Russian Missile R-23T (AA-7B Apex)

Published: December 4th, 2013     
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum - IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Company: Plusmodel
Price: $15.50
Product / Stock #: AL4020
Product provided by: Plusmodel

Distinctive of the Mig-23 interceptor were the large white R-23 (NATO AA-7 APEX) missiles that it carried close to the fuselage. To me, with the large fins, they seem more menacing than the US Sparrow missiles. Now that there is a decent model of the Mig-23 available in 1/48 it is nice to see the aftermarket manufacturers step in and provide more realistic ordnance options. Even though the Trumpeter kit provides R-23 it is nice to see the variants and detail offered by Plus Models. In this case these are the infrared seeking R-23T missiles.

As I experience with some of their other products, Plus Models provides a small multi-media kit in each package. This kit is no exception, providing separate resin main fins, replacement missile rails, clear resin seeker heads, resin seeker head covers, PE details and decals. The instructions are adequate to get the missiles assembles, but I recommend some reference photos for the smaller details like protective covers. Before you start I suggest scrubbing the resin with a detergent to remove the mold release.

I began construction by assembling the resin, removing the pour blocks from the back end of the missile body and the main fins from their pour blocks. There was slight damage to the missiles with most of the small pitot tubes broken off the aft fins. I used CA to attach the large fins to the missile body. Here the instructions were a bid vague on the fore and aft alignment and there was no positive lock in place. I worked slowly to ensure the fins were at 90 degrees to each other and were the same distance from the nose. All in all it was an exercise in patience. Additional patience was required to attach the nose fins, again with no positive lock. Since this resin and PE are the same for several variants of missiles, you will have left over fins. I had to re-attach some fins that snapped off with handling.

Once this work was done, I primed the missiles with Tamiya white primer prior to painting Tamiya gloss white. Both were sprayed from a rattle can. Despite careful prep, the primer still developed fisheyes and I had to sand the affected areas smooth before painting. Once dried, I applied the marking decals. A word of caution, the decal sheet is a solid layer of carrier fin, so each marking will need to be cut out separately, even the very tiny ones. These are very thin decals that are hard to slide on the surface and which love to fold back on themselves; again more patience. I decided not to paint and decal the missile rails until I choose a scheme for the Mig-23.

With the decaling done I decided to apply the protective covers. First I painted the cover for the seeker head Model Master Insignia Red. Once dried, I cut the radome off the nose at the required set back and glued the cover on with CA. The photoetch covers were easy to apply, but again reference photos were a help. I had to paint some of the assemblies. The final step was to attach the PE strap to the covers. The PE would not cooperate, so I made a strap from painted tissue paper.

These missiles took more time than the average plastic weapons, but the result is far more realistic and the missiles are ready to mount. Recommended.

  • Decal Sheet
    Decal Sheet
  • Kit Components
    Kit Components
  • Missile Body Detail
    Missile Body Detail
  • Missile Rails
    Missile Rails
  • Missile Fins
    Missile Fins
  • PE Fret
    PE Fret
  • Seeker Heads & Covers
    Seeker Heads & Covers
  • Finished Missiles
    Finished Missiles

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