GROUP BUILDS > Za Rodinu - The Anthony P Memorial Build

Su-15MV Soviet Aggressor - FINISHED

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Hi folks, well I've given up on the Frogspawn, so I'm starting a new project for this build. What if the Soviets had formed US-style aggressor squadrons to train their pilots in dissimilar air combat? What might they have used to simulate large western aircraft such as the Phantom?

Well I'm going with this:

The idea is to make a Soviet aggressor squadron Su-15 with minor physical vismods and a paint job to enable it to play the part of an F-4E Phantom in wargames. The idea is to convey the general outline of the enemy aircraft, not reproduce it in every detail (an F-5 looks nothing like a MiG-21, but the USAF didn't do anything except paint them), so physical vismods will be limited to an an undernose "gun fairing", a deep spine, non-functional tanks on the outer pylons and fake underscale twin Sidewinders on the inners. The paint job will be approximately USAF SE Asia scheme, with tweaks to simulate the F-4's undercut engine nozzles, dihedral outer wing and Sparrows. The markings will be a big white bort number on the tail (simulating the USAF base code) and white triangles and bars to simulate the visual effect of the US stars'n'bars marking without actually copying it.

I had intended to use a PM two-seat Flagon for this, but then I managed to pick up a sensibly priced Trumpeter one at Huddersfield, so game on...

I'm calling it an SU-15UP because Google Translate tells me that the Russian for "simulated enemy" is Uslovnogo Protivnika", but I'm very dubious of these translation programs so if anyone knows better, please don't hesitate to suggest an alternative.

Just read a highly useful build up of the related Flagon-A kit here:

Noted with alarm the comment about long surface marks, apparently caused by the slide-moulding process, along the top and bottom corners of the fuselage, went and had a look at mine, and yep: I've got them. Still forewarned is forearmed: I can now fill them FIRST, rather than when I'm juggling a half-painted model, so cheers to Rato Marczak for the info!  :thumbsup:

Spent the evening dealing with the slide-moulding marks. Not terrible: the ones on the top surface, which you'd notice the most, don't cross that many panels, so you can sand them relatively efficiently. The ones on the bottom cross a lot more of the small rivetted panels, but that actually makes them easier to hide because they're more broken up anyway. For the latter, I've mostly scraped them off in between the panels with a small curved knife blade, then tidied them up with fine sanding sticks that don't threaten the detail.

Found my spine fairings, and with entertaining irony, they're gun pods halves from the same Airfix Phantom who's instructions I'm using as a paint guide..... ;D :thumbsup:

Started reading reviews and builds about this kit and it turns out there are about four times as many problems with it as I thought there were.... :rolleyes: Most of these I'm going to leave alone on the "looks like a Flagon to me" principle. I'm not even going to go for the two most popular upgrades, a resin nose and a resin cockpit, because the nose on mine is going to be non-standard anyway, and the cockpit glazings are so small that you can hardly see anything. I might have some canopy masks though.

However, there are a few things that are annoying and either need fixing or can be fixed without extra expense.

1. The cockpit deck.

The Trumpy kit has a seprate deck around the cockpit area so that single and two seat versions can be made. This deck is thin, bendy, barely touches the (bendy) fuselage sides and has hardly any support. Anyone who's nightmares are still haunted by a Matchbox Meteor NF.11 will find it distressingly familiar. The middle of the deck is quite well supported (I think) by the cockpit tub bulkheads, but the ends have to rest, for no apparent reason, on four 1mm square tabs, which would be poor if the deck fitted, but since it's at least 0.5mm too short... :rolleyes:

Why Trumpeter couldn't put those white bits in is beyond me. Behind the fuselage, you can see the cockpit deck with a shim attached to it's front end, ready to be trimmed when it's dry. I'd have preferred the shim at the rear where it would be partially hidden by my spine mod, but unfortunately panel lines don't allow it.

2. The engine nozzles.

This one is just head-scratchingly barmpot.....

Exhibit A. Each nozzle is made from three tubes, there being (left to right), the afterburner flameholder (and blank), an intermediate tube, and the variable nozzle. These are suppose to be glued together in a stack and inserted into the tail fairing as you can see in the background.

So what's wrong with this? Well it puts the flameholder nearly six scale feet inside the aircraft, which is more than twice as far as it should be, as is readily apparent from any number of walkaround pics on the internet. This means that Trumpy havn't just got it wrong, they've actually put in two complete extra pieces that make it more wrong: you can leave out the intermediate tubes completely and what's left is STILL too long.  :rolleyes: It's a damn sight better though, easily fixable, and actually means that someone might see the flameholders after you've struggled to paint them. So I shall, be building it as per Exhibit B below, but with the lips sanded off:

Tomorrow I'm off to get some cockpit paint. I had thought it would be the usual lurid turquoise colour favoured by the Russians, so I went looking for mixing intructions. It turns out that there are a huge number of real life variations on this colour and everybody has a favorite shade or mix, but I then found out that Su-15s didn;t generally use it, and actually had a more muted blue-grey shade, which I reckon is a dead ringer for RLM 78 Himmelblau in the new Humbrol RLM range.

Good walkaround of a somewhat dilapidated Su-15 single-seater here:

Cool project!  :thumbsup:


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