Kit Reviews

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GWH 1/48 scale MiG-29 'Fulcrum'

By Chris Oglesby
Published: May 6, 2013
MiG-29 Fulcrum01
Click the photo for a larger view
Kit:  L4811
Scale:  1/48
Price:  $79.95
Pros:  Full RD-33 engines; great cockpit detail; clean, crisp molds; frameable print included
Cons:  Mislabeled parts in the instructions; only one painting option; decals are a big letdown
Manufacturer:  G.W.H., from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322
Comments:
Injection-molded, 233 parts (28 photoetched-metal)
MiG-29 Fulcrum06
MiG-29 Fulcrum02
MiG-29 Fulcrum03
MiG-29 Fulcrum04
MiG-29 Fulcrum05
MiG-29 Fulcrum07
MiG-29 Fulcrum08

Most kit manufacturers have produced a MiG-29 in one form or another. Now, G.W.H. becomes the latest to join the fray with its version of the Fulcrum, which is also G.W.H.’s first modern-age jet.


Opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely packed everything was. All of the ordnance was wrapped individually in its own packaging. Also squeezed into the box was a print of the box art that will look great in a frame. Detail is clean and crisp on all the moldings with no flash, and the clear parts are brilliant. 


The 14-page, 22-step instruction booklet includes a paint reference guide, parts-tree breakdown, and a decal placement guide. (I was disappointed that the paint reference did not include Model Master colors.) I did notice a few mislabeled parts: parts B21 should be B17 and vice versa; B18 should be B22 and vice versa; D12 should be D13 and vice versa; and D15 should be D14 and vice versa. Aside from the mislabeled parts, the instructions are pretty easy to follow.


Detail in the cockpit is outstanding — no need for the aftermarket here. The ejection seats include photoetched-metal harnesses that take a little deciphering to rig properly. Individual decals add further detail to the instrument panel. I misplaced my ejection handles and had to make new ones using lead solder. A photoetched-metal HUD is included and looks great when installed — but I waited until the very end to position it so I wouldn’t break it off during the build.


The fuselage comes in halves, and the fit is pretty decent. Some filler was needed here, though, to bring everything flush. It’s a bit tricky to get the intakes to look seamless like the real aircraft — but FOD covers are provided in case you don’t want to spend the time smoothing them out. I added some weight to the nose to keep the bird off its tail.


You can build full RD-33 engines and attach them to the model or pose them on a kit-supplied engine stand. I put mine on the aircraft but left the panels off to display the engine detail. I see huge opportunities for scratchbuilders here.


Detail on the landing gear and gear bays is OK, but the gear bays seem a bit shallow. The front landing gear doesn’t have a strong attachment point; it’s strong enough to hold the model up on a display shelf, but, if you are taking your model to contests or shows, you will want to keep the weight off the landing gear when you box it up. 


I painted my model with Testors Model Master colors: Fulcrum gray mixed 50/50 with light ghost gray to tone down the color a bit for the overall gray color, and Russian topside green for the camouflage.


The decals were a letdown; I recommend using an aftermarket set. The kit’s decals are flat and in-register, but the carrier film remains visible, even after a flat coat, and didn’t respond to any setting solutions.


My model took about 45 hours, a little more than I had anticipated when I opened the box, and there’s enough challenge here for even advanced modelers. But would I recommend the Great Wall Hobby Mig-29 to other builders? You bet!


Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2013 FineScale Modeler

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3 stars
MICHAEL D HEFFNER from INDIANA said:
I just got the Revell kit, I was wondering what ppl thought of it??? where does it measures up against this one????
4 stars
SALVADOR SANCHEZ from ILLINOIS said:
Love the fact that the rockets are molded with all the fins in place. Big improvement over both the venerable Revell kit and Academy/Eduard kits.
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