, MiG-31 Title

Model Details

Kit:
ICM MiG-31 Foxhound, 1/72nd scale.

Detailing Items:
"Out Of Box".

Paint:
Xtracrylix, Xtracolor, Mr Hobby, Tamiya and Revell paints.

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MiG-31 Foxhound
There are not many kits available of this aircraft in 1/72nd scale, in fact, I think only two manufacturers make the MiG-31 in a 1/72nd scale kit of which ICM is one of them. My initial thoughts on this kit were not too good. The instruction sheets were very basic and just showing the main construction, but not that clearly on how some of the assembly is done. As I did further examination of the kit, it became clear that the instructions did not match up with the kit parts in the box and the decals supplied in the box only matched the box art, not the two options in the instruction sheet. So at this point I knew this project was not going to be that straight forward.
I started with the cockpit, which consisted of no moulded detail and the decals in the instructions did not come on the decal sheet. So the interior was painted Russian interior Blue/Green and Black panels, but these would not really be seen throught the canopy windows.
The cockpit interior had the front undercarriage bay fitted to the underneath of the floor, then these were glued to upper and lower cockpit fuselage sections. The main fuselage is made up from four parts, the upper, lower and two side sections which need the rear undercarriage bays assembled then glued into position when building this section. Gaps were already showing at this stage and when the cockpit section was added, it was apparent that plenty of filler would been needed on the MiG. Parts were just not matching up to the next, this continued with the main wings what needed some sanding done along the fuselage joints to make it fit better. Weight was added to the nose in advance as I knew this would be tailheavy, but after some testing, it turned out this was not enough.
Construction continued and to combat the tailheavyness, I added weight to two of the main undercarriage wheels and the nose ends of the external drop tanks. After the main construction was finished and all the gap filling completed, the four canopy sections were masked and glued into position then painted with the interior colour. The Foxhound received some primmer, had any problem sorted and more primer. The overall colour is Grey from the Xtracrylix range, so the fuselage, drop tanks and undercarriage doors were given a couple of coats followed by some Johsons Klear prior to the decals being added followed by more Johnsons.The undercarriage bays, gear and inner surfaces of the doors were painted with Aluminium, but the gear assembly is delicate and the main gear does not fit into the location points in the bays. So modification was needed to fit them into the bays, yet the front gear fitted okay but this was even more fragile then the rear gear. The weight wheels I made were glued to the front locations on the undercarriage and the non-weighted to the rear. With the external tanks mounted on the wings, this fully countered the tailheavy fuselage allowing the MiG to sit level. Panel lines were enhanced using a Black wash and the model was finished with a dirt wash blown through an airbrush.
This kit does need a lot of work done to it, to end up with a reasonable model at the end. With the added problems of the instructions, parts and decals not matching, you think to yourself "Why did I buy this kit?". But work at it and the model is not too bad in the end, though this is not for a beginner. So we all live in hope that one of the big kit manufacturers will one day produce a decent kit of the MiG-31 Foxhound in this scale.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax