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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed
Here is my interpretation of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed. It is built at a larger scale than my other models, approximately 1:20 scale, and has many interesting features and design elements. As always, leave a comment if you wish. Check out my flickr page for larger pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118702264@N05/. The LDD model of the MiG-21 variant is available on my Etsy site: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KurtsMOCs.
About this creation

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft. At the time of its inception it was considered a second-generation jet fighter, but developed into a third-generation fighter near the end of its production life. Nicknamed the “balalaika” due to the triangular delta-wing planform-view, but more commonly known by its NATO reporting name “Fishbed,” the MiG-21 is almost 60 years old and has flown with the air forces of approximately 60 countries. With a total of almost 11,500 aircraft built, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War.

The history of the MiG-21 is very interesting but also very complicated. I will try to keep my summary as concise as possible and I’ll use the Mikoyan internal model names as well as the NATO reporting names. Broadly, there were four generations of MiG-21s including the prototypes. Mikoyan OKB used the term “generation” to denote significant changes in capability over the aircraft’s development. To confuse things further, the aircraft was also produced under licence in Czechoslovakia, India, and China with their own internal and export variants. There were also two-seat trainer versions, known under the NATO reporting name as “Mongol,” based upon current fighter models beginning in 1968.

The first four images illustrate a Generation One aircraft: Model 74, the F-13 “Fishbed-C.” The early designs had a tapered nose and a small circular engine inlet. The canopy was made as one piece and hinged at the front. The MiG-21’s characteristic dorsal spine is shallow and tapered with a small rear window behind the pilot’s seat. This MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) flies with a regiment of the Protivovozdushnoy Oborony (PVO air defence).


The MiG-21 was the first successful Soviet aircraft combining fighter and interceptor characteristics in a single aircraft. It was a lightweight fighter, achieving Mach 2 with a relatively low-powered afterburning turbojet. It was comparable to the American Lockheed F-104 and Northrop F-5 and the French Dassault Mirage III. The characteristic layout with the shock cone and front air intake was popular amongst other Soviet designs but not outside the USSR. This design had limited potential mainly because of the very small space available for the radar.

This model is a bit of a departure for me. I usually build to Lego minifig scale (approximately 1:35 scale). In my preliminary studies for building the MiG-21 at minifig scale, I quickly realized that its small size ran headlong into my desire for detail. I accepted that I couldn’t capture the details I desired at minifig scale so went for something bigger. Therefore, following the inspirational, large-scale work of Ralph Savelsberg and Justin Davies, I decided to build the MiG-21 at 1:20 scale and see what happens. The design and construction of the MiG-21 is similar to my larger models, such as the B-47 and C-130. The larger scale allowed for a more accurate profile but also presented greater detail challenges. Going larger does not necessarily equate to an easier build!


After the Korean War, studies by the TsAGI, the Soviet central aero and hydrodynamic research agency, concluded that the best shape for air-combat aircraft was either a slender conventional wing swept at an acute angle of 57-60 degrees or a 50-55 degree delta. The Mikoyan OKB used a delta wing with a sweep angle of 57 degrees but included tail planes to increase agility. However, while the delta wing was an excellent shape for a fast-climbing interceptor, any form of turning combat led to a rapid loss of speed. This approach reflected the prevailing preoccupation in the 1950s with speed and not manoeuvrability.

When designing this model, I wanted a basic shape that I could modify in order to represent the various iterations of the aircraft. The vertical stabilizer, the dorsal spine, inlet and nose, and the underside of the fuselage would see the majority of changes; the central fuselage and wings and tail planes remained mostly unchanged. As usual, I had to make some design decisions that would impact the final look of the model. The biggest were the use of curved plates for the fuselage and one-stud width bricks for the wing. I will go into great depth on these choices as you read on.


