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MiG-23MLA Flogger-G
Advanced Kit

Clear Prop!, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit

Contents and Media:

258 parts in dark grey plastic (8 parts marked not for use); five parts in clear; two photo-etched frets with 193 parts; one self-adhesive masking sheet; four decal sheets with four marking options.

Price:

44 Euro plus shipping available online from Clear Prop!

£47.20 EU Price (£39.33 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants

Scale:

1/72

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Lovely crisp and subtle surface textures; high level of detail; useful options including swept or straight wings, alternative parts for open or closed canopy, poseable speed brakes and a wide selection of ordnance; includes photo-etched parts.

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Recommendation:

Clear Prop! has delivered an amazing model of this big Cold War subject. With poseable speed brakes, swept or straight wing configuration and a wealth of ordnance, you'll have plenty of options for configuring your Flogger-G. Detail is excellent and I like the crisp, fine surface textures. This is an impressive effort and loses nothing in terms of detail and surface textures regardless of its small scale. The quality in this crowded box would be right at home in 1/48 scale or even larger.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Introduction

 

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union.

It is a third-generation jet fighter, alongside similar Soviet aircraft such as the Su-17 "Fitter".

It was the first Soviet fighter to field a look-down/shoot-down radar, the RP-23 Sapfir, and one of the first to be armed with beyond-visual-range missiles.

Production started in 1969 and reached large numbers with over 5,000 aircraft built, making it the most produced variable-sweep wing aircraft in history.

 

 

Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with some export customers.

The basic design was also used as the basis for the Mikoyan MiG-27, a dedicated ground-attack variant.

Among many minor changes, the MiG-27 replaced the MiG-23's nose-mounted radar system with an optical panel holding a laser designator and a TV camera.


 

MiG-23MLA

The later production variant of the "ML" was designated the "MiG-23MLA". The fighter first flew in 1977, with mass production beginning in 1978 and sales to foreign customers starting in 1981. Externally, the "MLA" was identical to "ML".

Internally, the 'MLA' had an improved Sapfir-23MLA (N003) radar with better range, reliability and ECM resistance, and a frequency spacing feature which made co-operative group search operations possible as the radars would now not jam each other. It also had a new ASP-17ML HUD/gunsight, and starting in 1981 the capability to fire improved Vympel R-24R/T missiles.

A TP-23M IRST was included, which had a maximum detection range of 15 km (9.3 mi) for a high-altitude fighter-sized target operating at full power, or 45 km (28 mi) for a bomber-sized target. However its field of scanning was restricted compared to the radar: only 60° in azimuth and 15° in elevation.

As with the MiG-23MF, there were two different MiG-23ML sub-variants for export: the first version was sold to Warsaw Pact countries and was very similar to Soviet aircraft. The second variant had downgraded radar and it was sold to Third World allies.

 

 

FirstLook

 

There have been several 1/72 scale MiG-23ML releases over the decades. These include Hasegawa from 1977, Zvezda from the 1990s (later rboxed by Italeri) and Bilek from the early 2000s. It is about time that we had a state-of-the-art Flogger and Clear Prop! has now filled this void.

Clear Prop! has released an all-new 1/72 scale MiG-23MLA Flogger-G in their Expert Kit guise. Expert Kit offers some luxurious extras - in this case two busy photo-etched frets.

The kit comes packed to the brim in a stout cardboard box with a separate glossy lid.

Clear Prop's 1/72 scale MiG-23MLA Flogger-G comprises a whopping 258 parts in dark grey plastic (8 parts marked not for use), five parts in clear, two photo-etched frets with 193 parts, one self-adhesive masking sheet plus four decal sheets with four marking options.

  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Clear Prop! Kit No. CP72030 - MiG-23MLA Flogger-G Advanced Kit Review by Brett Green: Image
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The high parts count might lead you to think that there is a lot of detail here. You'd be right.

The parts are moulded in dark grey plastic. The texture of the plastic is very smooth and sprue attachments are narrow.

Surface details are fine, crisp and consistent. The fuselage and wings have very delicate recessed panel lines.

 

 

 

The two photo-etched frets offer a wealth of detail in the cockpit with photo-etched lap and shoulder straps plus a bunch of other small parts.

 

 

Between them, there are 193 parts on the two photo-etched frets. Some of these parts are genbuinely tiny, so the Expert label is well earned!

The instrument panel is a sandwich with a plastic back, dials in the middle and a photo-etched front panel.

Clear Prop supplies intake and exhaust ducting with nice raised structural detail..

 

 

Alternative parts are supplied for either swept wings or straight wings.

 

 

The wings are not moveable once installed.

 

 

Speed brakes and fuselage vents are separate parts that may be posed open or closed.

The undercarriage bays are very well detailed and the wheels look great. Tyres and hubs are separate, making painting fast and easy.

 

 

Lots of ordnance is supplied. There are 90 plastic pieces backed up with additional photo-etch.

Weapons include R-60, R-13M, R-23T, R-23R, R-24R, Kh-23M supersonic drop tanks and Delta-NG PODs.

A reference page advises the possible loadouts.

The canopy parts are thin and clear. Cler Prop! supplies two options for the canopy - a single closed piece or two pieces with separate windscreen and opening canopy section.

 

 

Instructions are generally clear and laid out over 83 steps in a 40 page, folded A4 paper booklet.

The marking guide is in full colour and colours are called out throughout using Mr Color and MIG paint numbers. It might have been nice to have a few other paint brands cross-referenced too.


 

Markings

Four decal sheets are included.

 

 

The colours and registration of the decals look good.

 

 

Four marking options are offered for Czech, East German and Soviet examples, all in three colour upper suface camouflage.

 

 

In addition to the primary decal sheet, markings for missiles and pods, pylons and external stores and stencils are all supplied on separate sheets.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Clear Prop! has delivered an amazing model of this big Cold War subject.

With poseable speed brakes, swept or straight wing configuration and a wealth of ordnance, you'll have plenty of options for configuring your Flogger-G. Detail is excellent and I like the crisp, fine surface textures.

This is an impressive effort and loses nothing in terms of detail and surface textures regardless of its small scale.

The quality in this crowded box would be right at home in 1/48 scale or even larger.

Thanks to Clear Prop! for the sample


Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 26 May, 2023
Last updated 26 May, 2023

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