MiG-21 F-13 is the first variant of the supersonic jet fighter to be produced in large numbers. It is known in NATO as Fishbed-C and its abbreviation F-13 in Soviet Union meant that it is Frontoviy – “F” – /front-line/ and “13” goes for the K-13 missile system implemented. This specific variant is widely accepted as the very first variant of the MiG-21, which it wasn’t. It was the initial mass-produced version. It is also one of the most used Mikoyan “-21”, with some samples still flying to this day in China and North Korea. China, as well as Czechoslovakia built their own variants under license, with Chinese Chengdu J-7 being in production until the mid- second decade of the 21st century.
Czechoslovak-made F-13s were named S-106 and were built by Aero Vodochody. 194 were manufactured in total, with some of them remaining in the Czechoslovak Air Force, while others – going for export. The most noticeable difference with the Soviet-made MiG-21 F-13 was the rear part of the canopy, which was made from metal, instead of transparent material like on the original. Nevertheless, those were manufactured with high degree of precision and quality and some of them are flyable and in private hands to this day.
Rich in history in Czechoslovakia and later on in Czech Republic, MiG-21 was a symbol of their Air Force. Not surprisingly, Czech model maker Eduard started their 48th scale line with nearly perfect Second-Gen MiG-21MF, which they later on developed into good earlier and not-so-accurate -21bis variants. These are /to this day/ among the best quarter scale jet kits on the market. Surprisingly enough, First Gen MiG-21 was left somewhere behind by the Czech company, making many wonder why. The first generation part of which is F-13, was one of the deadliest and most recognizable too. In Vietnam, Fishbed-C was on par with early Phantoms and even though later on that changed drastically, MiG-21F remained in history. In Middle East, a deserter with F-13 fled to the Israelis, who tested the Fishbed and later on gave it to the USAF. Both sides were impressed by the simplicity and the performance of this cheap, day-only Mach 2 jet. It was obvious that they were dealing with a legend, second only to the Phantom.
Finally, after years of waiting, the time came for Eduard – a Czech company – to honor the MiG-21F13, both as a scale model kit and as a Czech/Czechoslovak aviation artefact. That was long, long-awaited announcement, which will give start to new and hopefully long line of 48th and later on surely 72nd scale kits. Luckily for us all, twin-seater MiG-21s are too based on that same platform, which gives way to the Czech model maker for another, also long-awaited line of trainer variants, once again in those two abovementioned scales.
If you are interested in MiG-21 Generations, the video above might be useful for you
Eduard are one of the best. They are widely respected. Recognized all over the planet. We love them, their kits, their repacks, their aftermarket. We have no doubt that they will do their best with the F-13 and properly honor MiG-21 with their future releases. Speaking of F-13 initially, we’ve heard that they will hit us with Limited Edition kit. Then on, we expect Aero S-106, Chengdu F-7s, J-7s, dual combos and what not. Eventually leading to MiG-21U, US, UM and so on, a new line of well-known old-school fighter jets in one of our favorite scales.
We can only wonder what took them so long, because MiG-21 was not completely exploited by Eduard, leaving space for what is about to happen soon. Thus far, we know that Limited Edition will appear in a matter of months, but will it be on Telford, Christmas or in early 2024, we have no idea. The sooner the better. We’ve waited long time, and with so many Phantoms in scale, someone had to show up with its arch-nemesis. After all, this is the plane on the patch of the famous fighter weapons school. AKA TOP GUN. This is not by accident.
P.S. Hey dear Eduard Bunny! What about Su-7 next?