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Kinetic 1/48 Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker (46 posts)

  • Oh yes, some months ago we had a great building report about this bird from George Johnson (@georgelj). It won the iModeler Model of The Month award and very few judging sessions I remember when the result was that undisputed.
    I hesitated to start this post as I felt that everything worth telling about this kit and build was told before, but then I thought the heck with it!
    I hope you enjoy this one more time nonetheless. It starts with some reference pictures courtesy of scalemodels.ru. Believe me, having those available is essential when building this kit.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge

    Tags: 1/48, Flanker, Kinetic, mostrubbishinstructionseverprinted, Su-33, Sukhoi

  • Thanks, Halvar. The Kinetic kit is a great kit and one of the best I’ve built. I heard they were going to update the instructions. The CAD renderings they used on the kit I built were vague and parts were often left out or mislabeled. Definitely worth having good reference photos. It was a fun build and I’ll probably build another one soon, but this time with a well-worn, soft-edge camo scheme. Thought you might find the attached images useful.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Let’s get on with it.
    You may have heard me and others saying this before, but anyway: pre-printed cockpit photo-etch just doesn’t work as one can neither get the colours right nor the sheen of the surface. To me this always looks kind of strange and in the case of Eduard’s Interior Set for the Su-33, even worth, it looks lavender.
    In the picture below you see the instrument panel painted with Mr. Paint’s excellent depiction the Sukhoi Works” cockpit colour, the side panels still being from Barbie’s car.
    I consequently went for the kit’s well moulded plastic parts here, however, as it doesn’t contain any solution for the instruments, I had to use Eduard’s offering. Trying to over paint it with the brush didn’t lead me anywhere, but:
    after two or three times messing up the brush paint job, I realised that cleaning the thing with Revell Paint Remover doesn’t resolve the pre print. In order to save the beautifully printed black instrument frames from being over-sprayed I used Tamyia Cotton Buds and the above said Revell product to clean up only the areas of the pre print I wanted to keep.
    I really like this discovery.
    The rest of the build of the cockpit went straight forward, though I have to say that gluing on the glazing with the frame painted in cockpit blue before, was quite a challenge.

    7 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Thanks for the additional references, George.
    Funny that you say you’ll go for another build of a soft-edged version of the camo. Look what stood at Moson’s show this year:

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • I can’t wait to see this beauty roll off the production line!!!

  • Many thanks, Morne!

    As usual with 4th generation jets, the air intakes are placed below the fuselage and the fuselage is shaped to participate significantly to the lift force. That ends-up in complex geometry for kit makers to deal with when designing the moulds. The moulds of this kit have originally been developed by a start-up company named Aviation Art, but the CAD models landed in the hands of Kinetics after AA went bankrupt. That’s at least what many sources in the web are telling. Given the extremely high attention to detail in this area of the airframe, I’m not too surprised.

    The over-alll fit is good, but some sanding and beefing-up certain joins with plastic card is still required. I managed to keep all modifications within the joins between ground plate and intakes that are invisible later on. The external surface with its fantastic level of detail could remain untouched.
    The kit comes with photo etched grills for the intake filters but the ones offered by Eduard are even cooler.
    Sanding down the turbine cover half pipes by about 2 mm and using clamps from the truck workshop helped to avoid any puty.
    I opted to do the painting of the internal surfaces of the intakes as separate parts, but that’s a regret. You can’t use much glue on painted parts and now the join looks so fragile that I hardly dare to touch it. I guess we will hear about this later.
    The fan blades are not from this planet and it’s shame to hide them all away.

    8 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • That’s pretty cool. Your build is looking spectacular as usual. In my research, I found that only the landing gear doors are painted red with the bays painted a darkish greenish grey. I’ll see if I can find photos.

  • Thanks, George.
    I guess there are hardly two alike but mine has them Ferrari-red in the front and grey in the rear part.
    I tuned the red down a bit as otherwise the contrast might have been too stark on the model.

    1 attached image.

  • Building the airframe of this kit created lots of positive feelings. The surface quality is top-notch and the fit is not bad either. Let me point out the highlights:
    – the typical edge at the front part of the airframe where the wings grow from the fuselage, needs some filling and sanding. I was concerned that it might require major efforts to get the cross section shapes aligned nicely but in fact it was no problem.
    – Some more sanding was required at the rear part where upper and lower fuselage half meet. Attaching the tail rudders and fins imposed some homework to make the gaps look nice.
    – I couldn’t resist to buy Master Model’s static dischargers. They are tiny but look great. Let’s see whether I can make them survive the construction phase – I have my doubts.
    – I’m not a big fan of major gluing operations at painted models so I tried to prepare the installation of pitot tubes and slats as widely as possible. Some styrene rod was added to the pitot tubes along with an according port hole at the airframe. Accordingly, the installation of the slats was assisted with brass tubes and hopefully some glue there will later do the job to attach them to the wings.

    12 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Very, very nice Halvar… It looks like enjoying build. And this bird is sooooo big. I keep my fingers crossed.

  • Looking fantastic!

  • Thanks Martin and Greg.

    As mentioned before, the instructions of this kit are somewhat below average. The following two pictures are not of interest to those who won’t build this kit, but I guess highly useful for those who will.

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Doing the three-tone camouflage of the the Su-33 with its hard edges is an epic project. It’s quite fun, but efforts are high and the progress is slow. I was in need of a moment of success tonight and so I went for the nozzles.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Colors seem to be all over the place. The build is looking great as usual. That 3-color camo is difficult to paint, but the results will be worth the effort.

  • Did you apply transparent blue on nozzles?