Trumpeter 1/32 Sukhoi Su-27UB Flanker C Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2008||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Su-27UB Flanker C||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||2270||Primary Media||Photo-Etch, White Metal, Styrene|
|Pros||Excellent scribed detailing throughout||Cons||Printing of decal stencils|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$209.95|
The Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB) was tasked to develop a long-range interceptor that would be able to contend with strategic threats as well as hold its own against the hottest air-to-air fighter being fielded in the west - the F-15 Eagle. The resulting design bore a similarity to the F-15 from afar, but that is where the similarities end. The Su-27 is more than a match for any contemporary operational fighter, save perhaps the F-22, but its younger brother, the Su-37 will keep Raptor pilots on their toes.
One of the first things you'll notice is that the Flanker doesn't usually carry external fuel tanks. I don't believe I've ever seen a photo of an Su-27 with external tanks. That is because the aircraft carries an ample load of fuel internally to conduct long range intercept missions, and when even longer ranges are required, many Flanker variants are now equipped with retractable air refueling probes.
Serving as the backbone of the former Soviet and now Russian air defense forces, the Su-27 has evolved into a number of variants, including the Su-27UB two-seat trainer, Su-30 multi-role fighter, Su-34 fighter-bomber, Su-35 Improved Flanker, and Su-37 Super Flanker. There is also the Su-47 which retains some of the Flankers lines, though its forward-swept wings reflect a new generation of fighter awaiting funding. We also shouldn't forget the Su-33/Su-27K Naval Flanker, modified for carrier operations.
The Flanker has been exported to China and India, with additional customers being lined up by the Russian aviation export teams.
Trumpeter strikes again with its second installment in the Flanker series - the Su-27UB Flanker C. The first was the Su-27 Flanker B (reviewed here) and coming in the near future is the Su-30MMK two-seat strike fighter. For those of you who remember some of the glitches in the Trumpeter Su-27 kit design will also remember the beautiful Zactoman conversions to bring the Trumpeter kit up to specification. Showing their own commitment to the subject, Trumpeter has announced their own correction set which appears to provide similar corrections as the Zactoman conversions, but in styrene. If you compare the photos from the correction preview with the sprues in this release, it looks like Trumpeter has already corrected this kit.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit features finely scribed details on all of the visible surfaces. The kit is presented on 11 parts trees, plus separately provided upper and lower fuselage halves, intake trunks, and two sets of exhaust nozzles. There is a single tree of clear parts, plus separately packaged canopy and windscreen parts. The landing gear is white metal, and a fret of photo-etched parts is also provided to render the flight control hinges.
This new kit has two fully detailed cockpit tubs to show off under that huge canopy. The single seater had 14 parts in its front office, this one has over 40 parts.
The 30mm cannon is represented in its own bay. Even the main wheel wells are detailed models of their own right!
The leading edge slats, trailing edge flaperons, rudders and canopy are all hinged with photo-etched hinges. The wings and horizontal stabilizers mechanically attach to the fuselage, though with the size and mass of this kit, I'm a little concerned about the strength of these joins. We'll see.
As with the Tamiya 1/32 aircraft, this kit uses screws to obtain a solid mechanical assembly, which is then augmented with the cement of your choice. I'd still think about adding a mainspar through the fuselage into both wings, much like the metal frame for the Tamiya F-14 provides strength for those positionable wings.
This kit comes fully loaded with Archer and Alamo missiles.
The landing gear includes fully articulating main and nose gear struts made of detailed cast white metal or styrene (your choice), with styrene wheel hubs and rubber tires. The details are rounded out with the standard Odd Rod IFF antennas and optional next generation IFF antennas.
According to the specifications, the assembled kit is 27.5 inches long with a wing span of over 18 inches. This means that you'd better start planning on a suitable parking spot for this beautiful model!
Markings are included for two insteresting examples:
- Su-27UB, Blue 56, PLAAF (Chinese Air Force)
- Su-27UB, Red 64, Russian AF
Decals are provided on three sheets. While the first sheet with the distinctive markings looks nice, the second sheet is slightly out of register, and the third sheet reveals that the decal artist not only has problems with English text, they also seem to be unable to read or replicate Cyrillic stencils either. If you can't read Russian and you know your IPMS judges can't read Russian either, these stencils are fine.
This looks to be an incredible kit right out of the box, though if you were observant, you'll have noticed the empty sections on two of the parts trees, suggesting that we'll be seeing more versions of this impressive aircraft in the future. I don't know about you, but in my opinion, the Su-27 ranks among the top three most beautiful aircraft of all time.
- Flankers The New Generation, Yefim Gordon, Midland Publishing, 2001, ISBN 1-85780-121-0
- Su-27 Reference Site