Sukhoi Su-27K / Su-33 
"Sea Flanker" 
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Sukhoi Su-27K / Su-33 "Sea Flanker" model in 1/32 scale 
(conversion based on the Trumpeter kit)

Building report
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Next mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only
The LEX and canard needs to be made from card and the forward fuselage section should get some adjustments to get a good fit. I cut open a slot on both right and left sides to accept some sort of glue support root. Also, a section of the fuselage at the slat area had to be removed. 

The canard and LEX were shaped from card and sanded. The shape and sizes were based on good scale drawings. The canards are separate parts, and a small hole was drilled to accept later on a metal pin as a rotation point. 

Adding this modification turned out not to be very difficult. 


Next mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only
The Sea Flanker also has a tank refuelling probe in next to the windscreen on the left cockpit side. A small hole was carved in with a file and drill. 


Steps 8 + 9: Next mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only
The wing of the naval Sea Flankers wider in chord and the trailing edge surfaces are different. The rear trailing edge is in fact closer to the horizontal stabilizers and vertical tail. This gives some interesting things to think of (see below).

In addition, the wing may be folded. I decided to go for this interesting folding option also. (You see even parked Sea Flankers with full pylons and "stores" still attached). 

Making the wing larger is best done first now by using thick card for inserting tapered sections at the chords. This is better done at different chord % positions at the upper and lower wing parts A1 & A4 resp. B1 and B4. You get a stronger wing than.

The extended chord is straight tapered and is 1/32 scale  9 mm at the root section and 6 mm at the tip section. This was double checked with the drawings obtained from the internet. 

The wingparts were cut with a razorsaw along the span, the cuts sanded and the tapered plastic card sections made to fit.
Clearly mark all separate parts to avoid confusion!
(Don't bother yet on the separate flaps and slats at this point; the flap and aileron/ flaperon hinge line is the black line in the picture; the red line is only a reference line I used with the drawings).

Another extra change was adding the outboard aileron/flaperon, which is present on the naval Sea Flankers. Always when the wings are folded, the flaperons droop "up" in order to make room for the vertical tails! Look at pictures and you'll see what is needed. 
The flaperons were thus separated from the upper and lower outboard wing sections. 

As the wing would be folded, another chordwise cut was made at the appropriate point for the Su-33 (looking at the scale drawings). The hinge line is outboard and next to the inboard pylon station. 

Similar cuts were made at the tapered plastic insert sections of card.  You have a lot of parts now! Give them a number to avoid confusion. 

Make re-inforcements into the wing parts but do not forget to leave some room in order to add later on a metal folded spar to fix the wing too. Next, all wing parts were glued on flat surfaces and let to dry. 

Some putty and sanding was obviously required. Also, some adjustments to panellines were made, some rivet details inscribed. The basic wings are now ready.

The wings take quite some work, but are a very prominent modifications obviously to get a correct Sea Flanker.


Lets move to the flaps and slats which need a similar treatment, making chordwise cuts. Also the flapsystems are a bit different on the Sea Flanker. Also special is that the Sea Flanker has an extra set of outboard ailerons. I supposed these were fitted for better manoeuvrability needed for carefull carrier approaches.

I did not use Trumpeter's solution of rods and metal hinges for the movable surfaces... not needed and it does not really work. 

Please note that the rear inboard trailing edge flaps are double flaps and that they also droop "reverse up" on a parked aircraft. The rib -gaps in the flaps were filled with card and putty and smoothed. Small weight saving holes were also drilled in.

The outboard slats at the canted outboard wing sections are always in a "reverse up" position on parked aircraft and the inboard slats always droop down as there is then no hydraulic pressure.

All in all a very interesting set of wings, flaps and slats.....
Lot of parts, needing carefull assembly and keeping your head straight....

Please note that the drooped trailing edge surfaces were glued and the gaps filled to get a smooth result. Later on, the with a Olfa p-cutter the hinge lines were inscribed.
Also note the aileron. 


Step 11: Fuselage assembly
After fitting the assembled Aires cockpit and wing root sections, the fuselage would be closed. But before that, drill holes in the ribs to accept metal rods later on for added strength. 

Also, (for the Su-33 only) I engraved on the upper surface between the engine fairings 2 extra  grids (I suppose that these are cooling vents). 

After assembly of the fuselage, set aside for lots of drying time. 
I needed some filler at the forward LEX areas, and at the rear next to the stabilizer rotation points.

Note that the larger wing also requires 2 small rear trailing edge sections at the fuselage - wing root area from card. 
The gap still present can be seen in the picture. 

The whole main fuselage assembly was now checked, filled and sanded before the nose was to added.
 


Step 12
The resin replacement nose of  Zactoman was set onto the front of the fuselage and as small correction were already done as to instructions, this gave no problems. Some filling and sanding was required to get a good end-result. 


NOTES: 
(1) the nose gear bay here is still seen red, which is not correct! It should be light grey.
(2) later on I discovered there should be a small recess / slot between the fairing and nose gear bay. Also the aft fairing on the nose gear door should have a slightly different shape . You may correct this on your kit. 


Step 15+16: fin assembly
These small fins were simply assembled.


 Steps 17+18 and steps with pylons and stores:
Were not yet dealt with, leave for later on. ( Please note however that the missiles in the kit are inaccurate in shape, I will take stores from the Trumpeter Mig-29K naval Flucrum kit in 1/32 scale). 

The maingear-strut fairings parts #28 + d21 are not correct for a Sea Flanker, these fairings are longer than on land based planes. Overall length of a fairing is about 8 cm.

As the Alamo missiles as in the kit are inaccurate anyway, I used the forward nose sections of the missiles parts G3,G4  to make the longer fairings.  A slot was also made. The fairing was blended in with some white glue.


Step 19 Nose gear , mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only: will be covered later on as I need to find 2 right sized wheels (15 mm diameter) as the naval Flanker has a twin wheel nose gear. 


Steps 20-22, mod for naval Sea Flanker Su-33 only
Main gear legs are thicker on naval Flankers to cope with higher loads. I simply twisted Scotch tape around the kit part. Note that I did not use the "springs" supplied in the kit.

 

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Created May 5, 2006