Tag Archive: modelsvit


Sukhoi Su-17 series developed from the fixed wing Su-7 – the latter having poor low speed handling and the variable sweep wing on the -17 series improved this dramatically. First versions of Su-17 entered Soviet Air Force in 1970 and thus becoming the first swing-wing aircraft in Soviet inventory. The ground-pounder became very popular and was exported to many countries and saw combat action all around the globe. Several countries still use the type today, including Poland and Peru.

Su-17M3 evolved from the revised Su-17UM twin-seater, but instead of the second cockpit, it carries another fuel tank and some additional electronics in the enlarged hump. Doppler radar from the M2 was moved internally, air-to-air missile pylons were added under the wings and laser rangefinder/designator installed in the nose cone. Production of this variant lasted from 1976 until 1980 and almost a 1.000 were built.

Unfortunately I have not found a lot of information regarding Azeri Fitters. I would assume they remained in Azerbaijan after the collapse of Soviet Union in late 1991. The four aircraft were sent in 2003 to Ukraine for overhaul but have seen little use upon returning to their home base and were put into reserve.

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The kit

I have to admit, I love the Fitter family – not matter if it’s a fixed wing Su-7 or the swing wing -17, they have this kind of purposeful and powerful image to them that attracts me to them like moth to a flame. I guess part of this fascination comes from the fact, that I did take care of a museum Su-7 for a couple of years. So, when I’ve seen Modelsvit started expanding their -17 range, I was more than thrilled. Getting the kit, it struck me, as how much this small short-run company has advanced in just a few years. When I built their Su-7BM a few years back, I was really excited, as it was a new tool, fit well and looked great! I have to say that this new kit sets the quality bar really high – not just for short-run kits but injected moulded kits in any scale!

The level of detail in this kit is better than in 1:48 KittyHawk and HobbyBoss Su-17 kits! Just check the in-progress post! The fit is really good throught and the only problem that I’ve had were main wing fences (again check the in progress post) and even they were sorted out with some patience. And that’s not all – Modelsvit include a thin foil masks in the kit (for both inside and outside of transparencies plus doppler radar, gun blast areas,…) and a small photo-etched fret which includes counter-measures dispensers and several antennas and aerials. There are also options to pose airbrakes open or closed and the canopy comes in single part for closed option or divided into windshield and canopy for open position. Marking options include several Soviet Air Force machines that fought in the Afghanistan war in 1980’s. While I initially planned to build one of those war horses, I’ve stumbled upon a photo of Azerbaijani M3 with a striking splinter camouflage and upon finding Linden Hill decals for it, the decision was easy. I also chose to replace the plastic/PE combo of complicated pitot tube with new Master Model pitot tubes, which really improve the overall look of the model.

Step-by-step build: https://vvsmodelling.com/2017/12/06/modelsvit-172-su-17m3-fitter-h-build-article/

If you like Fitters, Soviet aircraft, or if you’re just looking for a first foray into the world of short-run models, I can’t say anything else but – GO FOR THIS KIT! You won’t be disappointed!

Model Data
Company: Modelsvit
Scale: 1:72
Aftermarket: Master Model brass pitots, Linden Hill Azerbaijani decals
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-197 Su-27/33 Light Blue Grey, Tan (Mix of MRP-167 Light Earth and MRP-214 Yellow Brown), MRP-166 Chestnut Brown, Dark Green (mixMRP-32 Green for Wheels and MRP-5 Basic Black), MRP–246 Light Arctic Grey, MRP-32 Green for Wheels, MRP-195 Sukhoi Cockpit Blue)
Alclad (ALC-103 Dark Aluminum, ALC-111 Magnesium, ALC-116 Semi Matt Aluminum, ALC-123 Exhaust Manifold, ALC-413 Hotmetal Blue)

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MiG Ye-150

Ever since I’ve seen Ye-166 (actually a Ye-152-2) at Monino museum near Moscow, I wanted to build a model of it. Unfortunately no-one would release such a model… well, not until recently. Modelsvit released not only the “father” of the family, the Ye-150, but also I-3U, which preceded the heavy interceptor program, and they promised to bring us other models of this program as well – I just hope crisis in the Ukraine will not impact the release schedule too much.

