Sukhoi Su 27
by David Zeiler
The Sukhoi Su 27 is known as the Flanker in the West. In some circles it is thought to be equal to or better than any fighter in the world today.
Academy’s kit is presently the definitive rendition in 1/48 scale. Although I am not nitpicker, on a quick exam it scales correctly. Some people think the nose is to bulbous however to my eye it looks like a Flanker.
The kit is easy to build and there are no major pitfalls. I refer you to Ken Duffy’s excellent article on building one at www.lindenhillimports.com/48flankers.htm. The kit features nicely engraved panel lines delicate moldings and has a fret of steel Photo etch representing canopy mirrors , wheel well detail and FOD screens.
The wings are attached to the upper fuselage so there is no tedious sanding of wing roots. One minor problem, which is easily fixed, is that the opening for the aft wheel wells is not entirely cut out. Simply trace the outline and cut - no blending required.
The canopy is quite fragile so be careful I had to have both the front and aft replaced because of cracks
The kit cockpit is poor however there are many aftermarket replacements available including Cutting Edge and Neomega.
The Cutting Edge kit fits well and includes some etched brass for various antennas and also canopies details. These include K36 ejection seat. The CE set is quite good. I can recommend it.
The kit include vinyl tires which I dislike both because they are hard to weather and potential for melting plastic hubs over the long haul. I used the Cutting Edge wheels instead.
The kit burner and cans are adequate but I once again used the Cutting Edge items, which are more crisply molded and show more detail.
The front landing gear was easily super detailed with some fine wire to represent the brake lines. I replaced the landing light with small railroad model lights by MV. I also replaced the retractor of the wheel spat on the front gear with brass rod. One note the wheel spat is inaccurate for the single seater and represents the same spat from the 2 seater variant (oh well I did pick one nit).
I painted the Su 27 with Model Master II that has colors specific to the Flanker - medium blue, dark blue and blue gray. In service it is said that these colours fade rather rapidly so unless you want to represent one fresh from the depot some diluting with white is in order. I do not choose to weather this aircraft at all nor in this instance did I accentuate the panel lines, as they are not very noticeable in my reference pictures.
The kit provides decals for a training squadron. These markings include a very colorful killer whale mouth and motif on the engines. However, I wanted to do a front line fighter so I used the Cutting Edge decal sheet instead.
For references I used the Areofax extra no.3 SU-27 by Dennis Jenkins.(isbn 0-942548-51-5) In addition Ken Duffy’s web site http://www.lindenhillimports.com/48flankers.htm and Paul Cotcher’s Russian aircraft web site http://www.victorymodels.com/su27.htm were invaluable.
SOL models has some very interesting resin conversion kits as well as cockpit kits for the Flanker to build many of the variants of this airplane available at MNC hobbies in Korea http://www.hobbymnc.com/main.htm
Model, Text and Photographs Copyright ©
2000 by David Zeiler