Monogram 1/48 Su-25 Frogfoot Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2006||Manufacturer||Monogram|
|Kit Number||5830||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best Su-25 in any scale||Cons||Cockpit needs an update (see text)|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Soviet Union watched as the USAF started developing a new generation of close air support (CAS) aircraft under the AX program. Two contenders emerged - the Northrop A-9 and the Fairchild A-10. Of course the A-10 with its tank-busting 30mm GAU-8 Avenger gun would win the AX program and serve with distinction through numerous conflicts.
When the Sukhoi OKB (design bureau) developed its own concept for a CAS fighter, it ironically resembled the Northrop A-9. Powered by a pair of non-afterburning R13-300 engines (same engine core as the MiG-21), the Su-25 was armed with its own twin-barrel 30mm gun and ten underwing pylons for weapons and external fuel. The aircraft was codenamed Frogfoot by NATO.
Designed to counter the combined forces of NATO, the Su-25 instead received its baptism of fire over Afghanistan. Even in these harsh operating conditions, the Su-25 functioned well in the CAS role, though at that time, it was not adequately equipped with infrared countermeasures to counter the shoulder-fired Stinger SAM missile. Like many other aircraft that fell prey to the Stinger, Su-25 crews applied field modifications and employed hard-learned defensive tactics to support the troops on the ground.
This kit was a milestone for Monogram. Released in 1990, this was the first kit to be released by Revell or Monogram with scribed panel lines. Molded in brown styrene, the kit is presented on three parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts.
The release of the Su-25 was a mixed blessing as it is very nice on the outside, but has a few minor bugs on the inside. Since this kit was developed without the benefit of the extensive references that are now available (remember the days of grainy black & white photographs?), there are a few things that will need to be tweaked.
Assembly naturally begins in the cockpit, and here is where the most work will be required. The cockpit tub is fairly generic and will benefit from the Eduard detail set and a new resin ejection seat. The kit seat is not a bad start for the K-36D that equips most modern Soviet/Russian fighters, but it is missing the distinctive drogue chute canisters on either side of the headrest and that interesting maze of straps that make up the shoulder harness. An optional pilot figure is also included.
Another nice innovation with this kit are intake and exhaust ducts with engine compressor/turbine faces at the ends (respectively). Unfortunately, this kit example had a short-shot (didn't completely mold) in the intake ducts, but I have a spare fortunately.
Straight from the box, the kit represents a 'clean machine', one that would appear on Warsaw Pact airfields and non-combat Soviet examples. You'll need to check your references if you're doing an Afghan war veteran for placement of the dorsal chaff/flare launchers.
Like the A-10, the Su-25 can carry just about any tactical weapon ever produced for Soviet aircraft. The kit includes external fuel tanks for the inboard pylons, R-60 (Aphid) missiles for the outboards, and four rocket pods, and two AS-7 guided missiles.
Markings are provided for one aircraft:
- Su-25, Bort 301, Soviet Air Force
Despite the minor bugs in this kit, this is still a very nice model and will benefit from a little updating to bring the model up to date. Unlike many Soviet-era aircraft, the Su-25 received a wide array of camouflage and non-camouflage color schemes while in service with the former Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and is still in service with many of these nations today.
While this kit has been out of production since its release in 1990, there are still examples to be found and hopefully we'll see Revell releasing this kit again in the not-to-distant future.