MiG-3 (oz1443)


MiG-3 (oz1443) by Larry Kruse 1981 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

MiG-3. Free flight rubber scale model Russian WWII fighter.

Quote: "The Russian MIG-3 is an interesting dichotomy as a scale subject. While the full-sized craft is somewhat of a dog compared to its contemporaries like the Ju.87 Stuka, the Messerschmitt Me.109, and the Hawker Hurricane, as a modeling subject for free flight scale, the MIG-3 has exciting possibilities. Its long nose moment, ample when enlarged slightly) tail sin-faces and double taper wing make it a mean looking ship even in static pose. In fact, when I showed my modelling friend, Doc Mathews, my construction drawings for the MIG, he remarked that it looked more like a classic air racer than a fighter.

I first became interested in the MIG-3 as a free flight subject through William Green's Warplanes of World War II. Then I ran across the MIG again in a stand-off-scale construction article appearing in Scale RIC Modeler. Accompanying Alan R. Spievack's article was a center-spread three-view done in full color. Enough said. I went directly to my drafting table, did not pass 'Go' and did not collect $200.

In all fairness, I must say that in no may do I have a monopoly on the design, though. The great Earl Stahl did a MiG-3 (oz1442) for rubber scale, circa 1938 or thereabouts. However, as I compared my MIG-3, enlarged two and one half times directly from the Mendenhall drawings in Scale R/C Modeler, to Stahl's (now available from John Pond), I found significant differences in rudder and stabilizer shape, nose and tail moments, wing shape, landing gear placement, cockpit placement, scale detailing and construction techniques. In short, I felt the project was worth doing again. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, consider yourself flattered Earl!

Special Construction Techniques. There are several items I need to discuss prior to dealing with the general construc-tion sequence: the canopy, the pre-formed wing tips, and the pre-formed tail surfaces.

Now, I'm probably no different than most modellers in my hesitancy to tackle anything that requires a new technique or two. Typically, I'll analyze a design to determine what skills are necessary, and then decide to build or not to build based on how well I feel my present modeling skills will suit the project. Consequently, I guess I end up building a lot of slab-sided fuselages, squared-off wing tips and open cockpit designs. Somehow it's easier to start a project i f you're assured some degree of success in completing it to your satisfaction.

You'll have to look pretty hard, though, at the MIG-3 to find anything slab-sided, squared-off or open. It has curved surfaces aplenty and a compound curved canopy as an added challenge. But, I had wanted to build it for years, so I was not to be deterred by being thrown a curve or two.

The canopy was molded using a male plug carved and sanded to the canopy shape. Light celluloid was placed in a frame, heated over the kitchen stove (with gloved hands) until it smoked, drawn down over the mold and held until cooled. Be patient with the process. It took me five tries to get a canopy I found acceptable. Heating the celluloid to just the right temperature seemed to be the key..."

Update 31/12/2012: Thanks to designer Larry Kruse for confirmation of the previously unknown publication date and the magazine.

Update 27/05/2016: article pages, text & pics added, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text & pics.


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MiG-3 (oz1443) by Larry Kruse 1981 - model pic


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User comments

Just wanted to let you know that my Mig-3 plan and construction article were published in the Feb. of 1981 issue of Flying Models magazine.
Larry Kruse - 31/12/2012
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