Platz 1/72 Su-27SM Flanker B(Mod)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Zvezda kit|
The Sukhoi Su-27 (Russian: Сухой Су-27) (NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth-generation fighters such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle, with 3,530-kilometre (1,910 nmi) range, heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability. The Su-27 was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations. It was designed with the Mikoyan MiG-29 as its complement (The role of the MiG-29 is tactical air superiority over the battlefield, engaging NATO fighters and strike aircraft).
The Su-27 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985. The primary role was long range air defence against American SAC B-1B and B-52G/H bombers, protecting the Soviet coast from aircraft carriers and flying long range fighter escort for Soviet heavy bombers such as the Tu-95 "Bear", Tu-22M "Backfire" and Tu-160 "Blackjack".
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. The Su-33 'Flanker-D' is a naval fleet defense interceptor for use on aircraft carriers. Further versions include the side-by-side two-seat Su-34 'Fullback' strike/fighter-bomber variant, and the Su-35 'Flanker-E' improved air superiority and multi-role fighter. The Shenyang J-11 is a Chinese licence-built version of the Su-27.
THe Su-27SM is a mid-life upgrade of the basic Flanker B incorporating all the modifications made in the Su-27M (Su-35/Su-37, Flanker-E/F): Improved demonstrators for an advanced single-seat multi-role Su-27S derivative.
Platz is not above importing other kits to meet needs at home and so it is with this one. The plastic is from Zvezda, so they have made a good choice. I have read that there are upgrades with this kit, but frankly, I could not begin to tell you what they might be. The plastic itself is nicely molded and pretty much flash free. The pilot and clear bits are in their own bag, which helps to keep the clear from being scratched.
We start with a cockpit tub into which are attached a throttle quadrant and control stick along with the six piece seat once you get it assembled. You can put a three piece pilot figure in there if you wish. The decal sheet includes instrument faces, which is standard stuff for kits in this scale.
Once the cockpit is installed in the upper forward fuselage section, the nose gear well is attached to the lower fuselage and then the upper fuselage forward and aft pieces are attached to the lower fuselage. The lower wings are part of the lower fuselage so no alignment issues here. Holes for the pylons will need to be opened.
The fins are a single piece as are the horizontal stabilizers. One will have to add the speed brake which is shown in the lowered position, but I'm betting it can be modeled up if one wishes. Engine intakes are four pieces; a top right and left side with one side incorporating the lower piece and a first compressor stage for the back. Exhaust are six pieces per side and can be left off until near the end.
The kit offers an in-flight option with closed gear doors, though there is no stand provided. Landing gear is very nicely molded and there are separate hinges and retraction struts for the doors. The weapons load consists of R-73, R-77, two types of R-27 and Kh-31 missiles. While not quite as comprehensive as that I experienced in the recent Hasegawa Su-35, is enough to make things look quite busy. The canopy can be posed open and you are provided with a boarding ladder. It looks like a set of wheel chocks and engine intake covers are also included.
Had I not just finished a Flanker, this would probably be on my work bench in short order. It is a nicely done model and I can tell you that the finished kit is of a rather large size for a 1/72 kit. For those wanting to spruce things up, Platz offers an interior and exterior detailing set, which will be reviewed separately.
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