Trumpeter's 1:32 Scale Flanker

Trumpeter's evocative boxart shows a 'standard' Su-27 at the moment of liftoff.

The contents are extremely well packaged - with the main parts in separate bags and all neatly secured.

The decal sheet is well printed but has options for only one variant - and that

is a fairly mundane example.

Outline Inaccuracies

Although the kit is large, well moulded and has some superb panel detail, it has some major outline accuracies - which, if not corrected,

will still produce an impressive model, but it will not capture the menacing lines of the original......

The first of these outline errors concerns the canopy, which is moulded with a curved windscreen and a rear section that sits far too high.

This photo shows the kit canopy at bottom - with the correct profile at the top....... (photo courtesy of Zactomodels).

Fortunately, Zactomodels has provided a superb vacform replacement that totally corrects the problem... well as the actual clear parts, the replacement set contains resin detail parts for the canopy arch, rear coaming and other components...

....such as the Infra Red Search and Track ball in front of the windscreen The set even contains the radio frequency placards that

are fitted to the inside rails on the real thing.

If you do nothing else to your Trumpeter Flanker, you MUST, IMHO, replace the canopy !!

The second outline error is in the nose - it is no less than 9mm too short......

(ignore the 12mm on the above photo - I hadn't taken account of the pitot probe at the tip- which has a 3mm 'base'!!)

.......I fixed it on my model by separating the radome from its rear 'skirt' and inserting a 9mm plug of rolled plastic card blended in with filler.

At the time I made my Flanker, there were no replacements for the radome available....

...but Zactomodels have once again come to the rescue with a superb resin replacement that just slots into place...

Finally, the third major outline inaccuracy concerns the intakes. On the real Flanker the bottom line of the intake is a straight line

from just behind the intake lip to the rear of the nacelle. Trumpeter, for some reason, have moulded the intakes with a curious curve along the bottom edge.

Again, in the absence of any replacement parts, I first corrected the curve as shown in the top photo by removing plastic and fitting

replacement blow-in doors along the bottom edge. I soon realised, however, that the intake was also too narrow and tapered.

It should be rectangular in section when viewed from the front - so I widened my intakes with plastic card as shown in the bottom photo.

But once again Zactomodels offer a resin replacement intake set that takes away the pain of having to make these changes

Other issues

With the above three errors corrected, an accurate Su-27 can be built - but there are one or two other minor problems that need to be corrected.

The first concerns the nosewheel - or, at least, its prominent FOD guard.... The item provided by Trumpeter is far too square and the side

panels are not quite the right size and shape. I corrected mine by first carving the shape of wheel into a pice of modelling wood and

then plug-moulding a new mudguard......

....I then cut a section from this and, using the side panels from the Eduard etched steel Flanker set......

...and plastic card slats, fabricated a new FOD guard ....... replacement is on the right, Trumpeter's attempt is on the right.

Trumpeter have made the nosewheel with an internal spring - that it is supposed to produce a 'working' noseleg - but they haven't made the rest

of the nosegear work. I drilled out all the pivots and the axle and fabricated new connectors from brass rod...

Note - the above photos shows a resin copy of Trumpeters nosewheel - which I didn't use in the end.

The end result of all this work is a fully articulated noseleg with a FOD guard that moves with the leg - just like the real thing!


The scissor links on the mainwheels are not quite right - they are moulded as 'A' shapes when they should be a sort of 'Y' shape.

Also, the upper mounting bracket for the scissor link is set too high up the leg - I cut it off and made a new one nearer oleo.

The kit one is at the bottom, my modification is at the top (with the incorrect scissor links before I fixed them).

I also adde some pipework to the inside face of the mainwheels - not as detailed as some I have seen, but enough to make it look 'busy'.

The centre of the wheel hub has rows of brake cooling holes - which should be drilled out. I just filled them with black paint.

Other minor corrections

The aerials of the Beryoza radar warning system are the wrong shape. I reprofiled and lengthened them with plastic card.

Likewise the wingtip missile launcg rails are icorrect - I made new ones from plastic card......

New wingtip launch rails.

The pivot on the horozontal tailplane is too far back - I wanted to show them at a realistic 'drooped' angle, so I made new ones from brass rod.

I also added an exhaust vent under the port tailboom - and an electrical connector socket.


Trumpeter's cockpit is quite well detailed and could be painted up as is - but there are plenty of resin replacement sets on the market....

...I used the excellent pre-painted etched steel set from Eduard - the detail is just fantastic -

and there is no way I could have painted a resin set as well as this...

The raised detail has to be scraped off before gluing on the etched parts....

...but the end result looks great. The lack of raised detail is not apparent due to the clever use of shadowing on the pre-painted parts.

I have added a blue map case and a map into the pocket on the starboard wall - but other than that it is all Eduards.

Another view of the Eduard cockpit.

Scratchbuilt tow bar, ladder, chocks & intake blanks.

Finished Model

Closeup of the towbar.

Ken Duffey

August 2007