Platz 1/72 SU-27SM2/3 Flanker B

The Sukhoi Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth-generation fighters such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle, with 3,530-kilometre (1,910 nmi) range, heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability. The Su-27 was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations. The Su-27 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985. The primary role was long range air defence against American SAC B-1B and B-52G/H bombers, protecting the Soviet coast from aircraft carriers and flying long range fighter escort for Soviet heavy bombers such as the Tu-95 “Bear”, Tu-22M “Backfire” and Tu-160 “Blackjack”. The Su-27SM (Flanker-B Mod. 1) is a mid-life upgraded single seat Russian Su-27S, featuring technology evaluated in the Su-27M demonstrators.

Su-27SM2: 4+ gen block upgrade for Russian Su-27, featuring some technology of the Su-35BM; it includes Irbis-E radar, and upgraded engines and avionics.
Su-27SM3: The same as the Su-27SM but is built new rather than a mid-life upgrade.

There’s been several releases of the Flanker B since the early 90s up to 2016, but most have been re-releases of earlier kits with new decals or some new parts. This particular kit was released by Zvezda in 2014 and has also been reboxed by Revell and Academy. If we don’t count reboxings of older sprues it’s the most recent kit that was released and the fact that 2 other companies have also reboxed it gives us a good idea as to its quality.

The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box and inside are one bag of sprues, a decal sheet and 2 double sided sheets of glossy paper with the instructions. The kit contains:

  • 189 plastic parts on 7 sprues
  • 7 clear parts on one sprue

The instructions are very clearly laid out on nice big diagrams. Step 11 seems to be an information only step, in Japanese. I don’t know what it says, but I didn’t see anything obvious that I needed to do here. The colour charts for painting the 2 options are very good indeed, nice big full colour diagrams with everything clearly laid out. The colours are called out in Mr Color and Model master. My only note here is to slow down a little when working out which colour is which as everything is labelled with letters and some bigger letters are used to describe a colour made of 2 other colours which are themselves labelled with letters.  If you were to rush into it you could make a mistake.

The plastic itself is finely detailed with small attachment points and I didn’t see any ejector pin marks in awkward places. The cockpit uses decals for the instrument panels and there are no raised details. The PE sets for this aircraft offered by Platz will look nice in here.

There are 2 decal options offered where the only real differences are a slightly different darker blue used in the camouflage and one is red 76 and the other is red 82:

  • Su-27SM2, Lipetsk 2013
  • Su-27SM3, Krymsk, Krasnodar Kral 2011.

This kit is availbe from Platz’s website for about $54.00.

Overall this is a very nice kit and I can see why now 3 manufacturers have reboxed Zvezda’s original 2014 kit. Platz have added some extra bonus materials of their own to make this their own. If you want a 1/72 Flanker B then this is the kit to go for right now.

Many thanks to Platz for sending the kit along for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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