Tag Archive: scale modelling


Sukhoi Design Bureau doesn’t need special introduction. Established in 1939 by Pavel Sukhoi. While the WW2 designs didn’t reach much fame, it was the jet age, that made the OKB-51 (as the Bureau was labeled) most famous. Supersonic Su-7 fighter bomber developed into interceptor (-9 and -11) and attack line (-17, -20, -22 series), the Su-15 was made infamous shooting down KAL B747 and the sturdy attack jets Su-24 and Su-25 still form the backbone of Russian Air Force. But it was the Su-27 and the subsequent Flanker family, that made the Sukhoi name very famous in the West. Flanker’s long range, high payload and high maneuverability made this fighter an instant star of international airshows and a serious new threat to Western forces. Su-27 has evolved since its first flight 4 decades ago into a Su-35S ‘Flanker-E’, a highly capable super-maneuverable generation 4++ multirole fighter.

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After such a successful line of fighters, it is no surprise, Sukhoi OKB won the bid to produce new 5th generation stealth fighter with a factory designation T-50, also known as PAK-FA (Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii). The prototype first flew in 2010 and to this day, 10 aircraft were built – 2 for static testing by TsAGI and 8 for flight testing. Currently, the aircraft use the same engine as Su-35S, the Saturn 117, while the production aircraft are expected to be powered by the izdelyie 30 engine, which will be even more powerful and have fewer parts and lower fuel consumption.

Modelling the PAK-FA prototypes however poses a challenge. As we are talking about developmental aircraft, each new aircraft has certain differences compared to the previous. And even the same airframe gets changed during the testing scheme. For example, all the aircraft from 3rd prototype on feature slightly enlarged wingtips and modified tailfin root intakes. Luckily, there are plenty of photos available – I recommend checking the russianplanes.net for references.

The subject of my build was the fifth flying prototype T-50-5 (Blue 055). The prototype first flew on 27th October 2013. While the first four prototypes shared the white-grey geometrical splinter camo, the T-50-5 was the first to sport the new light blue/grey camo with feathered edges which soon gained the name ‘shark’. In June 2014, while landing, the right engine caught fire – test pilot Sergey Bogdan managed to safely land the aircraft but the airframe was extensively damaged. The aircraft was sent for repairs and was later returned to flight testing with the new, hard-edged shark camo. It is also of interest, that despite being repainted, several parts of the airframe remain unpainted and/or are painted slightly differently.

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The kit

I have described my opinions of the kit during the work in progress articles (click HERE) so here’s just a little recap. There are only two injected plastic kits available on the market in 1:72 scale – Zvezda (also reboxed by Revell and Academy) and HobbyBoss (also reboxed by Ark Models). While both models suffer several shape-based inaccuracies, especially in the intake area, HobbyBoss made a better effort with the nose area. However, they also managed to misjudge the scale, making this model more of 1:60 scale, so forget of using any aftermarket items, not designed exactly for HobbyBoss kit – ejection seats for example. As with Zvezda, you can build the first two prototypes from the kit – with the included decals and two different canopies as option. The model builds rather nicely but the fit of the intakes is challenging and will require filling and sanding. Landing gear is rather complex to build while the rear wells are basic (front one is covered on ground). The exposed engine/exhaust area is also rather basic with some oversized details.
The decals used were the new Begemot T-50 decals designed especially for this kit. They are thin, settle down nicely but unfortunately, my copy was slight misaligned. While the wingwalk dotted lines are rather tricky to apply, the decals themselves are great, enabling you to build any airframe of the T-50 project. Stencils however are more oriented towards the first four prototypes so for a shark scheme, a trip to the spare decals folder or some ingenuity are necessary. And you get stencils for all the weapons that PAK-FAs were so far seen armed with during testing.

Model Data
Company: HobbyBoss
Scale: 1:72
Aftermarket: Begemot 72-065 Sukhoi T-50 (HobbyBoss)
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-197 Su-27/33 Light Blue Grey, MRP-40 Gunship Grey, MRP-105 USN Modern Blue Grey, MRP-202 Su-34 Light Blue, MRP-89 USN Light Gull Grey, MRP-38 Light Grey, MRP-90 Lemon Grey)
Alclad (ALC-110 Copper, ALC-123 Exhaust Manifold, ALC-113 Jet Exhaust, ALC-104 Pale Burnt Metal, ALC-416 Hotmetal Sepia)

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Northrop XP-79B

XP-79B is one of the Northrop’s lesser known flying wing designs. Jack Northrop conceived the aircraft in 1942 as a rocket powered fighter, which would destroy enemy aircraft (primarily bombers) by ramming into them. The aircraft featured several advanced solutions – pilot would be flying in prone position to be able to sustain higher G loads, while the airframe would be constructed by welded magnesium instead of usual riveted aluminum, as the volatile rocket fuel would corrode the later too quickly.

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To test the radical design, several full scale glider models were built, which started testing in 1944. As the rocket testing turned out to be unsatisfactory, the aircraft was instead equipped with Westinghouse 19-B turbojets.

