Chibi Fishbed

MIG-21 SM/F/BIS & MIG-21 UM

Freedom Model Kits, Compact Series, Ref. 162715

It was only a matter of time before the world’s best-selling jet fighter was given the ‘egg‘ treatment. The surprise was that it came from still little-known manufacturer Freedom Model Kits (FMK), rather than for instance Hasegawa or even Zvezda…

The reviewed item is being sold as a ‘Limited Edition‘, containing both a single seater (SM/F/BIS) and a two-seater (UM). The two kits should become available separately at some stage, as indicated by the different codes shown on the instruction leaflets (Ref. 162041 / CS41 & 162042 / CS42).

The box thus contains a number of sprues that are duplicated in order to offer the two complete kits, but the provision of only one single-seat canopy and one two-seater canopy makes it impossible to build two complete single or two-seaters from a single box.

Moulding and details are very good for what is after all only a caricature, but some will want to add some extras into the cockpit tubs as the seats and side consoles are a little poor. Decald are offered for the main instrument panels. Seated pilots (caricatures of!) can be added if wanted to furnish a little more the cockpits.

Two types of nose cones, fins and dorsal bumps are included since they are different on the single and two-seaters. Fuel tanks, missiles and rocket pods, all suitably caricaturised, can be hung under the fuselage and wings.

The decals are the weak point of the kit, slightly out of register on the kit we purchased, but if a Soviet Fishbed (or Mongol) is what you are after, it’s not very hard to find red stars and aircraft numbers somewhere else. The provided decals are rather thick too.

The marking options are for four different Soviet Fishbeds and three Soviet Mongols. No doubt detailed resin cockpits, conversion sets and alternative decals will appear on the market soon.

Those ‘Eggs‘ or ‘Chibis’ may not be to everyone’s taste, but they are on the rise, no doubt as a ‘conterbalance‘ against the over-complicated kits and ever-more-challenging techniques promoted by magazines and manufacturers. If you are stuck with one of those projects, you could do a lot worse than giving those Chibis a go, if only to blow some steam off. FMK have so far released a number of those caricaturised aircraft kits, a growing collection that can be added to that of a number of other manufacturers, plus a growing range of add-ons, accessories, figures, detail & conversion kits and decals. Give it a go.

Review and pictures by Domi Jadoul

http://www.freedommks.com

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