1/72 Zvezda Su-50 (T-50)

Gallery Article by Carlos Arvizu on May 20 2011


The Su-50 is projected to enter service by 2015. The prototype, T-50, made it's maiden flight last year (Jan/2010) and I wanted a model as soon as I got a glimpse of the beautiful plane. Fortunately Zvezda was quick to make a mold and offer this model some months ago. And while model instructions portray the prototype scheme, I didn't quite like it and I set myself to make a "what-if" scheme of a plausible plane in service.

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Not surprisingly, the model feels rushed. The models does have nice recessed panel lines but lacks details in the cockpit. Also the multi-part engine intakes are not easy to assemble and have poor fit. There is an option to display the model in-flight and I decided build it that way. Unfortunately to do so you have to deal with the poor fit of the wheel well covers. The model does provide a great pilot and a transparent base. 

I pictured in my head and made some drawings of different schemes but ended up going back to a polygonal scheme similar to one I painted years ago over a S-37. I decided to use the following colors: Russian Flanker Pale Blue, Flanker Blue/Gray and Graviolet RLM 75 from Model Master enamel line.

To portray an in-service jet I decided not to use the clear part for the HUD, imagining that in the future it maybe integrated in the helmet.  Also some areas in the edges of wings and tail as well as the front and rear radomes would be painted pale blue in order to represent sensors and/or antennas. I figured that such a sophisticated airplane may have several of those. 

I had plenty of trouble with the weathering and re-did it three times. In the end the finished product is dirtier than what I wanted but OK.

Greetings from Monterrey, Mexico!

Carlos Arvizu

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Photos and text by Carlos Arvizu