|KIT:||Gran 1/72 Su-15 TM 'Flagon'|
|PRICE:||$12.00 from www.wheelsntreads.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
"Recognizing the limitations of the earlier Su-9 and Su-11, the Sukhoi OKB quickly began the development of a heavily revised and more capable aircraft. A variety of development aircraft evolved, including the T-49, which shared the fuselage of the Su-9 (including its single engine), but used cheek-mounted intakes to leave the nose clear for a large radome for the 'Oriol-D' (Eagle) radar, and the T-5, essentially a heavily modified Su-11 with a widened rear fuselage containing two Tumansky R-11 engines.
These led to the T-58, which combined the twin engines with a modified version of the T-49's nose, but with side inlets further back, behind the cockpit. The T-58 first flew on 30 May, 1962. As the Su-15, it entered service testing 5 August, 1963, but its service entry was delayed by Soviet government ambivalence about the value of manned interceptors as opposed to surface-to-air missiles (directly parallel to the political controversies that led to the reduction of production numbers or the cancellation of many other interceptor aircraft in many countries). Nevertheless, it was finally accepted by the V-PVO, with the first Su-15F (NATO reporting name 'Flagon-A') entering service in 1967.
As one of the V-PVO's principal interceptors, the Su-15 was involved in a number of incidents with foreign aircraft. One such attack was in 1978, when Korean Air Flight 902 was attacked over Murmansk by a PVO Su-15. Although the civilian aircraft survived the missile hit, it subsequently crashed, killing two passengers. In 1981 a Baku, Azerbaijan-based Su-15 rammed an Iranian Canadair CL-44, apparently as a deliberate attack. More notorious was theKorean Air Flight 007 incident in 1983, when a Korean Boeing 747 was shot down by a Su-15TM based on Sakhalin, killing all 246 passengers and 23 crew. Other incidents involving reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft may have occurred, but gone unrecorded.
Although it was produced in large numbers, the Su-15, like other highly sensitive Soviet aircraft, was never exported to the Warsaw Pact. Many now belong to the Georgian and Ukrainian air forces following the collapse of the Soviet Union, although few, if any, remain serviceable.
In Russia, the Su-15 was gradually phased out by 1993 in favour of more advanced interceptors, including the Su-27 'Flanker' and MiG-31 'Foxhound.'"
Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org for the reference information.
Gran is a name that is new to me. Apparently it is one of the numerous kit makers that pop up from Russia; all producing kits that are important to their buying public, which means Russian designed aircraft. Looking at the side panel of this kit, there is an interesting missile kit that I wouldn't mind seeing. In with this are an F-80C as well.
A couple of notes on this one. One is that this is the old VES kit (another name of which I've not heard), and that there is another Su-15 TM produced by A-Model that has engraved panel lines, though no indication on how fit compares to this one.
But I digress.
This particular kit is molded in a white plastic with very involved raised detail. In fact, the detail is quite reminiscent of KP kits. In a few areas, the raised rivet detail is quite pronounced, leaving some overly long ones that are similar to the little 'pips' one sees on vacuformed kits. These are easily sanded down.
I did notice quite a bit of flash on some of the parts and the sprue attachment points are rather large by current standards. This means it would be wise to saw the parts off and great care will be needed to prevent breaking some of the more petite detail parts. All of the parts will need pre-construction clean-up to some degree or other. The fuselage is molded in three parts, making for a challenge, though there is a lip around all of the sections to help with alignment.
Separate ailerons and rudder are part of the package as are a goodly number of weapons for the under wing pylons. Only the inner pylon has a positive locator and on my kit, one of those holes was filled so will need additional drilling. Landing gear are suitably complex looking. The canopy and windscreen are separate and though a bit distorted, is well done. No canopy actuating mechanism is provided so it seems to be designed for the closed position.
The instructions are well done with a parts layout, generic color chart, history in Russian and English as well as 12 construction sequences. There are also some smaller diagrams for building the seat, landing gear and weapons. Markings are for four aircraft. Three of them are in unpainted metal, with two of them being Russian (one being the plane that brought down KAL 007) and a third with the Ukraine Air Force. A nicely camouflaged version with the Russian AF is also included. Decals are well printed and fairly crisp. My experience with Russian decals is mixed so one just doesn't know how these will work until they are tried.
I'm not sure how many other kits are out there for the Su-15TM in 1/72. Aside from the less than sterling PM kit and an older vacuformed kit (also from Russia), this aircraft is not well represented. Though it looks to be a bit of a challenge to build (mostly due to all the clean-up required). I'm sure that it will make a fine edition to any modern-ish Russian aircraft collection.
My thanks to www.wheelsntreads.com for providing the review sample. You can buy yours on-line at a discount.
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