MiG-15 Cockpit and Accessory Sets
Reviewed by Brett Green
Modelling subjects are close to saturation point in 1/72 and 1/48. It is therefore logical to assume that we will start to see more activity in 1/32 scale. Some new releases have been seen over the last few years, with Revell being the most visible via their Phantom, Tornado and Hunter releases, closely followed by Tamiya's spectacular F-4s and F-15.
The new Chinese brand of Trumpeter has also made a number of 1/32 scale contributions during 2000. Although some of their kits have been less than lauded, their MiG-15 kit seems to be a pretty sound representation of this famous 1950's fighter. With careful assembly and the enhancement of a few key areas, the big MiG-15 will be a compelling and interesting model.
These improvements will be very straightforward using Cutting Edge's new 1/32 scale releases for the Trumpeter MiG-15.
CEC32048 MiG-15 Cockpit Super Detailing Set
This should be more accurately called "Cockpit Replacement Set", as none of the original kit parts are used in this highly visible area.
The cockpit set comprises 19 parts in grey resin, and one clear acetate sheet with printed instruments. Three shades of grey are used, ranging from pale grey through to an almost black shade for the gunsight, control column and instrument backing panel. Stout casting blocks are attached to the bottom of the ejection seat and cockpit tub. Extreme care will be required when removing the attachment points from the seat - the resin of the seat pan is already so thin as to be almost translucent. It will probably be advisable to finish cleanup with a coarse sanding stick rather than the more conventional razor saw.
The cockpit tub is moulded as one large piece. This is a very substantial and clever piece of casting. Side switch panels, plumbing, throttles and floor details are cast in place. The ejection seat is supplied in four pieces - the seat rails and headrest are separate parts. The padded backrest and harness are moulded in place. The texture of the harness is particularly nice. The whole thing should look wonderful after painting and careful shading.
This large scale has permitted CE to further enhance their versatile method of presenting the instrument panel. A blank resin plate forms the backing for two wafer-thin instrument panels. The option of sanding away the resin instruments and using acetate replacements is made even more realistic thanks to this method. The same option is available for the starboard auxiliary instrument panel.
Cutting Edge even supply a replacement turtledeck. This will require the equivalent area of the kit fuselage, behind the cockpit, to be carefully cut away. As always, measure twice and cut once!
Small details (although not so small in this scale) such as the control stick and gunsight, are very well rendered.
Instructions are relatively simple, reflecting the minimal amount of modifications required. The combination of text and scrap drawings is very effective.
CEC32052 MiG-15 Intake Splitter
CEC32036 MiG-15/MiG-15bis/F-2/J-2 Wheels
CE's replacement resin wheels are another simple but effective way to enhance your Trumpeter MiG-15.
Main wheels and nose wheel are supplied. Detail is crisp, and radial tread is depicted on all tyres. The tyres are bulged and flattened very slightly - much more realistic than some of the deflated efforts seen in recent times.
You will have to drill you own mounting holes, so measure the diameter of the axle to ensure a snug fit.
CEC32053 MiG-15/MiG-17 Ejection Seat Without Seatbelts
I am not quite sure why you would not want harnesses on your MiG-15 ejection seat, but CE give you the option with this accessory.
Interestingly, the engineering is different to the harness-equipped version in the cockpit set. The seat rails are moulded as part of the seat for this option. Detail is as good as the other version.
This seat has the same casting attachment points on this seat as to the harness-equipped version, so the same caution will be required.
This will be an inexpensive alternative to the full cockpit for the Trumpeter MiGs.
32054 Soviet ASP-3N/PBP-1B Gunsight
Another option for modellers who do not want to buy the full cockpit. This is a single-piece replacement for the kit part, and is vastly more detailed.
Adding the Cutting Edge Cockpit, Splitter and Wheels will deliver a highly detailed model from Trumpter's MiG-15. The seat and gunsight will be a more economical option for improving some critical areas of this big kit.
Highly recommended to anyone contemplating Trumpeter's MiG-15.
Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample
Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin accessories are available at Meteor Productions Website
Review and Image Copyright © 2000 by Brett