PM Models 1/72 Su-21F Flagon




$6.98 MSRP


One aircraft


Clarence Wentzel


Kit is actually Su-15 Flagon F


While not as well known at the widely demonstrated Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker and Su-25 Frogfoot, the Su-15 Flagon was the mainstay of the Soviet Air Defense Forces for many years.  The most notorious use of the Flagon was the incident where Korean Air Lines' 747, KAL 007 was shot down.  The Flagon was a big aircraft and used two of the same engines as the MiG-21 and featured a large, nose mounted radar.  Early versions featured a delta wing, a similar configuration as the MiG-21.  Starting with the Flagon D, the wing area was increased by “cranking” the wing from about the half-span area outward.  The Flagon F was probably the definitive model featuring an Ogival radome – a really mean looking airplane.

 Basic Armament of the Su-15 consisted of two air-to-air missiles of the AA-3 “Anab” family.  They were carried on underwing pylons and featured a range of 4 – 5 miles for bomber destruction.  In addition, a number of the Flagons also carried R-60 “Aphid” missiles to give a dogfight capability.  All Flagons were withdrawn from service in the early 90’s in response to the disarmament treaty signed in Paris, November 1990.  The Air Defense duties are now handled by Su-27s but the Flagon will be remembered long as an effective defender of the Soviet Union.


  The kit is listed as a Su-21 but in reality it is an Su-15.  I believe that NATO initially thought that the versions of the Flagon with the extended wings were a new model and this is reflected by PM.  The PM Model kit can best be described as crude although the kit does have the cranked wing and the ogive radome, the two key recognition features for this airplane.  The model is slightly undersized.  The span and OAL should be about one scale foot larger.


 Although the kit has some key errors, the three views drawing on the box is more accurate.  It shows a tail warning radome plus the four air scoops around the rear of the fuselage.  I added these features; a hook shaped aerial under the nose and the stabilizer anti-flutter weights and dropped the flaps.  The canopy was so thick that it obstructed any view of the cockpit.  I used the kit canopy as a mold and smash molded a replacement.  I then cut the kit canopy in half and used the windshield part along with the rear portion of the replacement.  This allowed me to display the model with the canopy open and show off the meager but acceptable interior. 


Although a few Flagons were camouflaged, most of them were natural metal as would be expected of an Air Defense interceptor.  Only a single set of decals were provided, six stars and the blue 09 but these were accurate based on a couple of photos.  For me, the toughest item to duplicate was the yellow and black intake warning markings.  I finally found some HO scale locomotive decals that worked. 

I painted the model using Testor Model Master metallics.  They allowed me to try to replicate the different color of metal panels on the Flagon.  I was pleased with the result although better reference material has shown that I should have removed some “lumps” along the leading edge of the wings at the front of the wing fences.  Also, the fences should be smaller – next time.


 To my knowledge, this is the only 1/72 scale kit of this aircraft.  (Actually, there is a very basic Vac kit and at least one resin kit that has appeared from time to time, Ed) Anyone wanting to add this impressive fighter to his or her collection needs this kit.  It has some problems but is basically accurate in outline and can be easily improved.  Recommended with the noted reservations.  A two seat Flagon G model is also offered.  I plan to build one of these also.  One final tip, if you want to build the plane that shot down KAL 007, substitute a red with black outline 17 instead of the blue 09.


Su-15 Flagon monograph from AJ Press and Volume 1 of the International Air Power Review.  Both are excellent.


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