Modeling the Trumpeter 1/72 Su-15TM Flagon
with Quickboost Corrected Nose and Pitot Tube
By  Scott Bregi, IPMS# 32683

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Trumpeter 1/72 Su-15TM "Flagon", Kit# 01623, MSRP: $35.95
Quickboost 1/72 Su-15 Corrected Nose, QB# 72176, MSRP: $7.99
Quickboost 1/72 Su-15 Pitot Tube, QB# 72173, MSRP: $5:99

The Su-15 was developed to replace the Su-11 interceptor during the 1960s. Powered by two engines and utilizing twin side inlets, these design changes freed up space in the new solid nose for a large radar, and powerful engines were installed enabled the Su-15 to fly considerably faster than any known Western aircraft of the time.

The SU-15TM introduced a "kinked-delta" wing planform of greater span and a more aerodynamic ogival nose. In addition, the electronics, engines, and armaments were continually upgraded so that the Su-15 remained a formidable high-speed interceptor through the 1980s. Some later models have been reported as the Su-21, but apparently this designation was never applied to any members of the Su-15 family.

The Su-15 gained infamy as the Soviet aircraft that shot down Korean Air Flight 007 after it strayed over Sakhalin Island in 1983 killing all 246 passengers and 23 crew. It is this plane that is the subject for my build.

The kit comes packed in Trumpeters characteristic heavy cardboard box. The kit consists of 98 flash free parts molded on five sprues molded in light grey plastic and one clear sprue. The kit includes decals for three acft. Trumpeter is to be commended for the restraint they showed when it came to the finely rendered engraved panel lines, finer that some other kits that Trumpeter has produced to date. I feel are just right for the scale.

This kit was a breeze to assemble with the only issue I could find was installing the cockpit and front landing gear sill. Assembly was as straightforward as could be. Construction began with the cockpit which is the only let down on this otherwise fine kit. I added additional details from scrap styrene and decals from the scrap box. I painted the cockpit with Testor's Model Master Soviet interior blue-green. After the cockpit and nose wheel tub were installed the fuselage was closed up. Construction continued on with noted problems.

I added detail to the main wheel wells consisting of hydraulic lines and ribs. One major note is I think Trumpeter has left out parts that were included in the 1/48th scale release, notably the nose wheel retraction/traction strut. One can see the locating points on the sidewalls but no part is included to install. On a negative note the nose wheels were about twice the size of the actual ones. After installing them the nose gear was 3 mm wider than the nose gear bay. I scrounged a set of Fujimi A7-D nose wheels that were a perfect match in detail and dimensions for the actual wheels. All seams were cleaned up using Tamiya putty and a coat of Mr. Surfacer. There were a few sink marks that had to be filled but sanded out nicely when using a block sander. It was at this time I added the Quick Boost Corrected nose. No cutting required, just place it on the nose and secure with your favorite flavor of CA glue. Just make sure the bottom of the nose is at the bottom. See review at the end of this article for details.

The model was given a quick coat of Surfacer 1000 to check for flaws and those that were founded were quickly dispatched with a little surfacer 500 and 600-800 grit wet or dry. The model was given a base coat of Alclad Aluminum. Various panel were masked off and painted various shades of Alclad but using a little restraint as Soviet Su-15TM's were given an overall clear lacquer coating but most access panels were not and this caused them to take on a darker appearance than the surrounding airframe. Because of this most of the various panels were masked off with Scotch brand Low tack magic tape. This was accomplished by laying down a strip of tape and tracing the outline of the panel with a new #11 X-acto knife blade. This allowed me to mask off a number of panels at the same time. I saved all masks until the model was finished as a just in case that I had to go back and re-spray an area. These were sprayed with a custom mix of Alclad Aluminum and Dark aluminum. The nose and vertical fin tip cap antenna were masked off and sprayed with Dielectric Green acrylic paint from the now long out of production Red Paint line of acft colors. Wheel wells and landing gear were masked and painted Model master Flanker blue grey enamel.

