Sukhoi Su-34 Platypus
This is Italeri's 1/72 scale rendition of arguably the deadliest of the Sukhoi design bureau's fabulous Flankers. The side-by-side seating Su-27 variants are radical developments of the original Flanker interceptor. The Su-27 IB, Su-32 FN and Su-34 are dedicated tactical strike aircraft. The Su-32 FN is a dedicated maritime strike aircraft for the Russian Navy whilst the Su-27 IB and Su-34 will fulfil the strike role for the Russian Air Force.
My model depicts an Su-34, Blue 43, that was rolled out from Sukhoi's Novossibirsk plant in 1993, making its maiden flight on 18 December. The Su-34 is cleared to carry virtually the full range of Russian air-to-surface munitions. The aircraft has 12 hardpoints and can carry up to 8000 kg of weapons. My Su-34 is armed with two IR-guided AA-11 Archer air-to-air missiles, two longer-range radar-guided AA-12 Adder AAM's, three KAB series laser-guided bombs, two Kh-29L/AS-14 Kedge missiles as well as two AS-14 Krypton air-to-surface missiles. The Su-34's targeting and guidance radar is situated in the large tail 'sting'.
The model was completed OOB. Eduard has released an etched set for this model that would add more 'life' to it. The model was sprayed with Modelmaster enamels. Weathering was kept to a minimum as Blue 43 was the first pre-production Su-34. The kit is basic but the detail is acceptable for the scale of the model. The decals adhered well to Modelmaster decal setting solution.
The biggest challenge on this build was simulating the heat affected engine nacelles and burner cans, that is a hallmark of the Flankers. To achieve the desired look I used Modelmaster Metalizer paint.