Differences Between the Early and Late Variants
Updated to November 4, 2005
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The MiG-3 existed in 2 main variants: an early one, built from late December 1940 to June 1941, and a later one, built from June 1941 to January 1942.
When one is choosing the example that wants to reproduce, he has to see if this is an early or a late model, and other individual characteristics, as the presence of the canopy, of the radio mast, of the slats, of the rockets, of the gun pods, of the tail wheel doors etc.
The RPM /Maquette/Alpha kit and ICM kit represent the second one. This section explains how to modify these kits into the early version.

above: the early version 
(obtainable by modifying the kits) 

below: the late version 
(reproduced by the kits). 

Drawing from
“Soviet Fighters of Great Patriotic War: MiG-3, LaGG-3, La-5”
V. Voronin and P. Kolesnikov 
modified by Alexey Matvienko


Above: the late version.        Below: the early version.


To build the early variant, we have to: 
  • modify the long fairings over the gun barrels, on the nose, shortening them and adding some small bulges and intakes;
  • engrave two small grilles on the sides of the nose, and some other panels;
  • delete all the 16 fasteners of the engine cowlings;
  • modify many panel lines, engraving someones and filling other ones; in particular, the vertical line behind the exhaust stacks has to be moved aft of 1,3 mm for an 1/72 kit, and 2 mm for an 1/48 kit;
  • fill the rectangular gap on the fuselage panels behind the exhaust stacks;
  • delete the thin triangular plates beside the oil radiator exhausts, on the engine cowling sides;
  • rebuild or modify the tail wheel doors, that should have a slot for protruding the wheel instead than a bulge; the Maquette/RPM kit doors are already made so;
  • omit to reproduce a small stripe covering the gap between nose and spinner;
  • omit to reproduce the automatic shutters closing the supercharger air intakes located at the wingroots;
  • for the 1/72 kits, delete the coverings of the first couple of exhaust stacks, reshaping them, or rebuild entirely the exhaust stacks, using the pieces of a Toko/Eastern Express LaGG-3 kit, cut from their common base and rejoined in a more appropriate position  (the Toko kit has 3 alternative sets of stacks, so it is not sacrificed);
  • the 1/48 ICM pipes don't require any modification, but you have to remove and modify their cowling on the kit nose.
To reproduce early type wings, we have to:
  • fill the slat lines;
  • rebuild the pitot tube on the right wing inlet (and not under the wing);
  • add a rectangular panel for underwing guns ammo below each wing (this could be seen on many late type wings too, being deleted on very late built examples).

The horizontal stabilizators of late type MiG-3 had a wider chord at the tip. So, converting a late type model into an early one, we have to file these pieces on their leading edge.

Be careful: because of the mixing of pieces of different aircraft, the late cowling does not necessarily mean that the wings are without slats.
If possible, look carefully to the photo of the single aircraft to see if these details are recognizable.
With some more work, the model could be converted into a MiG-1; series MiG-1 differs from early MiG-3 for having a 100 mm shorter nose, for a smaller radiator cowling and different undercarriage.

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