The development and preproduction (Generation Zero) of The Soviet Air Force’s next supersonic fighter were produced from 1954 to 1956. The early development aircraft Ye-1, Ye-2, and Ye-2A all had swept wings; the Ye-4 proof-of-concept testbed and the Ye-5 were delta wing prototypes, using the Mikulin AM-11 turbojet. In 1956, five production MiG-21 (Model 65; NATO “Fishbed-A”) fighters were produced at TAZ 31 in Tbilisi but not continued due to the development of the Ye-6/MiG-21F. These aircraft served as test aircraft.

The nose of the early generation fighters was tricky to design and build. The actual opening of the air inlet is quite small and the shape of the shock cone doesn’t match any current Lego pieces at this scale. I used connector plates and curved plates for the nose profile, whose shape could be adjusted as required.


The initial mass production (Generation One) of the MiG-21 began in 1959 with the MiG-21F (Model 72; NATO “Fishbed-B”). The F variant (“F” stands for Forsirovannyy or “uprated”) was a single-seat day fighter. The earliest units were fitted with one Nudelman-Rikhter NR-30 autocannon and two single-barrel 23 mm NR-23 cannons. Subsequent aircraft were armed with two 30 mm NR-30 cannons with 60 shells each and capable of carrying two 500 kg bombs. The avionics included a PUS-36D weapons sequencing module, a R-800 communications radio, an ASP-5NV-U1 computing gunsight, and an SRD-5MN Baza-6 radar rangefinder.

Several F variants were used to test the MiG-21’s capabilities as a nuclear strike aircraft, air-to-air missile systems, skid-type landing gear used for dirt strips, canard-equipped manoeuvrability testing, and world speed and altitude record aircraft.

The aircraft in this image was the first MiG-21F to enter service. The vertical fin, known as the type 1 fin, is more tapered than on later models. The canopy opens forwards and you can see the NR-30 gun on the port side. The cockpit is fully rendered and detailed.


In 1960, large-scale production of the MiG-21F-13 (Model 74; NATO “Fishbed-C”) began. The -13 designation referred to the inclusion of the Vympel K-13 missile system (NATO: AA-2 ‘Atoll’). The MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) carried only one NR-30 cannon on the starboard side with only 30 rounds; the space for the port cannon was used as an additional fuel tank. On early production aircraft, the APU-28 type launch rails were used but replaced by the APU-13, which were removable. This permitted the MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) to carry two UB-16-57 unguided rocket launchers, two S-24 rockets on PU-12-40 rails, or two FAB-100/250/500 bombs or ZB-360 napalm tanks. The MiG-21F-13 also had an upgraded ASP-5ND optical gunsight and an SRD-5ND ranging radar.

A flight of three MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) from the 19th Fighter Regiment of the Bulgarian Air Force return to Graf Ignatievo Air Base. Acquired in September 1963, these aircraft show the pre-1992 Bulgarian star fuselage roundel. Later, some of these aircraft were converted to the MiG-21F-13R reconnaissance version and modified locally to carry an AFA-39 camera. The Bulgarian Air Force still flies the MiG-21.


The MiG-21 was designed as a high-speed interceptor and as such had a short range. The small fuel tanks also impacted manoeuvrability. Due to the small fuselage profile, the internal fuel tanks were poorly placed ahead of the centre of gravity. As the internal fuel was consumed, the centre of gravity would shift rearward making the aircraft statically unstable and thus limiting flight endurance to only 45 minutes. Additionally, when half the fuel was consumed, violent manoeuvres impeded fuel flow to the engine, causing it to shut down in flight and increased the risk of tank implosion.

Due to the short range and lack of manoeuvrability, Soviet air defence controllers used ground-control interception (GCI) to vector interceptors to targets using ground-based radar. This suited the straight-line ability of the aircraft. The MiG-21’s very short GCI missions were ideally suited for North Vietnam’s defence requirements. The first MiG-21F-13s arrived in North Vietnam via the Soviet Union in April 1966. Assigned to the country’s oldest fighter unit, the 921st Fighter Regiment, these new fighters successfully used their supersonic speed for high-speed GCI hit and run intercepts against American air strike groups. In this image, a MiG-21F-13 of the 921st FR streaks across the sky on an intercept.


