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Jon Fitzgerald

Wolfpack Su-33

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Hi everyone, well it's been sometime coming, but here is my first ARC build!

I've wanted to build an Su-33 in 1/48 for years, and up until recently SOL's out of production resin conversion kit was the only choice. So I was really please when Windmark and then Wolfpack released sets.

This build will involve a lot of surgery to Academys base SU-27 kit, and substantial aftermarket items. It has been the most expensive build of my life so far, but I am really excited to build an accurate as possible Su-33.

Here's the Shopping list:

Wolfpack Su-33 set

Academy Su-27

Miniarm Su-27 corrected radome (originally I was debating whether or not to use Wolfpacks nose section or Windmarks)

Miniarm R-27T missiles

Miniarm R-27R missiles

SOL R-73 missiles

Aires Su-27 cockpit

Aires Su-27 exhausts

Turbine Su-27 PE engine covers

Turbine Modern Russian pilots

NH Detail Su-33 PE ladder

Begemot Su-33 aftermarket Decals

AKAN paints Russian Naval Aviation Paint Set

DSC01017.jpg

In addition I am going to Scratch build a Russian Deck Tractor for a diorama scene from the Admiral Kuznetsov:

Kuznetsov Tractor

Photo copyright scalemodels.ru

I plan to make a diorama scene with deck crew and pilot based on some of these reference photos:

Su-33 on Kuznetsov

Photo Copyright Rusarmy.com

Su-33 Deck Scene

Photo Copyright Rossiya Vesti News Network

At first I thought that the Wolfpack extras were fantastic and I decided to go this route. However after having seen the two companies parts side by side and after discussion here on ARC and with my friend Tanel from Turbine Models, I don't think I would buy the wolfpack boxing again. In hindsight I would try to get the original Windmark set. Wolfpacks extras are okay but not ideal. The detail and quality of their suggested replacement parts compared to Windmarks originals is much less, and the extras such as the cockpit, ejection seat, Resin wheels, and Sorbtsiya pods are not perfect and quite crude.

For example The Sorbtsiya pods have issues and are not totally correct, the Resin wheels are just resin copies of Academys original wheels (I will probably bite the bullet and go for Equipage wheels), and the cockpit while fine for some maybe was a little to crude for me. So I replaced it with the excellent Aires set. Also Wolfpack like Windmark forget to give you any resin engine nozzles, which are sorely missed. Again Aires came to the rescue here.

So in review (annoyingly there was a lack of online reviews of this kit when i ordered), Wolfpack don't really offer you anything to make this a must have set. Windmark plus their additional Sorbtsiya pod set would be more cost effective really as others have suggested on ARC.

Having said that I will probably use some of the parts and I am glad that I did get this set. Even if the cost was a little higher I ultimately had the choice in the parts I wanted to use.

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Here are some side by side comparisons for you guys:

Cockpit tub:

DSC01506-1.jpg

Wolfpack left, Aires right. While Wolfpacks cockpit is okay, I much preferred the finer detail and casting on Aires set.

I found it interesting that both Windmark and Wolfpack approach the nose section differently so differently. Windmarks nose is great, the radome is correct (I discussed this with Tanel who did the master for Miniarms Su-27 radome), and the surface detail and panel lines are very fine crisp and detailed. However the nose section is not hollow. Meaning you cannot insert an after market tub.

Wolfpack provide a nose section that is hollow to accommodate their own cockpit tub, but by doing so have had to remove the nose to allow them to cast it hollow. Wolfpack suggest using the Academy kit Radome... which is ridiculous as this is totally the wrong shape. Also the panel lines and scribed details look rushed and are no way as fine as Windmarks.

Wolfpack's biggest pro is the hollow nose.

DSC01492-1.jpg

In the end of the day though I just couldn't overlook those panel lines on Wolfpacks nose..

Windmark

DSC01509.jpg

Wolfpack

DSC01510.jpg

I decided to scrap the wolfpack parts and dremmel the windmark nose to death so I could fit the excellent Aires cockpit tub. It took ALOT of work but was definitely worth the effort.

DSC01495.jpg

And wah la!

The Aires cockpit tub inside the modified Windmark nose.

