Eduard’s 1:72 MiG-15bis ProfiPACK contains 91 parts on three sprues, nine parts on a single new clear sprue, 28 photoetched parts on one fret (most of them are pre-painted), and a masking set. The instructions play out over 11 pages, and markings for five MiG-15bis aircraft are provided:
- MiG-15bis flown by MAJ Mikhail Mikhim, 518th IAP, North Korea, May 1953
- MiG-15bis s/n 613234 flown by KPT Oldrich Paldus, 15. slp. Czechoslovak Air Force, Cottbus Airfield, East Germany, August 30th, 1957
- MiG-15bis s/n 0320138, 1st Sqn, 101st Reconnaissance Regiment, Szolnok, Hungary, 1972
- MiG-15bis, No. 20 Squadron, Egypt, late 1950s/early 1960s
- MiG-15bis s/n 1315376, ex-64th IAK, Soviet Union, mid-1950s.
Strengths: This kit is based on Eduard’s new-tool kit from 2013, which has been repackaged in some form or another about 20 times to date. It’s a very popular kit in 1:72 scale, and that has a lot too do with the fact that it’s the best MiG-15 kit in 1:72 scale on the market. The kit itself is relatively simple. I find it to be accurate. There are not a lot of parts and the fit is quite good. The surface detail, consisting of very delicate and fine panel lines and rivet/fastener detail is, in a word, beautiful.
Other features that are really high points here include the single-piece intake cowl, the separate wheel hubs and tires, and really straightforward landing gear assemblies. The approach to doing the left and right intake troughs as part of the cockpit sidewalls is a neat touch as well. Decals are provided for the instrument panel as another building option. The canopy can be positioned open or closed. There are styles for a couple of different underwing external fuel tanks (the bombs on Sprue C are not used in this version of the kit). The instructions in two different places remind the builder to add some nose ballast.
The really impressive elements here are the photoetched parts which add a great deal of detail and visually interesting features to the kit, such as the prepainted instrument dial faces, the pre-painted harnesses (complete with simulated stitching details), cockpit sidewalls, and other details. The masking set will save a lot of time with masking the canopy as well as the big blue arrows on the nose in Markings Option B (alternate decals are provided for the arrows as well).
The markings options are all really good choices for the scale modeler. Personally, I really like the Czech demo team, the Egyptian, and the ex-64th IAK options the best. They are unusual and eye-catching. The decals appear to have been printed in-house by Eduard, and they all look great. I can see no technical errors in printing, and the faded/overpainted markings in Markings Option E are done really well as decals.
Weaknesses: I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this kit. The control surfaces and speed brakes are not separate parts, and that might irk a few people (but that’s why we have razor saws in this hobby). While the instructions indicate the need for nose weight, the amount of ballast is not specified.