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Paul A H

Su-33 Flanker D

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Su-33 Flanker D

Su33boxtop.jpg

The multirole Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker D is the navalised variant of the successful Su-27 all-weather interceptor. At least 24 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.

Hasegawa’s brand new Su-33 caused quite a stir when it was first announced, mainly amongst fans of Soviet/Russian aircraft who hadn’t expected a kit of this type from Hasegawa. The kit arrives in a large, glossy, top-opening box, inside which are four large sprues of light grey plastic parts, separately moulded upper and lower fuselage/wing halves, a small clear sprue, decals and instructions. It goes without saying that the quality of the mouldings is superb. Surface details are very finely engraved and include both panel lines and rivets/fasteners. No flash, sink marks or flaws are visible anywhere.

Su33sprue1.jpg

Su33sprue2.jpg

I’ll start by looking at the cockpit. This is comprised of a tub including side consoles, an instrument panel, control column and a five-part K36 ejection seat. Instruments and controls are depicted with nice, raised details although decals are also provided. The instrument panel coaming and head-up display complete the parts for the cockpit. Although I’m sure aftermarket producers will bring out a detail set for the cockpit in due course, the parts provided in the box are still up to the job.

As is the case with many kits of modern types featuring blended wing-fuselage joins, the main airframe is very simple to construct as it is made up of just two (upper and lower) halves. Although the Su-33 features folding wings, Hasegawa have not provide the option to fold the wings out of the box. This will either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preference. Speaking personally, I think the aircraft looks great with the wings up or down! Nevertheless, those determined to build the aircraft with wings up will have to engage in some fairly heavy surgery and scratchbuilding.

Su33sprue3.jpg

Su33sprue4.jpg

The engine intakes are full-length multipart affairs that feature nicely moulded turbine faces rather than plain old blanks or, even worse, an expanse of open fuselage. All of the undercarriage parts are very nicely represented. The main landing gear wheels are moulded separately from the tyres, which should make painting easier. Curiously the tyres are moulded without flats spots or bulges, which is quite unusual for a modern kit. The large dorsal airbrake is moulded separately and may be posed open. A very decent set of weaponry is provided be Hasegawa, comprised of:

· 4 x B-8 rocket pods;

· 4 x R-27R air-to-air missiles;

· 4 x R-27ET air-to-air missiles;

· 4 x R-73 air-to-air missiles;

· 2 x R-77 air-to-air missiles; and

· 2 x R-60 air-to-air missiles

Along with various launch rails. The parts for all of the weapons are nicely moulded and I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see these sprues released as a weapon set at some point in the future. The clear sprue is very nicely moulded and features a cleverly designed sprue that will protect the delicate parts that it holds.

Su33sprue6.jpg

Su33decals.jpg

Four colour options are provided, although they are all very similar indeed and all belong for the air wing of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. For the record the aircraft are Red 60, Red 72, Red 80 and Red 81. All four feature the attractive blue/grey camouflage depicted on the box artwork. The decals look absolutely spot-on.

Conclusion

This is a really excellent kit that will hit all the right spots for fans of Soviet/Russian types. The omission of the wing/tail fold will either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you want to build the kit. Overall though it is a high-quality package and, if you can afford to treat yourself to one, you should be a very happy modeller.

Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.jpg

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Nice reveiw. It does look a very nice kit. Now what we need is one in 1/32.

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