DSC01497-1.jpg

DSC01498.jpg

DSC01500.jpg

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Tell me about it. :D

When i got it I was really excited... then i looked at the amount of surgery needed on the Academy parts!!!!

I'm really enjoying it so far though.

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Thanks! I plan to just take things carefully and enjoy the build. It's one of my favourite fighter designs. I just love the shape and the lines on the Su-33. :)

As mentioned above Academy provide the wings as one piece on the fuselage which is great, but means that a lot of cutting is needed to fit the the aftermarket parts. I was a bit anxious over this but I think it's been good for me to push myself and just give it a go. I've done conversions with resin parts before on AFV's but never to this extent on aircraft.

The main problem is a lack of good instruction sheet. Windmarks instructions are missing in this boxing and Wolfpack give you one fold out poster that offers two very small images of where to cut, which are not clear at all!

Lucky for me my good friend Tanel came to the rescue again and made for me these two images showing the exact correct place for cuts. Also he advised me where to cut and pointed out that the suggested cut lines from Wolfpack and Windmark are both incorrect as they would make the wings too short. Instead you have to cut a little further for a more correct shape.

photo1.jpg

photo3.jpg

Here is the finished upper fuselage half. Time consuming and a little daunting to do, but essential for this conversion.

DSC01504-1.jpg

Once the upper fuselage half was done you have to turn your attention to the lower half. Again Tanels pictures were a life saver.

photo2.jpg

photo4.jpg

You also have to cut out the plastic Academy wheel bay if you plan to use Wolf packs resin wheel bay which I am.

Here's the finished part:

DSC01511.jpg

Now a quick dry fit showing the parts in place on the chopped up Academy upper fuselage

DSC01513-1.jpg

The fit is generally good, but a little filling work will be need to be done in some areas to make it seamless.

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Thanks guys! Great to have you onboard!

I'm planning to build a scenic base as well with a deck elevator like the first reference pic. I wanted to try and add a 3D base to give it a little depth and something different.

I'll build the plane and the tractor first, and then move onto the Kuznetsov base! :)

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Looks like this will be complicated and impressive build indeed.

One thing, not to be ********, but is that resin dust we see in the pictures? I recommend to be careful with it, as it is very nasty stuff. Don't sand around the bench, and use mask. When it gets in the lungs, it stays there.

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Hi yes it resin dust. I'm using a respirator and washing down the table after sanding and cutting. Resin dust is nasty stuff indeed so I always use masks and keep my workbench as tidy as possible after working.

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wow!!!

impressive surgery!!!

wil follow closely!!

have fun!! ;)

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Thanks for taking the time to check out the blog guys and post!

Much appreciated! :)

I'll be adding some updates and more pictures later this afternoon. I've moved onto construction of the Sea Flanker now, and had a whole load of fun with Aires Photo Etch seatbelts! :woot.gif:

Edited by Jon Fitzgerald

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Hey Jon, I've seen your armor builds at Armorama forum... Didn't knew you build aircraft as well, this is gonna be great. best regards.

José.

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Hey Jon, great work on the surgery, I will be watching this topic with great interest. Good luck with your build :thumbsup:

Could you please, post some links, as to where I could obtain these items listed below :-

Miniarm Su-27 corrected radome

Miniarm R-27T missiles

Miniarm R-27R missiles

Turbine Su-27 PE engine covers

Turbine Modern Russian pilots

NH Detail Su-33 PE ladder

TIA

Ken

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Thanks José!

Yes I like aircraft also. In fact I've found myself working more on aviation subjects at the moment than AFV's! I go in phases, but I like both topics equally. I've only recently moved in aircraft though, I started off with a 1/35 scale Trumpeter Hind as it was a scale I was used too, then played around a bit and decided my favorite scale for aircraft is 1/48. It gives me enough to add lots of detail but also makes it more practical to store and display!

I'd love to build lots of 1/32 planes, but I think my wife wouldn't be very happy! :thumbsup:

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Hey Jon, great work on the surgery, I will be watching this topic with great interest. Good luck with your build :thumbsup:

Could you please, post some links, as to where I could obtain these items listed below :-

Miniarm Su-27 corrected radome

Miniarm R-27T missiles

Miniarm R-27R missiles

Turbine Su-27 PE engine covers

Turbine Modern Russian pilots

NH Detail Su-33 PE ladder

TIA

Ken

Hi Ken! Thanks for posting. I'd be happy to help.

