Zvezda 1/72 Su-24M Fencer D Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2005||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Subject||Su-24M Fencer D||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7267||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice exterior detailing||Cons||Lack of detail in the cockpit|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$17.98|
Though the F-111 got off to a troubled start (wings falling off in combat over Vietnam), the Soviets realized the potential of a variable geometry supersonic strike aircraft. The design bureau of Pavel Sukhoi (Sukhoi OKB) undertook the development of the Soviet's own multi-role strike aircraft.
The first Su-24s (NATO code-named Fencer) entered service in the early 1980s and has seen combat over Afghanistan. The Su-24M is the third generation development of the Su-24 with improved avionics and the addition of a retractable air refueling probe. This aircraft has been exported under the designation of Su-24MK to Libya, Iraq, and Syria (though the Iraqi Fencers (as well as other aircraft) were flown to Iran during the early stages of Desert Shield).
This isn't the first kit of the Su-24 Fencer released, nor even the first of the Su-24M. The most noteworthy predecessor to this kit was the Su-24M from Dragon and later from Italeri. Thanks to Ivan Jozic for pointing out that the sprues in the Zvezda kit are identical to the Dragon kit, so think of this as a reissue rather than a new release.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit features a cockpit tub that will need some detailing to get the proper look. The instrument panel has molded on details that clearly do not reveal any state secrets, so this is best removed and replaced with your own detailing. The kits ejection seats are supposed to be K-36DM but suffer from molding dimples and ejector pin marks. My recommendation would be to find a pair of aftermarket seats to dress this area up.
The rest of the kit is nicely detailed. The parts layout on the trees indicate that this mold will yield a number of Su-24 variants. In this version, you can see in the photos that the shape of the radome was nicely captured. The swing-wings are designed to move after assembly, similar in design to the old Revell 1/72 F-111 TFX kit. The horizontal stabs are not molded on the fuselage and are positionable. Nice!
The landing gear is very nicely done, as are the sensor and cannon fairings under the fuselage. You have a choice of positioning the air refueling probe in the stowed or deployed position. You also have your choice of open or closed canopy clamshells.
The external loadout of the kit includes external fuel tanks, a variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, bombs, cluster bombs and gun pods. There are two identical trees of weapons (duplicate trees not shown) and even if you arm your Su-24M to the teeth, you will still have some nice armament left over for your spares box.
Markings are included for two aircraft: Red 42 from the Lipetsk Flight School and Blue 91 as a typical Frontal Aviation aircraft. As the DML kit preceded this release by a number of years, several decal companies have released sheets for the Su-24M, though availability is a question. Check out your usual sources for your options.
Zvezda has released another nice kit with this Su-24M. Despite the bland cockpit, the exterior detailing definitely makes the kit a nice addition to your scale flightline.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!