Trumpeter 1/32nd MiG-3
By Joachim Geier
When Trumpeter nearly without announcement released to the surprise of many modellers, including me, its MiG-3 there was no question for me that I had to get one. So far I had already built the Yak 18 of that company and was very pleased with the quality the Chinese engineers offered. To build the MiG there was only one disadvantage and that was the question for reference. As far I had nearly no printed reference on the type and finally went to the web for research. Here I found "Modelling the VVS" and its links to Massimo Tessitoris website about the MiG-3. For my advantage Peter Vill of the former site had already started building the MiG-3 and delivered excellent material for the building of the cockpit. Here my sincere thanks to his great instructions to the building of the interior which I can wholeheartedly recommend to everybody wanting to build the MiG-3.
In addition to Peter's building I added some detail into the wheel well like ribs, actuators and some piping. Furthermore the wheel well doors were improved by adding sheet alloy and a wheel catch for the retraction of the inner doors. Correction of the propeller blades enhances the appearance of the MiG extremely. Also I replaced the covers of the exhaust and the exhaust Pipes by homemade sheet metal items. The guns were made from iron-nails.
As for the interior painting I thought it might have been the case in the troublesome summer of 1941 that while retreating east there was a difficulty in obtaining a standard finish. So I painted my cockpit interiors in a mixture of bare metal (for the side walls), WUP-Primer for the Pilots armour and IMUP Blue grey Primer for the framework and instrument panel.
As I had already seen enough white painted MiG´s and as I further think that the under wing rockets detract the elegant lines of the aircraft I chose to represent "White 5" of an unknown unit in late 1941. I found a nice description of the aircraft in Massimos site. This aircraft wore the AII Black/Green/Blue camouflage and had an all black cowling which makes it very attractive. For the whole painting I used White Ensign Models enamel paints which are a fantastic range of enamels. Although matt they are extremely fine and behave nearly like gloss colours. That they aren´t gloss I realized painful when weathering the model with water colours. Here the matt surface behaves as it is expected and makes wiping away of excess water colour a nightmare. The result however was still satisfying as due to that small mistake the appearance of the aircraft became well worn. The Number and the stars were painted, no decals were used.
I can only hope that there will be further releases of WW II Soviet fighters in 32nd scale or what about any of the ground attack or twin engine aircraft? Finally I want to thank Peter Vill for the excellent pattern he provided with his report. This made building the MiG, which goes together nicely, a real pleasure!!