Category: Su-27SM ‘Flanker’

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 (, 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!







And here we are – the paint is on and the thing looks like the real deal now. Well not really yet, as engines area is still masked, some parts are still not installed and of course, it hasn’t been weathered yet. But all of this in due course.

Paints used for the camo are ModelMaster 1508 Light Blue and 2032 Bright Blue FS35183.






As I said in the previous post, I am not entirely satisfied with this kit. And bringing it close to painting stage showed its faults even more. The plastic is very soft, panel lines rather shallow and there’s way too many sprue gates. In practice, this means, there’s gonna be a lot of clean up work, which will sooner than later lead to some lost detail, while sanding will create dents in the soft plastic, which will need puttying, sanding and rescribing to complete the circle. And this is the work I hate the most at modelling. But anyway, I have managed to bring the model somehow to this point, where I could start painting the engine/exhaust parts, so characteristic of the Flankers.

Here is how I do it.


The parts are first primed with Alclad Grey Primer.


Followed by Alclad Magnesium – you can use any other darker shade like Steel or Titanium for example.


Panels were then brush painted using ModelMaster Stainless Steel (any light metallic paint will do for this part).


Whole area was then lightly randomly airbrushed with Alclad Pale Burnt Metal.


Followed by Random strokes of Alclad Jet Exhaust. Procedure for the bottom part is the same.


Picture of the whole airframe with dryfitted exhausts. Later in the build, heat staining will be added to finish.


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.