Sukhoi "Flankers" in 1/72 scale
... continued from Flanker page 3...
The Sukhoi SU-27 series air superiority fighter aircraft from Russia are very capable and high performance aircraft. Designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB), a newer generation with many variants were developed over the years with types like SU-30, SU-33 SU-34, SU-35 and both single seat variants, double tandem seat and twin seat Flankers.
The Sukhoi SU-30 is an advanced canard fitted multirole tandem two seat fighter with thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles enhancing manoeuvrability. It has modern avionics and the N011M Bars radar. It has also an inflight refuelling probe and became probably operational beginning 2018. NATO reporting name is "Flanker H".
More Flanker info can be found on my page here....
|Here the Sukhoi SU-30 SM is
presented with Zvezda kit #7314. It is a tandem two seater fitted with
also canards. (on the box it states "Flanker C" but probably "H" is
correct for later SM version). |
There are about 250 parts in this kit with very nice details and recessed inscribed panel lines. This again is in the Zvezda Flanker series and an accurate kit. The kit has the later style IRST fairing off set in front of wind screen which is correct for the SU-30 SM version.
The kit sprues are seen here with some common sprues found in the various Zvezda kits.
The larger upper fuselage for the twin seater SU-30 is thankfully one part (in other Zvezda kits 2 parts including the SU-27UB kit).
Note also the two canards provided.
The typical -30 SM tandem two seater sprue with extra K36 seat and extra ladder as well:
... and the nose, crew figures and clear parts.. The radar cone is a separate part. Strangely, again as with the SU-27UB the large canopy has two halves to be joined as described on page 3.
.... and the common sprue found in many kits with exhausts and missiles (many are for the spares box as the SU-30 carries often others that are also in the kit):
.... and special sprues with goodies for other SU-30 armament like Kh-29T TV guided air-to-surface missile of Vympel, Kh-31, rocket pods and ECM wing tip pods:
You get a coloured glossy printed sheet with the schemes.
The decals in this kit are for no less than 5 schemes:
-1- Russian air force SU-30SM "59" of 14th regiment at Kursk, 2018 in a blue camo scheme;
-2- Russian air force SU-30SM "55" flown at MAKS 2013 air show in a grey upper and blue lower scheme;
-3- Kazachstan air force SU-30SM "04" as based at Taly-Kurgan in 2015 in also grey upper and blue lower scheme;
-4- Russian air force SU-30SM "03" of 31th regiment at Millerovo in a blue camo scheme (and later flown in Syria);
-5- Russian Naval Aviation SU-30SM "43", Saki / Black Sea in a grey upper and blue lower scheme;
There are a LOT OF STENCILLING decals, 75% of these are for the armament/ stores. The decals are very finely printed and of good quality. You also het various sensor/ antenna panels as decals, a nice thing as it saves a lot of masking and paint work.
Colours are indicated in Tamiya and ??? paints, but AKAN acrylic paints are better used.
Overall, a very nice kit!
Some general notes:
- K36 ejection seats looks good with multiple parts; you also get 2 sprues with even a pilot and a crew figure.
- undercarriage bays could be given a bit more detail from scrap; but you do get parts for closed doors as well for an "in flight" display. (a display stand is shown in the instructions but not in the kit as it can be separately purchased);
The 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.
It was decided to assemble and finish this SU-30 kit as per kit in the Kazachstan air force scheme -3- for the World Military Aircraft series.
Kit assembly is quite straight forward.
The cockpit is nice but for the instruments and panels, only decals are provided. Leave the K36 seats for later installment. The main fuselage assembly is easy with larger parts and the lower part has obviously also the flat edge for the SU-30 canards.
At the inboard slats, some putty was used as well as at the central large air brake. Note here the flat joint strake area were the canards are to be fitted.
A nice touch is that the inboard flaps can be set drooped down for a parked aircraft and the canards glued were set in a fixed position. The vertical tails are fitted later on to help masking.
Also the ECM pods were fitted on the wing tips. (NOTE: I later found out that Kazachstan aircraft were never seen fitted with these; it was decided not remove them anymore on this model to avoid damage).
The model got a base grey "primer" coat to check for any small flaws, for which Revell Aqua 75 steingau acrylic was airbrushed. It looked OK so....
The Kazachstan paint scheme is pretty simple but it was not clear what the actual upper colour is. I look at various photos and decided to use for the upper surfaces FS36118 grey/blue with Gunze Sangyo 337 acrylic.
The lower Flanker blue paint hue can be found in the AKAN series with 73056 and 73061 but my AKAN bottles had dried out.... So for the lower blue, a mix was made of 90% Revell Aqua 371 hellgrau and 10% Revell Aqua 52 blue.