Foreign interest in the MiG-21 was high due to the aircraft’s simple controls, engine, weapons, avionics, and low cost. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Soviet Union shared most of its conventional weapons technology with the People’s Republic of China. This ended in the early 1960s with the Sino-Soviet split, but the Soviet Union did provide complete examples of the MiG-21F and MiG-21F complete knockdown (CKD) kits and technical documents. However, these documents were incomplete leading the Chinese to reverse-engineer the aircraft for local production by the Shenyang Aircraft Factory. The Chinese solved the fuel shift problem, improved the hydraulic systems that plagued early MiG-21s, replaced the inadequate ejection seat, and a canopy that opened at the rear. This new aircraft, essentially an improved MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) was designated the Chengdu J-7. Domestic production began in 1964, but delayed by the Cultural Revolution, and exports to foreign customers began in the late 1960s as the F-7.

In this image, a Chengdu J-7I flies with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and armed with PL-2 missiles, a Chinese version of the Vympel K-13 (NATO: AA-2 ‘Atoll’). When considering the design of the wing, I wanted to keep it as thin as possible and as close to the original as possible. I was able to use the larger sloped brick for the leading edge, which was close to the 57-degree sweep of the original. The difficult part was housing the main landing gear spars in the thin wing. I needed to add plates to the top of the wing to cover the landing gear voids. This disrupted the clean profile but allowed me to keep the thinner profile.


In addition to China, Czechoslovakia was another country that manufactured the MiG-21 under licence. Aero Vodochody built 194 aircraft between 1962 and 1972 as the Aero S-106, though the S-106 designation was soon dropped in favour of the Soviet MiG-21F-13 designation. The Aero S-106 differed externally from the Soviet-built examples by the solid sheet fairing behind the cockpit canopy. Reconnaissance versions of the MiG-21F (Fishbed-B) were produced in Czechoslovakia as the MiG-21FR, carrying reconnaissance pods.

In this image, a MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) from the 1st Fighter Air Regiment of the Czechoslovak Air Force heads back to Ceske Budejovice Air Base with the Tumansky R-11F-300 on full afterburner. From this angle you can see the enclosed metal fairing behind the cockpit. The control surfaces of the aircraft are fully functional. The tailplanes and rudder pivot and the ailerons move up and down. The flaps and airbrake on the fuselage underside also move down.


The development of an all-weather radar in the late 1950s led to emergence of the MiG-21 interceptors (Generation Two). The first production version of the MiG-21PF (Model 76; NATO “Fishbed-D”) included a new Tumansky R11F2-300 turbojet and upgraded radars (the first six batches used the older RP-9-21, but starting with the seventh batch began using the RP-21). Further weapons control system improvements allowed for the use of the RS-2US beam-riding AAM (NATO: AA-1 ‘Alkali’) in addition to the IR-seeking K-13.

In this image of two MiG-21PF (Fishbed-D) of the VVS, the external differences between the Fishbed-C and Fishbed-D are evident. The most noticeable are the increased dorsal spine to hold additional fuel and the wide-chord vertical tail fin with the brake chute fairing at its base. The pitot tube was also relocated above the enlarged inlet needed to accommodate the larger radar. I remodelled the nose inlet to be wider and added forward air brakes in place of the cannons.


India was also permitted to build the MiG-21 under licence. The assembly of CKD kits from the Soviet Union were completed by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in 1966 with the MiG-21FL and known as the Type 77 “Trishul” (Trident). By 1970, all components, including the engine, were Indian-made. 205 Type 77 aircraft were built between 1966 and 1972. In 1973, production switched to the Type 88, which was based on the MiG-21M, with 158 aircraft was built. The last variant produced by HAL was the MiG-21bis. 75 aircraft were built from CKD kits and a further 220 were built from scratch by 1984. In the 1990s, the IAF decided to upgrade 125 MiG-21bis in its inventory to the MiG-21 “Bison” standard, which are expected to serve until 2025.


