by: Jan Etal [ ]
IntroductionThe Su-35S is a Russian multirole fighter and a member of the Su-27 family of aircraft. It was first shown in public at the MAKS International Air and Space Exhibition in Russia in 2007.
The aircraft has been under development since 2005, and the Russians categorize it as “fourth generation” fighter design filling the gap between the Su-27 and T-50 stealth fighter planes. The design is basically an upgrade of the Su-27, with the Su-35 losing its predecessor’s canard wings, the need for which is nullified by the thrust vectoring nozzles of its engines which are more than enough to provide the design with high maneuverability.
Compared to the Su-27, which already made considerable use of radar-absorbent material in its construction, the radar cross-section (RCS) of the aircraft has been even further greatly reduced with the Su-35. Additional modifications include the elimination of the Su-27’s dorsal speed break, and an increase in the fuselage fuel tank capacity. Other significant changes to the other aircraft include fitting the Su-35 with a midair refueling probe and twin forward landing gear wheels.
The Su-35 is powered by two AL41F1S (117S) engines fitted with thrust vectoring nozzles. These nozzles give the aircraft maneuverability unprecedented in earlier fighter designs. The aircraft is also fitted with a passive phased array E(Erbis-E) radar in the nose. Operating together with the newest in fire control systems, the radar gives the fighter the capability to acquire normal (unstealthy) targets at a range of 400 kilometers and stealthy targets and cruise missiles at 90 kilometers out. The old analog cockpit has been completely upgraded to a full “glass cockpit” featuring two liquid crystal display monitors and the latest fly-by-wire flight control system. At present, there are two Su-35 variants: the Su-35S, produced for domestic Russian military use, and the Su-35K export model.
The Su-35 is a formidable aircraft with a top speed at altitude of Mach 2.25 (2,390 km/h, 1,490 mph) and range at altitude of 3,600 km (1,940 nmi). Built in armament comprises a 30 mm GSh-30 internal cannon with 150 rounds and 12 external hard points, consisting of 2 wingtip rails, and 10 wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg (17,630 lb) of ordnance.
The subject of this review is the Hasegawa 1/72 scale Su-35S Flanker, kit 01574 (E44).
ContentsThe top opening box contains no less than thirteen sprues of light grey coloured styrene plastic and two sprues of clear. The instructions are provided for in a greyscale, fanfold format. There is one page of sprue parts layout diagrams, four and a half pages of building instructions broken down into 17 rather busy steps and four pages of painting and markings diagrams. The marking and painting diagrams are for two aircraft. One aircraft is to be finished in overall midnight blue while the other choice is in a three colour camouflage scheme. The painting guide references the GSI Creos Corp Aqueous Hobby Color and the same company’s Mr. Color range of paints. A 15 cm by 11 cm (6 X 4.5 inch) sheet of water slide decals is provided for markings and includes decals for the cockpit as well as fuselage stencils.
ReviewOverall moulding is superb and should hopefully please the vast majority of modellers. Even the smallest parts show clear details and most mould seams will be easily removed with a light scraping with a sharp hobby blade. On this review sample there was virtually no flash on any but the odd part. There is a combination of recessed panel lines, as well as raised details to replicate similar lines and shapes found on the real aircraft. The majority of ejector pin marks are on surfaces that will not be visible after assembly.
In total, there are 299 individual parts to this kit. As with many kits, there are twenty some odd parts that are marked as unused and there are cases where the builder will be given an option to use alternate parts. Examples would be the undercarriage in flight or ground position or the thrust vectoring nozzles.
The first three steps involve the construction of the cockpit and assembly of the main fuselage components surrounding it. The major part of the cockpit is the cockpit tub, to which other pieces are added. These include the forward instrument display, joystick, five piece ejection seat, four piece pilot figure and clear reflector gunsight. The builder should be aware that Painting will need to be done prior to sealing the cockpit into the fuselage. Also, instrument decals and cockpit stencil decals are available for the interior.
Steps 4 and 5 concentrate on the assembly and detailing of the two fuselage side air intakes. As with the first steps, these steps have painting suggestions to be applied during assembly. If the under intake weapons pylons are to be used, Holes will need to be opened up in a number of areas.
In steps 6 and 7 the completed intakes are attached, the thrust vectoring nozzles are assembled and glued into position and numerous underside detail pieces put in place. These include, but are not limited to, things such as fins, fairings and antenna.
In the next steps (7 and 8), the rather complex landing gear are assembled and attached. Should the builder decide on the ground configuration, another part of this step is the attachment of the landing gear doors. Should one decide on the flight configuration, step 10 has the instructions for the closed gear doors.
With step 11 the tail wings are added, along with a couple of fairings and the wingtip missile rails. Step 12 has the modeller install the canopy and its accompanying components put in place, in either the open or closed orientation. The following step (13) has one install a number of antenna and IR sensor around the cockpit.
With Step 15 the modeller is presented with the production of numerous weapons that reside on four of the kits sprues. The choices of weapons range from air to air to air to ground, both guided and unguided. All are multi part affairs with some very nice detail.
If the version with weapons is chosen, we see the various weapons pylons mounted in Step 15. Step 16 will see actual mounting of the ordnance. A detailed diagram show the weapon type that can be mounted on a specific pylon.
The last instruction (Step 17) is for the construction of the aircraft stand. Where it attaches to the bottom of the aircraft, it has some angular flexibility, the instructions list it’s use as totally optional.
ConclusionFor a 1/72 scale aircraft, this subject and kit is most impressive. Attention to detail, parts count and the provision of a varied and full ordnance load-out are particularly magnificent. Choices of potential variations in the airframe such as open or closed vents and thrust vector nozzles will be a pleasant surprise and appreciated by many. The one slightly down side is that the main canopy has a light seam running down its centre. It is light but visible when light strikes it properly. Its removal will require some caution and skill.
All in all, this reviewer found this kit well thought out and again, impressive in this scale.
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