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Minibase Su-33 Flanker-D


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Okay, the Su-27/30/33/35 Flanker family has to be one of the purtiest jets ever built. Sukhoi got the basic shape right from a looks standpoint. No idea on the rest but she's a looker. Except when camo'd as a crater.:lol:

This is Minibase's first kit release. It came out a couple years ago and I got it shortly after being released. 

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A different company, Tan Models had announced they were going to do.a 1/32 version which would have been 1) huge, and 2) awesome because huge, but sadly wasn't more than vapourware so I was happy this was announced. 

The other option for an Su-33 in 1/48 was the Sol conversion using the Academy kit as a base. I remember one of the shops near me had it in stock and I'd look at it but it wasn't cheap nor an easy conversion. 

Anyways, back to this kit, they've done a nice job in the packing. It's a full box but carefully packed. There's an inner lid of sorts. 

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You can build the the kit in either configuration, with wings, tailplanes, vertical tail and stinger folded or unfolded. 

The flipside of the inner lid has more artwork. 

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Finally the sprues. 

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The blue box has the missiles in them. They're one piece with all the fins attached. Some truly impressive moulding techniques there. 

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For my build, I picked up the Minibase detail set and some paint masks. 

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The detail set has 3D printed burner cans, landing gear,  seated pilot and seat harness. 

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Onto to assembly. The first two pages cover the ejection seat. 

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Yup, lots of tiny parts. The second page is almost completely devoted to the seat harness, so I'll see how that goes as I have the 3D printed one. 

Thankfully there are detailed colour callouts for everything which is nice. 

The first couple (five actually) parts are together which form the seat base. 

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More to come. 

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Thanks Martin! Hopefully it lives up to expectations.

So here's the 3D seat harness that's part of the detail set. 

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After cutting away the safety cage, I noticed it had the seatback and cushion moulded with the harness. 

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Which meant I had to pry off said parts that I had just glued to my seat. Thankfully I got to them in time. 

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With the 3D harness in place. It a perfect fit. 

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Painting it will be a bit of a challenge but that one part replaces just about every step on Page 2 of the instructions.

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That being said, the instructions for assembling the harness are suitably detailed and show you how to fold the PE bits and where they go. 

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Carl

WOW - I'm just blown away. The detail is amazing and devoting two full pages of the instructions to the ejection seat ... surely says how well it was thought out and the detail looks out of the world. The 3D harnesses and cushions - brilliant and - surely the way of the future.

Will be following the complete journey and hoping the Flanker stays front and center on your bench though completion. Going to be a gem:popcorn:

:construction: 

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Peter, the detail in this kit is really impressive. So far, the fit had been very good. But I've only made the ejection seat. 

That being said, here's the assembled ejection seat which I've used 18 parts for. Every one has gone where it's supposed to and I haven't had any fit issues. I still have to add 1 more plastic bit, plus 3 PE ones and the 3D printed belts and cushion. 

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The seat is painted now. 

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I then noticed I'd knocked one of the PE pieces off.

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Yup, that tiny dot is I think a lifting eyelet for the seat. 

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Back in place. 

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I'll get started on the belts next. 

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While I was working on the seat, I started the nose gear bay. 

There's a lot of detail crammed in here. Easily puts some 1/32 kits to shame. 

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One nice thing is they've made the detailed colour callouts a decent size. 

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I've started picking out the colour details as per the above. Hopefully it will look better after a wash. 

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Carl

Nice paint work and weathering on the seat. And absolutely amazed you found the PE piece knocked off. When I lose small parts, especially PE, they are history.

Right with you, the detail is amazing, instructions and color callouts look spot on and play a big part in making a complicated or any kit for that matter a fun and enjoyable build. :construction: 

 

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Okay, painting itty bitty details is not an idea of fun for me. Much respect to the folks who can do it.

Anyways, the nose gear bay is done. 

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I gave it a wash and it really helps to make the details pop. 

I've now started on the main gear bays. 

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Peter, this kit really impresses, especially as a first effort. That being said, there are some seriously small parts in the build. But so far they have all fit where they're supposed to. 

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I've started work on the intakes. The amount of detail that has been crammed in is truly impressive/scary. 

I started by adding some of the external details to the intake nacelles. 

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Then I added the probes to the intake trunking. There were some ejector pin marks to clean up first but they were the raised kind so I just needed to scrape them off. To mount the probes, I drilled through the intake wall from the outside which is the way they were moulded. 

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Then I did a test fit of the major intake bits starting with the lower vents.

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Then probably the biggest disappointment in the kit, the FOD mesh which should be well, mesh but is moulded solid. I have placed the upper intake trunk in place too.

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Then the upper lip of the intake. 

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Finally the main gear bay insert. Note the nice tight fit. No glue yet in any of these parts. 

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A view down the intake. Not a great one but everything lines up inside and there's no lip. 

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Now to repeat with the other side. 

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Carl

The detail is amazing and the fit looks awesome. Maybe the FOD mesh should have been PE? Of course the builder's skill has so much to with how well the assembly comes together and is done - yours looks perfect. For me, the hidden key is the instructions - if well done, they should be a plus in guiding the builder through the assembly and locating all the small parts, leaving no guess work as to alignment and placement. Surely seems as that's the case.

Looking mighty good :construction:

 

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After a bit of searching, I found some PE intake screens. Eduard make some but they're discontinued. Metallic Details has some as well. Turns out BNA from Australia had both in stock so I went with the Metallic Details version as they were cheaper. Hopefully I'll have them in a week or so. 

Meantime, I added some very small details to the fan face. You can see them on the left one and the right one will be next. I very much doubt these will be visible all the way down the intake trunk though. 

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Here's a question for cognoscenti, do the control surfaces on the Su-33 droop when they're parked? Most pics I've found have everything folded up which I don't want to do. I've only seen a couple pics of the plane parked and it looks like the control surfaces have a bit of droop but justel wanted to check. 

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It depends on the number of tires you put on top of them. Based solely on my subjective observation, they shouldn't be dropping by lack of pressure or weight (as it is in case of P-51 gear doors), usually as they are stored on the carrier, they are in relatively uniform positions , I would say "storage configuration" lock. Only deviations are the rudders. Lovely work Carl.

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Carl

Glad you were able to locate the intake screens and the tiny details you added look good and agree, will most likely never be seen - and I'm sure you feel good about adding them, which was the right move for sure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

While letting things on the Kai Eagle dry, I took a stab at the intake grilles. These are by Metallic Details and are a huge step up from the kit pieces. 

First step is to fold each length 90° so it's vertical. 

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Then the get attached to the cross members which are in one piece too.

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Last part is the grille. 

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The assembled FOD screen compared to the kit part. 

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