Friday, February 8

Fitting the Flanker - Eth's build of the 1/48th Eduard Su-27 Pt.II

Ethelian continues his build of the Su-27 at apace - This is a daunting kit with all of the excellent aftermartket details but Eth is making it look easy and showing us how he did it - In this part he completes the build of the  kit's construction and begins to weather and paint this complicated camo on the Flanker. It is sure looking goood......

Eduard Su-27 Flanker - Limited Edition.
Scale: 1/48th
Material: Styrene + Resin + Photo Etched + Canopy Masks
Styrene Sprues: 6 + 1 clear
Decals for five Aircraft
Available from: Eduard’s Webstore 

Fitting the Flanker - Eth's build of the 1/48th Eduard Su-27 Pt.II

With the January weather living up to its recent reputation there is nothing better to do than turn up the heating and crack on with SU-27 Flanker. Today was a day for dealing with the undercarriage, something that I was not looking forward to due to the fiddly nature of the parts and the delicacy of the photo etch (PE) upgrade parts. So taking a deep breath it was the front undercarriage that was to start the day.

The mud guard was tacked into place with superglue and then the struts were added. Once they were in place the mud guard had another layer of super glue added to secure it. Be very careful with the struts as even breathing heavily on them will cause them to bend.
Another thing to watch out for is the placement of the landing lights. The instructions would have you locate them in such a way as the vertical strut will not fit, so make sure they are placed to either side of the landing leg and not in front as the instructions would have you do.

The brake lines were added and the rest of the plastic parts and it was finished. Not as difficult as I thought it would be but it is definitely fiddly. The main under carriage was a lot easier to build and only the addition of the brake lines caused any small issues.
With the under carriage out of the way the next step was to add the PE inserts for the main under carriage bays and some PE for the front under carriage bay.

The exhaust fans are featureless in the kit, but Eduard provide two PE fans and these were added next. It will be difficult to see them once the fuselage is together but it is good to know they are there just in case.
The wheel bays get some PE treatment as well, more on this later.
Now the fun really begins it is time to turn to the cockpit and start adding all the pre painted PE. Eduard really go to town in this area and although some people complain that pre painted PE lacks depth for those of us who are not so adept with a hairy stick this is a real boon. Model masters Blue Green Russian Interior was sprayed on first and this dried to a nice glossy shine.
While that was drying the instrument panel was built. There are two PE boxes, unpainted, that need to be added to the instrument panel. I presume these are unpainted because they need to be bent into shape and the print screen would come off.
There are no pre painted side panels, however the detail in the resin cockpit tub is excellent and with careful dry brushing really pops out.

Only one item remained to be completed and that was the ejection seat. Again this benefits hugely from Eduard’s pre painted PE and is really brought to like by the PE parts, so much better than moulded on resin detail. Lifecolor Deep Cockpit was used for the ejection seat along with Vallejo Model Colour leather.
With the cockpit and other internal details finished the next step will be to assemble the fuselage and see what seams need cleaning up and filling.

Assembly of the main parts brought no major issues except for the fit of the Intakes. The shape of the intakes is too tall and too narrow. There is no easy fix for this as filler just will not solve the problem by itself. Instead by applying a clamp to bottom of the Intake it is possible to “squash” the Intake into the correct position. Then by running some superglue along the seam it is possible to glue them into position without too much trouble. The fuselage went together well with a slight problem with the leading edge which is so thin it is hard to get a good bond. A small amount of filler had to be used to cover a couple of small gaps.
Weight was added to the nose cone and then the nose cone was fixed onto the fuselage. You need a lot of weight in the nose as this is definitely a tail heavy model. With the fuselage complete it was time to prepare it for painting. A quick wash in some warm soapy water and the model was set aside for 24 hours to dry.
To prepare the fuselage for painting it was sanded with some 4000 grit wet and dry and then polished with a variety of polishing blocks. This brings the plastic to a smooth high shine which is perfect for the painting. The first stage of painting was to apply a pre-shade to the panel lines. For this I used LifeColor Dark Grey (LC-UA30). By the time the pre-shade was finished it was possible to continue straight away filling in between the dark pre-shade.
The purpose of this is to provide as much contrast as possible, without it looking over done, when the camouflage colours are applied.
The first camouflage colour to be applied was Lifecolor Bright Blue (LC-UA061). Instead of applying this to the whole of the models upper surfaces it was applied only to the areas where it would appear in the final scheme. This approach will preserve the pre-shading as well as saving on paint.
The second colour for the camouflage scheme is Lifecolor Grey (LC-UA043), again only spraying it where it would appear in the final scheme.
The final colour in the three tone scheme was then applied, Lifecolor Grey (LC-UA023). The model was left to dry over night and then the underside was painted.
The main colour for the bottom of the fuselage was again Lifecolor Bright Blue (LC-UA061). A darker shade of Lifecolor Sky Blue (LC-UA518) was used for the disruptive pattern. It is quite unusual to have camouflage on the underneath of a modern jet and is a good change from the norm of a single colour.
Again the model was set aside for 24 hours and then the areas around the under carriage bays were masked off and Lifecolor Interior Green (LC-UA086) was used. While this was drying the bare metal areas over the engines were masked and spayed with Alclad Dark Engine Manifold.
The last part of the detail painting was the nose. This was sprayed with Lifecolor White (LC01) in three or four thin coats. The pressure on the compressor was turned down to around 12psi as this seems to prevent the white from running. It does not seem to matter what brand of white paint is used, white seems to be the hardest colour to spray and gain a good finish.
The two tail planes are not attached at this time to help applying the decals later. Even so the fit here is very good as can be seen in the photographs.
One thing that can be said for USSR jets they do have attractive paint schemes which makes for a good change of pace to the rather boring Western Countries overall grey finish. The next stage is the application of the decals. Hopefully there will not be as many stencils as some aircraft have; the RAF Typhoon is a good one in question featuring over 200 decals, not for the faint hearted that one.


Thanks to Eduard for this Kit. More to come over the next few weeks - stay tuned