Academy 1/72 MiG 27



When the Iron Wall came down and we went aircraft spotting in the GDR, the Soviet / Russian MiG 27s at Finsterwalde and Mirow-Lärz made an impression. I bought the cheap Academy knock-off of the Hasegawa MiG-27 to build one. I noted in my build report that the former was 7.95 guilders in 1990 (~3.50 euros without inflation correction), the latter 17.95 guilders. I knew the nose was wrong, and using the information that slowly became available, I started the required modifications to the kit. In 1996 Italeri announced a new model, and construction was halted, and never resumed. 25 years later I came across the remains, and decided to document my building techniques in that era. It has many parallels with my abandoned Italeri 1/72 Su-24MR.


Construction

Work started with building a basic cockpit tub plus nose wheel well from thin plastic card. The nose wheel well included a larger cavity for the nose wheels, that the kit itself lacked.
Working from drawings and my own photos, I made a substantial change in the nose shape. Using slow-dying solvent putty, a rough new shape was built up. Work also started on the canopy, that was bulbous whereas it should be (near) straight. The windshield was replaced by one from the Airfix Mirage F1.

Very absent on the model are the heavy armor plates on the sides of the cockpit. They are easy to add though.
Here's a comparison of the two noses. In its rough shape, the modified front fuselage is 7 mm longer, and the included angle is 13 degrees. I also filed the back side a bit in order to rotate the whole nose section down by maybe half a degree.
The fuselage halves were glued together, and Faller plastic glue was used to fill the panel lines. The engraved panel lines were one of the reasons for buying this model, but they turned out to be incorrect. Work was also started on making new shapes for the four speedbrakes. I clamped the wing pivot while the glue joint dried, to create a tight fit for the swing wings.
I wanted to be able add the no-longer-swinging wings at the very last moment, therefore slots were cut in the wing roots so they could be slid over the pivot. I made stops inside the fuselage to fix the wing sweep at 16 degrees (measured at the leading edge), but it turned out later that this number was incorrect. Due to the extended chord leading edge, added during development, 2.66 degrees should be added to the figure of 16 degrees. I also cut off the leading and trailing edge flaps, since I wanted to deflect them. I also built in the correct 4 degree anhedral of the wings.
During an open house at Finow, I was able to study a MiG-27 up-close. I remember being impressed by the wide tires, with canvas showing through :-) I cut one wheel/tire in two and installed a 1.5 mm spacer. The tire is now almost 5 mm wide.

The model has several other problems, that I had yet to tackle. In 2021, I built the similarly aged Hasegawa 1/72 MiG-23MF, and corrected most of these errors. A report will be published soon.



Construction stopped

The construction of this model was stopped in 1996. The promised Italeri MiG-27 came out in 1998, and it was a rebox of the Zvezda kit from a year earlier. I was slightly disappointed by the similar Italeri / Zvezda MiG-23, so I never bought the newer model. In 2013, ART Model came out with the next generation of 1/72 MiG-27 models, and I think these are the benchmark now. I resisted buying one so far, as part of stash growth control measures.





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