The model was then given an overall coat of Future floor wax and set aside to cure for one week. The "Red 17" number codes came from the Begemont decal sheet (#7204) of the same and the remainder was the decals that came in the kit. The kit decals by the way went down extremely well with only a little Solvaset need on the stars. The model was given a oil wash using Rembrandt Artist oils thinned with Turpenoid odorless thinner. After being allowed to dry overnight the model was given an over coat of Testor's Semi-gloss lacquer. The last things to install were the underwing stores. It was found that "Red 17" carried 2 each AA-8 "Aphid", 2 ea. AA-3 "Anab" air-to-air missiles and two UPK-23-250 23 mm gun pods on the fuselage pylons. It is believed that KAL 007 was brought down with one AA-3 "Anab" missile. The icing on this piece of cake is the Quick boost Resin and Photo etch Pitot tube. See review later in this review for details about it's assembly.

Overall this kit was a breeze and a pleasure to assemble. Most of the labor was involved in the masking and painting of the NMF finish.

Pros: Nice and restrained surface detail. Outstanding fit and finish.

Cons: Shape issues with the vertical tail and nose. Missing details that are included in the larger 1/48th scale brethren but lacking in this kit i.e. nose gear retraction strut..

A load of thanks goes to Trumpeter for bringing out a much needed kit of this famous Soviet Cold war era interceptor with modern tooling and great detail.

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Highly recommended for those with a passion for Soviet Cold War era jets.

Quickboost 1/72 Su-15TM Flagon-F Corrected nose

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Quick Boost (a subsidiary of Aires) continues its quest to bring the modeler a fast and fairly inexpensive way of improving the look of even the most basic a model kit. Here we have a corrected nose for the new Trumpeter Su-15TM in 1/72. Since this small scale "Flagon" is a scaled down version of its larger 1/48 scale brethren it also inherited some of its inherent shape problems. See Charles Landrum's excellent review for further information on the latter.

Here comes Quick Boost to the rescue! Cast in tan colored resin, it is a direct, non surgical replacement for the too long and misshapen kit nose. Just sand down the casting plug and install as you would the original kit part. My only nit pic is there is no way of knowing which end is up! Unlike the kit part there is no key to indicate which is top or bottom. I just placed it on the model and sighted down the front and rotated it until the hole in the nose for the data probe was at the southernmost position. There was a slight step (the nose was .5 mm larger in diameter that the kit) that was quickly taken care of with a bit of Tamiya putty then block sanded and blended to shape with a few applications of Mr. Surfacer.

Quickboost 1/72 Su-15TM Flagon-F Pitot Tube

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Again here comes Quick Boost to the rescue! In an effort to bring out the masochist in all of us along comes Quick boost with an interestingly intricate replacement for the nondescript plastic air data sensor boom for the Trumpeter Su-15TM Flagon-F.

This little gem comes replete with a tan colored resin probe which is quite resilient to say the least, a sheet of Photo-etched brass containing an alignment jig and angle of attack vanes. Also included is a small sheet of adhesive backed masking material.

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Although the instructions are clear and concise it took me about 3 hours assembling the pitot tubes supplied assembly jig. As per the instructions, I set the AOA vanes in the jigs and secured with the supplied pieces of tape. I then assembled the jig and set it on the resin pitot tube. You need to secure it to the tube with tape or it will move around on you. After all was said and done I attempted to secure the PE parts to the resin boom with tiny amounts of CA glue. Now here is the rub. The jig is a one shot deal and must be cut off the tube at the indicated points. After the jig was removed only two of the vanes remained attached. So I resorted to plan "B" The Mk Ia Eyeball. I removed all of the PE parts and sanded off the dried CA glue. Using the jigs as a guide I cemented the vanes in place just using tweezers and the ole Mk. Ia eyeball and finished it up in a mere 30 minutes. This was then primed with Mr. Surfacer 1200 and sprayed with Alclad aluminum. In the pics you can see the pitot boom I scratchbuilt as compared to the QB boom. The QB boom is vastly superior and will look excellent on the completed model.

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Highly recommended.

A hearty thanks goes to Quick Boost for providing the review sample. They can be found on the web at: