When few years ago Trumpeter, the Chinese manufacturer
of scale models, announced the beginning the designing Flanker model in
1/32 scale, the whole modelers world stood motionless. When first
pictures were released the euphoria of the expectations faded down. Then
finally the model was released last year and when the first reviews
appeared in magazines or online there wild discussions started among
modelers. Someone was happy to get at last the model of this beautiful
aircraft in his favorite scale, someone was upset by the accuracy of the
kit and pointed to various lack in accuracy, details etc.
But some modelers having analyzed those disputes about
pluses and minuses of the model, and having estimated their abilities,
decided to design and produce aftermarket sets correcting those accuracy
issues and or detailing the Trumpeter kit. In both cases those sets had
the same purpose – to let a modeler to build the model looking as real
as possible in 32nd scale.
One of the most significant problems of the model,
which is noticeable to any modeler who has seen real Su-27, is wrong
shape of the front part of the canopy.
In the Trumpeter kit it is too rounded
from sideview, while the same part on the real aircraft is absolutely
Therefore, the question was – how to correct it. The first thought – to
make the new canopy. But there is a problem that many modelers have no
experience in this, some of modelers simply do not have time and desire
to do that. So, as an exit route, one could wait until some aftermarket
company would release a vacuform canopy in correct shape.
And the rescue came. But this time not from big
producers of aftermarket and out of a “black box”. The rescue came from
a modeler whose enthusiasm let him to make a research and to produce a
kit correcting the shape of the canopy and adding additional details to
the canopy mechanism, which is very well seen when the canopy is open.
Chris Wilson, a.k.a. Zactoman (ARC
forum) designed and build this set a little review of which I would
like to present to your attention.
The set consists of 12 resin parts and one-piece
vacuform canopy. There is also printed charts with radio frequencies to
put them on canopy frame.
All the parts are of very high quality with very fine
details on them.
You will notice that OLS-27 consists of 4 separate parts. Chris proposes
to use the clear part from Trumpeter kit. The details of OLS-27 is
incredible. You can see on the real aircraft that there is a kind of
metal “belt” across the windshield:
Chris managed to model this part of
resin. It is very soft and flexible, so you can easily glue it correctly
to the right place.
It is also very interesting how Chris designed inner
part of the canopy where opening mechanism is located and the frame of
the canopy itself.
The real mechanism looks very complicated:
but Chris offers to
completely change a detail from “the box” with the one from his set.
This part imitates very realistically the real mechanism. You can even
see some wiring made by Chris.
The canopy itself is vacuformed in one piece and in
order to make it open you will need to cut it.
The cutting line is shown
by slightly raised canopy frames, so it is difficult to make any
mistake. But the most important thing about the canopy is that is in
Compare it with the real one and you will see no
Unfortunately when I was writing this review I did not
have instruction sheets ready. But as far as I know Chris will include
into the instruction pictures of how to put all the parts together. So,
whoever lucky buyer of this set will be, it will not be a problem for
him to build the set properly.
In the end, I would like to inform you that Chris has
opened his own aftermarket company Zactomodels which will sell this set.
Chris thinks that the price will be USD30 plus s&p. In my opinion this
is a very reasonable price for the set, especially when it corrects so
many problems and adds extra details to your model.
If you would like to order this set please send an
e-mail to Chris. At present Chris accepts pre-orders as he is
producing additional details for the set. I was told that it will
include photo-etched mirrors for the canopy! Great idea!
Chris also will have his web-site
http://www.zactomodels.com fully working soon. So you will be able
to get all ordering info from there.
We will very much appreciate if when ordering the set
from Chris you would mention that you read this review.
The set is highly recommended!
(all pictures of Su-27 © Maxim Kirichenko, pictures of
the kit are taken by me, the picture of Su-27 model are by Narita)