Zvezda 1/72 scale Sukhoi Su-50 (T-50)
I was surprised by how well the parts in this model kit fit overall.
Outstanding fit; pilot and stand included; clear instructions
Rough plastic; inaccurate color references
Injection-molded, 73 parts, decals
Looking remarkably similar to the United States’ YF-23 and F-22 Raptor, the Sukhoi Su-50 (T-50) is Russia’s answer to the West’s “fifth-generation fighters.” Funded by Russia and India, the T-50 made its maiden flight on January 29, 2010, and is slated to begin service in 2015.
Zvezda’s 1/72 scale T-50 is the first kit of this aircraft. Options include: standing or seated pilot; landing gear up or down (a stand is included); and a boarding ladder. I decided to make use of the stand and pose my jet in flight with the gear up.
The 10-step directions include a parts-tree breakdown and a brief description of the T-50. The 10 easy-to-follow steps made assembly easy. Parts are few (73), but are nicely detailed. However, the plastic has a rough texture, and the recessed detail is a bit shallow. Still, the detail is consistent. The cockpit is nicely appointed, although there’s no way to know how accurate it might be.
As to be expected with most modern jet fighter models, the intakes take a bit of work to get the seams worked out. Having the gear up posed a challenge because it was tough to get the landing gear doors flush with the fuselage. I was surprised at how well the windscreen and canopy fit, however. The fit of the two fuselage halves was also very smooth and left very little sanding or filling to be done.
The instruction sheet gives you a great paint color chart and a diagram to help with you with painting the model, but I took issue with its accuracy. The directions call for Testors Model Master medium gray (No. 1721), light ghost gray (1728), and flat sea blue (1718). But after checking my reference photos, the medium gray seemed a little too gray with not enough blue; I decided to go with Model Master intermediate blue instead, a much better match.
After a gloss coat, I applied the decals and had no problems at all. A coat of Testors Dullcote after the decals produced a suitably flat finish.
My T-50 took about 15 hours to build, much less than I expected. I was surprised by how well the parts fit overall. Now, if 1/48 and 1/32 scale versions of this jet would come out …