Export versions were known as the MiG-21FL (Model 77; NATO “Fishbed-D”). This was essentially a downgraded MiG-21PF (Fishbed-D) with an older and less powerful R11F-300 engine, no provision for carrying RS-2US beam-riding missiles and a simplified version of the RP-21 radar, designated R1L.

The MiG-21FL in this image flies with the Egyptian Air Force. By 1967, Egypt had received 235 MiG-21 fighters and 40 MiG-21U trainers. Almost all were destroyed in the Six Day War. Egypt resupplied with later MiG-21 variants from the Soviet Union and China. In this image, you can see the PTB-490 centre-line drop tank and two K-13 (NATO: AA-2 ‘Atoll’) missiles.


In 1961, the testbed aircraft Ye-7SPS demonstrated a flap-blowing system where air is forced over the flap surface to increase stability at lower air speeds. This system found its way into the MiG-21PFS (Model 94; NATO “Fishbed-D/F”). The first nine production batches of the MiG-21PFS (Fishbed-D/F) were externally identical to the MiG-21PF (Fishbed-D) but with blown flaps and a brake chute fairing at the fin’s base. From batch 10 to 19, the large chord vertical stabilizer first seen on the MiG-21FL (Fishbed-D) was introduced, but the aircraft retained the SK ejection seat and one-piece, forward-opening canopy of the MiG-21PF. From batch 20 onwards, the MiG-21PFS aircraft had the wide-chord tail, a KM-1 ejection seat and a two-piece, sideways-opening canopy.

In this image, a later batch MiG-21PFS (Fishbed-F) unloads its UB-16-57U rocket launcher. You can see the larger tail fin and the sideways-opening canopy (barely). This model has functioning flaps and speed brakes, all of which are open on this attack run. The forward speed brakes were fitted when the cannons were removed and additional fuel tanks inserted.


Improvements in avionics and weapons systems led to the production of the MiG-21PFM (Model 94; NATO “Fishbed-F”). The major avionic changes included an upgrade RP-21M radar and SRZO-2 Khrom-Nikkel IFF transponder. Later production MiG-21PFMs reintroduced cannon armament in the ability to carry the twin-barrelled 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 cannon and 200 rounds in an underbelly pod. Following tests in 1966, aircraft built after 1968 could carry the Kh-66 Grom air-to-surface missile (NATO: AS-7 ‘Kerry’).

The Warsaw Pact country and export variants of the MiG-21PFM (Fishbed-F) were known as the Model 94A. The East German designation for the Model 94A was MiG-21SPS in order to avoid confusion with the earlier Model 76A designated MiG-21PFM. The East Germans flew the MiG-21SPS-K that was wired for using cannon pods. In this image, the GSh-23 cannon is put through its paces on a training attack run by a MiG-21SPS-K (Fishbed-F) of the East German National People’s Army Air Force (NVA).


The Ye-7R aircraft were prototypes of the MiG-21R combat-capable reconnaissance aircraft derived from the MiG-21PFS (Fishbed-D/F). These new aircraft were officially known as the MiG-21R (originally called Model 03 to confuse outsiders, but officially known as Model 94R; NATO “Fishbed-H”). The first production unit rolled out in early 1966 and continued until 1971. Small changes were made throughout the production run. Early units had the R11F2S-300 turbojet, which was replaced in later aircraft by the R13-300 power plant.

The MiG-21R (“Fishbed-H”) could carry centre-line pods or wingtip antennas. PHOTINT (Photographic Intelligence) and ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) pods could be mounted on the centre-line pylon. The three different pods included a Type D daylight PHOTINT pod, a Type N night-time PHOTINT pod, Type R general-purpose ELINT pod or a Type T pod housing a TV system. Export versions of the MiG-21R (“Fishbed-H”) were known as the Model 94RA and usually delivered with the Type D (daylight) and Type R (ELINT) pods. Also, small ECM pods are fitted to the wingtips.

