Sukhoi "Flanker"
Su-27 / 30 / .....
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Sukhoi "Flankers" in 1/72 scale

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Another excellent Sukhoi Su-27 kit from the Russian model company Zvezda released in 2014 was made. (not to be confused with earlier Zvezda kits!).

7295 su-27 zvezda
The Zvezda kit #7295 for the Su-27 SM was the first new tooled kit released in 2014. The SM is the single seat fighter version with updated radar and and offset positioned larger IRST fairing at  the wind screen that was introduced in service in 2004. Zvezda indicates it as: "Flanker B. Mod. 1".

There are 5 sprues with about 220 plastic parts in light grey and 1 sprue in clear plastic. Details and panel lines look very good. The kit parts' layout is seen here with some common sprues found in the various Zvezda kits:

05 o3
You get a nice pilot and crew chief figure in the kit along with an entry ladder.
(some of these sprues are commonly found in other Zvezda released kits as well).    
Armament in this kit looks accurate and are for:
4x  R-73 / AA-11 "archer" infrared homing missile;
2x  R-77 / AA-12 "adder" radar homing missile;
6x  R-27ER/ AA-10 "alamo" radar homing long range missile;
2x  R-27ET/ AA-10 "alamo" infrared homing long range missile;
2x  KH-31 / AS-17 "krypton" anti-ship (although not indicated and for use in other versions)...
.... with all their pylons.
decals 7295
Decals in the Zvezda kit are for 3 Russian air force Su-27 SM schemes:
-1- of the 23rd unit at Dzemgi, 2011;
-2- 6972 based aircraft;
-3- 4th training unit aircraft.
These all have the typical Su-27 camouflage scheme with various "blue" colours.

Sources suggest these colours for the "blue'ish" Soviet Su-27 scheme:
- lower surfaces light blue: approx. FS35550 ; Begemot FS35526;
- blue grey: approx. FS35526 ; Begemot FS35450;
- dark blue grey: approx. FS35420; Begemot FS35190
- antenna panels often green: approx. FS34138; Begemot FS34138.
Note that over the years camouflage schemes varied also with Soviet / Russian Flankers!

The Zvezda kit assembly instructions with 15 steps are clear but not always logical in order.

Colour details are shown with paint numbers in Humbrol:
Hu23 duck egg blue, Hu65 aircraft blue, Hu129 gull grey and lower Hu89 mid blue. Also another paint brand is shown but what?. Tip: the AKAN brand provides accurate paints.

The kit dimensions later showed to be OK with correct measured up wing span and length, all all within 1 mm.
- K36 ejection seat looks good with mulitiple parts; you get very nicely a pilot figure with posable arms and a crew figure;
- vertical tails are good and include the small different fin intakes;
- undercarriage bays could be given a bit more detail from scrap; but you do get parts the for closed doors as well for an "in flight" display. (
a display stand is shown but not in the kit and can be separately purchased); 
- for the single seater canopy, the shape could be a bit "rounder with omega" shape but as moulded has fortunately no middle mould seam;
the clear plastic is rather soft but the canopy can be used;
- later style offset IRST fairing off set in front of wind screen is for the Su-27 SM version. (so for older versions, a new central IR fairing at the wind screen should be made along with some small antennas and instrument panel changes).  

The Zvezda kit instructions are fine but it is better to install the smaller parts at later stages. I also suggest not to fit the vertical tails, these can be installed much later after painting as it will ease masking the metal exhaust areas and handling the model.

This Su-27 kit has 2 main sections for the upper fuselage. Take care to align the upper forward fuselage and the rear section to avoid a step. I used strips of plastic card on the insides.
Still, some putty and sanding was needed.
The lower engine fairings needed a bit sanding as well.

After the fuselage and wing were glued, some putty and sanding was needed but just a little.


This kit was finished as an older generation Su-27 aircraft in a scheme of the Ethiopia Air Force for the World Military Aircraft series.

