By Adam Batkiewicz
Model is done almost OOB (except for the seat belts from masking tape and antenna wires from stretched sprue).
It was a "quick project" with a purpose to test my company's decal sheet DD32001. Well, in the end it was not the fastest build I'm aware of but according to my own "manufacture time", which usually takes few months even with a state-of-the-art kit, it was a record speed. I finished the model within 10 days with main job done during the weekends.
My impressions regarding Trumpeter's 1/32 MiG-3 are very positive: construction was straightforward, level of details highly satisfactory (maybe with too prominent rivets), parts fitted well and only few areas needed Mr. Surfacer treatment. Ejection pin marks were present on inner surfaces and on built model they can be seen only on inner sides of gear doors.
Cockpit was painted with very bright light blue color and then shaded a little with an airbrush. Instrument panel, radio boxes and other parts were drybrushed and additionally treated with silver pencil to bring out details. I also thinned slightly sides of pilot's seat and added belts made from masking tape.
Fuselage halves and wings got together with no problem (the only little tricky part is mounting of the air intakes in the wingroot, but it's nothing serious).
I decided not to bother with moving ailerons, flaps etc. and simply glue them in place. During this process I experienced a critical moment when I couldn't find CA glue for metal hinges. I guess it's too much "artistic order" in my place. Therefore I decided to make mock-up hinges from stripes of styrene sheet.
To create more "interesting"
look of the wings I drooped slightly elevators, although practically
on all pictures of MiG-3s they are in neutral position, so be aware.
I didn't use tailwheel doors. Picture of this very aircraft suggests that strut was probably covered with (leather) cover. So keeping in mind that model should be mainly OOB I decided to left it as is. Maybe I'll detail this later.
I elected an aircraft with slogan "Death to the German occupants!" on starboard side. The base for this scheme was a well-known photo showing this plane taxiing. Even though very low contrast I believe this MiG was finished in early Soviet camouflage with Green, Black and Blue paints. The scheme is partially speculative because unfortunately only rear part of a plane and a fragment of a wing can be "deciphered" with some amount of certainty.
Because of time issue I decided to use acrylic paints. I dig up several jars of Aqueous Hobby Color Gunze Sangyo and tried to find shades I would be happy with. Maybe other modelers will find these suggestions for early VVS colors useful:
- Green: H58 Interior Green
- Black: H77 Tire Black
- Blue: 1xH25 Sky Blue + 4xH11 White (5xH11 is also OK)
(Although Light Brown was not used for this camo, but to complete the list of paint equivalents my suggestion would be H71 Middle Stone. Maybe it will be of some help for modelers doing "White 54".)
Due to time limit I didn't do any "wash" to highlight panel lines, so the plane was rather heavily "post-shaded" with an airbrush. Additionally wingroots were weathered with silver pencil.
After placing the decals everything was sealed with matt clear.
This kit went straightforwardly and was a real pleasure to build. I am not a superdetailer, but building really OOB and not bothering with problems like "was this knob in a cockpit black or dark grey?" can be refreshing.
I think that when summer comes I'll try again big MiG: but in some cool winter scheme.
© Adam Batkiewicz 2004
This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016