Miniarm Su-27 corrected radome

Miniarm R-27T missiles

Miniarm R-27R missiles

All three of these kits I ordered from Russia via www.armor35.ru these guys specialise in AFV kits and aftermarket, but there are some hidden gems for aviation modellers. Because Miniarm of course produce mostly AFV conversions, but they also made these Su-27 parts, armor35 stock both. Armor35 also stock scale lenses for aviation subjects from Belarusian model firm ELF.

Turbine Su-27 PE engine covers

Turbine Modern Russian pilots

These I ordered directly from Turbine models, via Tanel. He has a great range and both his resin figures and Photo Etch accessories are fantastic quality, and very well researched. Tanel has a welath of experience and also did masters for Miniarm in the past. He doesn't have a website I think, but his items can be ordered by emailing him at info @ pronks-graniit.ee.

NH Detail Su-33 PE ladder

This I ordered from Armory. http://armory.in.ua Actually I havent received this yet as my order is still processing. Some delays due to the AKAN paint set being out of stock. In fact after discussion with Tanel I probably won't use this part anyway, Turbine now make a ladder that is for use with the Su-33 that is more accurate (when I placed the order I didn't know this). I might change my order with Armory and ask them to remove the item from the basket.

Hope this helps!

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I've moved onto construction now of the fuselage and the cockpit, since this will need to be painted before its put inside.

The Photo Etch seat belts on Aires ejector seat were very soft and easy to work with. I know some folks don't like PE belts as they can be a bit stiff and sit unnaturally, but I found the material on this set to be easy to work with and quite supple. I considered making these out of tamiya tape but the complex nature of the belts and the various buckles and bits put me off.

chair1.jpg

DSC01771.jpg

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Thankfully there is very little PE for the main tub itself.

DSC01776.jpg

When the seat is in, the cockpit really looks the part.

DSC01781.jpg

It's true that once its inside the nose a lot of it is lost from view, but I'll know its there! :)

DSC01784-1.jpg

And these bad boys were my fluke find of the year!

DSC01786.jpg

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:thumbsup:

Great so far mate - nice surgery too, well done!

Where did you get the paints from by the way?

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Hi Loki, thanks!

Do you mean AKAN paints?

Well at the moment I'm trying to order a set via Armory, (my order is still backordered) but if this isnt possible I may use Linden Hill as they also stock them too. I've heard a lot of good things about AKAN, but I've never used them myself so I'm looking forward to trying.

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Construction is going well but I hit a small snag. I had been discussing the pros and cons of the Windmark kit with other modellers and it was pointed out that the canards are incorrect. I had assumed that this referred to the actual canard wings, but it was in fact relating to the main canard section that attaches to the Academy fuselage. In my enthusiasm for the build I glued the canard sections onto the Academy fuselage already, along with the wing sections and tail... :bandhead2:

So it was time to break the tools out and carefully remove the resin canard parts from the fuselage to continue with the surgery on the kit.

Here is an excellent diagram showing the error and where correction is needed. The kit is laid out over the top of scale drawings from Russian Magazine Aviatsiya i Vremya (A i V), many thanks to Tanel for sharing this and pointing out the discussion thread on Scalemodels.ru.

photo12.jpg

Since the line required for the cut runs through the middle of some panel detail this will need to re-scribed once the extension is finished

DSC01788.jpg

The upper fuselage also needed cutting, but thankfully panel lines can be avoided here, so no re-scribing to this part. This was cut once everything had been stuck together! Argh...

DSC01789.jpg

Still, a little bit of patience and some care and it wasn't a problem, mission success!

DSC01792.jpg

Plasticard strips were then added in preperation for the fuselage extension

DSC01793.jpg

Next up, adding new fuselage skin to the plasticard skeleton :)

Edited by Jon Fitzgerald

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wow wow and woooooww!

Impressive cutting!! ;-)

bye!

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