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.