Sukhoi SU-35S Fighter Aircraft
Latest Update: July 10, 2015 - Adding weapons, details, decals, completing the model
The SU-35S Russian Air Superiotity Aircraft:
The latest, most modern version of this aircraft is the SU-35S Flanker. This single seat air superiority aircraft is officially known in the west as the Flanker-E, but is often refered to as the "Super Flanker."
This aircraft was designed to be able to go up against the latest US Air Force F-15 variants, the F-15C/D and F-15E, also to go up against the latest US Navy F-18 aircraft, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, and finally to go up against the western Euprean modern fighters, the Typhoon and the Rafael.
In addition, the Russians believe that it is capable of possibly holding its own against the vaunted, 5th generation stealth fighter, the US Air Force F-22 Raptor, althouhg this claim is seriously in doubt. Nonetheless, the Russians are building this aircraft as a stop gap against the Raptor until their own 5th generation stealth aircraft, the Sukhoi PAK FA is able to be brought into production.
The SU-35S incorporates Russian aerodynamic refinements that increase maneuvrability, improves avionics, provide longer range, and includes more powerful engines than earlier Soviet and Russian flanker aircraft. It should be noted that the dedicated and new SU-34 Fullback aircraft also have the longer range and more powerful engines.
The first prototype of what would later become the SU-35, was converted from an Su-27 and made its inital flight in June 1988. This was a very early attempt to get to what the Soviets and then later the Russians wanted in the SU-35. A dozen such aircraft were converted and they were intially designated the SU-27M. These aircraft were used by the Russian Knights aerobatic team. This initial design was them modified into a prototype with canards and thrust vectoring engines called the SU-37. This aircraft became an advanced technology demonstrator for the Russians.
In 2003, Sukhoi embarked on an all new modernization of the Su-27M to produce what Sukhoi called a 4++ generation fighter that they hoped would bridge the gap between Russian legacy Flankers and the planned Russian fifth generation fighter, the Sukhoi PAK FA. This new design removed the canards and air brake from the SU-37, but added a reinforced airframe, much improved avionics, a new AESA radar, new thrust-vectoring engines, and a reduced frontal radar signature. In 2008 this new Flanker prototype bagan a flight test regiment that ultimately involved four prototypes.
The fourth prototype was lost in a mishap in 2009. But the testing went on and the Russian military was very satisifed with the results. As a result, the Russian Air Force ordered 48 of these aircraft and they were designated the Su-35S. The first Su-35S took its maiden flight in May 2011, and Sukhoi delivered a second aircraft thay year.
Eight more were delivered in 2012, twelve each in 2013 and 2014, and the final fourteen aircraft of the intial order were expected to be delivered by the end of 2015 or early 2016. It is anticpated that a follow-on order of 48 will be made.
Known and anticpated basing for the SU-35 consists of:
Gromov Flight Research Institute - 6 aircraft
Some of the options include having the exhaust nozzles of the thrust vectoring engines shown in either a straight back configuration, or oirented with downward Thrust. Landing gear extended or retracted. Pilot in the cockpit or without. Horizontal stabilizers canted up or down, or normal. Using a flight/display stand or not. Showing the engine air intakes louvers opened or closed. And several others, including numerous armament options for air-to-air missiles, air-to surface missiles, rocket pods, bombs, etc.
The kit includes ten light greay colored sprues, one clear plastic sprue, and the uppoer and lower fuselage. Detail on the parts is exceleent.
There is a really good decal sheet for the prototype aircraft, but I intend to build production aircraft so will compliment those decals with some left over Russian production SU-27 aircraft decals to get the apporpriate numbering colors and actual numbers.
The paint scheme is for the prototype aircrafft as well, and it is quite good. But I will build the aircraft to a production paint scheme as shown with the production, darker blue scheme shown above.
The instructions are well laid out and straight forward. Intuitive...but also a little cramped.
There are well over 200 parts included in the kit, and the usage will vary depending on the options selected. I intend to show the aircraft on the ground with the gear lowered, with the vectored thrust angled down, with the horizontal contol surfaces canted for take off and maximum lift, the cockpit closed, but without a pilot.
Despite a minor issues with the instructions, the kit is overall a very good kit and should build up into a very decent SU-35 model.
This will add to my modern Russian aircraft selection. I have already built the Russian PAKFA Stealkth Fighter, a SU-27, a Mig-29, and the SU-34 in 1/72 scale. After this build, over time, I will build quite a few other Russian modern airccraft. They include:
- SU-33 Sea Flanker by Itakeri
I began by removing the parts for the cockpit and painting them. Though decals for the cockpit were included, I decided to hand paint the instrumentation. I then assembled the cockpit and the ejection seat. The seat is fairly well detailed. Once these were completed and assembled, I then glued the cockpit into the upper fuselage. The cockpit is fairly decent with a control stick, decent instrumentation, and a decent ejection seat. Here's how that looks:
Then it was time to build the air intakes and the engine nozzles. The air intakes are located on each side of the aircraft, undernetath the fuselage. They are an assembly of four parts on each side. I painted the interior of these and assembled them.
