The Trumpeter Su-15 series of kits have been available for more than a decade. The kit series are known for having a number of issues that need to be overcome. We won't dwell on those here, save for the exhaust area. The exhausts in the kit are poorly detailed and do not accurately reflect the types Tumansky R-13-300 Engines. These are from the same family of engines that power the MiG-21 family.
There have been several different mods available for this kits engines, some commonly available, such as Eduard photo-etch, others from Eastern European manufacturers not all that commonly available.
The North Star Models update provides six resin components. One large resin section with the exterior exhaust fairing. This part has the majority of the exhaust cans, as well as the exhaust nozzles molded in place. The remainder of the exhaust can and the rear of the exhaust fans are molded as separate pieces.
Parts are molded cleanly, but there is some surface marring in the outer exhaust fairing. Normally I wouldn't point this out, but it will take some work to make sure it's fully primed and polished as the section does have a natural metal exterior. My example had a couple of divots in the rear edges of the exhaust fairing. These should be apparent in the photos. No way to tell if this is an issue with just this example or with all sets.
Because of the way the exhaust cans are molded in place, they feature little interior texture, with the exception of the actual nozzles themselves.
Construction is straight forward. The forward portions of the exhaust trunks are added to the main resin section, and then the fans are added to the front of the entire sub-assembly. Unfortunately no flame holder details are included.
While the set says it is for the Su-15TM - only the hardest of hard core Soviet modelers would ever be able to tell the difference between a Su-15, 15T or 15TM exhaust, so this should apply to pretty much any version you'd build.
This is going to be the EASIEST of the available mods to install. The detail is decent, and the construction of the exhaust sub-assembly should be very easy. Checking the fit of the fairing with a fuselage shows that the fit is close enough that it should not be a challenge to merge the resin with the main fuselage. The exhaust fairing directly replaces a kit part, so there is no cutting required.
Compared to the other options, this one is best for its simple assembly. Other resin sets have better details, but require more assembly. The Eduard sets look easy to install but are not fully accurate to the exhaust nozzles curved "petals." The best and most detailed option is probably to use two Eduard Brassin exhausts designed for the MiG-21 kit as these are amazingly detailed replicas. However, the fit and setup for this is likely much more complex!
So as always there are trade-offs, this may well be the best compromise!
Highs: Replaces problematic and under-detailed sections of the Trumpeter kit. Accurate shapes and details of the exhaust cans. Easy installation/assembly.Lows: Casting could be a little better, blemishes in the master transferred in the casting process, divots in the fairing. No exhaust interior detailing, no flame holder.Verdict: A good upgrade to the Su-15. There are other options available to fix/upgrade, but this one may be the most complete and easiest to install.
About Paul Cotcher (RedStar) FROM: GEORGIA, UNITED STATES
I have been modeling since the mid-1970s, having learned pretty much all the different hobbies with my dad. My original fascination were kits of rockets and missiles, but soon after developed a fascination for jets, and have been modeling ever since. I primarily build 1:48 scale aircraft, and my c...