I mentioned in my previous post, real life got the better of me during the last couple of months (modelling wise) and one of the victims of those circumstances was this Flanker, that I’ve started in October.
Su-27SM (serial modernized) is a project, similar to Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project, F-16 upgrade project which brought up capabilities of mostly European F-16A operators, to similar level of Block 50 aircraft. Similar to both projects, changes were mainly internal – analog dials were replaced with large multi-function displays and Su-27s can now fire various guided air-to-ground missiles, transforming this potent fighter-interceptor to a true multi-role fighter.
Two Su-27SMs flanking two Su-27UBs – I took the photo at MAKS 2011
The kit used for this project is the “new” long-awaited Zvezda 1:72 one. It is by far the most accurate Flanker model in any scale, but I have mixed feelings about it. While accuracy is always appreciated (it’s not totally accurate though), I am quite bothered by the lack of details – there are no rivets represented, cockpit is rather basic with instrument decals (not bad though) but the are that bothers me most are the gear wells, lacking any kind of plumbing representation. Assembly is quite tricky, too – multi part intakes, sprue attachment points in awkward positions and other little inconveniencies throughout the model might make building it a core, especially for less experienced modellers.
Cockpit is basic but more accurately shaped compared to Trumpeter’s and Hasegawa’s (Su-33, -35S) Flankers.
Flanker’s flaps and slats drop when the aircraft is parked. The kit features separate slats but not flaps. I think the reason lays in modular nature of Zvezda’s models. Some Flanker models feature leading edge antennas while other’s don’t while the wings remain the same – Zvezda will just have to include different types of slats for other versions. So what I did was to cut out the flaps and glue Evergreen half rod to the front of the wing and flaps, making a circular transition between the moving surfaces.
Engine intakes were painted and masked prior installation – turbine faces were painted with Alclad White Aluminium and washed with ‘The Detailer’ Black Wash.