1/72 Akkura MiG-21FL Type 77

Gallery Article by Sherbir on Dec 17 2019

 

      

MiG-21PF to MiG-21FL Type 77 conversion Indian Air Force

Fighting its way victoriously through 3 wars, training 3 generations of fighter pilots, equipping almost 70% of the IAF's fighting mantle at one point, license built by HAL as India's first supersonic fighter, finally the old delta-winged warrior put to rest after half a century of relentless and dedicated service to the nation (1963-2013). Ladies and gentlemen, the MiG-21FL Type 77 of the Indian Air Force. Depicted here as tail number C1132, from OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), as an old, beat up and well used machine. As that patch says, "its not just an aircraft, its a legend"!

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I had been wishing to make an "-FL" for quite sometime however, couldn't find a kit anywhere. So I settled for this kit from Akkura. It comes in a beautiful box of the MiG-21PF version. When I enquired about the kit from the seller, he went a step ahead, and seeing that I was from India, he very kindly included aftermarket tail conversion from PF to FL. And the best part, it comes super-cheap and even better, its a dual combo. I happily bought the kit.

The kit was simple to put together but had its minor share of the usual problems. It needed filling in the wing roots and the vertical stabilizer assembly. The nose cone fits too far back in, but this is something I realized only after I had glued the fuselage halves together. Maybe I'll fix it in the next one. Apart from that a simple one to build. The weapon hardpoints for the air-to-air missiles are very thin and don't hold up very well with the notch in the wing so I had to sand off the notches to give more surface area to be attached.

The MiG-21FL is famous for fighting through 3 wars and during the 1965 and the 1971 conflicts with Pakistan, wore a lot of interesting schemes from plain silver to camo to tiger stripes and had varied levels of maintenance from clean as a whistle ones to some extremely weathered ones. Post those war years, the "-FLs" continued in some very interesting liveries with MOFTU, TACDE and OCUs. I pre-shaded it with Fevicryl Black and then simply went with the current Tipnis Grey scheme which I made with a mix of Fevicryl Black, White and Turquoise Blue and airbrushed it. 

I showed it as a machine from OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), as S.No. C1132, as per details shared by a pilot who flew the machine circa 2008.

Sherbir

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Photos and text by Sherbir