I also saw on photos of Kazach SU-30 aircraft variations in colours for the radar nose and various antenna panels in medium grey to very dark grey. I picked Revell Aqua "panzergrau" #78 dark grey.
Masking is needed.
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).
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.
... and also at the lower rear areas...
Also, a few cotton swab strokes were added with AK true metal AK455 paste and quickly polished.
The jet exhausts were given a few coats with ALCLAD burned metal with the airbrush. Note the movable tilted exhausts which are a feature of the later generation Sukhoi aircraft. The tails were installed.
Some small grey panels and tiny anti-collision lights were hand painted such as on the wing tip missile rails, also on the tail.
After the paint work, the model was decalled but first make sure 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.
Decalling of the model took no less than 3 hours, and that without any stores. (This will be done later on). But the decals in the kit are great and the yellow in the Kazachstan stars is really prominent.
Between the jet exhausts, the chaff/ flare panels can be seen.
The cockpit tub and interiors were painted medium grey with Gunze Sangyo 337 (about FS35237). The K36 seats are nice, 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 to suggest straps. Slices were cut and with a tooth pick lines drawn, showing the underlying metal of the tape; this suggest the seat buckles and locks.
The main landing gear installment when done as per kit gives the legs tilted. 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.
Note the twin nose wheels configuration of the SU-30. (whereas earlier Flankers had a single nose wheel).
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.
The wind screen with the correct off set IRST fairing of the SM was set and frames painted with a fine brush. Here, also the modern CRT screens can be seen in the instrument panels.
It was decided to add a few missiles on the pylons. Those in this kit are very good and thus used. Zvezda also provides many detail stencils for these.
Missiles seen below in the photo are starting from the top:
- ECM wing tip pod; as noted earlier I found out that Kazachstan aircraft were never seen fitted with the ECM wingtip pods.
- R-73 / AA-11 "Archer";
- R-77 / AA-12 "Adder";
- empty pylon;
- central: rear R-27ER / AA-10 "Alamo"; and front R-27ET / AA-10 "Alamo"; E indicates longer range version with longer central body;
- Kh-29T TV guided air-to-surface missile of Vympel;
- empty pylon;
- R-73 / AA-11 "Archer";
R-27ER / AA-10 "Alamo"
Kh-29T TV guided air-to-surface missile of Vympel.
Here also the 2 smaller pitot tubes aft of the radar cone are seen as on later generation Flankers.
After decals had been applied, on the airbrushed grey coloured surfaces, some "fading" these was done. At the camouflaged surfaces, the same colour paint with a few drops of white mixed in were loosely airbrushed on to these camouflage areas. This was also done on the lower blue surfaces. As some thin layers were airbrushed over the decals as well this gives a "blended" in effect.
Last step: inside the big canopy from thin sprue a sort of frame in the large canopy hood was added with "folded blind flying curtain". This is for training the student pilot with the instructor keeping an eye sitting in the back seat. Also, two small mirrors were made from scrap.
A small metal pin was used to set at the rear of the canopy and keep it loose on the model. That completed the model.
[ area: 2,725,000 km2 | capital: Astana (Nur-Sultan) | population: 18 million | GDP income per capita USD 10,000 nominal ]
Kazachstan was part of the Soviet-Union until the collapse in 1990 and Kazachstan declared independency December 16, 1991. It is the largest "land locked" country in the World and has not that many inhabitants. Most income comes from oil.
The Kazah air force inherited most aircraft from the Soviet-Union in 1991 and still has many of these (now Russian) aircraft.
The "Sily Vozdushnoy Oborony Respubliki Kazakhstan' or Kazakhstan Air Defense Force (KADF) operates aircraft like a large fleet of MiG-23 and MiG-27 and MiG-29 "Fulcrum" fighters. Also a few long range MiG-31 fighters are used, (so besides Russia the only operator). Attack aircraft are SU-25 "Frogfoot" and SU-24 "Fencer". New purchased aircraft also came from Russia with types like the upgraded SU-27P and about 24 new SU-30SM.
Advanced jet training is done with the L-39 Albatros and the two seat SU-27UB "Flanker".
Helicopters flown are still Mil Mi-8/ Mi-17, Mi-26 and Mi-24 "Hind" attack helicopters. Also a few helicopters from the West were acquired like 4 UH-1H and some 20 EC-145.
Transports are Yak-40, Antonovs and still Tu-134.
... SU-30 at Astana...
More new generations Flanker models to follow...
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Created this page
Oct 5, 2022