Sukhoi Su-27K / Su-33 "Sea Flanker" model in 1/32 scale
(conversion based on the Trumpeter kit)
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Next mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only
The LEX and canard needs to be made from card and the forward fuselage section should get some adjustments to get a good fit. I cut open a slot on both right and left sides to accept some sort of glue support root. Also, a section of the fuselage at the slat area had to be removed.
The canard and LEX were shaped from card and sanded. The shape and sizes were based on good scale drawings. The canards are separate parts, and a small hole was drilled to accept later on a metal pin as a rotation point.
Adding this modification turned out not to be very difficult.
In addition, the wing may be folded. I decided to go for this interesting folding option also. (You see even parked Sea Flankers with full pylons and "stores" still attached).
Making the wing
larger is best done first now by using thick card for inserting tapered
sections at the chords. This is better done at different chord % positions
at the upper and lower wing parts A1 & A4 resp. B1 and B4. You get
a stronger wing than.
The extended chord is straight tapered and is 1/32 scale 9 mm at the root section and 6 mm at the tip section. This was double checked with the drawings obtained from the internet.
were cut with a razorsaw along the span, the cuts sanded and the tapered
plastic card sections made to fit.
change was adding the outboard aileron/flaperon, which is present on the
naval Sea Flankers. Always when the wings are folded, the flaperons droop
"up" in order to make room for the vertical tails! Look at pictures and
you'll see what is needed.
As the wing would be folded, another chordwise cut was made at the appropriate point for the Su-33 (looking at the scale drawings). The hinge line is outboard and next to the inboard pylon station.
Similar cuts were made at the tapered plastic insert sections of card. You have a lot of parts now! Give them a number to avoid confusion.
into the wing parts but do not forget to leave some room in order to add
later on a metal folded spar to fix the wing too. Next, all wing parts
were glued on flat surfaces and let to dry.
Some putty and sanding was obviously required. Also, some adjustments to panellines were made, some rivet details inscribed. The basic wings are now ready.
The wings take quite some work, but are a very prominent modifications obviously to get a correct Sea Flanker.
I did not use Trumpeter's solution of rods and metal hinges for the movable surfaces... not needed and it does not really work.
Please note that the rear inboard trailing edge flaps are double flaps and that they also droop "reverse up" on a parked aircraft. The rib -gaps in the flaps were filled with card and putty and smoothed. Small weight saving holes were also drilled in.
slats at the canted outboard wing sections are always in a "reverse up"
position on parked aircraft and the inboard slats always droop down as
there is then no hydraulic pressure.
that the drooped trailing edge surfaces were glued and the gaps filled
to get a smooth result. Later on, the with a Olfa
p-cutter the hinge lines were inscribed.
Also, (for the Su-33 only) I engraved on the upper surface between the engine fairings 2 extra grids (I suppose that these are cooling vents).
of the fuselage, set aside for lots of drying time.
Note that the
larger wing also requires 2 small rear trailing edge sections at the fuselage
- wing root area from card.
The whole main fuselage assembly was now checked, filled and sanded before the nose was to added.
The maingear-strut fairings parts #28 + d21 are not correct for a Sea Flanker, these fairings are longer than on land based planes. Overall length of a fairing is about 8 cm.
As the Alamo
missiles as in the kit are inaccurate anyway, I used the forward nose sections
of the missiles parts G3,G4 to make the longer fairings. A
slot was also made. The fairing was blended in with some white glue.
The various antennas were not (yet) installed and to be left for later on. Many of the parts are not needed on a Su-33.
The naval Sea Flankers seem to have slightly different pylons for carrying the "stores" / ordnance.
The wing pylons top sections are not
open but closed. You can use the pylons of the kit with some modification.
On the wing pylons, I closed the gaps with some card. The aft section of
the pylon on some planes are also a bit simpler; I cut off the rear round
stub, but sometimes you see also pylons with the stub (so pick what you
The under fuselage pylons can be used
as supplied in the kit, but a small modification is needed at the rear
pylon as the tail hook is attached here with a fairing. This as made from
some card. (On some Naval Flankers you can also see a very large central
pylon for a very large anti-ship missile).
The outboard winges got a similar
"hinge treatment". Pylons were mounted on the outboard wing panels.
Step 38 (with
Some work is needed here as the Zactoman IRTS part can not be used straight away as on the naval Flanker this is not on the center, but right offset. I cut off the IRTS section from the Zactoman part as it would be re-used.I first carefully marked where to cut of the excess plastic and used scissors here. The canopy part was checked to fit with the model. The cut edges were sanded smooth. Next, the windscreen was separated again with scissors. As a protection measure, I taped the clear areas on both the rear canopy and the clear windscreen, leaving only the edges and framing to be seen.
note "longer windshield area"
Next came the process to check the windscreen fit combined with the instrument cover and HUD. The etched metal HUD turned out to be a bit to heigh. I removed it and will install it later on.
Next, the instrument cover and surrounding areas were painted very dark gray as this would be impossible to reach after the windshield would have been fitted.
After paint drying, the windscreen was cemented on, and the edges carefully filled with putty.
The IRTS was put off set and all gaps
and the area streamlined with putty. As the clear areas were covered with
tape, the gaps below the windscreen were filled in with putty. After 30
minutes drying time, I used nail polish
remover to smoothen things up.
Looking at various pictures, you will see many different colourschemes on also the naval Flankers. For the Su-33 a particular plane was picked found on the internet with plenty of "walk around" pictures.
Su-33 "Red 80" has a Tiger on its tail! It seems that the "normal" Flanker colours were used also on this naval Flanker with rather sharp demarcation lines between the different colours.
XTRACOLOR has the Flankers enamel colors in their range with X601 medium blue, X602 light blue and X603 blue/grey
Airbrushing takes far less time than the masking, but it is extremely important to take your time here. First, I masked off the cockpit, nose, windscreen and wheel bays. Then came in the airbrush.
Than the X601 medium blue was sprayed on. After 24 hours, the next and final masking was done, putting on the X603 blue/grey color.
But then you're not ready yet.....
On some areas you will find white antenna panels. And what about all those timy small metallic leading edges on the vertical tails, wings, stabilizer and... canards! Also the engine air intakes need an edge here.
The engine exhaust area got a mix of Humbrol aluminium "metal coat", Testor metalizer "aluminium" and the exhaust pipes themselves also a coat of Testor metailzer "titanium". Yep, it's all in the masking.
The inner surfaces of the gear doors got a coat of bright red (not yet seen in the pictures).
Overall it took about four days and 20 "working hours" to apply the colours. The end-result was quite OK I guess, so the work was worth the effort. The Sea Flanker came to life with it's colours on and looks a bit like a lizard with those typical Flanker colours.
I used good pictures to copy the patterns
in a picture editing program, sized it to the correct dimensions and printed
the patterns onto Bare Metal foil sheets:
1 sheet of CLEAR inktjet decal paper and 1 sheet of White inktjet decal
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Created May 5, 2006