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Richard Mcstay
59 articles

Su-34 Fullback

August 26, 2017 · in Aviation · · 40 · 9.3K

Hi again folks, just finished building Mr Putin's flying tank! This is the fairly new Hobbyboss scale kit of the strike flanker and the first ever in this scale. I waited ages for its release and eventually bought it back in April for the whopping fee of £130! The asking price certainly caused a lot of controversy on online forums when it was first announced. Can HB justify charging this much for a 1/48 scale kit? Well I'll get to that in a bit.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Su-34 is a medium to long range supersonic fighter bomber. It is a versatile and manoeuvrable aircraft, and can engage ground targets, tanks, ships and large aircraft. It is also very capable at short range and can hold its own in a dogfight. It even has a toilet and a mini kitchen on board for those long haul flights!

The model itself is quite a size! It is 46 cm in length with a wingspan of 30 cm. It's actually bigger than my F-16 and Harrier in 1/32. I included a Tamiya paint pot in the last pic for an idea of scale. I painted it using Mr Hobby and Mig acrylics, and finished it with Vallejo varnishes and Flory washes. You get instructions for two paint schemes, either the one I chose or the classic blue Flanker camo. I decided to save the blue camo for my Su-27 ( when I get round to building it ) and went with the modern dark grey scheme.

The selection of ordinance in this kit is really impressive. If the can carry it, then it's in the box! I decided to go for a range of different weapons to showcase the jets versatility. I went for some short and medium range air to air missiles on the wing tips, a mixture of 250lb and 500lb bombs and a couple of KH-59 anti-ship cruise missiles on the wings. The huge missiles mounted underneath the fuselage are the long range R-172's normally found on the BUK surface to air missile launcher.

I decided to build it completely from the box without any aftermarket at all to find out if it is worth the price. Well actually I did add a lead weight to the nose for a ballast, available from all good fishing tackle shops! There is a photo etch interior kit now available from Eduard but I didn't go for it as the cockpit does not open. This is accurate as the crew have to enter the cockpit through the front wheel well. The cockpit detail was still pretty good though considering. You get some photo etch for the heads up display and decals for the instruments.The landing gears in the box are metal as well to give it a bit of stability, and you also get rubber wheels.

The moulding of the plastic is pretty impressive! The panel lines are pretty fine and there is some nice detail in the wheel wells. I needed a small amount of filler for the air intakes but that was pretty much it, and that could have very well been my fault... who knows? The main criticism from other reviews however is the nose. The nose on the actual jet comes to more of a point and doesn't have panel lines. It still looks very much like the distinctive Su-34 nose though to me, it can't be that far off.

So is it worth the price? To be honest I thought it was a really good kit, and I really enjoyed building it. There are some nice touches, it goes together well and the decals are great. You get a big well packed box with the fuselage halves separated from the sprues to avoid damage, as well as a smaller internal box containing the clear parts and rubber parts etc. Having said that though, I paid the same for the Tamiya 1/32 F-16 and £90 for the Eduard limited editon Su-27 in 1/48, and can't help but feel like you get a lot more for your money with them.

With the F-16 you get all of the above plus a removable engine and cart, a lead nose weight included in the box and canopy masks as standard. With the Eduard kit you get millions of photo etch and resin aftermarket.

What you get with the Hobbyboss kit though is an extensive weapons set. I still have loads of different variations of air to air missiles left, as well as 100lb, 250lb, and 500lb bombs, KH-58's, Kh-31's, rocket pods, a few different types of 1500lb guided bombs, KMGU bombs and a fuel tank! I think that is where the extra money has went to be honest! I'll definitely be using some of them on my Su-27 and I'll probably have to buy some other 1/48 Russian strike aircraft just to use up the rest. Or sell them on Ebay!

So do I recommend it? Yeah why not! Or alternatively you could just buy the newer slightly cheaper Kittyhawk version in 1/48, but I don't know anything about that one!

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
16  Awesome

17 additional images. Click to enlarge.

40 responses

  1. Now that right there looks nice, my friend. I liked the looks of this airplane the first time I ever saw one. Now that I've seen what can be done with it, I just may have to put near the top of my "wish list". Good work, Richard...(love all that armament).

  2. Mr. Mcstay! What a great build. I keep going back and find more details.
    A couple of these could take out half a city. Here is my WOW!
    And a great review of your model and its value.
    Well done.
    California Steve

  3. I do like the fact that HB split the fuselage into top and bottom halves like Academy did for the 27. If it's easier to build than the KH kit, I would overlook some minor shape discrepancies. I've heard a lot of bad things about the nose, but it looks like a Fullback nose to me. (I don't use a slide rule and micrometer.) It looks great completely loaded up and your shading on the upper half is awesome. It looks like they did a fine job on the tail pipes too!

    • I'm not a rivet counter neither! From what I've heard ( from everyone ) Kittyhawk are quite a challenge to put together! Thanks very much Josh!

      • Well, I have the F-101, Cougar and F-94 in the works and the XF5U in the wings and they aren't nearly as bad as some reviews have labeled them. Dry fitting and planning ahead are mandatory, but they can go together with a minimum of filler if you know where the problem areas are adnd adjust assembly to alleviate them. Eagerly awaiting their FJ-3! That said, if two companies make the same subject, generally I'l pick the easier of the two to build!

  4. Whether the price is 'worth it" or not depends on how much you "want it."

    Only kit in the scale of something lots of people have been wanting? Let the market control.

    Nice work on this monster.

  5. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Very nice work on this one Richard.

  6. Supercool looking aircraft and a very good build,Cheers N.
    P.S. great review.

  7. Great job done there Richard.
    Lovely review too.
    She is a real beast of a plane.
    Well done mate.

  8. Profile Photo
    said on August 27, 2017

    Great looking build Richard.

  9. UK prices are expensive anyway so maybe 130 quid is not so bad, especially as you didn't need any of that after market stuff which can very easily bump the price up. She certainly looks very impressive, and the armament is great (are you reading this Mr Hasegawa?)

    • Thanks George, much appreciated. It's getting expensive just to feed yourself these days, let alone build in large scale! My next build might have to be one of those polystyrene flat packs with the propellers from the newsagents!

  10. Excellent - love the paint work all the way around, and the finishing (washes, shading etc.). I've got a 1/72 in the stash and wasn't sure I wanted to do the more modern dark grey scheme, but after seeing yours I think I'm hooked!

  11. I love this one Richard. You did an amazing job on this Russian juggernaut. Your painting of the engine area is very realistic. Well done!

  12. Great job, Richard.
    I love how you brought the dark grey surface to life.

  13. Great work on that monster, Richard! I'd like a Fullback, but not at that price. Waiting to see KittyHawk's effort.

  14. Richard, it's wonderful! That beast can sure carry some ordinance!

    Your painting & detailing is excellent! Bravo!

  15. What can I add? Excellent job!

  16. That is awesome. Nice fighter/bomber with a beautiful paintjob.

  17. Very nice! Looks great with all the loadout, great paintjob as well!

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