Amodel 1/72 Su-15TM
The Su-15 was a direct descendent of the Su-11 – itself a descendent of the Su-9. The Su-15 was designed as a front-line interceptor, “keeping the peace” above the skies of the Soviet Union. It was because of its major role that the Su-15 was added to the annals of history – the Su-15 shot down two airliners straying over Soviet airspace. The second one – the Korean Air Lines 747 – was lost with all passengers and crew.
The Amodel kit of the Su-15TM consists of 119 injected plastic pieces and one clear canopy. The molding is decent enough, with some flash and some mold release still present on the parts. Decals exist for four schemes – “Red 17”, the infamous Su-15TM that shot down the KAL 747; another natural metal finish (NMF) VVS machine; an NMF Ukranian machine; and a camouflaged VVS Su-15 based at Bezrechnaya airbase. The decals are very well done and in register.
Construction naturally starts with the cockpit, as well as the nose gear well, which provides the floor to the cockpit. The detail here is very plain, which really needs an aftermarket resin cockpit to dress it up. At the very least the seat should be replaced with the NeOmega KS-3/4 resin replacement.
From there one assembles the exhaust system as well as the inlets. Fuselage is then assembled trapping the cockpit and other interior fuselage pieces. Next is the assembly of the wings, and here is one area that the kit shines. Not only are the flaps and ailerons separate, but so are the corresponding actuating levers. Something not found in even the more expensive kits from Japan and other places.
After the wing parts are together, then the main assembly heats up. Wings are now attached, as are all tail surfaces. The nose is assembled and attached, as are the already assembled inlets.
Final assembly includes all ordnance and landing gear and other smaller parts. I would recommend leaving these bits off until the very last.
Construction of the Amodel kit appears to be much better than the NPO VES Su-15TM. Plus the exterior detail is a little more restrained on the Amodel kit.
Looking at both the Amodel and the NPO VES kits, I would definitely recommend the Amodel kit, primarily for assembly and fit. The Amodel appears to be a little more logical in its breakdown than the VES kit. In fact, John Thompson has posted a very in-depth message on the Russian Aircraft Modeling Forum (http://disc.server.com/Indices/42843.html). I would definitely refer to his text while assembling the Amodel kit.
This kit, and most things Russian, can be found at Linden Hill Imports.