Trumpeter 1/72 Shenyang J-11B Flanker B Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2012||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||J-11B Flanker B||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||1662||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch, White Metal|
|Pros||Excellent scribed detailing throughout||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$35.95|
In 1995, the Russians sold the Chinese 200 Su-27SK (NATO Codename Flanker B+) as part of a number of sales modernizing the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Deliveries stopped after 100 when the Russians learned that Chinese engineers had reverse-engineered the design and were starting to produce their own variants of the Flanker. The designation J-11 was given to the first 100 aircraft built out of kits from Russia. The J-11A is an upgraded version of the aircraft with modern avionics.
The J-11, like the Su-27, was designed for the air superiority mission. PLAAF officials saw the potential of the Flanker airframe as a multi-role fighter and the J-11B was developed to provide the same flexibility in the air-to-ground mission as it can in the air-to-air role. Where the J-11 and J-11A are based on the Russian designs, the J-11B features a number of improvements including use of more composite structures to reduce weight.
Trumpeter strikes again with another beautiful model! Here is their 1/32 Su-27 Flanker kit scaled down and updated to also support the J-11 series. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus the upper and lower fuselage halves and one tree of clear parts.
Among the features/options in the kit:
- Detailed cockpit with nice K36D ejection seat
- Separately molded speed brake though no actuator provided for positioning open
- Nice intake details though FOD screens will block intake/engine face
- Detailed landing gear
What makes this kit different is the load-out:
- 4 x PL-8
- 4 x PL-10
- 4 x PL-11
- 8 x PL-12
The weapons load chart also shows where the PL-21 (a new missile) would be loaded though none are included in the kit. The down side is that as a multi-role aircraft, this is the first of J-11 variant that is also intended to support the air-to-ground mission though no air-to-ground weapons are included (or mentioned).
Markings are provided for at least three examples:
- J-11B, 523, PLAAF Flight Test
- J-11B, 524, PLAAF Flight Test
- J-11B, 10320, PLAAF operational colors
Three sheets are provided, one with the airframe markings and distinctive aircraft markings (including a set of generic yellow numbers should you want a different aircraft than 10320), one sheet with weapons and pylon stenciling, and one sheet with cockpit instrument panel and side consoles.
Trumpeter has moved their Flanker series into 1/72 scale and provides the first J-11 series in this scale. Look for more Flanker variants to come in the future.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!
- Flankers The New Generation, Yefim Gordon, Midland Publishing, 2001, ISBN 1-85780-121-0
- Su-27 Reference Site