Monogram 1/48 Su-25 Frogfoot
KIT #: 5830
PRICE: €25 in 2005
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas
NOTES: New tool kit


The Sukhoi Su-25 Grach (NATO reporting name: Frogfoot) is a subsonic, single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support for the Soviet Ground Forces. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 22 February 1975. After testing, the aircraft went into series production in 1978 at Tbilisi in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Early variants included the Su-25UB two-seat trainer, the Su-25BM for target-towing, and the Su-25K for export customers. Some aircraft were being upgraded to Su-25SM standard in 2012. The Su-25T and the Su-25TM (also known as the Su-39) were further developments, not produced in significant numbers. Su-25s are in service with Russia, other CIS members, and export customers.

The type has seen combat in several conflicts during its more than 30 years in service.


Monogram came in 1990 with a “modern” quarter scale Su-25, which was the company’s first kit with recessed panel lines. Back then, the available info on the machine was not that much, with the specific kit design based on one of the prototype machines. Rendition of some areas like the cockpit and wheel bays was, to a degree, speculative.

My example was the first (1990) version with the sprues done in Korea. It comes in a relatively big, typical Monogram top opening box, with an attractive box art of two Su-25s performing a strafing mission. Upon opening the box, I was greeted with 103 light brown styrene pieces, arranged in three equally sized sprues and sealed in a single bag. Molding was first class, very crisp, with no flash whatsoever.

External detailing consists of not only very finely recessed panel lines, but also at places raised riveting, as was observed on the real thing - very nice indeed! What looks like a pilot’s step is molded “open”, meaning some simple surgery having to be performed there if you want to display it “closed” and preserve the fuselage lines. A good amount of additional air scoops (of which the Su-25 seems to carry many) is provided as well (but not the distinctive one that was located at the fin base in production machines).

There is a certain amount of cockpit detail, but it is definitely generic (and, to a certain degree, speculative), with instrument panel, a simplified K-36L seat with molded on seat belts, stick, side consoles and a good amount of various details molded onto the sidewalls. A pilot is also provided, maybe not being a bad idea to detail paint him and place him in the cockpit, somehow “blanking” the generic/speculative looks (but do not forget to modify the step into “closed” position!).

Intakes and exhausts are nicely deep with compressor and turbine faces at their ends respectively.  Landing gear pars look relatively busy, with the wheel bays exhibiting the same “generic/speculative” looks (and some ejector pin marks also visible there). Wheels look good, as do the wingtip mounted air brakes (an interesting feature of the Su-25), that can be posed either “open” or “closed”.

Pylons and ordnance, one of the most distinctive features of the type, look passable (it is reported that some of them are not carried by production machines, so check your references!). A supporting rod is also provided, in case you forget to add weight in this seemingly tail-sitting candidate, Transparencies are acceptably thin, very clear and superbly molded. The canopy is split in two and can be displayed open.

Instructions are the very comprehensive typical Monogram of the era: coming in the form of a small pamphlet, they contain a short history, a generic color chart, with the construction nicely spread in 28 simple and clear steps. Only one scheme is provided, for “Blue 301”: the specific machine was a prototype (it was exhibited at Le Bourget Air Show in 1989), presumably being the example Monogram used to create this kit. Decals look well printed, but their backing paper has yellowed after 30 years, raising fears that the gluing agent is done.

Instructions start with putting the cockpit together, then trap it between the fuselage halves. No weight indication is mentioned, but I would definitely add a certain amount in front of the cockpit, as to avoid using the supporting rod…). The nose with the IR sensor is then attached, followed by assembly and attachment of the intake ducts. Next the main landing gear is built-up and attached to the main bay wall, with the complete subassembly attached underneath and “secured” with the lower fuselage frame.

The intake fronts and rear exhausts are next, followed by affixation of the numerous air scoops and other “bits and pieces” (antennas, fillets). Next is assembly and installation of the nose landing gear, the wings and the stabilizers. The wing pylons are subsequently attached underneath the wings, with ordnance assembly and installation following. Final steps include assembling and installing the the pilot, affixing the transparencies and the rest of the tiny bits, for what seems to be a build of average complexity.


Accuracy issues aside (to a degree understandable, since Monogram worked with whatever info was available back then), this looks to be a well engineered kit. Since it represents a prototype, the builder who wishes to depict a later production machine will have to perform some additions and/or modifications. Molding is first class and construction looks straightforward. A good number of aftermarket seems to exist, addressing most of the kit’s lesser areas (like cockpit and landing gear).

Your other option is the equally old mold OEZ kit, that has been reboxed many times from many manufacturers (and occasionally updated with new parts), including (among others) Smer, KoPro, Mistercraft and even Eduard (the latter with the usual great Eduard extra “goodies”). Though not among the easiest to put together, this kit has the reputation of resulting in accurate representation of operational machines.

As a footnote, Kitty Hawk was supposed to have come with both single seat and dual seat 1/48 Su-25s in 2020, but they were canceled due to the company going out of business, whereas Zvezda has announced a new tool Frogfoot for 2022!.

Happy modeling!

 Spiros Pendedekas

March 2022

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