In this image, a MiG-21R (Fishbed-H) with a Type D (daylight) pod of the Cuban Revolutionary Air and Air Defence Force (DAAFAR) flies through a Caribbean rainstorm on a recce mission. DAAFAR received 12 MiG-21R (Fishbed-H) in 1968 and flew with the Soviet Union in power-projection missions in Africa, especially in Angola and Ethiopia.


A new fire-control radar, the RP-21 Sapfir-21 (NATO: ‘Spin Scan’), was tested on the Ye-7S in 1963 as a new tactical fighter prototype. This development led to the MiG-21S (Model 95; NATO “Fishbed-J) that included the production version of the Sapfir-21, the RP-22 (NATO: ‘Jay Bird’), which worked in conjunction with the ASP-PF-21 computing gunsight. The aircraft could carry all weapons of the MiG-21PFM (“Fishbed-F”) except the dorsal saddle tank of the MiG-21R (“Fishbed-H”) was carried over and it had four under-wing hard-points, with the two outboard pods being “wet” to carry drop tanks. The MiG-21S (“Fishbed-J”) used the R11F2S-330 engine and an AP-155 autopilot featuring a ‘panic button’ auto-recovery system.

An upgraded version of the Model 95 MiG-21S (“Fishbed-J”) was the Model 95M MiG-21SM (“Fishbed-J”) and used the R13-300 engine, a substantially updated avionics package, and carried a built-in GSh-23L cannon.

In this image, a MiG-21SM (Fishbed-J) of the 812th Training Aviation Regiment (UAP) performs a low-level training flight over the forests near Kharkov. The external differences between the Fishbed-D/F and the Fishbed-J are evident. You can see the larger dorsal saddle fuel tank and additional outer wing pylons. The Fishbed-J is probably the most recognizable MiG-21 version, especially in the Eastern European camouflage!


The export version of the MiG-21SM (Fishbed-J) was known as the MiG-21MF (Model 96F) and included the RP-22 radar and R13-300 turbojet. The choice of armament was increased with the addition of the R-60 (NATO: AA-8 ‘Aphid’) and later the R-60M IR-seeking AAM.

The Polish Air Force received 120 of the MiG-21MF (Fishbed-J) by 1972. In this image, a MiG-21MF (Fishbed-J) of the 10th Air Support Squadron (ESK) can be seen carrying a centre-line drop tank, UB-16-57U rocket launchers, and R-60 AAM missiles.


Several Generation Three testbed aircraft were developed to test newer engines and radar, however, none made it into production. However, in 1971, the MiG-21SMT (“Fishbed-J”) was developed with increased fuel capacity. This variant is easily spotted due to its larger dorsal saddle tank. These variants were very unpopular with pilots and subsequently rebuilt with smaller tanks. These conversions were known as the MiG-21ST (Model 50, NATO “Fishbed-J”).

In this image, you can see the larger dorsal saddle tank of this MiG-21SMT (Fishbed-J). The outer pylons are holding the Kh-66 Grom (NATO: AS-7 ‘Kerry’) ASM missile. Also visible are the R-3S AAM missiles and the built-in GSh-23L cannon mounted above the centre-line drop tank.


The Chengdu J-7 had a long development history that paralleled improvements of the Soviet MiG-21. The initial development of the J-7 in 1960s, slowed by the political turmoil caused by the Cultural Revolution, suffered quality issues until the 1980s. By the time the J-7 went out of production in 2013, there had been almost a hundred different models developed.