The kit comes with the option to build the nozzles either in a straight back orientation, or to build them oriented down. Since the aircraft has variable engine exhaust, I decided to show this with the engine nozzles canted downward. I painted and built these as shown and then gathered the horizontal and verytical control surfaces in preparation for assmbling the overall fuselage.
Now I was ready to assemble the fuselage. The aircraft comes with an upper and lower fuselage, the two vertical stabilizors, the two horizontal stabilizors (at the rear of the aircraft), the air intakes which I had assembled, the jet engine exhaust nozzles which I had assembled, and the cockpit assembly. I put all of these together, angling the horizontal stabilizors in a down postiton for takeoff.
I then painted the fuselage in its basic colors. I decided to use one of the production paint schemes for the aircraft. Although this Hasegawa model comes with decals and paint for one of the prototype aircraft, I will be depicting it in the darker blue upper fuselage and light blue lower fuselage production scheme shown in the first three pictures of this descrtiption/review.
That's looking very nice.
In my next session, I will add the landing gear, the landing gear doors, and the numerous pylons this aircraft is equipped with.
I started this session by assembling and painting the landing gear struts, and then assembling and painting the wheels/tires and then adding all of that to the aircraft.
I then carefully painted the canopy, and then gathered and painted the pylons that will hold the weapons for my SU-35. I also painted the landing gear doors. I then added all of these to the aircraft.
Once this was done, it was time to decide what weapons I wanted to outfit my SU-35S with. This is a multi-role aircraft and the kit comes with a myriad of weapons that can be added on the total of twelve harpoints on the wings and fuselage. Anything from Rocket Pods, to large air to surface missiles, to large laser guided bombs, and, of course numerous types of air to air missiles.
I decided to outfit the aircraft in a maximum air superiority role. This means twelve air to air missiles.
Then I had to determine which missile fit to give it. I dediced on the following:
2 x R60M AA-8 Aphid-B short range air to air IR missiles on the wing tips
I then assembled and painted these missiles with their initial, overall white color and let them dry. I arranged them as they will be loacted on the aircraft.
In my next session, I will paint these missiles accordingly with each of their distinctive markings, add them to the aircraft, and then add the decals to the model and hopefully complete the aircraft.
I began this session by detailing the missiles with their various destinctive markings, and then adding them to the aircraft. Twelve air-to-air missiles is a full load!
I them added the final details to the model. The various antennae, landing lights on the landing gear, etc.
All of this looked good:
Then it was time to add the various decals to the model. I made this aircraft number "08" of the twelve aircraft that have been delivered thus far with this darker blue color scheme. The red color scheme for the markings on the aircraft really look good.
At this point it was simply a matter of doing the touch-up painting and then painting the aircraft in the two coats of clear, dull coat.
Here are the finished pictures of the aircraft:
...and a few close ups or different angles:
All in all an excellent depiction of a prodction SU-35S for the Russian Air Force.
Schedule for Future Activities: July 10, 2015
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, probably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The completion of the US ARG was centered on the Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, it also included the 1980s refit of the World War II Iowa class battleship, Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS New Jersey, BB-62, also, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Bronco Model's 1/350 scale USS Coronado, LCS-4, a Flight IIA US AEGIS class destroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82, and a Ticonderoga AEGIS cruiser...all of these models which I already own.
The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its center piece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates, and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD comes out, I will use it to start building a Royal Navy ARG.
The completion of the French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gaulle, R91, the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These four vessels round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Pearle S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grasse with them.
The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It is escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class, Trumpeter’s 1/350 scale DDG-111 a Takinami Class DDG, and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu, one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. When a 1/350 scale JS Ixomuo is relased, I will readd it to the group. The Izumo callss is a larger, more capable VTOL carrier that Japanese is building to compliment the Hyugas. The Izumo is also more capable of embarking F-35B strike fighters if ever necessary.
The completion of the Russian CSG is centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Petr Velikiy by Trumpeter, the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumpeter, the Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy II DDG, Charabanenko, a Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN, and the new Yasen class Russian SSN, all in 1/350 scale.
I completed Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemenceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the < ahref="http://www.jeffhead.com/modelbuilds/bra- a12.htm">Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, CATOBAT carrier. This is the start of a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and other FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs, and an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
Years more worth of work!
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifications at my site:
...and most of their surface escorts at:
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