Category: Su-35S ‘Flanker-E’


Su-35S ‘Flanker-E’ – pt.7

Maybe still remember, how much time I’ve spent masking all those tiny details on the bare metal areas of the engines and the exhausts. If you don’t – click HERE to see the painting and masking process.

The time has finally come to finish those. I admit, it was a bit of a gamble as I’ve never before worked on such a complex pattern and the aim was to achieve uniform pattern on one hand and still some randomness on other.

All the work was done using Tamiya Weathering Master Set D, using a thin paintbrush (the included sponge brush is too cumbersome to work on details).

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First I tried this method on one of the tailplanes and I really liked the outcome. Keep in mind however, that this was a laborious project that lasted several hours. The final effect is also quite hard to photograph, as both the Alclad and the blue of the weathering set reflect differently under the changing light and the angle of view.

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Su-35S ‘Flanker-E’ – pt.6

Hi everyone!

My first post after a much needed holiday. Spent a great week with my wife and friends road tripping around Norway and understandably, the modelling pace has decelerated a bit. But I am slowly gaining momentum again and here’s a new, albeit short new update for you.

In my previous post, you have seen my Flanker turned from Grey to colorful; I guess it’s no surprise, it gained some more colors after decaling!

Decals lay down nicely on a glossy surface, courtesy of Alclad Aqua Gloss. Additional coat was sprayed over decals for protection and an oil color wash – mix of Raw Umber and Payne’s Grey heavily thinned with (non aggressive) white spirit – applied.

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Since Su-35s are fairly new machines, I don’t plan on weathering her any further. In the meantime, one more Hasegawa mistake was corrected. Nose gear strut is a few millimeters too high – when the model is put on its wheels, it looses the characteristic Flanker kneel down pose. I cut a section of gear strut above the taxi/landing lights and shortened the supporting side braces. Oh and yeah, some wiring was added to the struts, using thin copper wire and stretched sprue.

I can slowly see the end of the tunnel now. Stay tuned for new updates in the coming week and have a great remainder of Sunday!

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Quick update, not much of in progress photos this time. After masking bare metal areas, the model got a nice even coat of Alclad Grey primer followed by 5000 grit polishing to make the surface perfectly smooth. First colour was Model Master Flanker Pale Blue. Looking at these pics, I wish someone already released canard equipped Su-30 series so I could build an Algerian machine – this blue-grey combination is quite striking!

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Next came grey and blue colours. Grey was giving me some problems – I tried ModelMaster Dark and Light Ghost gray but didn’t have enough blue in them, then I tried Agama R27 Light Grey Blue but was too blue – in the end I mixed a roughly 5:3 mix of Agama R27 and Lt. Ghost Gray and I think I nailed it quite good. The Blue is Agama R31 Light Blue.

At this point it was time for detail painting. I must admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to all the masking required by extensive dielectric panels all around the aircraft. Beside that, looking at the model with basic camo applied, it looked just like another Su-27, nice, but ordinary and that sense. The revelation came just a bit later, when I sprayed the black antiglare coat around the canopy – it felt like the aircraft transformed. Anyhow here she is in all her splendor! I am off for a week long holiday in Norway so expect some more colour on her in 10 days or so! Cheers

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One of the main challenges building any Flanker variant has to be natural metal finish on the engine areas as well as tail planes on Su-35S. I guess there is as many methods as there are modellers, but if you are struggling with this part of the build, I hope my step by step guide will be helpful to you. All paints used are Alclad II unless otherwise stated.

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Interior of exhaust cans was painted White and weathered using Brown, Black and Sand pigments and dry pastels.

 

 

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Afterburner (forsazh) chamber was painted with Jet Exhaust and then drybrushed with ModelMaster Stainless Steel.

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Drybrushing effect can be seen through the exhaust apertures.

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In preparation for the metallic treatment, surface was primed with Grey primer with microfiller.

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The whole area was then given a coat of Jet Exhaust.

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Using reference photos, the tiny grids were masked using thinly cut Tamiya masking tape.

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Next step was applying White Aluminium to the lighter shaded areas.

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Copper was applied next in thin coats.

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Notice how darker the bottom side appears because of the darker background paint (Jet Exhaust vs. White Alu on top).

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All the engine servicing panels were picked up next using a thin brush and ModelMaster Stainless Steel.

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Using Pale Burnt Metal was the next step, blending everything together and giving the area that yellowish tint.

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And finished result. In the end, some Exhaust manifold was applied to the exhaust petals. Notice that the grid effect can barely be seen, just like on the real deal. This however is not a finished deal yet. The bare metal areas will be masked next and when all the painting is finished, they will be unmasked and Tamiya weathering set used for those blue metal effects.

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Tail planes also went through similar treatment – Jet Exhaust base and a lot of masking…

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… followed by Copper…

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…and finished using Pale Burn Metal. Note that all the surfaces reflect light differently so the effects are depending on the source of light and view angle – just the same as on real aircraft.

Working schedule and weekend away from home prevented much work to be done on the Sukhoi, but the progress is steady as I see it!