First change: the older generation Su-27 have the old style small IR fairing
positioned amidst the wind screen, as shown here...
ir old
So the large SM kit transparant IRST fairing #2 in the kit was not used. The right side part #D13 was set, sanded curved similarly to the left side, a bit putty was needed and sanded smooth.
old irst  old
This is now the old nose shape. The smaller IR fairing of the older generation was made of the supplied part but it was made smaller. It will be installed when the wind screen is fitted.
small irst 

Another change: the earlier Su-27 has on each intake a large Sirena RWR tri-angular fairing. This was made from thick plastic card and sanded in shape. (and given the lower surface colour).
ecm fairing    fairing
On each intake, a fairing for the older generation Su-27 was set. 
The remainder of  the kit was made. I could not verify if panel lines are different on the early Su-27.

The horizontal stabilizers were installed and
the model got a base grey coat to check for any small flaws, for which Revell Aqua 75 steingau acrylic was airbrushed. It looked OK so....

Establishing the Ethiopean Su-27 colours needs some judgement looking at photos and info. It seems they have the more common "blue'ish" Su-27 scheme.

-1- lower surfaces Flanker blue paint has been a difficult issue for modellers for many years. But the paint hue can be found in the AKAN series with 73056 and 73061 but my bottles had dried out.... So for the lower blue, a mix was made of 90% Revell Aqua 371 "hellgrau" and 10% Revell Aqua 52 "blau" blue.  

-2- On the upper surfaces, were used:
- lighter blue: same as the mix for the lower surfaces;
- medium blue grey: Gunze Sangyo H25 "Sky blue";
- grey: Gunze Sangyo H307 FS36320;

Masking the camoufage pattern is needed, after done by hand with a curved cut carton or tape. 
While airbrushing, the vertical tails were not forgotten and also the bits like gear doors.
-3- Some areas near the hot exhausts are metal. These were airbrushed after masking first Revell Aqua 90 "silber".
Than a varnish coat with some drops of blue were airbrushed at some of these panels.
Also, a few cotton swab strokes were added with AK true metal AK455 paste and quickly polished. (not yet seen at the photos).

-4- The still not fitted jet exhausts were given a few coats with ALCLAD burned metal with the airbrush. 
-5- The radar nose was airbrushed "off white" as were the antenna panels on the vertical tails.

-6- The insides of gear doors and so on were airbrushed red. The gear bay insides themselves were painted medium grey with Gunze Sangyo 337 (about FS35237).

-7- The wind screen was set as well as the converted old style central IRST fairing. These were painted in the surrounding camo colours.

-8- After the paint work, before starting decalling ensure to have a gloss surface to avoid "silvering" (that is getting air bubbles below each decal that spoils appearance). A few coats of gloss varnish were  airbrushed on the model with my usual mix of Johnson Future/ Pledge, thinned with IPA.
futur ipa

After the paint scheme had been applied, the decals were applied. These came from the Begemot set 72-025 "Flanker family (1)".

begemot 72-025 decals flankers

In the Begemot instructions scheme "3" provides info but not a good upper camo pattern drawing. Some interpretation was needed for the Ethiopian Flanker


The stencilling was used from the kit. Again, some interpretation was needed, assuming most standard Russian stencils applied to the Ethiopia Flanker.

The model details were added as per Zvezda kit....
The main landing gear installment when done as per kit gives the legs tilted quite a bit to 80 degrees.... I think they should be more vertical at about 85 degrees. On each leg #D7 and #D8 I cut off the "triangle corner" that leads to the fuselage. Now they sit better.
Some thin metal wire was added to suggest the hydraulics. Some "wash" was also paint brushed inside the bays and on the legs. I used a very thinned varnish with a few black paint drops.
nose gear
The cockpit was "back dated" to an early Su-27. So I adapted the instrument panel decal to show more "clocks" in stead of the CRT screens. I also set the HUD display #E6 reversed, now tilted to the rear.
The K36 seat as per Zvezda kit was used. It is probable that in older generation Su-27 aircraft this seat details' sub-type was a bit different but at this scale I could not see big differences.
The K36 got black upholstery and some straps made from tape. I used a special technique for these straps/ harness.
Metal duct tape was painted in various colours like blue, black and brown. Slices were cut and with a tooth pick lines drawn, showing the underlying metal of the tape; this suggest the seat buckles and locks.
After these were applied, on the airbrushed surfaces, some "sun fading" these was done. Of each camouflage colour paint, with a few drops of white mixed in, these were loosely airbrushed at the different areas. This was also done on the lower blue surfaces. As some thin layers were airbrushed over the decals this gives a "blended" in effect.  
The model got now a semi-gloss varnish. This done with a couple of airbrushed layers of
Johnson Future/ Pledge acrylic varnish with a few drops of Tamiya X-21 "flat base" matting agent mixed in.

