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Su-15 Kit

Trumpeter 1/72 Su-15 Flagon A Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2008 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Su-15 Flagon A Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1624 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing inside and out Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $33.95

First Look

Su-15 Kit
Su-15 Kit
Su-15 Kit
Su-15 Kit
Su-15 Kit
Su-15 Kit

In the early years of the jet era, the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB) had based their first designs around the principal of the flying stovepipe. The Su-7 (and subsequent Su-17/22) Fitter ground attack aircraft series and the Su-9/11 Fishpot interceptor fighter series all featured a similar open nose intake with a centerbody radome fitted inside the intake, swept wings (Su-7), partial span variable geometry wings (Su-17/22), or delta wings (Su-9/11), all optimized for high-speed flight, a single engine, and conventional tail arrangement.

In the early 1960s, the Sukhoi OKB developed a new design based upon the latest design standards available. This new design housed a high-power intercept radar, requiring the relocation of the intakes to the sides of the fuselage. The aircraft was powered by a pair of R-11 afterburning turbojets, the same engine that powers the MiG-21, but now with the ability to lose an engine and still safely return home (it gets really quiet in those single-engine types after an engine failure). The aircraft featured similar delta wing and horizontal stabilator planforms as the MiG-21. Unlike the MiG-21 however, the Su-15 would serve almost exclusively with the Soviet Air Defense Command, PVO.

Trumpeter first released the Su-15 in 1/48 scale several years ago, and have now downsized the kit into 1/72. The similar design of the tooling ensures that we'll see the same variants in the future as well.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus a small clear tree. According to the specs, this kit has 100 parts that will go together to render this first operational variant, the Flagon A.

The cockpit tub is simple, but detailed enough that some good painting will bring out the molded in details. The nosegear well is also nicely done.

Trumpeter designed a pair of boxes that insert into the insides of the fuselage halves to provide depth and box off the intakes. Since the fuselage is otherwise empty, some aftermarket company could render detailed seamless intake trunks and engine faces.

The landing gear is all nicely done with the tough landing gear that reveals its family heritage with the Su-7/9/11.

The kit also provides some nice external stores options including:

  • One radar guided R-8 (AA-3 Anab)
  • One IR homing R-8 (AA-3 Anab)
  • Two R-60 (Aphid)
  • Two external tanks
  • Two gun pods

Here is where I believe the instructions go awry. They show the aircraft with AA-3s on the outboads (good), external fuel on the fuselage stations (also good), and R-60s on inboard stations (I don't think so). The early Flagons didn't have the inboard stations fitted, these would come with Flagon D. The R-60 Aphid wasn't in service for another few decades, so this would be more appropriate on Flagon F.

What the instructions don't mention are the gun pods. The Flagon, like the mid-production MiG-21, F-4 Phantom II, and others of that generation, the Su-15 didn't have an internal gun. When everyone in the world realized that the age of the aircraft gun had not passed, the fuel tanks on the fuselage stations could be swapped for gun pods on later model Flagons, but this version wasn't set up for gun pods.

The kit provides markings for three examples:

  • Su-15, Red Falcons (red/white paint scheme)
  • Su-15, Bort 01
  • Su-15, Bort 42

The later two examples make use of the extensive array of maintenance stencils provided on this decal sheet.

I'm glad to see a good Flagon kit available in this scale and will look forward to seeing the release of the later variants of this PVO workhorse.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!