.

The cockpit color on the Mig 21 is a bit of a challenge, with so many variables on the reference pictures on the web, I did originally used Vallejo Acrylic Esmeralda. This was a very strong color, so I did airbrushed a coat of Testors Acryl  Aqua 1330. Note that this color is not available in the regular round jars, but the old school Testor square bottles.

At first glance the color might look a bit light; but if you’re planning on giving a wash to your cockpit, this might deepen to a turquoise color (see pictures below).The rest of the model kit went very smooth with no mayor fit problems. Although the kit comes with various under wing weapons included and identified and 2 drop tanks, there is no clear way to know how the this weapons are loaded.

A quick search on the web for pictures of the Mig 21, didn’t show one of these fighters fully loaded making use of all available pylons. The included decals went on without any problems to report and conformed very well to surface details without the help of any decals solutions.

Speaking of surface detail, this kit has a very nice and consistent surface detail. It held up very nice to 4 coats of Tamiya and Model Master paint colors for the color scheme. 2 coats of Acryl Clear Gloss were added for the decals leaving room for the pigments of a Burnt Sienna wash to run thru those details.

The model was sealed with Acryl Flat Clear. The exhaust area was aibrused with Alclad 2 aluminum and dark aluminum. Heat areas were highlighted with Tamiya Weathering Master set D.

This Mig 21 PF Fishbed was meant to have an improved cockpit from True Details but couldn’t happen. Other than that, is literally and OOB build. Painted with an AZTEK A470 Airbrush. For a suggested retail price of $25 in the USA, this Academy kit is highly recommended.

Colors used to piant the Mig-21 Fishbed:

  • Tamiya  Flat Earth XF-52
  • Tamiya Red Brown XF-64
  • Tamiya Desert Yellow XF-59
  • Tamiya Dark Yellow XF-60
  • Tamiya Sky Gray XF-19 for the underside
  • Tamiya Dark Green 2 XF-70
  • Model Master Acryl Dark Ghost Gray FS36320 for wheel wells and landing gear

If you have questions or comments about the Academy MIG 21 PF Fishbed D, please feel free to leave them below.

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.
  • Model Fan

    What paint did you use and how did you use it? Your kit is perfect :). I’m still a beginner and need your help, I’m planning to get this kit, but unfortunately it’s out of stock in all the markets accessible. 🙁

    • George

      Hello Model Fan! Glad you liked the fishbed Mig 21. I have updated the page with the colors I used. Metal finishes were made with Alclad2 Duraluminum and Burnt Iron. The model was washed with Burnt Sienna artist oils. Hope this helps and thanks for visiting.