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  1. Hello folks, The Tornado has just cleared the bench, I started a big beastie: Kinetic Flanker D. Some friends warned me this kit was a pain in the sub-tropical regions, some others told me it was a breeze, I had to see by myself. So. Paints are from Mr Paint. The cockpit details have been done using Posca ink pens. The instrument panel was a bit more entertaining: first a coat of laquer white, then Tamiya acrylic black. The instruments were masked with disks of tape (I love my DSPIAE circle cutter), then the panel was sprayed with Mr Paint Sukhoi interior colour. Some creative scratching on the bezels later, and with details picked out with Posca pens: TBH, it was an exercise in futility, as the instrument panel is about invisible from the outside... Then, the main wheel well walls. Chassis red as a base, and piping highlighted in yellow. The cockit as it sits in the fuselage: The wheel well: The front wheel well: The fuselage taped together: So far, I'm more on the pain in the nether regions side, but if I resist the urge to blast it to tiny little bits (I've had one ejection seat explosion so far...), it should be a hell of a beast. Ah, I forgot: I wish the people in charge of the instruction booklet live in an entertaining Garth Ennis' nightmare. Cheers, S.
  2. Su-33 Update Sets (for Kinetic) 1:48 Eduard The new Kinetic Su-33 is a lovely model, and these sets are here to increase the detail above and beyond what is achievable with styrene injection alone. There are As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. There are two main sets, with the Zoom! set available with just the instrument panel details. Interior (49778) This two set fret includes a nickel plated pre-painted sheet for the cockpit details, and a bare brass set for the more constructional details. The ejection seat is decked out with a full set of crew seatbelts plus a number of extra details such as the arm-rests and headbox. The instrument panels are all replaced with new laminated and pre-painted PE parts after removing the moulded-in detail, with a slip of acetate sheet and some additional PE parts for the HUD unit. The canopy sills are detailed with a skin and the locking hooks, with a matching skin on the underside of the canopy with matching cut-outs, plus a set of rear-view mirrors for good measure. Oddly, there are also a number of sensors and raised panels added outside the cockpit around the nose, with a few more on the flying surfaces. Hardly interior, but who's complaining! Interior Zoom! (FE778) This reduced content set just includes the pre-painted fret and acetate as shown above left, which is useful for those on a budget or wanting to just improve the cockpit above the normal standard without getting involved with the more intricate parts, especially if they plan to leave the cockpit closed. Exterior (48891) Consisting of one fret in bare brass, this includes details for the intake trunking, a replacement afterburner ring that you push into shape before removing, the in-built FOD mesh that retracts into the auxiliary intake louvers, replacement mudguard for the nose wheel, details and skin parts for the dorsal air-brake. The rest of the parts take the form of lots of small panels and chaffe/flare boxes in the rear and around the engines. Masks (EX521) Pre-cut from yellow kabuki tape, this handy mask set supplies the masks for the frame edges of the large canopy panes, with the large compound curves to be filled in with either scrap tape or liquid mask. Also included are a full set of hub and tyre masks to give you the option of painting your tyres or hubs first. Review sample courtesy of
  3. SU-33 Flanker D 1:48 Kinetic Models The SU-33 is a carrier based development of the SU-27 that has suffered from the dearth of finances following the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of the last millennium. Soon after it was taken into service by the Soviet Navy, funding was reduced to the military as a whole, and as a result only 24 airframes were ever built. Overseas sales were attempted, but none came to fruition for various reasons, and further sales to the Russian Navy weren't an option, as in 2009 they decided on the navalised Mig-29K going forward. Beginning with the basic SU-27 airframe, the internal structure and landing gear were beefed up to cope with the additional stresses of hard carrier landings, the wings were enlarged to provide additional lift, and both the wings and stabs were fitted with folding mechanisms for storage below decks. The first aircraft embarked on the Admiral Kuznetsov in 1995 after substantial testing, but the cancellation of other carriers led to the projected buy of 72 airframes being cut back to the aforementioned 24. They are being drawn down in favour of the Mig-29K, and will be refurbished to replace their outdated avionics for future use elsewhere. Below are a couple of videos of why carrier landing practice is a good thing. The latter airframe was lost when an arrestor wire snapped, resulting in a trip to Davy Jones's locked for the aircraft. The Kit This is a complete new tooling of this large twin-engined fighter, and it received much praise when the test shots were on view at Telford in late 2015, filling a hole in the Soviet/Russian fast jet line-up in this scale. It would appear that Kinetic have really pushed the boat out for this release, as not only is the part count high, but the detail is also exceptional, with lots of slide-moulding used to create complex detail on multiple facets of parts that would have been impossible using non sliding moulds. The box is fairly standard for Kinetic, in their familiar blue