A Tale of four Flankers...

Building 4 X Flankers at once.......

Airfix Su-27 - Kazakhstan

Hasegawa Su-27 - Uzbekistan

Hasegawa Su-33 - Russian Navy

Heller Su-27UB - Venezuelan AF Su-30MK2V

Some comparisons.....

Airfix Su-27 fin on Aviatsiya i Vremya drawings.

Hasegawa Su-33 on Aviatsiya i Vremya drawings...

Fins compared......

Hasegawa Su-33 on AiV drawing....





Ejection seats........

Fixing the Hasegawa width problem.....

The Hasegawa rear end is about 4mm too wide - Su-33 (left), Su-27 (right)..

Su-33 on top of Su-27

Removing the port engine nacelle and removing a section of plastic.....

Hasegawa Su-27 (left), Su-33 (right) - bottom nacelle is moved inward....

Both nacelles narrowed.....

Bottom is more difficult - whole nacelle is too big.

Su-33 (left), Su-27 (right) top nacelle is narrowed - but is still too deep.

4 X Cockpits - from left to right, Hadegawa Su-33, Hasegawa Su-27, Airfix Su-27, Heller Su-27UB (modified to have MFD screens)

The Su-33 (left) is the only one with a representation of a throttle.

Su-33 flaps cut away.

Filler applied to modified rear end - topside...

... and underside.

Revised rear end - top one cleaned up.

It isn't perfectly circular - but it gets hidden when the Aires nozzle is fitted.

Quickboost resin nose on Su-27 - compared to Su-33 on right.

Hasegawa Su-27 (left) - Hasegawa Su-33 (right).

Rear ends almost match!

Underside view.

Lots of filler needed on the Airfix/Heller Flankers.

.... on the radome and at the rear end.

The wings also need packing out.

Airfix/Heller radome (left) - Hasegawa Su-33 (right).

Hasegawa Su-33 tailplane is just about spot-on.

Airfix/Heller tailplane is correct shape - but inner edge next to jetpipe needs a fillet added.

Hasegawa Su-27 tailpane is slightly too big - with same problem next to jetpipe.

Tailplanes compared...

All the kit's intakes have sink/ejector pin marks.... this is Hasegawa Su-33....

......Hasegawa Su-27......

Airfix/Heller intakes have raised lugs to fit (incorrect) intake FOD guards........

.... as well as ejector pin marks (and stray hair!!)

Wingtip launch rails - Airfix/Heller (top), Hasegawa Su-27 (middle), Hasegawa Su-27 (bottom).

Separate wings on Airfix/Heller kits means filler needed - on top ......

...... and underside.

You have to mask off and paint the inside faces of the intakes - before you assemble them.

Note the excellent detail on the 'roof' of the intake on the Hasegawa Su-33 kit

Comparison of intakes - Airfix top, Hasegawa Su-27 middle, Su-33 bottom.

The Hasegawa Su-33 has the correct mesh detail for a Su-33, Airfix/Heller has it correct for for a Su-27 - the Hasegawa in the middle

has etched steel for the grilles - but there is no recess and it stands proud of the surface!!

Only Hasegawa provide the faces of the compressors - Airfix/Heller have nothing.

The Hasegawa Su-27 (left) provides a separate lower intakes shutter (but only open), the Su-33 kit provides alternate open or closed shutters.

Airfix/Heller (left) has the shutters engraved - note the different widths of the respective intakes - Su-33 right.

On all three kits, the airbrake is separate - it fits OK on the Su-33.....

..... the Hasegawa Su-27 has a few gaps.....

..... whilst the Airfix/Heller kit doesn't fit very well at all.!!!

The nacelles fitted - Hasegawa Su-27.

Airfix/Heller Su-27.

Hasegawa Su-33.

The RWR antenna on the upgraded Su-33.

I nearly forgot to add the IFR probe recess on the Heller Su-27UB - to make the Su-30MK2.

Comparison of ventral fins - the Hasegawa Su-27 is way too big.

Scratchbuilding the Sorbtsiya ECM pods for the Su-33 - 4mm plastic rod and bits of plastic.

Mounted on the Su-33 - with a strengthening plate.

Cutting up the flaps from the Su-33 - ready to make them deployed.

Modifying the Airfix/Heller tailplanes - with the Su-33 as the benchmark.

