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Trumpeter 1/48 Mig 21F-13

The MiG-21 was the Soviet Union’s first truly modern, second-generation jet fighter. Testing began in 1956, and the first version entered service in 1960 as the MiG-21F-13. Soviet designers developed a unique “tailed delta” configuration with a very thin delta wing, which gave the aircraft maneuverability, high speed, good medium-altitude performance, and adequate takeoff and landing characteristics.

The MiG-21 became the standard Soviet clear-air interceptor. With the addition of radar, more powerful engines, and other modifications, it became a multi-role fighter. More than 6,000 MiG-21s of 12 types were flown by over three dozen nations.

Trumpeter Mig 21-F13 kit 02858

Note from the author
Minutes away from setting this kit under the strobes and studio umbrella, I had an accident involving the cleat canopy. It was cracked under my foot. A replacement is already on its way.

The kit:

This is the 1/48 Trumpeter Mig 21F-13 Fishbed that we did previewed some time ago. Building as usual, starts with the cockpit. With the exception of the ejection seat from True Details, what you see on the pictures is the cockpit provided with the kit.

Unlike the color used for the Academy model cockpit which was a slight mix of Acryl colors, the cockpit color used on this Mig 21 was NYC Jade Green acrylic from Polly S. It was airbrushed with no modifications other than Acryl Thinner. All the switches and knobs on the cockpit walls might not be 100% accurate although some of them are. If you feel tempted to use the Eduard Color Photo etched, you’re more than welcome.

For review purposes other than the seat, which by the way, a picture of the stock vs True Details was shared on our Facebook page, I prefer to use the stock even with the less than perfect knobs and dials.

I have used in the past those color photo etch sets and to my honest opinion, they do lack greatly. Painting knobs, dials and switches renders a miniature cockpit with a tridimentional look and feel whilst the color photo etch is just a stick on. Again, this is a matter of personal choice. Whatever rocks your boat my friends. I bring this up because I’ve seen the use of the stick-on details just to get the cockpit color right. NYC Jade works like a charm.

The rest of the assembly went by without a hitch. Some parts are not properly identified for color so check your references. The wheel wells are comprised of 4 parts each. When cementing them to the fuselage, I would suggest reinforcing them with a bit of CA glue.

The clear parts are very nice with no injection flow marks whatsoever. In fact, they are so nicely clear, that I didn’t bother to deep those in Future gloss coat or Alclad 2 Aqua Gloss 600.

The engine is very basic, no big deal for me. Most of it won’t be visible. The landing gear features 2 rear vinyl tires on the back and 1 styrene on the front. There are few parts to fiddle with, but they are nicely engineered so they will fall in place without problems.

The overall fit of fuselage halves, wing to fuselage and tail wing is outstanding. No major gap filling to worry about on this kit.  The panel lines are very petite and delicate.

Along with the two 490L drop tanks, there are also 4 types of weapons with the proper pylons to attach them to your model.

Should you like to add more detail on this kit, be my guest. Out of the box it will build very nice. My only complaint is the ejection seat that even with the provided photo etched seatbelts, leaves a bit to be desired.

Some of you know that I’m not fond of building multiple variants and/or markings. But there will be either a Cuban version of this Mig 21 or a ‘’Chengdu’’ (Zimbabwe) F-7NI. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this kit again as the canvas for any of these 2 projects.


I highly recommend this kit!

My sincere thanks to Hub Hobby in Richfield, MN for special ordering this model kit for this entry.

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.