Sukhoi Su-27K / Su-33 
"Sea Flanker"
[Page 3]

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

Building report


Step 23
The various antennas were not (yet) installed and to be left for later on. Many of the parts are not needed on a Su-33.


The naval Sea Flankers seem to have slightly different pylons for carrying the "stores" / ordnance. 

The wing pylons top sections are not open but closed. You can use the pylons of the kit with some modification. On the wing pylons, I closed the gaps with some card. The aft section of the pylon on some planes are also a bit simpler; I cut off the rear round stub, but sometimes you see also pylons with the stub (so pick what you want). 

The under fuselage pylons can be used as supplied in the kit, but a small modification is needed at the rear pylon as the tail hook is attached here with a fairing. This as made from some card. (On some Naval Flankers you can also see a very large central pylon for  a very large anti-ship missile). 

The pylons under the intakes on naval Flankers are different as compared
to the kit's pylons. The two stubs of a pylon (parts B9+B10) can be removed and a single fairing made of less height. 

The pylons are also attached a bit inboard under the intake and overlap part of the intake louvres. Pieces a thin card and white glue were used to close the gaps. 

Step 26
The horizontal stabilizers will be mounted a bit angled down and this  requires that the forward sections of the fairings (part nrs E33+E34) to be removed with a razor saw.

Wing hinges
The naval Flanker have outboard wings sections that can be folded up at an angle to save space on the carrier deck. The hinges were made with card and plastic tube using metal rods to get strength. 

Quite some work is needed as you need to align all the stuff with also the vertical tails and inboard fuselage. 

The outboard winges got a similar "hinge treatment". Pylons were mounted on the outboard wing panels.

Step 38 (with SU-33)
The small fairings in top of the vertical tails are in the other way around on the Sea Flanker; the bigger fairing should be below the small fairing.  A panel was cut out on both fins and reversed.  The vertical fins also needed some little filler at their base to close the gaps.

Step 37
The windscreen and main canopy was obtained from the Zactoman set. The parts supplied are excellent. (see some notes for example the windshield on  Page 1 here.... ).

Some work is needed here as the Zactoman IRTS part can  not be used straight away as on the naval Flanker this is not on the center, but right offset. I cut off  the IRTS section from the Zactoman part as it would be re-used.

I first carefully marked where to cut of the excess plastic and used scissors here. The canopy part was checked to fit with the model. The cut edges were sanded smooth. Next, the windscreen was separated again with scissors. As a protection measure, I taped the clear areas on both the rear canopy and the clear windscreen, leaving only the edges and framing to be seen.
note "longer windshield area" 
Next came the process to check the windscreen fit combined with the instrument cover and HUD.  The etched metal HUD turned out to be a bit to heigh. I removed it and will install it later on. 

Next, the instrument cover and surrounding areas were painted very dark gray as this would be impossible to reach after the windshield would have been fitted. 

After paint drying, the windscreen was cemented on, and the edges carefully filled with putty. 

The IRTS was put off set and all gaps and the area streamlined with putty. As the clear areas were covered with tape, the gaps below the windscreen were filled in with putty. After 30 minutes drying time, I used nailpolish remover to smoothen things up. 
This prevents any damage and works nicely.

First checking of overall fit
Now, the model was to be made ready to receive its first spray coat of light grey to check any flaws. The slats, flaps and pylons were attached to the wings. The inboard slats were also set into position. 

The gear doors, stabilizers and all other small parts were identified and set aside ready for spraying. The detailed cockpit, windscreen insides, and insides of gearbays were masked off with tape and tissue.

Here you see the overall pylon configuration under the fuselage.

After completing a final check up of the overall grey SU-33 and the various sub-assemblies, it was time to add the colour scheme.

Looking at various pictures, you will see many different colourschemes on also the naval Flankers. For the Su-33 a particular plane was picked found on the internet with plenty of "walk around" pictures.

At  you see very nice pictures of a  Su-33 "Red 80" with a Tiger on its tail!  It seems that the "normal" Flanker colours were used also on this naval  Flanker with rather sharp demarcation lines between the different colours.

XTRACOLOR has the Flankers enamel colors in their range with X601 medium blue, X602 light blue and X603 blue/grey

Spraying on takes far less time than the masking, but it is extremely important to take your time here. First, I masked off the cockpit, nose, windscreen and wheel bays. Then came in the airbrush.

Starting with the lighter grey/blue X602, the overall model and the various sub-assemblies were given an overall coat. The trick when spraying XTRACOLOR is to use for thinning a mix of 20% white spirit, 20%  thinner and 60% paint.

After 24 hrs drying time, next was the tideous task of masking off the particular areas on the upper surfaces of the model. I used Revell transparant masking foil and some Tamiya tape in areas. As the picked out Su-33 has a pretty complex scheme, this took quite some time (about 3 hours).

Than the X601 medium blue was sprayed on. After 24 hours, the next and final masking was done, putting on the X603 blue/grey color.

But then you're not ready yet.....

On some areas you will find white antenna panels. And what about all those timy small metallic leading edges on the vertical tails, wings, stabilizer and... canards! Also the engine air intakes need an edge here. 

The engine exhaust area got a mix of Humbrol aluminium "metal coat", Testor metalizer "aluminium" and the exhaust pipes themselves also a coat of  Testor metailzer "titanium".  Yep, it's all in the masking. 

The inner surfaces of the gear doors got a coat of bright red (not yet seen in the pictures).

Overall it took about four days and 20 "working hours" to apply the colours. The end-result was quite OK I guess, so the work was worth the effort. The Sea Flanker came to life with it's colours on and looks a bit like a lizard with those typical Flanker colours.

The markings for the Russian Navy Su-33 Sea Flanker "Red 80" with the Tiger symbols have to be made with decal as there are no commercial Sea Flanker decals sets in 1/32 scale. 

I used good pictures to copy the patterns in a picture editing program, sized it to the correct dimensions and printed the patterns onto Bare Metal foil  sheets: 1 sheet of CLEAR inktjet decal paper and 1 sheet of White inktjet decal paper.
After printing and drying, the inkts were sealed with Microscale liquid decal film. 

The pattern made you can see here; download for your personal use as you see fit.... vertical height of the rectrangle should be 11 cm on 1/32 scale.


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(c) Copyright "designer"/ All rights reserved/ Amsterdam The Netherlands. 
Created September 15, 2006