Notwithstanding it's slightly inaccurate cowling (see HERE
for a review of Vector's excellent correction set), Zvezda's Sukhoi Su-2 is really a very nice kit. However, one moan you'll find voiced against it is that it depicts the early “square cowled” M-88-powered type, when the later M-88B machines sported some far more interesting camouflage and markings – and so would be more appealing to many modellers.
By all accounts Zvezda are not planning to release the later version (any time soon, at least), and the design of the kit certainly doesn't indicate that one is planned. Luckily, Sergey Kosachev has the answer and has produced a beautiful Vector resin conversion set to fill the gap.
VDS48-073 Su-2M-88B (Late) – Cowling, Spinner and Engine
Vector's set totally replaces the kit cowling and engine. The new one-piece cowling is essentially perfectly cast and captures the more rounded shape of the later style. Also included is the larger and more bulbous spinner, complete with a delicately reproduced starter claw clutch for a starter unit. As with the square-type correction set, the new cowling will also be much easier to install than the kit's original three-part affair.
The new M-88B engine is almost a kit in its own right, with 34 beautifully detailed parts. The crankcase features an integral cylindrical cover behind the spinner, and separate cylinders and individual mounts for each pushrod. The push rods themselves are be added from thin wire or styrene rod (not supplied), and if you also add an ignition harness and other wiring the completed engine should look amazing (remember, of course, the larger spinner and smaller cowl opening will hide a lot of extra detailing).
The set includes a small sheet of instructions which show the basic engine construction, along with some minor modifications needed for the kit. You'll need to open up air intakes in the wing-roots, and scribe a new access panel on the starboard fuselage side (along with filling the kit's original one of the port side). The instructions show the shape of this panel, but it would have been nice if they'd included a full-size template to save time measuring and scanning to make your own.
The conversion will present no difficulties for experienced modellers, but the complexity of the engine and the small amount of surgery required will offer newcomers an extra challenge – nothing too hard, and a good way to try your hand at using aftermarket resin conversions for the first time.
Vector kits and detail sets are distributed by the following retailers:
Vector's conversion set is beautifully produced – as usual, master-modeller Sergey Kosachev's work is second to none. The new front end will result in a very different looking Su-2 – indeed many people think the later style cowling and spinner look much nicer than the original design (and it's hard to disagree), but for me the deal sealer is simply the wealth of interesting new painting options this set opens up, making this conversion irresistible. Highly recommended.
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