scheme with a painting of an airborne D on the front, but inside there are some rather nice packaging touches, including separate boxes for the delicate exhaust parts and the missiles. Each box has a custom tray inside that holds the parts safe from harm until needed. There are sixteen sprues of various sizes and ten spruelets in mid grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, and an instruction booklet. The instructions are in A4 portrait format and follow a new greyscale 3D drawing style, rather than the traditional line drawing seen on older kits. First impressions are excellent, with lots of detail, parts and clever moulding, as well as the size of the aircraft, as evidenced by the large upper and lower fuselage parts on the top of the box. Construction starts predictably enough with the cockpit, which has separate rear bulkhead and four side console panels added to improve the detail, plus the control column and a separate set of rudder pedals made up of PE and styrene parts. The K-36DM zero-zero ejection seat built up from a substantial number of parts, with PE used for the leg restraints, although sadly there aren't any seatbelts included in the kit, which is a bit of a shame. The instrument panel fits to the front of the cockpit with plenty of raised and engraved details, but no decals for the dials, which is again a bit of a shame, leaving it up to the modeller to furnish them. Attention then shifts to the nose gear bay, which sits under the cockpit in the finished article. It is a deep bay, and has additional height added in the shape of detailed sidewalls, with a pair of bulkheads at the ends, and a rib/support around the halfway point. The main bays are relatively shallow, and are built up from individual panels into a rough square shape, to be added to the lower fuselage. The bay roof is moulded into the upper fuselage, and has hoses and wiring moulded-in to improve the detail. The cockpit and wheel bays can then be added to the lower portion, while the instructions tell you to add some of the bay doors at this stage, along with the recess that projects into the engine nacelle. The trunking is built up in pairs for obvious reasons, with the upper half attached to the fuselage bottom along with a pair of fan-faces, before being covered over by the big lower parts after adding some additional PE parts including the built-in FOD guards, and either open or closed auxiliary inlet louvers underneath. These complex slide-moulded cowlings have the upper half of the trunking moulded in, and it is unlikely that any resulting seam will be visible once the assembly is completed, although whether you fill them is entirely up to you. A number of small detail parts are then added to the now completed main gear bays, which couldn't be added earlier. The nose gear is shown next, which is an odd choice considering the fuselage halves aren't even joined yet, but the reinforced unit is built up around a thick central strut, with twin wheels, landing lights, four PE slats for the mudguard, and lots of bracing/retraction struts for good measure. This could easily be left of until later, as could the main legs, which are similar in construction, but with only one wheel each, which has a little weighting moulded-in. The Arrestor hook and inner wing pylons are then added, and here you will notice how much effort has been put into detailing the pylons, both on the visible sides, as well as the mating surfaces, in case you want to show them off without weapons installed. Bay doors and their retraction jacks are also added, and again these could be left off until later, while the large ventral strakes are installed under the exhaust area. The exhaust trunking is then built up from some highly detailed and delicate parts that are amongst the best styrene exhausts I have seen. A rear engine face and a very detailed afterburner ring in PE is also included for those minded to look into the tail pipes, but this area should look very good with some sympathetic paintwork. A pair of cockpit sidewalls are added to the upper fuselage as well as a bay for the refuelling probe, and at last the top and bottom halves are mated, leaving you with a lot less room on your desk suddenly. The nose is detailed with a suite of sensors, probes, the large IRST fairing with clear lens, plus a PE HUD frame with clear glass and projector lens. The refuelling probe and some of the more prominent and delicate sensors are probably safer left off until later. The windscreen is fitted to the large mating point around the coaming, but the canopy has a separate frame and additional details such as the demisting hoses and PE rear-view mirrors added, before adding the glazing. This and the windscreen have a bulbous front profile, which requires a three-part mould to de-mould them, so they have a very fine seam on the outer surface. This can be sanded away and then polished back to clarity, but if that thought turns you to jelly, it is very fine so might go unnoticed if you're lucky. The large air-brake is mounted behind the cockpit, and is double-skinned for extra detail, with a large ram to push it up into the airflow when needed. The outer wing panels are able to be posed folded if you want to save space or like the way they look, so a pair of joint pieces are included to blank off the hollow space at the roots. There are also leading-edge slats and trailing edge flaps to add, but check them for sink-marks as you go, because the review sample had a few easily remedied sink-marks particularly in the slats. A smear of Tamiya Basic Putty and a little bit of sanding will soon see them gone, as they aren't near any major details. Just as you think you're going to