1/72 ArtModel MiG I-210

Gallery Article by Andrew Desautels (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy") on July 26 2021



During the Great Patriotic War (WW2 for us Westerners), the Mikoyan design bureau designed a myriad of aircraft which did not enter production. Many fell victim to powerplant problems and shortages, others were sidelined as other types from Yakovlev or Lavochkin were prioritized. However, many Mikoyan designs helped gain valuable experience which benefited other types which would become legendary. The Mikoyan project I-210 is one of those.

Throughout the Cold War the I-210 was believed to be the MiG-5. Actually it did receive a bureau designation of MiG-9, which had absolutely no relation with the jet MiG-9 Fargo, other than its design bureau. It was basically an attempt to mate a MiG-3 airframe with the very promising M-82 radial engine, as the MiG-3's AM-35A inline engine was prioritized for the Il-2 Sturmovik. The design seemed promising on paper, but once built the performance was disappointing. Despite the great power of the M-82, the larger cowling and other changes resulted in far more drag than was anticipated. Wind tunnel testing confirmed the effect of lack of cowling airtightness. 

A small number were built and was combat-proven on the Kalinin front. The I-210 experience led to the improved I-211, whose lessons were applied to Lavochkin's very similar attempt to mate the M-82 to their LaGG-3. The combined experience led to the great success of the La-5, La-5F, La-5FN and ultimately the superb La-7. 

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The Kit
I had been actively researching how to mate a 1/72 Cooperativa La-5 cowling with an MPM MiG-3 fuselage for some time when I discovered a newly-released injection molded kit of the very subject I was attempting! Fate very rarely treats us so well. I had never heard of the company "Art Model" at that time, but I figured it had to be better than what I was attempting. I ordered it straight away and found it to be a very buildable kit; it's no Tamigawa, as the saying goes, but those of us who love Soviet subjects are already used to that.

There is also an available colored PE set, some of which I used. The main modifications I did were the scratchbuilt exhaust pipes and exhaust cowl flaps, and the prop blades being installed individually so as to make a seamless spinner. 

The box art seems to show the aircraft in light gray, which was done with some MiG designs by the end of the war and shortly afterward (such as the I-250 and the MiG-9), but the half-dozen existing photos I've seen of the I-210 seem to show AII green (similar to 34102) over AII light blue. I've seen some online builds in which the long, rounded panel aft of the exhausts are painted bare steel, but after poring over the existing photos I'm not convinced that was the case. So, I didn't. I also didn't use the kit decals, as the existing photos seem​ to show the red stars with black outlines. I had suitable replacements in my MiG-3 decal sheets, so on they went. 

This is a great product of a fascinating subject welcome to any connoisseur of early MiGs.  Enjoy the photos!

Andrew Desautels

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Photos and text by Andrew Desautels