Sukhoi Su-30MK - Indian Air Force No.24 Sqn c.1998
As a plane-crazy teenager living in Pune, India circa 1998, seeing and hearing the early Su-30s of the No.24 sqn. roar through the skies is my fondest memory from that time. Big, blue and mean looking, these were the first of the many Flankers that form the backbone of the IAF today.
When I set out to build this aircraft, I started out with Trumpeter's Su-27UB kit. This set me up for a build challenge as Su-27s differed a bit from 30s in minor details, especially around the windscreen. In an effort to move the IRST probe to be offset to the right, I had to scratch build the entire section as well as source a new 'fuller' windscreen. Also, scratchbuilt the IFR housing though I feel I could have done better. I wanted to go all the way with this build, so got myself the Dreammodel PE parts. This added to the complexity of an already difficult build. However, in the end, I guess PE worked well and added a lot to the realism of the model.
The Su-30s could take on a wide array of stores, Air-Air in the case of this variant, but I stuck to a simple load of two R-73s on each wing just so that the missiles don't divert attention from the clean lines of the aircraft. These Flankers are now long gone, supplanted by more capable MKIs, but their memory lives on in my mind, in pictures and now this model.
Hope you guys enjoy it.
Photos and text © by Ratish Nair