|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sukhoi Su-27 (Сухой Су-27 in the Cyrillic alphabet) (NATO reporting name ‘Flanker’) is a one-seat Mach-2 class jet fighter plane originally manufactured by the Soviet Union, and designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large American fourth generation fighters, with long 3,530 km range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high agility. The Su-27 most often flies air superiority missions, but is able to perform almost all combat operations. Complementing the smaller MiG-29, its closest American counterpart is the F-15 Eagle.
There are several related developments of the Su-27 design. The Su-30 is a two-seat, dual-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions; comparable to F-15E Strike Eagle. Su-33 ‘Flanker-D’ is a navy fleet defense interceptor for use on aircraft carriers; comparable to F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Further versions include the side-by-side 2-seat Su-34 ‘Fullback’ strike variant and the Su-35 ‘Flanker-E’ improved air defense fighter.
ICM has become known for producing some very nice kits of modern Russian aircraft over the years, and one can add into that mix, this Su-27 'Flanker'. Enthusiasts of this sort of plane can spot the variant better than I, but it appears to be the base model Flanker A. The Flanker has been kitted before by Hasegawa in this scale and since it is a large aircraft, it was also quite pricey for the time. Even in today's money, cheap it is not, but you do get a lot of plastic for your loot.
As you can guess, the detailing is all that we have come to expect from ICM and other companies who mold new kits. Engraved panel lines, and none of that 'rivet detail' that we get from some others, which is something I appreciate. One glitch I noticed is the the upper surface of the wings is not at all smooth. It has what look like sink areas all over the section closest to the fuselage. These are one-piece wings and the plastic is rather thick in this area, undoubtedly the culprit. When one pops a mold out of the machine too quickly, one gets these deformations and I"m betting that is what is happening. Filler and rescribing will take care of it or you can blow it off and mark it down to over-stressing the airframe.
Cockpit is fairly well apportioned with the usual tub, seat and instrument panel. Seat is fairly nicely done, but were I to spend additional money on this kit, I'd replace it with a nice resin one with much more detail. No side console detail, no main instrument panel detail and no decal to plunk in there so you are on your own.
The main and nose gear are nicely done and look complex enough to mass muster. The intakes look like they might require some careful construction, but at least, there isn't the long trunking that causes so much trouble on the MiG-29 and F-14 kits. The canopy and speedbrake can be finished in the open position should you wish. A multitude of weaponry is included and from what I can tell, the missiles are well formed and what one would find on this plane. Two of the sprues are dedicated to missiles and pylons.
Instructions are fairly well done using the popular CAD style drawings. They are a tad dark but as all the parts are called out, assembly should not be an issue. Markings are for four aircraft. Three of them Russian in standard paint schemes from the last 10 years or so and all with additional color o the fin. The fourth is a Ukraine AF plane in a sort of splinter scheme which should look nice, but will be a challenge to paint. The decal sheet has two difficulties. One is that there is a clump of black stuff (perhaps dried ink) that got on the back of the sheet. You can see the stain in the image. The second is that is seems the black is quite a bit off register, making many of the decals unusable. This includes, unfortunately, many of the Bort numbers and data markings, as well as all of the tail markings, though the insignia are all just fine. Aftermarket is really your only choice.
So there you have it, another and probably more modern option to the now very pricey Hasegawa kit. It will take a bit more modeling skill to fix the glitches, but the end result should be a superb and rather large model.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local store or on-line retailer.
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