As might be predicted, with Eduard’s numerous MiG 21 releases on the market, Aires has now added a highly detailed 1/48 scale Soviet KM-1 ejection seat to their line of aftermarket parts. By incorporating both cast resin components and numerous small photo-etch parts, Aires has come up with a remarkably accurate rendition of this style of ejection seat. So many parts are involved that one might describe this aftermarket seat as a kit in itself. The photos below show the components and the finished product.
With a little care, each of the p/e parts can be removed from the fret and formed as required to fit their respective roles. Some of them require folding to position them correctly. A photo or two of a real KM-1 seat (with its tangle of belts and straps) will be a valuable reference as you twist and connect the multiple p/e pieces. Since none of them are pre-painted, the parts (especially the seat belts) can be lightly annealed over a flame and bent into shape before attaching them. But be careful not to overdue it, because the very thin buckles and rings will most assuredly disintegrate in the flame if held in it too long. The resin castings also should be removed from the casting block with care (using a razor saw blade and/or a sharp #11 blade), dressed with a sanding stick, and then washed in warm soapy water before attaching any of the photo-etch parts. Take note that the bottom edge of the seat includes some rather nice details that you won’t want to shave off accidentally.
Super glue is the adhesive of choice for assembling everything. I then used Vallejo acrylics to paint my sample.
Not much more needs to be said, except that this seat also can be used to upgrade the cockpit of an Academy MiG 21 kit, as well as the many new offerings from Eduard. Some may question if it is worth investing in a separate resin and p/e aftermarket detail set for the new Eduard kits. But, I’m confident that Aires will find a market for a well-detailed offering like this.
This kit is highly recommended to anyone who has a little experience working with resin and photo-etch and wants to add a highly detailed ejection seat to their 1/48 MiG-21 (or MiG-23).
My thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this item.