by: Vitor Costa [ ]
Many years have passed since the first 1/48th scale Su-27 appeared. Now from the hand of Hobby Boss the wait is over. This kit gives me mixed feelings, some things I love, other I found a little bit disappointing. I love the Su-27 and it is good that finally a new tool is available on the market, but on the other hand there are some issues with this kit that maybe could have been avoided.
When you open the box you will find many sprues. The quantity of plastic is very large. All of the sprues come in a individual plastic bag. There are 3 decals sheets, one A4 sized colour paint instructions and of course the instructions booklet. The instructions are clear and easy to understand, the decals look really nice, well printed and with good colour.
Once you start opening the bags you will see that there are very good recessed panel lines on the mouldings that you can see clearly engraved on the plastic. The details are crisp and delicate, unfortunately in some areas they disappear almost completely, so a re-scribing will be needed in some areas. All of the movable parts of the aircraft are moulded separately and these are for me some of the best detailed parts you will find in this kit.
The cockpit is really well represented, and if I didn't know the Chinese cockpits, the quality and quantity of detail is very good! The ejector seat is also well represented and quite good. There is no need to buy from the after market for this area of the kit, of course it will look better with a resin cockpit or chair but what we get in the kit is more than enough, well done here Hobby Boss.
The engines will look good with the right amount of work, but once more after market ones will look better if you want to invest in them, but the kit supplied parts are nicely represented and more than up to the task.
The clear parts are very good, completely transparent with almost no distortion at all; the only thing is the moulding line that needs to be sanded. This is a pain to fix due to the amount of effort required, but the canopy is excellent in all other respects.
Another positive thing about this kit is the huge number of weapons, there is plenty to put on the kit, it will make it look even better for sure. There is also a complete sprue with clear parts for the weapons.
There is a small fret of photo-etched parts for the canopy. Unfortunately once more the model company has not paid enough attention to this aspect for the canopy clear parts, beside the photo-etched mirrors nothing else was designed for it, this will leave the canopy if displayed in the open position not looking at its best.
The tyres are made of rubber; one of them was compressed by a sprue or something in the box and so now there is a sink mark that will be almost impossible to repair.
On the fuselage, you will find an ejection pin mark problem that will need attention; the surface near the cockpit is irregular and needs some putty and sanding work to remedy.
When you look at the plastic inside the box you will find many good details and a generous amount of plastic sprue to reproduce a replica of a fantastic aircraft. Itís one of those kits you want to start building immediately.
So why am I a little bit disappointed?
Well like I always say, looking great in the box doesnít mean that itís a perfect kit and once more that happened. The fit in some areas is poor (near the engines for example), there are some sink marks and the problem on the upper part of the fuselage plus lines that disappear are the most significant issues on this kit. It is nothing that canít be fixed, but it would be so nice if we didnít have to correct it.
There is the shape issue that been largely discussed already, but itís not the worst example around, there is no major or shocking errors in the shape of this kit in my opinion, the ones found can be easily repaired.
Once more Hobby Boss has failed in the opportunity to present us with a perfect kit. There are some of the usual problems and others that should not be present. This is a very good kit, the best SU-27 in 1/48th scale for sure. It will make an impressive model once finished out of the box or even better with all the extras available for it.