MiG-1 Plus 2: 1/48th ICM MiG-3
Released in 1999 (after the Classic Airframes kit in 1995 and prior to Trumpeter's 2007 release) this ICM kit was a welcome addition to model makers looking for VVS subjects. The surface detail on the ICM MiG-3 is nicely done, with both raised and recessed features as applicable. Extras include a decent separate engine as well as a bonus sprue with figures, barrels, mechanic's table and ladder. This same plastic was also released by Alanger and Ark Models with minor differences.
Notable Kit Features:
Fine panel lines and surface details
Separate engine provided
Wing control surfaces and leading edge slats are separate parts
Separate rudder (but not horizontal stabilizers)
Includes sprue with 5 figures, barrels, mechanic's table and ladder
Nice open end intakes
To me the MiG-3 is a very sleek looking aircraft (almost ignored by kit makers at the time I bought this kit in 2004). I picked one of these ICM kits up as soon as I came across it at my local hobby shop. I built the kit using the provided decals of VVS Ace, Major Nikolay Krasnov.
Kit parts had oily (mould release) agent (including canopy parts)
Cockpit instrument panel is provided by decal only (No raised detail)
Dry fitting of parts highly recommended (they will go together quite nicely, with some patience and minor clean-up)
Care needs to be exercised removing smaller parts from sprues
Fitting engine requires work (and it won't be seen, unless you attempt a DIY project to cut open some engine panels)
Radiator on the bottom of the fuselage lacks inner detail
The wing needs to be assembled using thirteen separate parts (It is a complex shape with several intakes)
Horizontal stabilizers control surfaces lack definition of separate parts (easily remedied with a few passes of a scriber - which I should have done ;)
Canopy parts are somewhat thick for the scale and not very clear
Kit Decals are troublesome (a bit translucent and brittle)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Added seatbelts to cockpit
Scratch built lower radiator
Decals were a problem so I ended up painting on the Red Stars (Suggest replacement decals are in order)
VVS paint colours are still somewhat open to debate, or they certainly were at the time I built this kit. The paint scheme for this aircraft was (translated to) FS30260 (Sand) FS34258 (Green) / FS35550 (Blue). I ended up painting the Red Star National markings on after the decals gave me a lot of trouble. Minimal weathering was utilized as the surface panel lines were pretty shallow and didn't hold the wash well. Exhaust staining was lightly brushed on using dry tempera paint.
The After-Build Report:
The ICM kit builds up into a nice looking aircraft with some effort and because of its typical low cost, I will still recommend this kit if you want a MiG-3. Having said that, from what I seen (but have yet to construct) the newer Trumpeter kit has a better cockpit, more refined details and appears to be an easier build. The Trumpeter kit also comes in "Early" and Late versions, is pretty reasonable cost-wise and is probably easier to locate. (When I get around to that kit in the stash I will let you know.) Either way you'll get yourself a long-nose MiG.
Completed build #88 - February 2006 using the 1/48th scale ICM #48052 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 suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers