Russian Fifth-Generation Fighter SU-57
Zvezda 1/48, Ref. 4824
It’s a massive box that comes from the East, full of 249 parts in transparent and medium grey plastic, including two main parts representing an almost complete, almost 42cm long, aircraft. Also in the box, two large decal sheets, a instruction booklet and a separate full-colour painting guide.
The bottom half of the fuselage is however largely missing since the weapon bay, main air intakes and main landing gear bays are separate items. A large number of stores can be hung inside the weapon bay and/or on the underside of the wings. The landing gear wells are not particularly detailed (pretty blank in fact for the nose gear bay), but little, if any, will be visible in any case. On the other hand, landing gear legs and wheels are nicely detailed.
The cockpit is a bit bland, but a number of decals will liven up things, as will the 6-part ejection seat and the 4-part pilot.
The main air intakes have each their long curved trunking leading to the compressor faces; each trunking is made up of two parts, with joints that may be difficult to eliminate. There are two options for the (rather well-detailed) exhaust cans, with the possibility of leaving them on the horizontal plane or slightly drooped.
Annoyingly, as can be seen here below, there are a few places where the plastic has caved in, and his will require some remedial work.
Nice touch, Zvezda have included a very nice cockpit access ladder to the kit.
Three painting options are offered: the 9th prototype (T-50-9) that first flew in November 2016, the 10th prototype (T-50-11) that first flew in August 2017 and became the standard for the production series, and a production-series Su-57, all in two-tone digital camouflages. The great majority of the decals are stencils, meaning silvering could be an issue.
No doubt update and upgrade resin and metal sets will come to improve this lovely kit that is still a little ‘basic’, probably because of the newness and restricted nature of the real aircraft.
Review by Domi Jadoul, pictures by Domi Jadoul and Zvezda