Next thing I tackled were wheel wells. They are usually devoid of much details which can be seen on real aircraft. Armed with some reference photos I’ve decided to improve the looks, armed with 0.3 and 0.5mm soldering wire, bits and pieces of plasticard and good old classic stretched sprue.

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Front wheel well on the real deal isn’t really busy wiring-wise, but there are some small wires, cylinders and black boxes present.

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While Hasegawa represented some of the wiring of the main wheel bay with faint raised lines, the real deal is much more busy. Thin stretched sprue wire bundles were made, as well as some soldering wire attached to spice the rather accurate shape-wise wells.

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One should not forget the area behind the main landing gear struts, which is also wired and features some cylinders – probably an emergency hydraulic for lowering the gear in cause of main hydraulic system failure.

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Sprue K indicates that we can expect a future release of a prototype Su-35S version – the area behind the cockpit is different, while the smooth insert at the top, was a strengthening plate on the prototype.

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Insert in place – some Mr. Surfacer will be needed to smooth out the little gaps.

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As with their Su-33, Hasegawa again moulded radome in two halves. It is a bit awkward solution and since there are small static dischargers (?) on it, extra care must be taken not to sand them away when fixing the seam. There are, however, two SD’s that run through the entire length of the radome, one on top and the other on the bottom. They were recreated with a thin stretched sprue – actually a leftover from a KC-135E project.

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I hate these parts with Su-33 and I hate them again. Intakes are, as you can see, full of pin marks, some quite visible if you don’t fill and sand them. Construction of them can also be a core.

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My method is to glue the intake halves together, and while the glue hasn’t set yet (the join is still soft), you dryfit the intake to the lower fuselage part and adjust the sides to a perfect fit. After that is done, insert auxiliary intakes at the bottom (closed if doing a bird on the ground, open (ribbed in this case) if doing her in flight), and paint the intakes with some neutral Grey colour.

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Masking Flanker intakes can be problematic as well as they feature a thin edge of the outside colour on the inner sides of the intake lips. It will be easier if you mask most of them before installing the top and just mask the corners, after the top was attached.

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Intakes were painted with Alclad White Aluminium (notice the turbine blades reflection in the cone) and washed with The Detailers Black wash.

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A view of the assembled intake just before installing it on the lower fuselage.

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As you can see, the fit of the intakes is pretty good and just some small touch ups will be needed.

 

If you are one of those, that follow my blog and my projects, it should come as no surprise, that I have a soft spot for Flankers. Sukhoi’s big twin jet fighter first flew the same year that I was born and in its distinguished career proved its worth, forming the backbone of Soviet and later Russian Air Force, while the basic variant developed from a fighter/interceptor to power multirole versions (Su-30 series), fighter bomber (Su-34), naval fighter (Su-33) and its final guise, a modern 4++ generation, super maneuverable fighter, the Su-35S ‘Flanker-E’.

In my airshow ‘career’, I have witnessed displays of many fighters, all of the American ‘teen-series’, European 4th gen fighters, MiGs and even the famed F-22 Raptor. Yet when I’ve seen Su-35S for the first time, display what it’s capable of, it was like a cherry on top of the Flanker cake. Here’s a photo of the first Su-35S prototype I made at MAKS 2011.

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So you can imagine my excitement, when I first heard that Hasegawa announced the release of this version in gentleman’s scale. A few months later, HLJ enabled the preorders, and the kit arrived early August. As you can expect from Hasegawa, the plastic is crisply moulded and full of detail.

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As you can see the raised detail is very crisp. I was comparing the side consoles layout with the photos of the real thing and Hasegawa nailed it almost to a button! Hats off. However not everything’s perfect. Two big Multi Function Displays on the instrument panel should be rectangular, not square and there are side(wall) consoles missing. The latter is not such a big deal as with cockpit installed, you won’t see much inside anyway.

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K-36 seat is nice. Not surprisingly harnesses are missing but as I will use a pilot, that doesn’t bother me at all. And if you wanna improve this section, there’s tons of aftermarket K36s out there.

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Ejection seat finished. Nice touch are head rest placards decals. Ejection seat handle was made from 0.19mm copper wire as the supplied one is of wrong shape (inverted bell) and too thick. Also notice that painting diagram is wrong – instructions want you to paint whole seat black, while newer version of the seat use olive-green fabric instead of black leather.

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There is an option to use decals for side consoles and instrument panels, but unfortunately they are mostly wrong, as all panels are painted black with white buttons, like on american fighters, while Flanker’s cockpit is a bit more colourful. I have used a few decals though, for the radio station and for all the MFD’s. One little detail I’ve added were new better shaped rudder pedals and the bare metal area before them. Won’t be visible in the end, but it’s there 😉

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The ejection seat and instrument panel fit without problems.

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Meat Boris! You actually get two pilot figures in the kit and they’re very nicely moulded as you can see. With positionable head and arms, there’s no problem positioning him to have his hands on HOTAS.

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Mandatory coin comparison check!

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And as I said before, while you install the pit, there’s not much left to be seen of those beautiful details.

 

Till the next time!