OK it's about time I did a true Iraqi fighter, so when I decided to go with the 23 I knew straight away I'll make it in Iraqi livery.
Although it wasn't popular nor very effective, the MS version of the MiG-23 fighter looks very typical with its short radom and is known for its use in Arab countries.
Iraq received 20 MS version of total more than 100 ordered. The delivery was cut back due to the disappointment of the aircraft in service. The downgraded radar and avionics made it no better than MiG-21. It was limited to only R-13 missiles, so it couldn't operate BVR. The MS were soon replaced with the MF version.
Iraqi MS examples were used in the fisrt half of the Iran-Iraq war. 8 were lost with the 1:1 kill ratio. A few were shot down by Iranian Tomcats and MIM-23BN Hawk SAMs. They shot down 6 F-4D/F-4Es, one F-5E and one AH-1 all in 1980.
source: iraqiairforc.blogspot, acig.org
We waited ages for the new MiG-23 tool. It finally came last year by Trumpeter. So far it is available in M or the MF version. To make it an MS there has to be some work done.
First and most obvious is the nose cone - IRST had to be deleted and some antennas added/removed and moved up to the front. I scribed some new lines to shorten the radom.
The second thing was the rudder hinges. The MS didn't have dual dampers on the hinge as the later versions so I had to fill them with plastic and putty. The canopy in the M boxing is not split in the middle so I had to modify it to make it look like it does. The cockpit is aftermarket resin by Aires - difficult to work with but looks excellent when finished.
I decided to go with R-13S missiles on underwing hardpoints, old R-3S on the belly and an underbelly fuel tank.
The decals are the wonderful Lindenhill Iraqi fighters in 1:48. There are many MiG-23 options, 3 just for the MS and great illustrations by Tom Cooper.