by: Milan Mitev [ ]
History One of the newest modifications of the famous Flanker - the Su-33 definitely is a legacy plane with a lot of history and unique features.
For example, it has small front wings, a.k.a. canards, which offer greater maneuverability and lift force – all important factors for flying at very low speeds and high angle of attack.
This requirement is important as the Su-33 was designed to operate mostly from aircraft carriers.
It is one of the most contemporary Sukhoi planes, and with this small kit from Zvezda - we can enjoy it in a wonderful miniature scale.
The ContentsThe 1/72 scale is typically a scale that offers limited options in building and displaying your model, but that is not the case with this model.
It is stored in a small cardboard box with outer casing from thinner cardboard. The box itself is thick and very rigid, and is blank, but most of the important information and photographic materials are depicted on all the sides of the outer wrapping.
Inside the box, we can come across only a few larger sprues, packed in two transparent bags, as well as several smaller sprues containing just a few parts.
Overall, the quality of the plastic is much much better, than I expected, and the only major issue is the “absolute” lack of riveting.
Everything else is immaculate – there are very small, thin and sharp details, the trailing edges of the control surfaces are so sharp that they look almost transparent, the two halves of the fuselage are huge and the basic surfaces are covered with panel lines.
For a 1/72 scale model – this Su-33 is of a very high quality and if we put off aside the “absolute” lack of rivets, it looks like this model has only advantages.
Main fuselage: It consists of upper and lower fuselage pieces, stored on individual sprues, which provide an easy test fit to get a better view at the overall silhouette of the plane.
Plenty of optional elements: Although a rather small model in 1/72 scale, almost a half of the plastic parts contain optional elements.
I even find it a little extraordinary and exceptionally surprising. For instance, let`s take the main wings: they can be displayed folded upwards like for a carrier deck display, as well as for a normal flying mode.
The tips of the stabilators also can be glued folded just like on the real plane. Not to mention all other optional parts for the wings, such as the flaps and the ailerons.
Cockpit: The canopy is crystal-clear and has no seamline in the middle, and could also be displayed open or closed.
There are two figures of pilots in the kit too – one seated and one standing figure, which offer many options for a diorama.
Intakes and landing gears: The intakes are very finely detailed and the leading edges are sufficiently sharp.
The landing gears are very complex and can be displayed open or retracted.
Loadouts: This kit features a limited amount of armament including different types of missiles and underwing pylons, but that`s enough to make a pretty impressive display of your model.
Diorama elements: Zvezda provided with the kit a mounting stand for the model if you choose to display it in flying formation. Or else, if you prefer the parked version – there is a boarding ladder and a standing figure of a pilot holding his helmet.
The canopy and the airbrake can be glued open or closed, and there are wedges for the tires too.
InstructionsInstruction manual and color scheme guide: they are all-in-one type and are displayed on a big sheet folded a couple of times to look like A4 size page. They are black and white, and are easy to understand.
The color guide offers only two variants for painting the model and all the recommended paints are mentioned too.
Decals:A big and long page with decals has plenty of big and small decals, and stencils.
They look right in nuance and contrast, while the intense blue color of the carrier sheet itself is interesting.
There is a complimentary sheet along with all other paper materials, showing basic information and guidelines, and on different languages too.
ConclusionThe kit in brief: Such a wonderful Su-33 kit! Although very small – 1/72 scale, it offers a myriad of options that normally one could expect from kits from the larger scales.
All these advantages make this kit not so easy for assembly, but the good quality of the parts should turn it into a simple, easy and truly enjoyable build.
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