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MiG Ye-150 – author unkown

Ye-150 first flew in July 1960. While it bears the resemblance to the MiG-21 fighters, it is a much much bigger beast altogether. Just the information, that it is powered by an enormous Tumansky R-15 engine (of the MiG-25 fame), tells something. While the flight testing was plagued with extremely short lived engine (this early versions of R-15 had barely enough service hours for a ground check and one flight), aileron buffeting and other problems, the aircraft did achieve several successes – the highest speed achieved during testing was M2.65 using less than half a throttle, while the service ceiling of around 70.000ft (21.000m). Weapons systems was never integrated and flight tests ended after a little more than 40 flights.

Modelsvit’s Ye-150 is a typical short-run model. Some modelling experience is required as parts need to be cleaned up and the fit is tricky with some components. Especially troublesome was exhaust area (you can see it in the WiP section of this site), wings to fuselage join and the canopy area. Panel line engraving also lacks the finesse of their Su-7/17 kits and is a little bit on the heavy side. Model was painted with Alclad Polished Aluminium and finsihed with Alclad Semi-Matt coat.

And you have to admit it – it does look like it’s gonna punch holes in the skies, ain’t it?

And three of the Soviet X-fighters of my collection.

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First Soviet hotrod – pt.3

After a long pause I’m back. Long heat wave and no air conditioning in my apartment and a week long holiday prevented any serious model building. Those who follow my blog have also probably noticed my other project, the USS Cole. While I can work on two aircraft kits at the same time without much problem, the ship gave me so much to think about, that I’ve decided to put it aside until I finish this MiG monster.

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As you can see, I was quite battling it and the fight ain’t over yet. Joining fuselage halves, revealed a step on the bottom side, which took quite some time, putty, sanding sticks and patience to remedy. Also at the join of the halves at the back of the canopy, I couldn’t get the mating surfaces together. To further complicate things – when the canopy was dry fitted, it was too high, so the whole area required quite some reshaping.

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You’ve seen the nose cone before – well puttied and sanded it looks much better than before and the Albion Alloys brass rod definitely looks better than the plastic one from the kit.

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Did I mention the gaps? Well they are there and will have to fixed next. Good thing is though, when I’m done with them, I’ll be over with major problems… Hopefully 😀

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Till the next time!

So… you remember the fit problem of engine exhaust tube from the previous post? Some modellers suggested I should leave it as it is, as the vertical fin will cover the gap (true, but the fuselage diameter would be too big for the exhaust shroud), while most suggested thinning down the fuselage sides and the tube itself. While I was leaning towards the later idea, I had a moment of enlightenment and decided to go for a totally different approach – scratchbuilding it!

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I have calculated the circumference of the inner tube diameter and cut the rectangular piece of 0.25mm sheet styrene. Placing it into boiling water it softened enough to be easily curved. Using the existing tube as a “mould”, sort of, I managed to get a respectable new narrower tube, that doesn’t interfere with the fuselage halves.

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As R-15 engines aren’t just bare inside, I Googled for photos of MiG-25 engines and soon found a photo that helped me the detailing. The afterburning chamber has what looks like a wavy sheet metal. I have used 2mm half round Evergreen rods to simulate that. I am aware they are not exactly the same shape and are a bit oversized, but still represent this area much better than the original kit part 🙂

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Using sheet styrene again, cut to rectangular pieces, the petals at the edge of the exhaust were recreated, according to reference photos. Dark wash was applied over the petals for better representation.

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The tube was first painted Alclad Jet Exhaust, followed by a slight misting of Alclad Pale Burnt Metal. Petals were painted in Flat Green. The tube was finished with a dark wash over petals and brown pigments on the inside, simulating grim and soot. Photo is a bit overexposed to show some of the interior detail.

First Soviet hotrod – pt.1

Mikoyan Gurevich designed a series of heavy fighter/interceptor prototypes in the mid-50’s, starting with a project called Ye-150 (E-150).

Ye-150 first flew in July 1960. Although of similar design to MiG-21, it was more than 3m longer and over 7 tons heavier than MiG-21F-13. Powered by a mighty Tumansky R-15 afterburning turbojet engine (better known as the MiG-25 engine), it achieved maximum speed of M2.65 at just using half a throttle, excellent rate of climb and service ceiling of almost 70.000ft.

