Pioneer 1/72 Su-15T

KIT #:  
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard


The Sukhoi Su-15 flagon was an interceptor of enormous importance serving as the standard PVO interceptor at basis across the length and breadth of the former USSR. The design is of similar configuration to the earlier Su-9 and Su-11, but the Su-15 was a larger aircraft. It was powered by twin R-25 engines and with large search radar housed in the nose cone. This redesign necessitated the use of separate air intakes on the fuselage sides.


The prototype designated T-58 first flew in 1961 in the hands of Vladimir Ilyushin, and was followed by a pre-production batch of similar aircraft designated Su-15 code name ‘Flagon-A’ by NATO.




Following the Su-15 UM, which was reviewed earlier, it was the turn of the single seat version to be reviewed. The kit is molded in light blue plastic with sufficient good basic detail but lacks the refinement of Su-15 kits released by others in more recent years. This is practically the same Su-15 two-seat version but this time containing a single seat cockpit.


Kit instructions in line with other Pioneer kits is very basic consisting mainly of exploded views and a three view drawing. There is a brief specification detail and a color table chart intended for an all silver machine.

Assembly is quite straightforward if the kit is built straight from the box but since its release many more detail have emerged rendering the kit as an out of time subject. With the release of Pavla resin sets it is with the good intention for me to offer those many who still got this kit a way to build a more acceptable model of the Su-15 that it is intended to be.


Using a series of Pavla Models resin sets normally intended for the Trumpeter kit this incorporates additional work but in the end a much more desirable Su-15 interceptor will result. Nose weight is always needed even though the nose cone is to be replaced with a solid resin nose. The lead weight is inserted at a compartment just behind the cockpit.


Pavla sets:  Set one. Set two. Set three. Set four.




Once again to improve the model I resorted to Pavla Models resin parts. The new true shape of the radome was wider in diameter and this was mainly due to the fact that the Pioneer kit had a too narrow fuselage, which prevailed at the nose area as compared with scale plans I had available. To correct the difference I had to insert a fillet 1.5 mm in thickness between the forward areas of the fuselage halves. This got closer to the resin radome diameter and a little filler faired the area as required. Having inserted a fillet at the parting area I then merged the conical, cream colored cone shaped radome found in Pavla detail set u72-95, in place of the kit nose that was gently removed with a razor saw.


The air intakes were also improved using the Pavla set u72-81 which had a resin air intake set for each side. These required to be split horizontally so that a compromised height of the intakes is achieved. The cockpit interior for the single seat Su-15 came with set c72-073 and this included the whole of upper cockpit and part of fuselage, cockpit side panels with detailed instruments, forward aiming sight instruments, detailed ejection seat, control column, and instrument panel. All these detail parts were painted in accordance with Pavla instructions that come with the sets.


The vertical tail unit was replaced with a correct one in Pavla set 72-94 while a series of small air intakes located around the engines at the rear were removed from the kit by sanding and these were replaced from new ones found in set u72-106. The kit undercarriage was used but an amount of scratch built detail was added to the wing wheel wells wherever this was lacking.



 Begamot decal sheet 7204 once again offered two Su-15 in camouflage finish. One of these depicted a Su-15T in three tone disruptive camouflage on upper surfaces. I used Model Master mix of brown, and light green, and for the underside blue-grey. Tamiya paint brand was used for dark green and cockpit green. The Su15T represents No14 of 11 Air Defence Regiment early 1990 Baltic Fleet during 1980s. At this time the PVD regiments added camouflage to the Su-15T and Su-15 TMs.



This was my second Su-15 version built and in camouflage it appeared very pleasing. I imagine that the type was a common sight in skies over the Baltic region and other areas of the Soviet Union.

Carmel J. Attard

February 2013

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