by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Mig 25 has its birth dating back to the early 1960ís when a Mach 3 plus fighter was requested to tackle high speed nuclear bombers and spy aircraft. The first flight appears to have taken place in 1963 and did have a top speed of Mach 3.2, but it was discovered that flying at that speed resulted in the engines very quickly destroying themselves due to stresses; the result of this was that the aircraft flew at a slower but still very respectable speed of 2.8 and a climb rate that gave it a slew of World Records. Unfortunately for the Soviets the day of supersonic bombers never came and the missile took centre stage.
The Mig 25 with its high speed but poor manoeuvrability was an ideal interceptor for a threat that never came and so the soviets had in excess of 1000 aircraft with no purpose. Never let it be said that the Soviets were wasteful as the Mig 25. So you have an aircraft that is fast only being beaten by the SR 71 with the ability to climb fast and loiter on the edge of space, what to do? The Soviets put them to use a fast bomber, reconnaissance and even strike variants. Most Mig 25ís ended their lives at the end of the Cold War, but there are still a few flying.
The model is packaged inside a substantial cardboard tray with a flip top lid, and that has a card lid with all of the artwork and model information. ICM are one of the few companies where I feel I can reasonably post one of their products without further protection. Inside the box is a single re-sealable plastic bag containing the sprues; this is not ideal due to possible damage, but at least the clear sprue is packaged inside another bag before being packed with the rest of the model. My concern with the single bag approach is the risk of parts becoming distorted or twisted which can be a real pain when itís a fuselage that is affected. This offering from ICM appears to be undamaged in any way.
As you would expect this 1/72nd scale release of the Mig 25 RBF is a scaled down version of the bigger 1/48th scale kit available from ICM, but do not let that bother you as it is well moulded from what I can see and offers nice detail. An examination of the sprues reveals nothing of concern to me at this time being free of any issues beyond clean up after removal from the sprue. There are a few flow lines visible but they do not seem to have caused any imperfections in the finish.
The cockpit is surprisingly well detailed and I believe this is thanks to it being a scaled down model. The tub of the cockpit has separate sides with good instrument detail present. The main instrument panel has a number of dials replicated there, a decal with the needed detail is provided but for unknown reasons is not shown as used. The ejector seat is a very nice part being made up of five parts, two for the seat and three for the backrest; really nice detail for a model of this scale.
The undercarriage and wheel recesses are another area where ICM has excelled as regards detail. The front wheel well has a base that the leg is attached to and due to being moulded separately to the sides it has allowed a very nice level of detail to be moulded on all faces. My only complaint is the join at the front centre of the bay after the sides are added which will be difficult to fill if a joint seam is present. The main wheel wells are stunning for this scale and while the pipes and cables are missing the textured surfaces make the area pop. The main difference between this model and its bigger brothers are the legs which are no longer in separate halves, but that has not stopped each main strut being made up of 9 parts. This is a stunning area of the model for the scale.
The jet intakes have been tackled well having a nice amount tube length and so providing a good depiction of depth where the air enters the engines. The deflectors in the intakes have some nice detail on the deflectors and the splitter is a nice inclusion for a part that is not easily seen on the finished model. The jet exhausts are far with reasonable detail where needed and a reasonable depth, but some improvement via photo etch would be nice at the exhaust end of the engine.
The fuselage of the model is very difficult to assess due to how many panels are needed to go together around two robust internal bulkheads. I have not heard any complaints about the bigger brothers of this model and so I see no reason why this offering should be any different as regards it fitting together well. With that said I will have a go at getting the parts together after taking the photographs of the parts on the sprue. The flight surfaces have a nice level of finesse and the panel lines are all finely engraved. The flight control parts are all separate and so can be set as the modeller desires.
There are no external weapons provided with the model, but there is a huge external centre line fuel tank. I have a concern that this might be a tail sitter and so while not stated in the instructions I would add some weight in the nose as an insurance against it sitting with its nose in the air.
A stunning aspect of this model are the decals which are included; I cannot remember ever having seen this many decals for a 1/72nd scale model. I have taken a look at them under high magnification and the level of detail is absolutely stunning. ICM has provided tree finishing options for this model which are as follows:
Mig 25 RBF, 47th GRAP, Shatalova AB, August 2001
Mig 25 RBF, 931st OGRAP, Werneuchen AB, Germany, 1991
Mig 25 RBF, 47th GRAP, Shatalova AB, 2001
This is a truly stunning 1/72nd aircraft model that I defy anyone to pick fault with, at least until I try putting it together that is. The detail is of a very high order with nice recessed panel lines and finishing options. The cockpit is very nice in all regards and only really needs some harness detail added to finish it.