Tag Archive: scale modelling


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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5th anniversary coming up

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe the time flies so fast – 5th anniversary of VVS Modelling blog is just around the corner. Just looking at the statistics, it look it’s been a good decision to set it up – more than 200 posts, 94 showcased models, in-progress shots, competition photos, reviews and more with several 100.000s of views.

But times go on and I’ve decided to refresh my blog and posting habits a bit. The first change you can find in the right side menu – Instagram and Facebook windows. As it is, social media sites are extremely popular and easier to reach viewers with than an old-fashioned blog sites. The later however enable you to showcase your work the way you want it and in much more organized way. So what I will try to do is combine the two technologies together.

For some time now, I am posting my work on Facebook and Instagram, where you can check basically on my daily progress with my models. When the model will be finished, two posts will be published on the blog – one with a full article, as is the case for a couple of years now, with short history of an aircraft and/or unit, the review of the kit and full gallery of finished photos. The other article will be a work in progress one – whole build in one post unlike the wip posts so far, that were broken up in several ones, the new way being more “reader friendly” I think.

Oh, and fear not – even if you “hate” social media sites and don’t have account for either that I am using – fear not. You don’t need an account to view the sites. Either click on the links on the right side menu or follow these direct links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VVSmodelling/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vvs_modelling/

Happy modelling!

MiG-21MF ‘Fishbed-J’

I don’t do a lot of commission builds so this is more of an exception. A flight-simming friend did me a lot of favors in the last few months for which I am very grateful. And he’s a big MiG-21 fan so one thing led to another and I present you a ‘Fishbed’ made for him. It’s a well known Eduard MiG-21MF model in 1:48 scale. As he wished that the aircraft is on ground with a pilot in the cockpit, I’ve decided to go for weekend edition of this popular kit. I used Aerobonus resin pilot with ejection seat and Begemot decals for the stars and bort number as the kit comes only with one Slovak option.

The build was pretty much uneventful although I did experience some minor fit problems in the lower fuselage/wings join to the fuselage. Painting was done with combination of Alclad metallics and Mr.Paint lacquers.

Model Data
Company: Eduard
Scale: 1:48
Aftermarket: Begemot 48-002 MiG-21, Aerobonus MiG-21 pilot with ejection seat
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-001 Russia Turquoise Cockpit, MRP-004 White, MRP-32 Green for Wheels, MRP-051 RLM04 Yellow, MRP-098 Light Gull Gray, MRP-049 Light Gray Blue, MRP-131 Interor Green, MRP-173 Tire-Rubber Matt, , MRP-186 Light Gray)
Alclad (ALC-101 Aluminum, ALC-103 Dark Aluminum, ALC-104 Pale Burnt Metal, ALC-106 White Aluminum, ALC-111 Magnesium, ALC-113 Jet Exhaust, ALC-123 Exhaust Manifold, ALC-405 Transparent Smoke, ALC-416 Hotmetal Sepia)

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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