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Sukhoi T-50


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Sukhoi T-50

1:72 Revell

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Back in the late 1980's the Soviet Union as it then was proposed the need for a new generation fighter aircraft to replace the then MiG-29s and SU-27s. In 2002 Sukhoi was chosen to lead the design of the new aircraft under the PAK FA programme.

This programme would lead to a 5th generation aircraft designed so be in the very low observable (or stealth) range, able to participate in Beyond Visual range, and within visual range air to air combat. This would be the Russian aircraft designed to compete against the American F-22.

Coming a bit later that the F-22 it is said that the PAK-FA had attributes lacking in the F-22 design; Extreme agility due to 3D thrust vectoring /exception thrust to weight ratio, and exceptional combat persistence due to a 25,000lb internal fuel load.

The prototype first flew in 2010 and was first displayed in 2011. As of November 2011 the 100th Flight was achieved. For the future it is envisaged that Navalised T-50’s will be deployed on Russian carriers. It has been also reported that they will be in service with the Russian Air Force by 2014/15 though there have been doubts expressed about the time line.

The Revell kit is their release of the Zvesda kit. The plastic is all mid grey. They first two sprues contain the Upper and lower fuselage/wing combination. These are well moulded with fine recessed panel lines. Like the Zvesda kit the plastic seems to have a fine pebbly texture which makes it look and feel matt. How this will react to paint I am unsure, though I would think its not so bad that it will affect the finished quality. I am reliably informed the Zvesda kit was the same, and while the paint goes on without a problem the surface texture will affect how a wash works.

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Then we have one large sprue containing the majority of the rest of the parts. These are well moulded and contain nice detailed extras like separate burner rings for the inside of the exhaust, and a nice boarding ladder. All these parts are nice and crisp. One thing with the kit is that none of the weapons bays are available to be built open. A full length intake trunk is suppliled, however the fit to the front of the fuselarge I am told leaves a lot to be desired.

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This is followed by a small sprue with both a standing, and seated pilot. This is a nice combination and both figures seem to be well moulded. A two part stand is included in the grey plastic (unlike the Zvesda clear plastic one) its surprising as this is not shown anywhere on the Revell instructions, nor is the mounting hole to cut in the fuselage if using it (it is easy to spot though).

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The clear parts look nice and thin, its worth noting that the cockpit seems fairly large in this aircraft. The Canopy is split in two parts if you wish to make the model with the cockpit open, though the internal details of the cockpit are provided as decals not moulded on detail. The ejction seat on the other hand is a very nice muliti part affair.

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The decals are fairly restrained as befits the real aircraft. They are for the first 3 prototype aircraft . The stenciling is included which is good. The decal sheet is glossy and in register.

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The instructions are Revells standard fair and are better for being printed on better paper these days. Colour call outs are in Revell paints with their multitudes of mixes. I understand why they do this to promote their own paint, however I wish they would at least give us the colour name for those of us who wish to source none Revell paints.

Conclusion

This is a nice re-issue of the Zvesda kit by Revell. This will interest Soviet Aviation buffs along with those who like to build modern types, or prototypes. There has been some issues identified concerning the the shape where the engines merge with the body, however it is complex curve and these are not the best to do. To my eyes the kit looks good enough. This should make into a nice model.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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