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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

1951 Air Superiority: 1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15 bis

Released in 2000 this 1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15 was one of the first kits produced in this scale by Trumpeter. Offering improvements in the overall shape with more and better details than previous releases of this aircraft they seemed to be staking a claim here.


1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15

Notable Kit Features:


  • Good overall shape (best yet?)

  • Basic cockpit detail with nice film sandwich provided for main instrument panel

  • Nicely detailed engine included (rear fuselage can be separated for display)

  • Gun pack detail provided (optional open display)

  • Finely recessed panel lines

  • All control surfaces are separate including flaps

  • Optionally open or closed speed brakes

  • Two different types of fuel tanks


1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15

Build Inspiration:


If you have a Korean War era F-86 in your collection, naturally you will want a MiG-15 for it to dogfight with - don't you?


MiG-15 Bis in North Korean markings

Heads-Up Report:


  • With test fitting before gluing I encountered only a few issues

  • Finding a place for the necessary nose weights could get interesting

  • The gun-pack fit and barrel shrouds need some care and probably still a round of filler and sanding

  • Nose splitter intake fit is difficult to get spot on (patience here would have netted me a better fit however I was rushing things)

  • Gear up requires some filler on the main and front gear doors


1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15

Kit Additions / Modifications:


  • Out-of-Box-Build


1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15

Finishing:


The NMF paint finish for this aircraft was another experiment with a silver paint. I was out of practice and unfortunately let this build group get completely out of control with 7 kits eventually ending up in the line-up. This resulted in not enough patience in the paint process. In hindsight, what I should have done is broken up the completed builds into smaller paint NMF finishing sets to do some experimenting with panel tone alteration and spray technique. The paint is a bit heavy on this one and not as smooth as it should be (which is a factor of spraying too thick paint).


1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15

The After-Build Report:


I didn't really have any major fit issues with this 1/48th Trumpeter MiG-15 bis build. I was a bit surprised as I had read a few reviews that stated it had so many fit issues it was practically unbuildable (did they actually build the same kit as me or was I sniffing too much glue to recall any issues? ;) I do notice some modelers just want to hate Trumpeter kits. Admittedly Trumpeter have built some "off" / "way off" kits, however they do have some good ones as well... If you are wondering which kits are good, namely their 1/48th Panther, Wellington, Wyvern (I had a good build experience with these ones - I have a few more waiting in the stash for a verdict, so it is premature to comment on those.)


Competitive kits include the 1/48th Tamiya release in 1995, which is pretty decent but reportedly more off in overall dimensions (and with less detail than Trumpeter) and the later Bronco 2020 Release which reportedly had a bit of a grainy surface and lackluster clear parts (Hobby 2000 boxing uses the Bronco plastic as well).


Completed build #112 - August 2009 using the 1/48th scale Maker #02806 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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