by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Platz have continued their collaboration with Eduard on their re-worked version of the latter’s 1:72 MiG-15UTI by releasing a quartet of upgrade sets for the kit. These will obviously be just as suitable for Eduard’s own simplified “Weekend” edition.
M72-39 - MiG-15UTI InteriorThis etched set arrives on a single steel fret and features Eduard’s excellent pre-coloured parts. There are 59 parts, including a couple of spares for the tiniest items in case the carpet monster strikes. The level of detail on the pre-coloured parts really is phenomenal, especially in this small scale, and I doubt if many (if any) of us could better it by hand-painting.
Things kick off with two sets of harnesses for the ejection seats, before replacing the instrument panels with classic multi-layer etched “sandwiches” that will simply need a drop of clear varnish in the bezels to look just the ticket. There’s no surgery required for the original styrene parts - the kit comes complete with a blank panel ready for an etched fascia.
There’s no surgery needed for the cockpit sidewalls either, but some of the items are pretty small, and a few must be folded to shape, so this still won’t be a job for anyone who’s impatient or ham fisted.
There are rudder pedals with straps to add to the cockpit floor (again these need carefully shaping), while a canopy seal is provided for the windscreen (oddly, not for the other sections of the canopy).
Overall, this set should look excellent. The original kit’s cockpit is already very decent, but these extras will take it to the next level in detailing.
M72-40 - MiG-15UTI ExteriorThe 35-part exterior set actually begins with frames for the gunsight, which I would have thought belonged on M72-39, but things soon enter more familiar territory with a number of etched brass upgrades for the landing gear, including new doors, brakelines, hinges and pipework for the mainwheel well.
There are several antennae to add, while diorama builders will welcome the intake and exhaust covers and the neat set of wheel chocks.
This set does entail doing a little minor surgery, but it should be well within the capabilities of modellers with a bit of experience. Where I would advise a little caution is that some of the parts are very delicate and need folding. For instance, the framework for the undercarriage covers and wheel chocks is like gossamer in this scale.
M72-41 - MiG-15UTI Landing FlapsThe final etched set is best suited for more advanced modellers and provides dropped landing flaps. While it’s certainly not the most complex etched flaps set I’ve seen (there are only 18 parts), the components require careful shaping and you will have to do some precise surgery to the wings to fit them. Basically, there’ll be no turning back once you’ve started, so you do need to be confident that you can make the necessary modifications without ruining the kit. That said, the results should look spectacularly good if you have got the skill to install the flaps safely.
The diagrams provided are quite clear - the crucial one being a cross-section view that shows how everything needs needs to tally together.
MS72-3 - MiG-15UTI Painting MasksRounding things off on a much simpler note comes a handy set of 16 die-cut kabuki tape painting masks for the canopy, the internal windscreen between the instructor and pupil, and clear covers. The canopy masks follow the outlines of the frames, so you’ll need to fill the centres with a drop of masking fluid. Produced by Eduard for an Eduard kit, the fit should be guaranteed and, if you’re careful, you should be able to save the masks to use again on another build.
InstructionsThe instruction sheets are very much in Eduard’s classic style, with colour-shaded diagrams to show where new parts are attached, or surgery is required to the kit. Platz have produced the sets aimed primarily at their own domestic market, so the text is almost entirely in Japanese. Don’t worry, though; even if you can’t read it, the diagrams are clear enough to follow without difficulty. Also, because they follow the standard Eduard format, a quick glance at any Eduard sheet will help translate any generic points you may be stuck on.
ConclusionThe four sets are a useful accompaniment for Platz’s MiG-15UTI. While I’d recommend the interior and exterior etched sets to most modellers as good “starters” if you’re new to working with etched upgrades, with the landing flaps I’d have have to warn that if you’re in any doubt, err on the safe side and beware.
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