The kit used for building this model is of Ukrainian company Modelsvit in 1:72 scale.

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Multi-angled nose cone is built out of 4 parts. There are some rough edges when glueing the 4 pieces together but they are easily removed using sanding sticks. Nose mounted pitot tube will be replaced by a brass tube.

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Multi-piece cockpit gives nice three-dimensional look of the pilot office and also serves as the front wheel well on the bottom and nose cone attachment point (and a place to install required nose weight).

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Ejection seat and instrument panel are quite good for a short-run kit and after adding some harnesses and some paint should look quite presentable.

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Wing halves have some flash present, but what I find most disturbing is surplus plastic, that can be seen on above photo attached to the flaps. Removing it is quite difficult and requires use of different sharp tools from my toolbox.

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And last but not least, the exhaust area. When building the exhaust tube and dryfitting it into the fuselage halves, huge gaps appeared on top and bottom – approximately 2mm wide! I am still not sure how to solve this problem, as I am not entirely certain, enough material can be removed on the inside of the fuselage, while the exhaust tube is quite thin.

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

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And an interesting and rare video of some Analog flying I found on Youtube

 

Double Delta Fishbed – part 4

Painting time!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Double Delta Fishbed – part 3

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.

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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.

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Double Delta Fishbed – part 2

Last time, I was talking about experience required when building short-run kits. Today I’ve decided to show you the hurdles that await me with this kit.

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The join between fuselage and vertical stabilizer is rather poor – unfortunately this photo doesn’t show it at its worst, but there’s a gaping hole there at the back of the join. Careful puttying and sanding is needed there to blend the spine extension into the stabilizer.

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Dry fitting is of the utmost importance with these kits. As you can see, wing insert is way too thick to fit nicely into the main wing, while there are large gaps of varying width present all over the join line. Major sanding will be required followed by puttying and sanding.

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Dry fitting wing to the fuselage also showed gaps all along the seam line. Another area that will have to be taken care of.

Luckily, the fuselage halves went together rather nicely, but I guess this is where it stops. Dryfit of the clear parts showed that the canopy doesn’t fit at all and will have to be posed open. In the meantime, Flanker is progressing nicely so there might be slight delay with the Analog build.

 

Double Delta Fishbed – part 1

MiG-21I Analog, was an experimental project to test the aerodynamic properties of the wings for the Soviet supersonic airliner Tu-144. Two prototypes were built, based on MiG-21S version but with a more powerful R13-300 engine. Flight testing began in 1968 and continued into 1970 when the first prototype was lost. The second prototype, which will be the subject of this build, was retired to Monino aeronautical museum, where it still resides, alongside the Tu-144 supersonic airliner.

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When I first visited Monino in 2007 I was not aware of this Fishbed variant. Yet standing there in the shadows of the big Tu-144, it caught my eye. Needless to say, when I saw Modelsvit released this variant and with my recent interest in Soviet era prototypes, buying this kit was a must. Having previously build Modelsvit’s Su-7B, one of the best if not the best short-run kit I’ve build so far, expectations were fairly high. Unfortunately, upon opening the box, MiG-21I kit is not made to the same level as their Fitter kits. Soft details, flash, big chunky parts and wobbly panel lines promise another build using hammer and sickle instead of more traditional modelling tools.

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Cockpit details are raised but barely noticeable. Using some drybrushing and picking instruments and certain buttons out with different colours at least made the small pit a bit more interesting. Ejection seat is made of 7 parts and when you try to insert it into the cockpit tub, you realise it is too wide. I scraped some plastic off the side panels to get it in and added some seatbelts using thin stripes of Tamiya masking tape.

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Side panels feature slightly more pronounced details compared to the other cockpit details. However when you finish the tub and try to insert it, you will notice that it doesn’t fit. Why, you might ask? Because these side panels are about 2-3mm too long and the instrument panel doesn’t fit in. Cutting off the panels slice by slice and dryfitting eventually solved the problem.

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Eventually everything dropped in with a little luck or use of sheer force 😀 As I write this, fuselage halves were already glued together and I am dryfitting the wings and trying to mentally solve this  upcoming problem.