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Mike

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

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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  Although the Su-17 was withdrawn from Soviet service in the late 1990s, it remained in service much longer in its Su-22 export guise, where it was used by both Iran and Iraq, Libya and Angola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

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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

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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:

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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.

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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 .

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

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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

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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?

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On 18. 11. 2017 at 9:08 PM, Antoine said:

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?

Even the internet is a lot of photos Su-17M-3 with engine R-29 in the Soviet aviation. Initially was lack of engines AI-21, nothing strange in a communist economy.  :)

Red 50 from the KH is once with the R-29 engine.But camo is brown and green not only green.

Send me your email.

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Could you post a picture from the clear parts, please? I don´t know where I saw it, but the picture showed a corrected windscreen (rounded corners) in the Export Su-22 kit.

 

Thanks,

Thomas

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The clear parts are already shown in amongst the rest of the review - this picture:

 

clear.jpg

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Mike, if I understood the initial post correctly, these are the pictures from kit  80144, because you wrote

"As the styrene is the same, there is little point in taking a new set of photos (our SSDs aren't infinite!),..."

 

As I mentioned in my post, I saw somewhere the clear parts of the export variant 80146 and I am sure, KH corrected the front screen. Therefor my request for a picture of the clear parts of kt 80146 to confirm my memory.

 

Thomas

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Got the kit in front of me. If you mean the lower front and rear corners of the quarter lights, either side of the central pane, then yes, they are rounded.

 

HTH
Andy

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3 hours ago, andym said:

Got the kit in front of me. If you mean the lower front and rear corners of the quarter lights, either side of the central pane, then yes, they are rounded.

 

HTH
Andy

I mean the red circled corners. In case they are rounded like the green circled corner, KH corrected the fault.English is not my first language, so quarter lights describe the windows left and right from the central pane? Something learnt.

 

cornersuyod3.jpg

Cropped picture from Mike, for discussion only.

 

Many thanks, Mike!

 

Thomas

Edited by Thomas from ARC

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