The export version of the J-7, known as the F-7, was a popular, inexpensive choice for smaller country’s air forces. Many F-7s were designed and built for a country’s specific requirements. For example, the F-7GS of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in this image was a less-expensive variant of the J-7G series but includes many modern improvements and capabilities. It included a new HUD and cockpit interface with night vision compatibility, a helmet mounted sight (HMS) slaved to the PL-9 AAM, an avionics package with a GPS and inertial navigation system (INS), and a pulse-Doppler radar. This aircraft, flying with No. 5 “Jet” Squadron from SLAF Katunayake, is armed with the PL-9 AAM missiles on the outer pylons and the UB-16-57U rocket launchers.


The ultimate development of the MiG-21 was the MiG-21bis (Model 72; NATO “Fishbed-L/N”). Fitted with the Tumansky R25-300 turbojet engine and upgraded avionics and flight systems, it was 50% more powerful than the original MiG-21 of the 1950s and probably did not share much in the way of parts either. Soviet PVO (Air Defence Force) aircraft were equipped with the Lazur GCI (Ground Control Interception) system (NATO “Fishbed-L”) while those of the Soviet Air Force were fitted with the Polyot ILS (Instrumental Landing System) (NATO “Fishbed-N”). Both variants were exported to Warsaw Pact countries with slight alterations in the avionics package.

This MiG-21bis (Fishbed-N) flies with the 31st Fighter Squadron of the Finnish Air Force (FiAF). After the Paris peace talks of 1947, the FiAF was restricted, primarily by the Soviet Union, to only 60 defensive aircraft with no guided missiles or offensive weapons. This was revised in 1963 and Finland was permitted to buy guided missiles. During the Cold War, the FiAF tried to balance its purchases between east, west, and domestic producers. The MiG-21bis served with the FiAF until the end of the Cold War when Finland ended its policy of purchasing Soviet-Russian aircraft and replaced its fighter aircraft with the US F/A-18C/D Hornets.


The first two-seat training version of the MiG-21F-13 was designated the MiG-21U (Model 66-400; NATO “Mongol-A”). With each new development, there was a corresponding trainer variant. The major model changes came with the wide-chord vertical stabilizer of Model 66-600 (Mongol-B), the blown-flaps of the Model 68 (Mongol-B), the avionics upgrade of Model 68A (Mongol-B), and the final Model 69 (Mongol-B) begun in 1968.

In this image, a MiG-21UM (Mongol-B) from the 21st Fighter Aircraft Squadron of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence gives a new pilot a good workout. Painted in the red checker field of the Croatian coat-of-arms, this MiG-21UM (Mongol-B) recently received a refurbishment by the Ukrainian state-owned arms trading company Ukrspetsexport and will remain in service until 2020.


During its long and expansive service life, the MiG-21 proved to be a capable and enduring fighter aircraft. Even after production had ceased, demands for upgrades continued. Mikoyan and other firms produced upgrade packages for late-model MiG-21 airframes. These packages included upgrades in avionics, radar, flight control systems, and improved communications. One upgrade, the MiG-21-97, used a Klimov RD-33 engine from the MiG-29 that reportedly gave the MiG-21 a dogfighting capability on par with the F-16.

The aircraft in this image is a Romanian Air Force MiG-21 LanceR-C. Upgraded by Elbit Systems of Israel and Aerostar SA of Romania, this air superiority version features 2 LCD multi-function displays (MFD), helmet mounted sight (HMS), and the Elta EL/M-2032 air combat radar.


Here you can see the internal construction of the MiG-21. I constructed a solid main fuselage and wing spar connection. The top of the fuselage has a flat surface with lots of studs so I could easily swap out the changing dorsal spine/saddle tanks and vertical stabilizers. The shock cone in the nose can be adjusted to protrude as much or as little as required. The cockpit is fully detailed with a removable ejection seat. Behind the cockpit is a space for the rear seat for the Mongol trainer; for the single-seat version, this space remains empty. Lastly, you can see my attempt to insert a Tumansky engine into the design, but it is not to the appropriate scale. If I removed the structural bracing and rear wing spar, I would have been able to squeeze in the appropriate six-stud width scaled engine. I opted for rigidity but I may go back and see if I can fit a scaled engine in there!


