by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
BackgroundRecognizing the limitations of the earlier Su-9 and Su-11, the Sukhoi OKB quickly began the development of a heavily revised and more capable aircraft. A variety of development aircraft evolved, including the T-49, which shared the fuselage of the Su-9 (including its single engine), but used sharp cheek-mounted intakes to leave the nose clear for a large Radom for the 'Oriol-D' (Eagle) radar. The program was cancelled due to a lack of engine performance.
In PlasticBottom line up front; this kit is not for the weak of heart of the first time airplane builder, or first time model builder for that matter. If you are like me, in that ugly aircraft peak your interest, and you have the skills and determination to build this thing, then this kit is one for you. Amodel has a knack for releasing kits of planes that few if any other manufacturers would. I for one had never seen or heard of this particular plane, but a few minutes online revealed a fair amount of info, listed above albeit paired down.
The kit is molded in very light gray styrene, bordering on almost white, consisting of 53 parts on six sprues with one clear sprue containing the one piece canopy. However, not all fifty three parts are used and those that aren’t, are shaded out on the inside page of the instruction sheet. I’ll break this down by good points and bad. I’ll start with the bad.
Keep in mind these are my opinions as to what I think are bad. Your mileage may vary.
Parts are somewhat clunky and will need cleaning to better enhance their appearance. Construction begins with the bang seat and is made up of multiple pieces then mounted to the cockpit floor. This is actually good but, the floor of the cockpit is trapped between the sidewalls of the cockpit and the whole subassembly fits between the fuselage halves. I use the word “fits” here loosely. There are no locating tabs, pins or marks on this kit so the builder will, and should add their own to ease in construction. For the purpose of my review, I didn’t, but merely taped things together to get a general idea of how the kit was going to, or in this case, not going to, fit together. As you can see by the photos it is going to take some substantial amount of clean up to bring things together. Gaps are prevalent and will need good prep work and filler in a lot of places.
The plastic is soft which can be a two edged sword. Clean up of attachment points will be easy, but so will the removal of detail. There are only a few panel lines that cross the centerline, so damage shouldn’t be too bad in this area. Parts fit is pretty bad right out of the box due to flash and seam lines. I made a few tentative passes with a sanding stick to try to get a better fit, the results aren’t spectacular, but it did help a little. The exhaust can does not fit between the fuselage sides at all. Either the mounting slot (partial at that) will need to be deepened or the can will need to be reduced in diameter to close the fuselage halves up. The picture says it all. The fit of the upper and lower wings has some pretty good gaps at the leading edge. These might be negated by reducing the mating surfaces prior to gluing or filled with plastic and or putty later. There is more on the bad list, but I think the above makes my point. It is going to take some work…well, a lot of work.
Now, not to dwell on the bad side of things, here are some good things I saw about the kit. While the cockpit is pretty shaky on the fit, it lends itself to being well detailed for the scale. There are lumps, bumps and boxes in there that will benefit from a good paint job, and some extra decals from the spares box will help add a little life to the office. The ejection seat is well done and should look good under some paint. There is a decent amount of upper wing detail molded in for the wheel wells, albeit a bit shallow, a little detail is better than none... The canopy while somewhat scratched on my sample, is still usable with the help of some polishing and a dip in some Future (Kleer). There are vents, lumps and bumps on the exterior that are added separately. I prefer these rather than ones that are molded on as they can be thinned, and scaled more easily without risking damaging the surrounding area on the fuselage. The landing gear doors feature detail on the inside of them rather than just being the shape of the door. I didn’t find any sink marks…period. Decals are opaque and while only one marking option is given it includes data markings. The box is big enough and sturdy enough to store the model during building. It’s a subject that is new (As far as I know) and………………it’s ugly as sin.
Paint call outs are in Humbrol colors.
ConclusionIs it something that can be built? Yes. Will it be easy? Definitely not, but it is doable given time, patience, and modeling skills. There is a brief history provided in English and Russian I believe. The translation is a little rough, but I got the gist of it. Even as difficult as this kit appears out of the box, I still intend to try and build it….just because it’s ugly. Thanks to Amodel for the review sample.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.