The SU-27 was developed in the early 1970s as a response to the American F-15 Eagle. The Su-27 had a protracted development cycle which necessitated extensive redesign when it was determined that the initial design was going to be inferior to the F-15. When it entered service in the late 1980s, the SU-27 was the best fighter aircraft in the world. The UB version was developed as a conversion trainer to allow pilots to transition into this complex and demanding aircraft. The UB retained full combat capability, something few two seat fighter trainer versions have. Later it was discovered that the 2 crew members could compliment each other in the air combat environment, and a dedicated 2 seat family of Flanker derivatives has been developed as the SU-30 and -35 versions. The SU-27 serves the Air Forces of Russia and many former Soviet bloc nations, and has had considerable export success in African nations and other Third World countries.
The plastic parts are the familiar Academy offerings, packed in their familiar crinkly plastic bags. The sprues have been modified from their first release, ridding us of those nasty rubber tires and misshapen nose cone. The plastic parts are supplemented by 23 resin parts for the cockpit, 3 frets holding 228 etched brass details and 2 large decal sheets with markings for 4 aircraft and a massive array of stencils.
Fuselage and wings
The fuselage is divided into top and bottom halves, each half including the wings in impressively large mouldings. There is considerable work to do in the cockpits before the fuselage halves may be joined together. The great majority of the resin parts are used to good advantage in the cockpit. They completely replace the underscale Academy parts, and the etched parts further enhance the detail. One would be well advised to spend a considerable amount of time here making everything look just so. The flaperons and leading edge slats are in two pieces. The builder should take care to make sure they fit properly. They may be posed deflected. The canopy is moulded in its proper blown shape, which means that there is a mould seam to clean off. It will have to be carefully scraped, sanded and polished away. The inside of the canopy receives quite a bit of etch, making it a mini-kit in itself. If the canopy is to be shown open, a ram must be made from plastic rod. The dimensions are shown on the instructions. There are 3 small films to be fitted into the pilots' HUDs, and Eduard has given us 2 nice resin Russian style bone domes to pose on the canopy rails or seats.
The intakes are made up of 2 halves, with a representation of the engine intake fan at the rear. They join onto the engine nacelles on the lower fuselage after getting a set of brass louvres and intake FOD screens added. The afterburner cans get an etched flame holder inserted inside
The tailplanes, fins and rudders are each in two halves. The elevators as moulded cannot be posed deflected, which is a pity because they're often seen in the fully nose down position. If they're to be posed, the fairings that fit into the base of the fins will need to be extended.
Armament and other dangly bits
A large sprue supplies us with a pair of R-60 missiles, 2 versions of R-73s and 4 versions of R-27s in pairs for a total of 14 missiles. The instructions show where these missiles were carried and in what combinations. Launch rails are provided for the wingtips, 2 underwing stations on each wing, the intake ducts, and a pair in tandem between the engine tunnels.
The landing gear struts and wheels are finely moulded and nicely detailed. Brake lines and oleo scissors are provided on the brass fret. The wheels themselves are in two halves and the detail moulded into the hubs is very good. The plastic nose wheel mudguard is replaced by a resin part with brass mudflaps and attachments. There is a good amount of brass to fit into the wheel wells to spruce them up.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like an Su-27UB
Decals and Markings
The decal sheet provides 4 interesting options:
- 1. Yellow 53, Kazakh Air Force, Taldykorgan Air Base in a dark blue camouflage. This aircraft has a large unit crest on the air brake;
- 2. Red 20, Russian Naval Air Force, Novofyodorovka Air Base, Ukraine in the traditional SU-27 blues;
- 3. Black 609, Eritrean Air Force, Asmara in an attractive green and sand camouflage;
- 4. Black 74, Ukrainian Air Force, Morgorod Air Base wearing a blue and charcoal grey camouflage.
It is going to be quite difficult to decide which option to do.
Self-adhesive masks are provided for the canopy and wheels. Some of them are quite tiny, so needle point tweezers will be very useful. The canopy masks are outlines; they will have to be completed with tape or liquid masking fluid. The masks are very difficult to photograph; they look like a yellow rectangle, but you may be assured that all the necessary masks are there.
The only thing more impressive than the contents of the box is the price tag on the outside. Is it worth it? I leave that up to each modeller to decide for themselves. The kit provides everything a dedicated aftermarket aficionado would get anyway, so in that way it's something of a bargain. Let's compare what it would cost to get everything in this kit as separate aftermarket parts:
Ne Omega cockpit: $ 29.50
Accurate nose cone: $ 9.57
Eduard EX104 Su-27 Canopy masks $ 6.95
Eduard 48171 Su-27UB interior $ 14.95
Eduard 48507 Su-27 exteior $ 19.95
Decal sheet: $24.99
Academy kit: $44.59
This little exercise shows that Eduard knows their customer, and knows that offering an all-in-one package gives modellers the value they would otherwise go out and hunt down anyway. The sticker shock comes from seeing it all in one box rather than in several smaller packages. Only 1500 kits have been produced, so if you must have one, it's best to get it soon.
Fairy Hobby Su-27 Canopies
Eduard Brassin Su-27 wheels
This kit was kindly provided for review by Eduard.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.