Academy 1/144 Su-25 Frogfoot
When the USAF introduced the A-10 Thunderbolt II as its new close air support weapon with the capability to kill tanks in a hostile European environment, the Sovet Air Force did not allow this development to go unanswered. The Sukhoi Design Bureau put forth a design (interestingly enough similar in appearance to the Northrop A-9 that lost out to the A-10). This design was selected over several other contenders and became the Su-25 (code-named Frogfoot).
Like its western counterpart, the Su-25 is fitted with numerous weapons stations and an almost straight wing to provide the ability to get into and stay in a fight with ground targets. Armed with a variety of guided and unguided munitions, the Su-25 was a formidable close air support weapon. While never used in the anticipated battles with NATO, the Su-25 has seen extensive combat in Afghanistan and in internal conflicts. Unlike the A-10, the Su-25 has since been modified into the night/attack mission and will continue service well into the 21st century.
Academy has released the Su-25 in 1/144 scale. The kit is comprised of 57 parts, which include a good number of details and weapons. As might be expected in a kit of this scale, cockpit detail is limited to an ejection seat, cockpit tub and control stick. The kit includes a full compliment of external pylons, rocket pods, free-fall bombs, two external fuel tanks and two K-13 (Atoll) IR missiles. The landing gear is nicely done to represent the trailing link rough-field gear of the actual aircraft.
The molding of the kit is crisp, with scribed panel lines in key locations (not overdone), and no sinkmarks in visible locations. Markings are provided for blue 301 of the Soviet Air Force. The kit looks like fun! I recommend this project to any builder of Soviet airpower.
Our thanks to MRC for this review sample!