|KIT:||ESCI 1/48 Su-7 Fitter|
|PRICE:||$ Long OOP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||OEZ kit reboxed|
Set your 'WayBack' Machine™ to the early 1950s. Stalin has died and many of the people who were tossed in prisons and gulags were returned to Society by his successor. One of them was the head designer of the Sukhoi Design Bureau. He was tasked with producing a new jet ground attack aircraft and a new interceptor. Both were rather similar in design, but the biggest difference was in the wing planform. The interceptor was a big, honking delta winged aircraft similar in layout to the later MiG-21. The ground attack plane had 'normal' swept wings and tail surfaces.
One thing about this beast was that it was big and it was fast. It also sucked fuel like nobody's business and even with external fuel tanks, range was always a problem with the Su-7. Nevertheless, it was hugely successful and just what the Soviets were seeking. With the Soviets outfitting all sorts of friendly nations during the 1960s and1970s, the Fitter saw a lot of combat. Primarily with the Indian AF during their wars against Pakistan and with various Middle Eastern nations during their various wars with Israel.
Despite its short range, especially when fully loaded down, it was surprisingly maneuverable and extremely stable, something that ground attack pilots come to appreciate. Its 30mm cannon were able to penetrate the armor of the US M48 Patton tank with ease. Though no longer in service with most air arms, it was later developed into the 'swing wing' Su-17/20/22 that still provides sterling service with several countries around the world.
This is little more than a reboxing of the OEZ Su-7. This kit is made of some very robust plastic with somewhat overdone engraved detail. Some of the parts are very thick and every one of the ones that are have sink areas. No problems with ejector pin marks or flash. There are two canopy options as one can build the kit with it open or closed. The instrument panel is also made of clear plastic.
A rather complete looking cockpit along with detailed sidewalls is provided. The seat alone consists of six parts. To keep this beast on its nose, 40 grams of weight is recommended, though how you'll get all that into the nose section is beyond me, Other features are a separate rudder, ailerons, and speed brakes that can be posed open or closed. The landing gear has those little skids built into it which adds another level of complexity to them. Additional goodies are a nice boarding ladder, a set of RATO units, and for 'things under wings' you get two drop tanks, two bombs, two rockets and two rocket pods.
The instructions are quite good and well drawn. The 14 construction steps provide colors and options that are needed. Colors are provided for FS 595, Humbrol and generic names. Markings are provided for two bare metal aircraft. One is Bort 80 from the Soviet Air Force and the other is Red 20 of the Polish AF. Decals are well printed, emi-matte and if they don't fall apart due to age, should work well. I'd like to think that there are aftermarket decals for this one as the plane was used by a large number of Air Forces.
I've built the OEZ MiG-21 and while it was a bit of a challenge in some areas, it made a very nice model that is currently in the San Diego Aerospace Museum. I anticipate that this one will also offer a challenge or two and will make into a great model.
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