1/72 HobbyBoss MiG-3

by Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog)



Believe it or not, this is the HobbyBoss 1/72 EZ-Build MiG-3 dressed up with a few extra parts from an Eduard LA-7. Ironically, the HobbyBoss kit is more expensive than the Eduard so I had no qualms about using the latter as a donor.


In terms of overall shape and accuracy, the HobbyBoss kit is probably the best injection-molded MiG-3 currently available in 1/72. (If I’m not mistaken the Omega Models kit is resin and lists for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100.) At less than $10 USD, this little “beginner’s” kit is a steal, offering all kinds of interesting possibilities for low-budget detailing and kit-bashing. 


To begin, mold seams were removed from the leading edges and fuselage spine aft of the cockpit with the backside of an X-Acto #11 blade. A few passes with a Flex-i-File and surface prep was complete.


As with most of the EZ-Build kits from HB the cockpit is molded in place directly into the fuselage; there’s no instrument panel, a somewhat over-sized seat, a suggestion of a stick, and a surprisingly good representation of the radio shelf complete with radio components. I used Evergreen .020 rod to scratch-build visible cockpit side rails, and cut up the instrument panel from the LA-7 kit, using the side “wings” for the ancillary instruments on the cockpit walls. I re-shaped the main instrument panel, painted it black, dry-brushed the bezels with Polly Scale Reefer White and added a wash of The Detailer, Black. I used a set of pre-painted photo-etched seatbelts from the spares box. HB offers two canopy options; a three-piece arrangement for open cockpits or a one-piece closed configuration. The engraving is very nicely done on both; I opted for the closed pit, but plan on doing a second MiG-3 with an open canopy and a more highly detailed pit.

Click on images below to see larger images


I used Polly Scale RLM 02 Gray for the interior and wheel wells. A base coat of Polly Scale USSR Topside Green was airbrushed (at about 12 PSI) with PS RLM 71 Black Green applied free hand for the camo pattern. PS USSR Underside Blue was applied quite satisfactorily with a hand-brush. Two coats of PS Clear Gloss were applied in preparation for the markings.


I turned up my nose at the kit-supplied decals, using Soviet red stars from the Eduard (Propagteam) sheet as well as stars and numerals from a left-over Encore (ex-Zvezda) Yak-9 sheet, which were surprisingly excellent. An additional coat of PS Clear Gloss and two more coats of PS Clear Flat sealed everything up nice and neat. 


Given the tiny tail wheel on the MiG-3, I didn’t like the huge monster-truck-like main wheels that came with the kit (they looked almost as big as the ones from an Eduard 1/48 Yak-3 which I used on my ICM MiG-3 several years back). Instead, to improve the stance of the plane, I used a set of tires from the Eduard LA-7 (which includes two pair); these were much more to scale, and actually quite authentic as the MiG-3 used the same tires as many of its contemporary Yakovlev and Lavochkin fighters. I dressed up the undercarriage with a pair of gear actuators from the LA-7.  I added HobbyBoss’s very-nicely-done rocket rails painted Gunze Steel, opting to leave off the rockets themselves as they seemed a bit toy-like to me. Final touches; the pitot tube (Polly Scale USSR Underside Blue), prop (PS Engine Black) and spinner (Citadel Chainmail).



All in all, this was a fast, fun and rewarding little build.  I look forward to doing another one soon.

Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog)

Photos and text © by Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog)