Black Box | MiG-21MF Cockpit Update for the Trumpeter kit
Reviewed by Paul Cotcher
Black Box has finally delivered their first Russian cockpit, a MiG-21MF cockpit update for the BRAND new Trumpeter kit.
What you get in the set are 26 resin parts, cast in the usual tan resin. This set is somewhat unusual, as it's not a preview, but rather a production copy. Even though it's from later in the life of the molds, the parts are completely bubble free, so the quality of the casting on this set seems to be at a higher level than some of their more recent releases.
The set is highlighted by a very nice tub. The tub is molded with the rear bulkhead and one of the sidewalls already in place. Details in the tub are very crisp, and very well represent the cockpit of a MiG-21MF. The complex switch & fuse panels are very well done, something that sets this cockpit above what's in the kit. I'm not crazy about the one sidewall being molded onto the tub, as it makes for a few more painting challenges. At least both aren't molded on, as that makes painting very difficult (that was one of my only complaints about the 1/48 Aires sets).
Completing the tub are the non-attached left sidewall, and the seat rails for the rear of the tub. The separate sidewall features the same detail as it's right-hand counterpart. The seat rails are one part. The casting block must be cut away, and the backing sanded free. The part is setup to allow the seat to slide in and out of the cockpit, and is correct in it's detail, which would allow the modeler to show the cockpit with the seat removed.
I mention keeping the seat out, as the seat in and of itself is a work of art. The seat is made up of twelve parts, almost half the set! The separate parts allow the details of the seat to be better captured, including the snap on covers over the arm restraints, the cutout inside the back of the head rest, independent seat firing handles, and similar. Also because of the multi-part nature of the seat, some of the parts can be displayed in multiple positions, arm rests up or down, and firing handles dangling however you please. Of course just the belt and cushion detail on the main part are amazing, as is the drogue chute pack and cords on the head rest.
The instrument coaming is equally well done. Black Box have chosen to show the coaming without any of the canvas covering that is sometimes seen over the coaming details. Most of the time this was left off after maintenance, as it was cumbersome to re-attach. Of particular note are the separate HUD unit and HUD camera. Details that are VERY prominent in the cockpits of the later MiGs. The instrument panel is also very well done, details are all in the right place, including the proper depth for the lower console. In this scale, I like this sort of detail, even over the photo-negative instruments of Eduard.
Finishing out the set we have the usual compliment of small parts. Stick, throttle box, throttle grip, rudder pedals, etc. I do like that the throttle grip is molded separately, as this will keep it from breaking free while in the package, and doesn't have to be attached until after the cockpit is safely in the fuselage. I'm not crazy about the rudder pedals, but they are good representations of Soviet style pedals, with the two restraints coming up from each side of each pedal.
The only thing I haven't been able to do is compare this to multiple references, as most of mine is off at Black Box to help on this project. About the only book that I do still have lying around was the Verlinden Lock-On, and this compares very accurately to what is contained in that book. My references should be returning soon, and at that point, I'll be able to have a closer look.
This is a superb set, and a definite improvement over the cockpit in the Trumpeter kit (and that's saying something). Get out your Floquil Railroad Colors Jade Green folks, it's time to paint up a MiG cockpit!
Large Scale Planes: We would like to thank Paul for sharing this review from his site Victory Models
© Paul Cotcher
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Sunday, October 02 2016