Revell 1:144 F-104G Starfighter (1984 Aviano, 3° Stormo, 132 Gruppo); Balkan Models decals
And with its Soviet cousin the MiG-21bis
MiG-21 was built in more than 11.000 examples so it is no wonder, many of them were used in experimental roles. MiG-21I’s main task was to test different wing shape profiles for the upcoming supersonic airliner Tu-144. Two prototypes were built, based on the MiG-21S airframe. Second prototype was tested at Gromov Flight Research Institute at Zhukovsky. Many cameras were added to the hump and top of the tail and the center-of-gravity was regulated by weights added to the nose and tail of the aircraft. MiG-21I first flight happened on 18th April 1968 and both aircraft made more than 140 flights – first prototype crashed during aerobatic routine, killing test pilot V. Konstantinov while the second prototype was transferred to the Monino Air Force Museum near Moscow, where it stands besides the Tu-144 until this day.
Kit: Modelsvit 1:72 MiG-21I Analog, 2nd prototype – out of the box
And an interesting and rare video of some Analog flying I found on Youtube
Su-27SM (serial modernized) is a program similar to NATO’s F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) one. The aim is to increase combat capabilities of Russian Flanker fleet as well as overhaul the airframes extending their service life. The results of this modernization are improved cockpit ergonomics with the so called glass-cockpit (majority of needle instruments replaced by three LCD displays), improved forward visibility due to offset IRST sensor as well as the ability to carry ‘smart’ air-to-ground weapons including laser guided bombs, TV and laser guided missiles as well as lethal anti-radar and anti-ship missiles. First airframes were completed in 2004 and the program is ongoing with several dozen fighters in operational use. Parallel to the SM, export version, labeled SKM, was derived, which differs from the SM by the inclusion of in-flight refueling probe. Indonesian Air Force is the sole operator so far.
The model represents a Flanker in use by the elite 4th Combat and Conversion Training Center (4 TsBP i PLS) at Lipetsk Air Base in Russia.
Red 06 from the same unit – I took this photo at MAKS 2007.
Kit: Zvezda 1:72 built out of the box
And on my Norwegian friend’s request, a family photos with Su-35S
A coat of Alclad Gloss Black primer will give a model a proper base for a shiny finish.
This was followed by Alclad White Aluminum.
I did shading with Alclad Magnesium and using a post-it note as a masking guide. While the effect turned out to be really great, I felt it was too exaggerate.
The effect was then toned down by another thin coat of White Aluminum and I think I got it just right – as the real aircraft was just plain aluminum, giving it some shading, I added a bit of interest to the plain surfaces without making things up.
Hey everybody! Still remember photos of a [SARCASM] stellar [/SARCASM] fit of wings to the fuselage on this build? If not, click HERE. Well here I am at the moment – the model in primer. A few touch-ups will be required so if all goes according to plan, she’ll get a nice even coat of Alclad Gloss Black base and metallic finish sometime later this week. I have to admit, I was struggling with putties in the past – they crumbled, sanding was messy, especially in some tight corner and all in all they were quite a horrifying experience. Well, I have to say, I have found a new one and it blew me away with its quality and ease of work.
The product is called Perfect Plastic Putty by Deluxe Materials. It is a water based putty of a similar thickness as Tamiya’s white putty. But the real game changer is that it is water based. In practice this means, that you apply it over the seam, wait half an hour or so to fully dry, then gently rub the seam with damp brush and you will remove excess putty with ease and any residue can be later removed by damp cloth. I will probably make a product review with a video in the near future, to show you how easy it is to use. Oh and yeah, if you let it cure it will sand very nicely as well.
With the model nicely coated with Alclad Aqua Gloss, first thing I did, was paint the bare metal area around the gun. Su-27 uses a big caliber 30mm GSh-301 – a light weight single barrel gun that is able to destroy aerial targets with just 3-5 hits. It’s location in the side of Leading Edge Root Extension (LERX) means, that the projectile travels very close to the surface of the aircraft for quite a while and to prevent scorching paint, the area is left unpainted. I used Alclad Magnesium as a base colour, followed by Alclad Dark Aluminium for highlighting panels, to break up the monotony.
Looking at the photos of the real aircraft on russianplanes.net (http://russianplanes.net/regs/RF-92211), I noticed that the red paint on the bigger markings faded quite quickly; top wing stars turned to white, while side painted markings got pretty faded as well. Fading as done using some technique as I’ve used on MiG-15bis last year – decals, while still on backing paper, got slightly rubbed with a cotton bud damp with enamel thinner. While Eduard’s decals reacted perfectly, Zvezda’s were a bit more reluctant – bigger markings started tearing up as thinner ate its way through the backing film of decal. I would recommend to try this method beforehand on a decal, you don’t intend to use with the build – better safe than sorry 😉 This was also the reason why I haven’t faded the stencils. I plan to use oil filters and hope they will blend the markings nicely.
Decals themselves are not bad – quite thin and I got just a little bit of silvering which was taken care of using decal softener. Some decals seem a bit out of size – stars on the fins as well as VVS ROSII titles. Instructions are not the best either, especially for this markings scheme – luckily, there’s a lot of photos of this particular bird on the above link to help you out.
Till the next time!