Tamiya's first offering in its 1/100 Mini Jet series was the MiG-19 "Farmer". Claimed by the Soviets to have beaten USAF's F-100 as the first operational supersonic fighter, this rakish beauty with sharply swept wings entered service in early 1955 armed with a trio of the excellent NR-30 30mm cannon and eventually the "Atoll" IR seeking missile. In this form Farmer became known as an outstanding dogfighter. Ultimately the guns were removed for radar and four AA-1 "Alkali" beam-riding missiles, creating the all-weather MiG-19PM Farmer D, subject of the kit. The MiG-19PM was armed with the RP-5 air-intercept radar with the RS-2US (K-5) Alkali" missile. Some 10,000 Farmers were built by USSR and vassals, and by Red China as the F-6, subject of my model.
Thirty-three gray parts and the clear canopy make up this kit, first issued in 1968. Tamiya has deleted the display stand in the re-issue, adding two round weights to keep the Farmer off his tail. Finely recessed panel lines dominate the flash-free kit. Gear doors for up or down display are provided, but no pilot.
Fit is decent. Most filling was accomplished with liquid glue, though I filled the wing-fuselage gaps with epoxy. Add epoxy, wipe with a baby wipe or alcohol soaked cotton swab, and enjoy the clean, smooth seam!
The jet has a shallow fairing along the top of the fuselage and a fin along the bottom. Filling was required there, too. I built mine for flight, the nose door fits great, one main door does too, the other is a bit small for the hole. Aggravation accompanies the missile rails and drop tanks. Single mounting holes, no guides, you are left with just the Mark-1 eyeball. These are in the way for everything, so I left them off as the final pieces. The single holes and paint meant that I had to use super glue and too much patience!
Primed with a sandable scratch-filling automobile primer, I pondered paint schemes. Tamiya's decals are for the Soviet Frontal Aviation, East Germany, and Cuba. While the latter two's markings add color, these are still just ho-hum natural metal finish (NMF). Red China began building Farmers just before Mao's falling out with the Soviets and they built some Farmer Ds. The PRC sported a striking five-color scheme of olive, medium green, ochre and brown over a sky-green (is this where RLM-84 sneaked off to?). This turned out to be my biggest problem on this small kit with numerous angles and protrusions! Polly Scale Depot Buff and RLM-83 Light Green, Pactra Dark Earth and Medium Blue, and Model Master Olive--acrylics all--occupied much time before I was happy with what you see here. The underside color I painted and masked, while the top colors were freehand. The dark colors hide some overspray, but the colors along the buff had to be applied, and reapplied, with variously thinned paint shot with the lowest pressure I could manage. Eventually I applied some Future, re shot buff, and wiped off the spatter as best as I could. Then more Future.
decals and weathering
Decals in the kit are for Cuba; East Germany; and the Soviet Union. No PRC decals in this kit, so I robbed them from my 1/100 Il-28 Beagle. The kit's prominent nose numbers were all drab, so I pirated a 1/35 German tank tactical numbers for Farmer's snozzola. Tamiya's new decals are excellent. Short soaking, no curling, opaque, and settle along all detail. I used Micro Set, hardly needing Micro Sol.
Another coat of Future to prepare for weathering. Trouble--so many coats filled some of the panels lines so they didn't hold the accentuating wash. I tried markers and my favorite Future-water color wash. All worked here and there but I had to use a pencil to do most of the wing panels. Photos of Farmers show the NMF birds with dirty lines and big rivets. So after the panel lines, I decided to scuff up the machine ever so slightly, adding fresh paint here and there, and mismatching some areas. All is sealed with Polly Scale's wonderful, dead-flat acrylic flat finish.
Tamiya's little Farmer built into a very nice model.
Highs: Finely recessed panel lines dominate the flash-free kit. Gear doors provided for gear-up or gear-down display. Excellent decals.Lows: No pilot. Very fine missile rails tricky to attach under the wing.Verdict: Tamiya's little Farmer built into a very nice model.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...