Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
Mike

Sukhoi Su-22M3/M4 Fitter-F (Sic) KH80146

Recommended Posts

Sukhoi Su-22M3/M4 Fitter-F (Sic) KH80146

1:48 Kitty Hawk

 

boxtop.jpg

 

The Su-17 and the downgraded export version dubbed the Su-22, with its NATO reporting name Fitter was derived from the earlier Su-7 as a project to improve its low speed handling, particularly during take-off and landing.  It was Sukhoi's first attempt at variable geometry wings, and when it reached service was the Soviet Union's first swing-wing aircraft in service.  To keep the project costs down, the centre section of the wing remained fixed, with the outer able to swing back for high-speed flight, and forward for slow.  A pronounced spine was also added to the rear of the cockpit to carry additional fuel and avionics that were necessary with the advances in aviation.  The first airframes reached service in the early 70s, and were soon replaced by more advanced models with the designation M3 and M4, dubbed Fitter-H and –K respectively by the Allies.

 

 The M3 was based on a larger fuselage and had additional weapons options, while the M4 was further developed and was considered to be the pinnacle of the Fitter line with a heavily upgraded avionics suite including improved targeting, navigation, and yet more weapons options, as well as improved engines.  A downgraded version of the M4 was marketed as the Su-22M4, and was in production until 1990!  Although the Su-17 was withdrawn from Soviet service in the late 1990s, it remained in service much longer in its Su-22 export guise, where it was used by both Iran and Iraq, Libya and Angola to name but a few, and during this time it had variable success, which likely had as much to do with pilot skill and training as the merits of the airframe.

 

 

The Kit

We reviewed the (then) newly tooled Su-17M3/M4 from Kitty Hawk at the beginning of this year, and it has been quite a Sukhoi 17/22 kind of a year overall, when you consider what we used to have as the best kit in this scale, so now we're spoilt for choice.  The Su-17 and Su-22 are externally identical, as it is just the abilities of the airframe and avionics that had been throttled back for the export market, and a fairly large export market it was too, which resulted in some interesting schemes, as we'll see toward the end of this review.

 

The box sports a new painting of a German airframe with wings extended for low-speed and the tail plus drop-tanks adorned with a bright yellow and black tiger-stripe.  Inside the plastic is the same as for the Su-17 for the aforementioned reasons, and that it would be impossible to see the fixed shock-cone of the M4 or differences in avionics or systems at scale on a closed-up airframe.  Kitty Hawk seem to have got their NATO designations a little mixed up too, as the Fitter-F was designated to an earlier export version.  The M3 and M4 were actually both loosely designated K due to their similarities, although it's the usual tricksy and confusing mess of variants and sub-variants that seems to plague Soviet era development programmes.  There are the same nine sprues in light grey styrene, one in clear, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass which has been updated to depict the new boxing with no other changes, and three decal sheets, two of which contain the national markings, the smallest the stencils.  The instruction booklet completes the package and omits the incorrect Fitter name, with large colourful decaling and painting guide pinned into the centre of the pages.

 

As the styrene is the same, there is little point in taking a new set of photos (our SSDs aren't infinite!), so you'll have to put up with the old logo in the corner until we get to the markings.  Unfortunately, the missing support structure at the top and bottom of the shock-cone/radome are still absent from the new boxing, but I believe there is an aftermarket option out now that will correct that, or you could break out your modelling skills and fabricate the area yourself.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

sprue7.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

pe.jpg

 

Construction is also identical, so there's little point in re-treading the same discussion, which you can find in the original review linked at the top of this review.  As originally stated though, the surface detail of the parts is very good as you can see from the following photos.  The really interesting part of the package is the more colourful foreign operators' colour schemes, which Kitty Hawk have included for your delight and edification.

 

detail-bays.jpg

 

detail-wing.jpg

 

detail-fuselage.jpg

 

Markings

As already mentioned, there are three decal sheets, one of which has the majority of the national markings and some of the special scheme decals.  The mid-sized sheet contains the rest, as well as the instrument panel and side console decals, which are again nicely done.  The smallest sheet is filled with stencils that are nice and crisp, a marked improvement on some of the older decals from this company, which I remarked on in the earlier boxing.  From this box you can build one of the following:

 

profiles.jpg

 

decals.jpg

 

stencils.jpg

 

The decals have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  They are separately protected in a ziplok style bag along with the PE, which is always welcome from a point of view of protection from moisture.  Each sheet is also covered with a thin "greaseproof" type paper, to prevent the sheets sticking together over time.

 

 

Conclusion

Of course it would have been nice if the nose issue had been rectified in the interim, but the rest of the kit is detailed and well defined, so it's easy to forgive the additional work needed to correct the deficiency if it bothers you.  Overall it's still a good kit, and as long as you check and adjust fit you should end up with a good representation of the export Fitter.

 

Recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gif

and available soon from major hobby shops

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Mike said:

The Su-17 and Su-22 are externally identical

What about the different engine? R-29 for the Su-22M3 instead of AL-21F, coming with a different rear fuselage.

 

EDIT: R-29 only for the M3, M4 are equiped with AL-21F.

Edited by Antoine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Antoine said:

What about the different engine? R-29 for the Su-22 instead of AL-21F, coming with a different rear fuselage.

 

I read something about that while I was researching - was that the F?  There's no alternative rear fuselage in the box, so you can't build one of those.  You know my memory... it doesn't work :dunce:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least there's only one M3, the Hungarian machine.

Most noticeable thing should be the absence of air scoop at the base of the fin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, if the fuselage is the same as the Su-17M3/M4 kit (AL-21F engine), then the Su-22M3 can't really be built from this kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 14. 11. 2017 at 8:42 PM, Antoine said:

What about the different engine? R-29 for the Su-22M3 instead of AL-21F, coming with a different rear fuselage.

 

EDIT: R-29 only for the M3, M4 are equiped with AL-21F.

Su-17M-3 was in two versions. The Soviet Air Force had AI-21 and R-29 versions, but only R-29 versions were available for export. And there were also two versions. Only later for Hungary, Syria and Iraq could have racks for R-60 .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and this is why I sometimes get confused with Soviet/Russian jets :hypnotised:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestinly the decals do not provide the Hungarian scheme ist seems, only the side views show one. (It would not be possible to correctly build one from this kit, so very fine )

 

Apart from that, thanks for the review!

 The Su-22 is still in service with several airforces:

Poland, Angola, Vietnam, Iran? and Syria, were one was shot down this summer by an American Super Hornet  needing a Aim-9X AND an Amraam!

Edited by exdraken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, harvy5 said:

 

Su-17M-3 was in two versions.

Two versions of a version? I really doubt that the Russians used the R-29 along the AL-21F.

Can you point me toward some links or books supporting this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×