fit the wings, the instructions divert you sneakily to putting on the twin tail fins, with poseable rudders and sensor suite that are made up from separate parts, so that they can be left off to save damage. The parapack fairing can also be posed open with a couple of small detail parts and a strut included, but as there is no parachute in there, it's of limited value. At the other end, the big nose cone is a one-piece moulding, and has ample space for nose weight, although none is specified. A number of small antennae are added underneath, and a choice of two pitot probes for wings folded and unfolded are also in the box. Back to the wings. If you are folding the wings the outer wing panels will need a bulkhead installing at the break, and don't forget to drill out the mounting points for the wing pylons before you close up the halves. There are full-width slats at the front, and a choice of closed up or deployed two-section flaperons at the trailing edge. Again, check these for sink-marks well before you need them. The canards are single parts that slide into holes in the leading edge of the fuselage/wing blend, and the elevators have small pins that fit to corresponding slots in the stub, with PE covers. If you are folding the wings, an L-shaped brace fits in the root along with a pair of smaller supports, while the assembly process for the elevators seems to have been missed entirely. From looking at pictures on the web however, the pins fit vertically in the slot, with the covers retained on the pin, spacing the raised section from the stub. The last task is to choose and install the weapons, which are all slide-moulded as one main part, the two R-73s (incorrectly labelled as R-27s in the instructions) having additional vanes at the front added from PE for a more realistic look. They also have separate exhausts on their spruelet. The wingtip fairings have an optional pod on the port wing, while all the weapons use their own specific adaptor rail. The R-27s are provided with two of each of the Alamo D and C variants, all of which are slide-moulded as one part each. Here is where I'm a little torn about the weapons using slide-moulding, as yes they give great detail, but if there is the smallest element of mould slip, you have four seams to clean up, all of which run over highly detailed areas. A little mould-slip is almost inevitable with five-part moulds like these (four sides, and one part for the hollow exhaust), so a lot of careful scraping of the seams will be needed before you can paint them. This isn't a criticism of Kinetic, as I have seen this on other kits from different manufacturers. That said, they will look great if you put the effort in with the seams. The load-out diagram shows the R-27s on the centre wing pylon and the R-72s on the outer pylons, but as always check your references and find a real-world warload that suits your needs. Markings The decal sheet allows you to portray any of the aircraft of the 279th Fighter Aviation Regiment aboard Admiral Kuznetsov, because it covers all the code numbers, plus the tail art of 1st Eagle Squadron and 2nd Tiger squadron. Variations are noted in scrap diagrams, and the stencils are called out on the main drawings. The dielectric panels are painted white, and decals are included for the majority, but you will have to paint the radome, tail tips and inboard panels on the fins yourself. The camouflage scheme is the same throughout, consisting of pale blue/blue/blue grey, all called out in Gunze colours, although there is a conversion chart at the beginning of the booklet for Vallejo, AMMO, Italeri, Humbrol, Tamiya and AKAN. AKAN do a paint set specifically for the SU-33, which contains the correct blue shades in a set of six under the code 47326. Having recently used AKAN for the first time on my Mig-31 Foxhound, I'll be seeking these out when it comes time for the build. Martin @ Coastal Craft will be getting a call. Conclusion This has to be Kinetic's best model to date, both in terms of detail and the technology used in creating it. There are a few mistakes in the instructions, and the PE sheet is unprotected in the box despite being very thin and flimsy, so could really do with a card protector. Other than that, there's not much to gripe about, and an awful lot to like. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Russian Su-33 Flanker D 1:72 Trumpeter Instantly recognisable to enthusiasts of Cold War or modern jet aircraft, the Su-27 Flanker has formed the backbone of the Soviet Union/Russian Air Force's air superiority fighter force for much of the last thirty years. The design marked a departure from previous Soviet aircraft, with its podded engines, large wing and sophisticated avionics (it was the first fly-by-wire aircraft to enter service in the Soviet Union). Emerging in prototype form as the T-10 in 1977, the design showed great promise, and before long it had beaten the time-to-height records set by the modified Streak Eagle in 1975. Although originally designed as a long-range air superiority fighter, like many of its contemporaries the Su-27 has been developed to take on a variety of roles, including air-to-surface missions. The multirole Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker D is the navalised variant of the successful all-weather interceptor. Around 35 examples of the type have been constructed for Russian Naval Aviation, all of which operate from the Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznestov. The Su-33 differs from the Su-27 in a number of respects. Most noticeable are the canards, situated forward of the wing to provide additional lift and manoeuvrability. The Su-33 also features larger wings with a