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Building Revell's 1/48 scale
Mig-25 Foxbat

by "Bondo" Phil Brandt


MiG-25 Foxbat

Revell's 1/48 scale MiG-25 Foxbat is available online from Squadron




In the late Seventies boy TAC WSO Bondo sat sleepily in a base theater seat.

We had run into one of our squadron Intel. folks at lunch who told us that, since we weren’t flying that afternoon, we might want to take in an” interesting” impromptu briefing at said theater. Four serious-looking civilians – their coats seemed to be slightly “bulky” --walked past each row of seats, giving all us flight suited crewdogs a practiced eye, and then took up stations at the room’s four corners. Following a one-sentence introduction by the “wing king”, onto the stage strode a short, blond gentleman in a tan, three-piece suit. He grasped the microphone and smilingly brought down the house with, “Is being always great pleasure to meet Sierra Hotel (not his actual words!) American pilots.” It was the world’s most famous Mig driver, Lt. Viktor Belenko, formerly of the Soviet Air Force. Thus began this curmudgeon’s fascination with the Foxbat.

The Kit

In 1976 Revell was right on top of aviation world events and wasted no time in examining fuzzy photos of Lt. Belenko’s super secret jet sitting forlornly off a Northern Japan runway. It wasn’t long before their 1/48 injected Foxbat hit the modeling streets, and Bondo snapped his up immediately at the BX; IIRC it went for about six bucks!



Unfortunately, the kit sat unbuilt in the Bondo Industries storage facility for some twenty-nine years, until Yefim Gordon’s excellent and authoritative Aerofax book on the Mig-25/31 rekindled those earlier Mig-modeling desires.

Re-examination of the Revell kit circa 2005 revealed just how far the model industry had advanced in three decades. The Revell Foxbat had the requisite (and largely incorrect) raised detail, extremely simple cockpit, gear struts and wheel wells. In fairness, it was years after Belenko’s defection until truly accurate information about the Foxbat was declassified.




Airframe General

This project began with wet sanding off all raised detail and laboriously rescribing per the panel line layout documented in pix and line drawings in Gordon’s book.


Before rescribing the wing, the build’s most difficult phase was accomplished. That is, decreasing the wing chord by three-eights of an inch throughout the entire span.



The relatively large surface area of the altered wing required many applications of Blue Acryl and subsequent block sanding. Next, the four wing fences were scratch built.


Boundary layer bleed slots in the tops of the large intakes were scratch built. Next, out of nowhere comes Neomega to the modeler’s rescue with the 2005 release of a click-fit Foxbat cockpit set. The Foxbat’s cockpit is admittedly small, but the Neomega set really sets things off with the canopy posed open.



Exhaust depth is ridiculously shallow, and Bondo decided to head this off at the pass by simply scratchbuilding FOD covers, the red-orange color of which helps to complement many square inches of boring gray airframe.

Intakes were blocked off about three inches back with black-painted plastic sheet.


The kit’s large IR and radar missiles were used, with contrasting metal shades per various pix.


Finishing and Markings


Soviet/Russian airframes spend much of the time exposed to the rigors of winter, and the concept of wash racks doesn’t seem to have taken hold. Accordingly, the modeler can apply as much wash, dust and dirt as desired, and somewhere in the Eurasian vastness of the former Soviet Union there will be an airframe that matches! This Foxbat model was primered with automotive lacquer-based gray primer and wetsanded with up to 8000 grit Micromesh. Two very closely related bluish gray shades were custom mixed in Polly Scale using the TLAR (That Looks About Right) method . The variegated gray panels help to break up overall gray monotony of such a large fighter airframe. A muddy, brownish black oil wash was applied to all panel lines and was brushed vertically on portions of the fuselage and vertical fins to simulate the effect of rain and snow rolling off the dirty surface in the grip of gravity. Three Alclad shades were applied to the afterburner area.


A pic from the Gordon book furnished this modeler’s inspiration for the overall scheme. Ukrainian Air force decals were filched from the Amodel Tu-95 Bear kit.





This retired TAC puke has never forgotten his decades-ago serendipitous opportunity to witness the riveting Cold War testimony of a brave “Evil Empire” warrior. We all left that theater with a renewed appreciation of our own country's ideals and even more dedication, if that was possible, to our USAF mission.

You, too, can read Viktor Belenko’s fascinating story in his autobiography, “Mig Pilot”, McGraw-Hill (1980) ISBN 0-380-53868-7.


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Phil Brandt
Page Created 21 February, 2006
Last Updated 21 February, 2007

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