1/72 scale kits of the MiG-17 (NATO "fresco")
/ modelling report
... continued from page 3...
End 2019 Airfix came with their first MiG-17 kit in 1/72. It fits in their series of more recent kits like their MiG-15. Kit #A03091 is for a MiG-17F "Fresco C". It has the later style bigger air brakes and engine with afterburner tail section. Size and shapes look OK although there are some issues.
See page 1 for more details with some issues.
A few Airfix MiG-17 models were made in a similar way as described below.
I did not bother about issue (b) that the wing airfoil cross section from mid chord to wing rear trailing edge is flat, not curved; there is not a lot that can be done about it and is hardly noticeable.
Several kits will be made for the World Air Force collection in plastic.
Assembly can be done first as per Airfix kit instructions. Do not forget to add nose weight! Otherwise you get a tail sitter for which Airfix oddly provides an oil tank to set below the tail!
- the airbrakes can be set open or closed;
- some different tanks can be fitted as per kit, open the holes in the lower wing panels as required; some extra stores are also in the kit like rockets and unguided rocket pods.
Some sanding and putty is needed at the nose intake ring. After main assembly, corrections can be done:
Issue (a) is about the wing leading edge kink from root to mid wing; that is a bit too small, about 1 degree. A piece of rod of 0,5 mm thick at the root towards "0" at the kink is glued to the leading edge between the kink and fuselage.
Putty was added on the rod and into the ridges. After drying, the leading edges were sanded for the extra obtained inboard chord sweep of 1 degree.
And the corrected inboard wing leading edge sweep...
The ailerons were also corrected (issue c). Their edges were enscribed deeper as well.
These are the corrections:
- sometimes a small blade antenna is fitted on a particular MiG-17 on the fuselage spine, so check photos; (I did not see any MiG-17 with a long antenna wire like on the MiG-15);
- sometimes a range finder is fitted in the forward fuselage; this is recognizable by a slightly raised panel in front of the wind screen;
- when setting the gear "up" / retracted, cut off the small moulded rod / indicator on top of each wing halve;
- the wheel hubs are often aluminium/ metal but also sometimes painted green on MiG-17;
- gear bay interiors are mostly also aluminium or the same as the lower airframe colour such as light grey; suggesting a few hydraulics with thin metal wire was also done on gear leg and inside bays.
- at the lower nose guns, the barrels were made from metal rod;
- Airfix provides 2 types of rear canopies: with or without rear view mirror fairing; most MiG-17's have the mirror option.
Cockpit interior colours are mainly medium grey. The seat has often black cushion/ parachute pack and black head rest; seat straps usually olive and/or medium brown. Red details are seen on the seat.
As noted earlier, the ejection seat in the kit has some brackets near the head rest I could not identify (* is it for the Shenyang J-5?). For a Soviet manufactured aircraft I suggest to cut off these brackets.
Even better, I used a resin KK-2 seat from TEMP Models set 72010 web ordered directly in Russia. These are very nice resin seats, that will be installed in each model as most MiG-17's used this type of seat (which differed from the earlier MiG-15 KK-1 seat).
The cockpit instrument panel was painted mid grey with black instrument faces and very dark grey with black boxes on the sides. The areas below the rear canopy are also mid grey colour and below the windscreen the gun sight and so on anti glare black with a small visor.
The first Airfix MiG-17 was made as an aircraft of the Uganda army air force after the corrections were done as noted above.
Further kit assembly is simple, but it is essential to add a lot of nose weight to avoid tail sitting. Led was used for that. A pair of underwing fuel tanks as per kit were also set in place after drilling open their fitment holes from the inside of the wing halves.
The landing gear and smaller parts as per kit were set after the model got the colours. They look good. But prior to that, a base grey coat was airbrushed using Revell Aqua 75 steingrau.
A bit of history about this Ugandan MiG:
In 1971 Idi Amin took over power in Uganda. June 27, 1976 an Air France A300 airliner was hijacked after taking off from Tel Aviv on the route to Paris. The hijackers wanted in exchange for the hostages Palestinian PLO members in Israel. The Ugandan ruler Idi Amin allowed the aircraft to land at Uganda's Entebbe airport and supported the hijackers. A very secret mission was after a week planning carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976 to free the hostages aboard. Most hostages were rescued and all the hijackers and guarding Ugandan soldiers were killed. At the operation, some MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed to disable any pursuit. The MiG-17F with "bort no." U602 was present at Entebbe airport.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Uganda army air force got technical support from Israel. After the USSR supplied the MiG-17F to Uganda, it is very likely that Israeli camouflage colours were set during overhauls. This was confirmed after studying various references.