powered folding mechanism, folding horizontal stabilisers, in-flight refuelling capability and the ability to carry a range of air-to-surface weapons. Despite the relatively small number of aircraft produced, this is the latest in a steady trickle of kits of the Su-33 to emerge. Things got off to a less-than-promising start, with the old and not very accurate Italeri Su-27 Sea Flanker (re-boxed by Zvezda). A few years ago Hasegawa gave us a much more sophisticated kit which, while still not perfect, was very good indeed. Now Trumpeter have released an all-new kit along with a typically generous selection of ordnance. Inside the large top-opening box are 230 parts spread across fifteen sprues of grey plastic and a single clear sprue. In typical Trumpeter style, the plastic parts are exquisitely moulded, with engraved panel lines, rivet and fastener detail. Also in the box is a small fret of photo etched parts, two decal sheets (one for markings and one for stencils) and a colour painting diagram as well as instructions. In common with other Trumpeter kits, the parts are extremely well packed and all of the sprues are individually bagged. Certain parts, such as the clear sprue are wrapped in foam for extra protection. Trumpeter seem to be in something of a purple patch with their recent 1:72 releases, and happily this kit continues that run of good form. The overall shape and arrangement of parts appears to match photographs and plans of the real thing very well. The canopy has the correct profile, which means a seam down the middle, but this is a five minute job to clean up with the right tools. Trumpeter have even included the option to build the model with the wings and horizontal tails folded, which is very pleasing to see and exactly how I will finish mine. Construction begins with the cockpit. This is made up of five parts, including a crisply moulded K36 ejection seat, which slots into a cockpit tub adorned with convincing moulded details (although decals re also provided). Once completed, the whole sub-assembly fits inside the fuselage halves. As with most kits of blended-wing aircraft, the fuselage is split vertically with the inner section of wing moulded in place. The outer sections of the wings are moulded separately so that the model can be built with the wings folded. Some modellers will find this a pain as it creates an extra joint to deal with, but I'm made up that Trumpeter included this option because it wasn't possible to finish the Hasegawa kit like this without major surgery. Do note, however, that you must drill a number of holes in order to fit the appropriate pylons to the outer wing sections before your cement the parts together. There are different parts to use for each option, as the outer flaps are dropped when the wings are folded. The same applies to the horizontal tail surfaces, with different versions provided for folded and unfolded options. The engine air intakes are next. These are slide moulded, which makes construction relatively pain free. Engine turbine faces are included, which will prevent the dreaded see-through effect, and parts such as the auxiliary air intake louvers are moulded separately in order to maximise the level of detail. The Su-33's rugged landing gear is next. Each main gear leg is moulded as a single part, which should translate into a degree of structural strength, while the more complex nose gear leg is made up of seven parts. In both cases the wheels are moulded separately. While the model is on its back, you have to add the Su-33's beefy tail hook a nicely detailed part is made up of four parts. The pylons have to be added at this stage too, so make sure you drill out the appropriate holes at the start of the build, or this is the point at which you'll really regret it. The canopy is nicely realised and, as mentioned above, accurate in profile. Because of the shape of the canopy and the way it has had to be moulded, there is a little distortion around the sides, but by way of compensation it can be finished in either open or closed positions. In typical Trumpeter style, a very extensive range of ordnance is included. Of course there is so much that you can't possibly use it all, but who doesn't like spare ordnance? All told, you get: 4 x KH-31 Krypton air-to-surface missiles; 4 x KH-35 Zvezda anti-ship missiles; 4 x KH-59M Ovod cruise missiles; 2 x B-8M rocket pods; 1 x APK-9 data link pod (for use with the KH-59 missiles); 2 x R-77 active radar homing air-to-air missiles; 4 x R-27ET extended range infrared homing air-to-air missiles; 4 x R-27ER extended range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles; 2 x R-73 infrared homing air-to-air missiles; A choice of two schemes is provided on the decal sheet - Su-33 Flanker D 'Red 67' and Su-33 Flanker D 'Red 80', both of the Russian Navy. The decal sheets are nicely printed and you get a full set of stencils too, which is a bonus. Conclusion Trumpeter are definitely on a role with their 1:72 aircraft, having given us fans of Soviet/Russian aircraft a hat-trick of very decent kits in the shape of the MiG-29, Su-24 and now the Su-33. This is a very decent representation of an interesting variant of an important aircraft. The basic shape of the aircraft looks to be about spot on and, with the option to fold the wings, it has much to recommend it, even when compared to the Hasegawa kit. No doubt this kit will find its way into the collection of a great many modellers, and justifiably so. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  5. Hi, this is my latest finished model. Su-33 Flanker D, 1/72, Hasegawa with Eduard PE (Zoom) and Quickboost elevators.
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