Platz 1/72 Su-27SM2/3 FlankerB 'Updated'
|PRICE:||5600 yen SRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Zvezda kit|
The Sukhoi Su-27 (Russian: Сухой Су-27) (NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth-generation fighters such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle, with 3,530-kilometre (1,910 nmi) range, heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability. The Su-27 was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations. It was designed with the Mikoyan MiG-29 as its complement (The role of the MiG-29 is tactical air superiority over the battlefield, engaging NATO fighters and strike aircraft).
The Su-27 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985. The primary role was long range air defence against American SAC B-1B and B-52G/H bombers, protecting the Soviet coast from aircraft carriers and flying long range fighter escort for Soviet heavy bombers such as the Tu-95 "Bear", Tu-22M "Backfire" and Tu-160 "Blackjack".
There are several related developments of the Su-27 design. The Su-30 is a two-seat, dual-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. The Su-33 'Flanker-D' is a naval fleet defense interceptor for use on aircraft carriers. Further versions include the side-by-side two-seat Su-34 'Fullback' strike/fighter-bomber variant, and the Su-35 'Flanker-E' improved air superiority and multi-role fighter. The Shenyang J-11 is a Chinese licence-built version of the Su-27.
This kit is for the following types:
Su-27SM2: 4+ gen block upgrade for Russian Su-27, featuring some technology of the Su-35BM; it includes Irbis-E radar, and upgraded engines and avionics.
Su-27SM3: The same as the Su-27SM but is built new rather than a mid-life upgrade.
Platz is not above importing other kits to meet needs at home and so it is with this one. The plastic is from Zvezda, so they have made a good choice. I have read that there are upgrades with this kit, but frankly, I could not begin to tell you what they might be. The plastic itself is nicely molded and pretty much flash free. The pilot and clear bits are in their own bag, which helps to keep the clear from being scratched.
We start with a cockpit tub into which are attached a throttle quadrant and control stick along with the six piece seat once you get it assembled. You can put a three piece pilot figure in there if you wish. The decal sheet includes instrument faces, which is standard stuff for kits in this scale.
Once the cockpit is installed in the upper forward fuselage section, the nose gear well is attached to the lower fuselage and then the upper fuselage forward and aft pieces are attached to the lower fuselage. The lower wings are part of the lower fuselage so no alignment issues here. Holes for the pylons will need to be opened.
The fins are a single piece as are the horizontal stabilizers. One will have to add the speed brake which is shown in the lowered position, but I'm betting it can be modeled up if one wishes. Engine intakes are four pieces; a top right and left side with one side incorporating the lower piece and a first compressor stage for the back. Exhaust are six pieces per side and can be left off until near the end.
The kit offers an in-flight option with closed gear doors, though there is no stand provided. Landing gear is very nicely molded and there are separate hinges and retraction struts for the doors. The weapons load consists of R-73, R-77, two types of R-27 and Kh-31 missiles. While not quite as comprehensive as that I experienced in the recent Hasegawa Su-35, is enough to make things look quite busy. The canopy can be posed open and you are provided with a boarding ladder. It looks like a set of wheel chocks and engine intake covers are also included. Judging from the instructions, the only difference between the M2 and M3 is a single antenna behind the cockpit.
Instructions are very nicely done and you are provided two markings options, one for the M2 in the darker blue and blue-grey scheme as shown on the box art, while the M3 has the three shade Flanker scheme that is generally lighter. The painting guide is in full color with both Gunze and Model Master paints provided for a reference. Decals are very nicely done and as you'd expect, provide mostly stencils. The very dark blue bits are a false canopy and you even get silver decals to duplicate the myriad of bare metal sections without having to do a lot of masking. The smaller white dielectric panels are also provided as decals. I have to tell you that masking these latter two items on my Hasegawa Su-35 was a bit of a chore. The decals are printed by Cartograf. Another neat addition is a cardboard alignment jig that is printed on the bottom box.
Had I not just finished a Flanker, this would probably be on my work bench in short order. It is a nicely done model and I can tell you that the finished kit is of a rather large size for a 1/72 kit. For those wanting to spruce things up, Platz offers an interior and exterior detailing set.
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Thanks to Platz for the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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