enthusiast of Russian aircraft often means hard times for you as a
modeller. That was the case with Streem (Or "Strim") Fencer too.
can forget the Tamigawa shake 'n bake fit, well laid out instructions and
straightforward build-up. The kit has a bit of a short-run kit
feel to it, for instance some of the sprue gates are quite thick and only
a very few parts have any locator pins/holes on them. Despite of
these drawbacks, many of the ex-Eastern European kits are generally pretty
accurate. This kit isn't an exception, actually it's the Mother of
The level of
surface detail is exceptional and possibly exceeds most of the Japanese
kits of the same scale. The general outline should also be spot on. These
two things were the driving force for me in making this very complicated
kit. It was a hell of a job, but in the end you'll get your reward!
images below to see larger images
having heard some discouraging information about the complicated assembly
of the movable leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps, swinging
wings and the wing pylons that swivel according to the wing sweep, I
decided to build my Fencer with all these features. I soon noticed that
the assembly really was hard! After a lot of
dry-fitting and sanding I managed to get all the surfaces
movable. The swiveling wing pylons - though a good example of great
engineering (or then maybe not...) - didn't work as they should have.
There just doesn't seem to be enough room in between the upper and lower
wing parts (ie. inside the wing) for the pylon swivel mechanism,
especially considering you need some gluing surface too in order to
attach the halves together. As the full-wide slats and flaps further
diminish this surface, the wings are a real nightmare to assemble! The
instructions aren't perfectly clear, so one must truly rehearse this
before grabbing a CA bottle...
fit of the kit isn't perfect at all, though some of the parts almost seem
to fall down on their place. The fuselage parts are nicely detailed, but
need sanding near the joints. Luckily these joints are engineered so that
a minimum amount of delicate surface detail will be lost after
sanding. Most of the smaller parts need cleaning, though even they are
very accurately done.
For the cockpit I
used a Pavla resin set, which needed a lot of fixing to be squeezed inside the
fuselage. I added some scratch-built harness detail for the seats and the
co-pilot figure and painstakingly tried to colour every switch, warning light
and gauge according to photos of the real aircraft. I also detailed the
landing gears by adding some pipes and hoses on them. The same goes
for the main landing gear wells as well, though these are not very visible due
to the almost closed gear hatches.
The kit decals were
a disappointment. Though very accurate looking and nicely printed, they
disintegrated when soaked in water... After a series of minor glitches, I
finally managed to get an Authentic Decals Su-24M sheet from a friendly ARCer
(Many thanks, Bafke!). For the markings I chose an example with a nice bird
of prey badge on the tail from Dzidha-Nyangi AB, which is located in Siberia
between the lake Baikal and the Mongolian border ( exact location: 50° 40'
0" N, 106° 7' 1'' E, there's a lot of Fencers on
dispersal). I always dig out the home base for my models from
Google Earth in order to get them a real-life background.
The weapons load
consists of 12 FAB-100 bombs on multiple ejector racks, which needed some fixing
and extra detailing, plus two FAB-250M62s (all from DML/Dragon weapons sets) and
a pair of R-60 AA missiles from the spares. The kit comes without any
other armament than the gun.
I decided to do
my Fencer with a pretty faded and worn finish. The very accurate and nicely done
panel lines (plus rivets) were highlighted with diluted enamel and oil colour
wash, while the final weathering was done with Tamiya's weathering set.
images below to see larger images