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Sukhoi Su-9U Maiden 1:48


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Sukhoi Su-9U Maiden
1:48 Trumpeter


The Su-9 was a late 50s development of the very similar Su-7, but had a delta wing in place of the earlier aircraft's swept wing because it gave better handling at supersonic speeds, and could therefore carry a little extra fuel. Its NATO reporting name was Fishpot, as it was a fighter, or interceptor that was to take off, climb and intercept Allied incursions at high speed. It was an unforgiving aircraft that took constant concentration to fly, and was very thirsty into the bargain, which gave it a limited range even with drop-tanks.

The Su-9U was a two-seat trainer that could also be pressed into service if needs be, as it was still fitted with all the same systems as the single-seater. NATO gave it the codename Maiden to fit in with their coding system. Only 50 were built, and the extra cockpit gives the aircraft an ungainly look and probably did little for the short range too. It wasn't the most capable aircraft, and was soon replaced by more modern designs and more lethal weapons systems, with the last operation airframe drawn down in the 1970s.

The Kit
This is a revised tooling of the Su-9 kit from last year that we reviewed here. It arrives in the standard Trumpeter box, and inside are most of the same sprues as the earlier version, seven in grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and landscape A4 instruction booklet with a separate colour markings sheet on glossy paper.






The additional tooling relates to the fuselage, the doubled up cockpit and the extended canopy. Two identical sprues have been included for the cockpit, which seems at odds with every other two-seater cockpit that almost always have differences from each other – online references are a scant for this sub-variant however. The two tubs, which are quite well detailed are built up alongside the exhaust tube with fan face and afterburner unit, plus the nose gear bay, made up from individual panels for detail. The nose gear is also placed inside the bay before fitting, which shouldn't be too problematic due to its sturdy nature. Everything is then trapped between the extended fuselage halves along with the radome/intake bullet, and the wings are built up from two main parts with landing gear bay detail moulded in, plus flaps and ailerons. The main gear is added with its two outer doors, one of which is captive to the leg, the other attaching at its root. The inner doors of both bays are added once the wings are mated to the fuselage slots, the tail fin and elevators also being added with the numerous intakes that dot the sides of the fuselage. The canopy is a two part unit, which is a little disappointing as it means that your only choices are to leave it closed, or cut it into sections with a fine razor saw. Patience will be a virtue there, and adding Blutak to the inside to add some strength will help avoid disaster. It's a shame that it couldn't have been split, but it's not the end of the world.


The Maiden was often seen with two tanks on the offset centreline pylons, and these are supplied in halves with additional sway braces and separate pylon parts. Four beam-rider R2-2US Alkali missiles are included in the box for the four wing pylons, which are built from two halves, two separate fins, a tiny exhaust part, and separate pylons. Nose gear bay doors, the long pitot probe and a few other small parts finish the build.

The Su-9U was a bare metal tube with wings, so you'll be breaking out your metallic paints without doubt. There are two markings options included on the decal sheet, in the form of Blue 42 and Red 75, plus the usual Red Stars, and a smattering of stencils. There are also a pair of instrument decals, which include just the dials and faces, so detail painting us up to you.


The decals are printed anonymously but seem a little better than some of the recent lower profile releases from the Trumpeter stable in terms of register, sharpness and opacity. The thin, glossy carrier film could do with a little trimming around the large aircraft codes, but that's the work of minutes with a sharp blade.

With my gripes about the cockpit and canopy aside, it's a nice looking model that should build into a nice replica. References are hard to come by online and off, but the information will be out there somewhere.


Review sample courtesy of
logo.gifUK Distributors for logo.jpg

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Nice review - thanks.

Note that, unlike Trumpeter's box art, the Su-9U could only carry 2 X RS-2-US miisiles.

... and dodging a U-2 is a bit ambitious to say the least.

.... and it's a TR-1/U-2R - so wrong variant anyway

Just saying......


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Nice review Mike.

Could this kit be used with the wings of an Su-7 to make an Su-7U Moujik? Or are Trumpeter planning one of their own?


In short: no.

I was thinking along the same lines, so I checked. The canopy of the Moujik is a completely different beast - for example, the windshield is much wider, the upper part of the student canopy is clear, the fixed part between the two cockpits is shorter, and the instructor canopy is hinged at the rear. Then the canopy lines continue with a dorsal hump that the Su-9UM doesn't have.

If you want a Moujik, the Su-7 plus two NeOmega cockpits plus a scratchbuilt canopy is still the only game in town.

Even if the Moujik and the Maiden had the same canopy, I think it would be better to graft the front of the Maiden to the rear of the Moujik...? without going into the trouble of modifying the wing and elevator attachments.

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