For this MiG, the lower surfaces appear to be light grey for which Gunze Sangyo 325 approx FS36440 was used. For the upper camouflage of slate grey Gunze H56 "intermediate blue" was used and for the brown Gunze 310 FS30219. These paints were loosely airbrushed with soft demarcations.
The Uganda markings came from Berna set 72-69. These have a slightly different Uganda army air force roundel. After a gloss varnish coat (using Johnson Pledge) the decals could be added.
After decalling, the model was completed with gears, pitot tubes (or replace with metal needles) as per kit etc. The model got aluminium painted wheel hubs.
A final mat varnish was airbrushed to get an even sheen and to protect the decals using my usual varnish of Johnson Pledge "floor coat" acrylic with some 20% IPA thinner and 5% Tamiya Flat Base X-21. For better flowing of this varnish mix, a few drops of "Glycerine" fluid were added. (more info on these on the workshop page here...)
The final installment was the nice tiny KK-2 resin seat from TEMP Models. A little sanding was needed on the resin seat lower base in order to fit in the cockpit tub. (see note above about the kit seat...).
For added detail, inside the excellent Airfix sliding canopy (with the rear view mirror fairing on top), a small frame was added inside at the rear as in the real MiG-17.
The canopy when slided open had a small gap at the rear between canopy and spine.
flag roundel from 1964 from 1971
For more information about the Uganda air force, look at the L-29 page here...
MiG-17F Uganda army air force, Entebbe 1976
the extra inboard leading edge 1 degree sweep may be seen.
at Entebbe airport, Uganda...
|The next Airfix MiG-17 was made as a model of the Angola air force after the corrections were done as noted above. |
The camouflage colours were difficult to establish. After studying references and scarce photos, I settled for these:
- lower surfaces: a mix of light grey with aluminium using 50% Revell Aqua 371 hellgrau and 50% Aqua 99 aluminium.
- stone upper areas using Revell Aqua 16 sand (*about FS 33613);
- dark brown/ red earth Revell Aqua 84 lederbraun (leather brown).
After a gloss varnish coat (using Johnson Pledge) the decals could be added.
The book "Soviet and Russian military aircraft in Africa" (see references on page 1) shows a colour photo on page 44 of MiG-17F bort no "C24". It appears to be operational still in 1980.
The roundels came from Berna set 72-68 which have markings for a Angola MiG-17F.
The bort no. "C24" looking better in styling came from HighDecal Line set 72-035.
The Angolan flag on the tail was different with a yellow star, I got the correct flag from PrintScale set 72008.
The model was completed with the landing gear and again a nice TEMP Models KK-2 resin seat. All canopy frames were hand painted.
A final mat varnish was airbrushed to get an even sheen and to protect the decals as described earlier above. Mask off the canopy and wind screen when adding this. That completed this nice model.
The first Soviet fighter in Angola was the MiG-17F "Fresco F" with some 10 aircraft supplied (from an unknown origin).
For more information about the Angola air force "Forca Aerea Popular de Angola" (FAPA), look at the MiG-23 page here...
|The third Airfix MiG-17 was made as a model of the Mongolia air force after the kit corrections were done as noted above.|
In addition it was decided on this model to droop down the trailing edge flaps. Note that these do not extend all the way to the rear wing trailing edge. The flap sides were sawed in and the flap section bended.
Inside some details were suggested with a small drill and scriber.
The paint scheme is overal "natural metal alodine". For this, ALCLAD II ALC-101 aluminium was airbrushed over a gloss black undercoat.
On real MiG-17's, some different shades of panels are seen. This can be simply accomplished with the trick described on page 3.
Do not forget the various smaller parts like gear doors.
The old style "Soyombo" national markings of Mongolia on the tail and the "red stars" on the wing came from High Decal Line set 72008. Note that the bort no. 003 in the decal set looks to be for an early MiG-17! But, using another number such as bort no. 248 or 616 or 937 are OK for a MiG-17F. I composed "616" RED with decal numbers found in the decal spare box.
For the remainder, the model was completed as per kit but with a nice TEMP KK-2 resin seat and as noted drooped flaps.
Mongolia got as first jets MiG-15's, but from 1969 also some MiG-17 "sans suffice" but also a few MiG-17F. These flew until 1979 and meanwhile MiG-21 were acquired from the USSR.
For more information about the Mongolia air force, look at the MiG-15 page here....
MiG-17F , Mongolia, with old style "Soyombo" markings
... and in a setting....
Another few MiG-17 models will be made in the future.
Back to 1/72 Models.......
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Created this page
October 5, 2020