In this image of the two-seat Mongol trainer, you can see the instructor’s seat added in back. Behind that, you can also see the main landing gear wheel well. LDD did not include a suitable wheel size so I had to use a larger wheel than I would have liked for the design. It works but it could be more elegant!


Finally, this image shows some of the weapons, munitions, and electronics used by the MiG-21. The capabilities and evolution of this fighter are truly remarkable and it is an aircraft I’ve wanted to model for a long time. Thanks to Wikipedia for the specifications and information. Also, a big tip of the hat to Bill Gunston’s book “The World’s Military Aircraft” for instilling in me at an early age the beauty of airplane design.



Comments

 I made it 
  November 16, 2017
Quoting Scott Bertaut And people say my builds are jammed full of detail! The Mig-21 is one of my favorite planes of all time, and by far my favorite jet. Great job on making this one, the shaping is great, and I like how you even modeled interior details that wouldn't even be visible normally! Epic build, all of got to say now is "This is Thunderhead: Blaze, engage!"
Thanks, Scott! I'm glad you like the model. I enjoy designing and building these models. Getting all of the details right is half the fun!
 I like it 
  November 15, 2017
And people say my builds are jammed full of detail! The Mig-21 is one of my favorite planes of all time, and by far my favorite jet. Great job on making this one, the shaping is great, and I like how you even modeled interior details that wouldn't even be visible normally! Epic build, all of got to say now is "This is Thunderhead: Blaze, engage!"
 I made it 
  November 12, 2017
Quoting Marty Fields Wow, Kurt! Amazing detail and accuracy. What are the bits you used for the seat?
Thanks, Marty! I'm glad you like the model. The seat is comprised of curved bow bricks, angle and stick plate connectors, and flat tiles.
 I like it 
  November 12, 2017
Wow, Kurt! Amazing detail and accuracy. What are the bits you used for the seat?
 I made it 
  November 9, 2017
Quoting Builder Allan Awesome! Looks very accurate. Great work on the shape and details :-) * I am sorry for the lengthy delay in returning a comment, but i have been extremely busy lately.
Thanks for your comments, Allan. I'm glad you like the model.
 I like it 
  November 9, 2017
Awesome! Looks very accurate. Great work on the shape and details :-) * I am sorry for the lengthy delay in returning a comment, but i have been extremely busy lately.
 I made it 
  November 7, 2017
Quoting Henrik Jensen I couldn`t let this one slip away without a comment. Really a superb rendition of this cold war "bird"! And the whole post with all the types and nationalities is a pleasure to study. At this scale, a real brickbuilt model would be gigantic, do you have the actual model dimensions?
Thanks for your comments, Henrik. I know if you appreciate the model then I've done some good work! This is a big model. at 1:20 scale, the fuselage is 99 studs in length (109 studs with the pitot tube and tail antennae), which is approximately 31 inches (34 inches with the protrusions). The wingspan is 50 studs, which is about 15.75 inches. In comparison, my B-36 model was 54 inches in length with a whopping 73.75-inch wingspan!
 I like it 
  November 7, 2017
I couldn`t let this one slip away without a comment. Really a superb rendition of this cold war "bird"! And the whole post with all the types and nationalities is a pleasure to study. At this scale, a real brickbuilt model would be gigantic, do you have the actual model dimensions?
 I made it 
  November 3, 2017
Quoting Mark B. Awesome! All of the variants you've created, and your attention to minute details and subtle shaping really make this "blah"-looking Cold War fighter an interesting subject.
Thanks, Mark! I'm glad you like the model. The subtle variations in the design evolution made this an interesting aircraft to model. I enjoy its simple aesthetics and design.
 I like it 
  November 3, 2017
Awesome! All of the variants you've created, and your attention to minute details and subtle shaping really make this "blah"-looking Cold War fighter an interesting subject.
 I made it 
  November 2, 2017
Quoting Jeremy McCreary Another tour de force, Kirk! Nothing says jet fighter like "Fishbin".
