1/48 Trumpeter MiG-21F-13, Part III



Part I | Part II| Part III

At last! Welcome to this build’s big moment of truth. Making this:

Look something like this:

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Or…similar. While I was tempted to go for 100% fidelity…the “AMS” side of the Force…I have found that stressing so much about complete accuracy doesn’t really do anything except suck the fun out of builds. So for my forays into 1/48 jets, I’m making a conscious effort to strive for verisimilitude over exactitude.

Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500

Step 1…primer. My go-to for almost all of my priming needs these days is Gunze’s fantastic Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black. Because, well, it’s black. I’ve found a black base infinitely preferable to build from than a gray one.

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Chipping, Salting and Underside Blue

Some photos of “White 2015” show evidence of chipping on the underside of the aircraft, with rust or similar showing through. Well, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out some of Mig Jimenez’s new AMMO line of acrylic paints – Chipping in particular.

This was airbrushed into a few strategic locations on the underside of the MiG-21.

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Once the chipping paint dried, I applied some sea salt, then shot the underside with a bastard mix of Tamiya paints. Since the intention is to build an old, worn-out derelict, I intentionally left the paint job quite patchy. The salt was then removed with a toothbrush.

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Bare Metal

On the topside, I started with a base of Alclad Aluminum.

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Primer Coat & Chipping

“White 2015” displays a lot of slightly purplish-gray in pictures. I don’t know for sure if this is a primer, or just really faded out paint (ahhh…ignorance is bliss!). After spraying down some AK Interactive Worn Effects fluid, I used Tamiya Light Gray with a few drops of Purple to recreate the primer. A few minutes to set, and I went back at it with a water-wetted brush. Chips ahoy, as they say. The water activates the AK chipping fluid, which lifts paint in a random, scratchy fashion.

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So. I should have given the MiG a good protecting clear coat after shooting the gray. But I didn’t. Lessons learned…but more about that in just a minute.

After giving the primer several days to cure, I sprayed another coat of AK Worn Effects, then started shooting the camoflage using the old Mk.1 Eyeball and a strict adherence to FICE (F- It, Close Enough) standards.

Here’s a look at the camoflage going down.

All of the camoflage was done freehand with my trusty Iwata HP-C+.

Here’s the end-of-camoflage. Since the idea is a derelict, I did not focus heavily on a clean paint job.

Why? Because I was going to chip the hell out of it!

Now. Here’s where the regret about not clear coating comes in. Since the second round of chipping…lifted away a lot of the primer coat as well. Doh! Fortunately under weathering and dull-coating it will all blend and look just beat up and tired anyway.


To my knowledge, nobody makes decals for “White 2015”. In fact, the entire decal situation for the MiG-21F-13 is abysmal, really. Scrounging the proper markings wouldn’t present all that great of a challenge, but for one thing. The Polish “Purina” insignias on the tail are heavily faded out to the point where all the color has been leeched out of them. Good luck finding decals that account for that kind of weathering!

Instead, I reached out to Joe at Scale Precision Masks. He did the custom markings for my French P-47 and Swiss Bf 109G-6, and I used one of his German insignia sets on my derelict Me 262A-2a. The markings on the MiG-21 are trivial…two 2015s and four Polish insignias.

When they arrived, I gave the MiG a good coat of Gaia Clear Gloss – no more repeat of inadvertent chipping! – then applied the masks and started painting.

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Once the masks were on I also went ahead and glued in the tailplanes. Various pictures show these at some interesting angles, so I opted for a heavy forward cant. Just to be different.

Next Up – Weathering

And that’s a wrap for Part II. Stay tuned for Part III, when the poor Polish MiG will get (even more) weathered with filters, washes, streaking and perhaps even some salt.

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