The Su-27 canopy from Zactomodels

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   Canopy detail set
For the kit: Su-27 Trumpeter
Scale 1:32
   Manufacturer: Zactomodels
Publishing date: 08.03.05
Sergey Archakov


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 straight:

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 correct shape.

Compare it with the real one and you will see no difference.

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 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)

Review and set photos by Sergey Archakov 2005