Thanks, Jeremy! I'm glad you like the model.
 I like it 
  November 2, 2017
Another tour de force, Kirk! Nothing says jet fighter like "Fishbin".
 I made it 
  November 1, 2017
Quoting Doug Hughes Very impressive!
Thanks, Doug!
 I like it 
  November 1, 2017
Very impressive!
 I made it 
  November 1, 2017
Quoting Petr Junek The inhabitants of the state air base in České Budějovice (Czechoslovak Air Force) are very pleased with the beautiful model and thanked for the memory of the MiG-21
Thanks, Petr! I hope my Czechoslovak Air Force version is accurate. It was difficult finding accurate information. Any feedback would be helpful!
 I like it 
  November 1, 2017
The inhabitants of the state air base in České Budějovice (Czechoslovak Air Force) are very pleased with the beautiful model and thanked for the memory of the MiG-21
 I made it 
  November 1, 2017
Quoting BATOH rossi absolutely gorgeous! I believe that many, including me, love MIG 21 and try to build it. but it's extremely difficult to give the right shape to such an apparently simple airplane ... you've succeeded! beautiful MOC.
Thanks, BATOH! I struggled with the MiG-21 at minifig scale. Only by moving to a larger scale could I get good proportions and an acceptable level of detail.
 I made it 
  November 1, 2017
Quoting Gabor Pauler Mindblasting details and internal pictures! I know that this shape (almost cylindrical but with slight tapering at the ends) is much more difficult to model from Lego than it looks. It looks definitely better in dark color as airframe looks wider a little bit than real proportions, but correct coloring eliminates this small difference. I wish we had more of these high-end MOCs, when MOCPages is flooded with childish francise stuff and apparently dying.
Thanks, Gabor! I'm glad you like the model. If you appreciate the details, then I know something went well! The cigar shape of the fuselage was difficult to get right as it actually becomes elliptical in height towards the middle. In order to get an acceptable level of continuity and build-ability, I did stretch the proportions a little. Only you would notice!
 I like it 
  November 1, 2017
absolutely gorgeous! I believe that many, including me, love MIG 21 and try to build it. but it's extremely difficult to give the right shape to such an apparently simple airplane ... you've succeeded! beautiful MOC.
 I like it 
  October 31, 2017
Mindblasting details and internal pictures! I know that this shape (almost cylindrical but with slight tapering at the ends) is much more difficult to model from Lego than it looks. It looks definitely better in dark color as airframe looks wider a little bit than real proportions, but correct coloring eliminates this small difference. I wish we had more of these high-end MOCs, when MOCPages is flooded with childish francise stuff and apparently dying.
 I made it 
  October 31, 2017
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Impressive most impressive. I always found NATO’s designations funny and this one (fishbed) really strange. I love all the great information and awesome cutaway views. I like how you represent the different countries variations and paint schemes. That must have been a lot of work. Outstanding job Kurt!
Thanks, Clayton! The NATO reporting names were intended to be odd so they would be easier to remember. Still, Fishbed takes the cake! This design has been percolating for a while so I've had lots of time to work things out. I knew that I had to present as many countries as possible but ran out of space!
 I like it 
  October 31, 2017
Impressive most impressive. I always found NATO’s designations funny and this one (fishbed) really strange. I love all the great information and awesome cutaway views. I like how you represent the different countries variations and paint schemes. That must have been a lot of work. Outstanding job Kurt!
 I made it 
  October 31, 2017
Quoting Seaman SPb Fantastic work! This is the best MiG-21 in the world of LEGO! My new favorite among all Your works!
Thanks, Seaman! I'm glad you liked the model. This one is a bit of a departure for me and I appreciate the support and encouragement.
 I like it 
  October 31, 2017
Fantastic work! This is the best MiG-21 in the world of LEGO! My new favorite among all Your works!
 
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