The first flight of the XP-79B was also its last. After days of taxi runs at Muroc Dry Lake (today’s Edwards AFB), the aircraft finally took off on 12th September 1945. 15 minutes into flight, the aircraft performed a slow roll, uncontrollably pitched nose down and crashed in vertical spin. Test pilot Harry Crosby attempted to bail out, but was hit by the tail and died on impact. As the result of the crash, the second prototype as well as the project were cancelled.

RS MODELS 1:72 Northrop XP-79B

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RS Models’ XP-79B is a typical short run kit. While not a multimedia kit, some experience is still needed to achieve best result. The surface of the plastic is not smooth – it actually reminds of a very fine sanding paper – some polishing is required before painting. Instructions call out for the Yellow Zinc Chromate as the interior color, but I guess Interior Green is safer bet. Another wrong color call out is for the exterior paint – RS Models suggest you paint the model white. A few available photos show that the surface was darker (compared to the white on the stars&bars), so I used a light grey, similar to the one used on P-80s. Construction is pretty straightforward and probably the most tricky part of assembly is the two-piece canopy. It was a two piece on the real aircraft as well, but the short run nature of the kit and the complex contour make a perfect fit almost impossible. Some blending in with a water soluble putty was required. Unfortunately due to the rather thick plastic and the curve, due to the light refraction, the join line is too pronounced.

Model was finished with Mr.Paint paints and finishes.

 

Bell AH-1G Cobra

AH-1G is considered to be the first operational attack helicopter in the world. Although previous attempts at attack helicopters were made in the past, it was the Vietnam war and the need for escorting the Air Cavalry UH-1 Hueys, that gave birth to AH-1G. Sharing many components with the UH-1C, it started replacing the UH-1B and UH-1C gunships in mid-1967. Between 1967 and 1973, around 1100 AH-1Gs were delivered, serving in close air support, escorting transport helicopters and other roles, including the ‘hunter-killer’ roles in combination with OH-6A scout helicopters.

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Bell AH-1G Cobra
s/n 67-15536
Thor’s Hammer
A-Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry
Pilot CW2 Melton Lee Hinton
Tra Vinh, Vietnam, 1971-72

Special Hobby 1:72
SH72076
Brengun Photoetched Set

 

BAC TSR.2

BAC TSR.2, Great Wall Hobby 1:144

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Full article will be published in one of future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.

Meteor F.8 prone

MPM 1:72 kit out of the box

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Model will appear in one of the future Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine issues.

17th October 2013

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It’s been quite some time since I posted anything but worry not – things are busy at VVS scale workshop – even so much I have to sacrifice time for some projects and from some other hobbies. The models you see in the above photo are work in progress for SAM magazine. Both a short run kit, both an experienced modeller required models, and especially the Yak – putty/sanding monster. I have an article deadline of November 4th, so I really had to push my modelling to Top Gear (but without those 3 morons we love so much) in order to complete the task – and since they were at same stage in the building, Meteor is tagging along as well. As can be seen from the photo models are already decaled and weathering will be the next step. All in all they’re slowly getting to the last corner of the track and I am pretty confident they’ll both be finished by the deadline. And speaking of deadlines – My next projects will be the already started A-10A and Slovenian Army Bell 412 transport helicopter – and both have to be finished by the years end – A-10 for the ARC Groupbuild, while Bell for the local forum Groupbuild. As it’s evident my New Year plan has already fallen apart and many of the projects will have to be pushed in 2014. On the other hand, several models which I didn’t expect to build got on the “finished” list, so all is good in the end.

Last but not least, here’s a cool video showing the Yak-141 testing

TOS-1A Buratino

Modelcollect 1:72, out of the box build

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Work in progress:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

In box review

Video of Buratinos in action

TOS-1A Buratino, part 4

When the coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss dried, I started applying the oil-dot weathering, using Yellow, White and Raw Umber oil colours. This step not only blended the colours together but also lightened the green and black and darkened sand a bit. Overall it also gave a bit of dustiness feel of the whole model.

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TOS-1A Buratino, part 3

A lot of work has been done since last time. First the model was painted in its camouflage colours, followed by a few coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss varnish. For the first wash I used The Detailer Black wash, which is very easy to use and gives great results. The two Guards decals were also applied at this time followed by another protective coat of Aqua Gloss. The model is now prepared for oil colour weathering.

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Since I figured it out mounting rubber tracks would be nightmare when the body was assembled, I decided to paint the lower parts and road wheels before hand. Copious amounts of pigments were also used, as this parts will be hard to reach when everything will be glued together and tracks attached.

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Same goes for the parts that will be visible from front and rear above the tracks.

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Tracks mounted with a little persuasion and some CA glue.

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Before attaching them permamently tracks were first primed, followed by black colour. When this dried, I gave them a brown wash followed by drybrushing of steel colour over the raised details. Of course further weathering will involve pigments as well.

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And here she is, ready for some paint!