The Hasegawa tailplanes are a bit too big - but removing a bit of the trailing edge soon improves them (right)

Similarly, the ventral fins are too long - fixed at top.

Components of the starbord double-slotted flap ready for re-assembly. Unmodified port flap at top.

Deployed flaps attached to starboard wing.

Intake, wheel well, mainleg downlock fairing and ventral fin - on Su-33.......

Same area on Hasegawa Su-27 - note also the triangular RWR fairing on intake side.

Same area on Airfix/Heller Su-27 - the downlock fairing is too small..

The Hasegawa Su-27 fin roots - they have captured the different size intakes.

Hasegawa Su-33 intakes are the same size.?

Airfix/Heller intakes are same size - and solid!

Taller fin for Venezuelan Su-30MK2 (right) - modified from Zvezda Su-35 fin. It still needs work. Heller Su-27UB fin on left.

The Su-30MK2 needs an offset IRST ball - so the platform on which it sits has to be made, using plasticard scrap.........

.... and filler - all sanded to shape.

One set of stabs with triangles of plastic card to make them droop.

The Su-33 stabs need the opposite - plastic is removed to make them point L/E down.

Su-33 in take-off pose.

From the rear.

The modified fins for the Su-30MK2.

Hasegawa Su-33 ready for primer.

Airfix Su-27 ready for primer.

Heller Su-30MK2 ready for primer.

Hasegawa Su-27 ready for primer.

Hasegawa Flankers - Su-33 (left), modified Su-27 (right)...

The DAPO Production Line....

Sorting out the too-thick side fairings.....

A few passes with a file soon reduces the thickness.

Side view comparison

Spine shape comparison.....

Some more comparisons.....

Trying to fix the Hasegawa Su-27 nose......

It's better - but I'm not convinced it's right.

Last attempt at the Hasegawa Su-27 nose!....

Hasegawa Flankers - Su-33 top, Su-27 bottom.

Hasegawa Su-33 nozzles.

Aires replacements

Extending the Hasegawa Su-27 jetpipes.

Trumpeter J-11B / Hasegawa Su-33 side profile comparison.

Hasegawa Su-27 back end sorted - reduced diameter to fit Aires nozzle. Original kit part D6 at right - 3mm dia difference!

Just for completeness - I've assembled the Italeri Su-27.....

The main fault with the Italeri kit is the intakes - they are way too shallow.

Blow-in Doors...

Blow-in doors on a real Su-27 - hinged at front, twelve of them.

They are spring-loaded and open on demand from the engine.

Italeri Su-27 - correct number and correct opening.

Hasegawa Su-27 - correct number and correct opening.

Airfix/Heller Su-27/UB - Only ten doors - represented by panel lines.

Hasegawa Su-33 - correct number and correct opening.

Trumpeter J-11B - 24 doors !!


Su-27 intake grille - simple slots.

Su-33 intake grille - mesh.

Airfix/Heller - just about right.

Hasegawa Su-33 - almost correct but feint.

Trumpeter - very feint.

Hasegawa Su-27 - etched steel stands proud of surface.


Airfix/Heller windscreen raised by insertion of plastic card.

Heller Su-27UB - with IRST removed to make Venezuelan Su-30MK2

Airfix Su-27.

Hasegawa Su-27

Trumpeter J-11B

Hasegawa Su-33

Windscreen shapes...

Naval pilot for the Su-33

Canopy comparisons - J-11B is 'least worst'.

Su-27UB comparison.

Su-33 Plan view.

Airfix Su-27 Kazakhstan. Undersides - AKAN Paint.

Hasegawa Su-33 - repainted in lighter blue/grey all over. AKAN paint.

Heller Su-27UB conversion to Venezuelan Su-30MK2. All over Humbrol Hu-147.

Hasegawa Su-27 Uzbekistan - Undersides Testors Flanker Medium Blue.

Four Flankers (plus the 'intruder' J-11B at top)

Clockwise from top - PLAAF J-11B, Russian A-VMF Su-33, Kazakhstan Su-27, Uzbeki Su-27, Venezuelan Su-30MK2

AKAN colours - Su-27 (left) - Su-33 (3 at right).

Finished Su-33

Hot to Trot.....

Ken Duffey

September 2011