The canopy installment was kept detachable:
(a) hole was drilled at the lower end.
(b) inside the canopy at the rear, a metal wire was set; this will hold the canopy in place.
(c) The canopy frames were hand painted and inside got some mirrors and handles made from thin sprue.
The canopy was set and that completed the model.

mp  flag  old flag old current   
[ area: 1,100,000 excl. Eritrea | capital: Addis Abeba | population: 112 million | GDP US 1,000 per capita nominal ]

The Ethiopean Air Force obtained in 1999 several Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft after an order end 1998 for 6 Su-27Sk and 2 Su-27UBK trainers. Probably these were refurbished ex-Russian aircraft at the Krasnodar plant. They got similar Russian paint schemes and the Su-27SK were assigned to the "no 1" fighter squadron. Later on Ethiopia acquired additional aircraft such as 7 Su-27SK in 2002.  

More information about the Ethiopean air force can be seen at my MiG-21 page here...
su-27 ethiopia zvezda    
su-27 ethiopia
Su-27SK, no. "1804", Ethiopia air force, 2000.
ethiopia flanker  
sukhoi flanker ethiopia
upper view
ethiopia flanker   
sukhoi su-27 ethiopia

Another Su-27 SM kit was made, but this time it is the Revell Germany kit release #04937 of 2018.
It is the same mould as for the Zvezda Su-27SM kit with which cooperation was sought.
The kit assembly and parts are similar as described above but you get new Revell instructions with good detail colour information also for the many armaments / stores' parts. Camouflage paints indicated are in Revell paint mixes. 

The Revell kit has decal schemes for:
-a- Russian air force red "06";
-b- Russian air force blue "57";

decals 04937

The kit was assembled similarly as described above, so do not e.g. fit the vertical tails yet.
The model was finished in a paint scheme to represent an older generation SU-27 of the ANGOLA air force for the World Military Aircraft series.

Some research led to some confusion. Some sources state that the only Su-27 delivered was an ex-Ukrainian aircraft that had code "red" C110 c/n 369110. Another reported was "red" C105 but this was probably a Su-27SK though still unclear along with a few other Flankers. 
For the Angolan colours, again  "guesstimations" looking at photos were needed. The information in the book "Soviet and Russian Aircraft in Africa" of Yefim Gordon and Komissarov, see references is really good.

So this Revell SM kit was here also back dated to an older Su-27 version with change to the IRST fairing at the wind screen. Now a small IR fairing was positioned amidst as described above. Also, the two extra Sirena RWR fairings were added on the intakes from scrap.

These acryllic colours were airbrushed:

-1- lower surfaces Flanker blue paint has been a difficult issue for modellers for many years. But the paint hue can be found in the AKAN series with 73056 and 73061 but my bottles had dried out.... So for the lower blue, a mix was made of 90% Revell Aqua 371 "hellgrau" and 10% Revell Aqua 52 "blau" blue.  
-2- On the upper surfaces, were used:
- sand Revell Aqua 16 ;
- lighter green Revell Aqua 364 "laubgrun";
- mid green/grey Revell Aqua 67 "grungrau".

Masking was needed. Revell masking film was used.
masking film  
The result is seen here.

For the radar nose and antenna panels Revell Aqua 360 "farngrun" was airbrushed and the radar nose installed.

The undercarriage / gear followed similarly as described on the Ethiopia model.
Decalling was done. The decals had to be found: the roundels came from Zotz decalset SP2 "roundels of the World" and the aircraft code "red" C110 from the spares box.


After decals had been applied, some "sun fading" was done: of each camouflage colour, with a few drops of white mixed in, these were loosely airbrushed at the different areas.
As some thin layers were airbrushed over the decals as well, this gives a "blended" in effect.

The smaller details and finally the canopy after painting was set "detachable" in place.

map  flag old angola roundel      angola
For information about the Angola Air Force, look at my MiG-23 page here...
su-27 angola
  Su-27 of "Forca Aerea Popular de Angola"
upper view angola flanker su-27     
angola sukhoi su-27 c110
flanker angola
angola su-27 c 110
 ... at airfield Luena...
Luena air base
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Created this page
July 22, 2021