Building the Sukhoi Su-11 Fishpot from resin conversion

1/48 scale

by Giovanni Galvan © 2008 Modeler Site

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Yes, I know, the Fishpot series of the Sukhoi Air Defense fighters of the former USSR remains unknown for most of the modelers. This series was a evolution from the famous Fitter ground strike family (Su-7 and the swing wing Su-17 / 20 / 22), in fact both of the versions have common sections, as the fuselage, tail planes, and similar fins. The delta wing characterize the Su-9 and Su-11 (NATO code Fishpot), which was inherited to the later Su-15 Flagon, a similar concept twin engined interceptor.

The Su-9 was substantially a delta winged Su-7 with better interceptor radar, and was widely used for the PVO (Protivo Vozdushnaya Oborona) Strany – the Soviet Air Defense. The Su-11 of 1961 (Fishpot C) had a bigger air inlet, which was enlarged, but with a short operational life. It was produced in smaller quantities than the predecessor, being quickly replaced by the Flagon.

The only solution I found to build a Su-11 in 1/48 scale it was to convert the Su-7 mold, originally produced by Oez and subsequently issued by Esci and now available by Kopro. In 2004 a short-lived Canadian firm called Kazan, offered both Su-9 and Su-11 resin conversions, and I was lucky enough to have them as a gift from my Spanish friend Miguel.

I decided to start from an old attempt to convert an Esci Su-7 to a Su-22, interrupted in 1995 when I knew that the beautiful KP Su-22M4 kit will be issued. I could use the same cuts on the fuselage to obtain a Su-11, tanks to the Kazan conversion.


The Su-11 conversion is composed by the complete interiors, seat, delta wings, tail fin, undercarriages, and the under wing K-8 missiles, all in resin, a set of photo-etched pieces and a decal sheet.
The conversion is not so difficult, the resin pieces are good enough, and the fit is acceptable. Fortunately the resin “big nose” piece fitted well on the old cut for the Su-22 scratchbuilt nose.

I used the old scratchbuilt cockpit, which was good enough also for this version. The seat is very good, and has its etched brass buckles. The color of the interiors is Blue Gray similar to the German RLM 65 (Gunze H67). The sticks are in Black, the seats' stuffing is in Sand and Green, and the ejection handles are in Red. The visible details under the canopy were scratchbuilt, and painted with Dark Grey. Because I enlarged the cockpit opening during the Su-22 project, I had to rebuild it, correcting edges for the Su-11 with plasticard.

The wings must be fixed with brass tubing passing trough the fuselage. This tubing needs to fit inside the holes you must drill on the inner part of the wing. Some difficulty come from the etched brass panels to fix to the fuselage at the wing roots, which tend to warp and must be carefully treated. Al the air scoops and air vents had to be drilled before being fixed to the fuselage. To finish the model I used spray putty, and a coat of a gloss Grey, mainly to refine the rough surface of the Oez mold, having in mind the final Natural Metal finish.

The main problem is the undercarriage, which is very difficult to assemble, also for the lack of proper instructions. In fact I had to check with some difficulty the rare Su-11 photos because the gear is not the same of the Fitter family. More, these pieces are molded with a soft kind of resin which warps under the big load of the model. The use of a hairdressing phone helped to make these pieces more rigid keeping their original shape. The gear legs, and wheel bays are in Blue Gray similar to that of the cockpit.

I decided to represent the “Blue 10” example, one of the rare operational Su-11 photographed. The plane is Natural Metal overall. For the paint I gave a coat of SNJ Aluminum powder directly on the base coat of gloss Grey. Over this coat I used some shades of Humbrol 11 Aluminum, Testors Steel and Titanium Metalizers (for the exhaust) and Testors Aluminum enamel to give the right "Russian Natural Metal" impression. For the dielectric panels of the ventral fin and of the top of the fin I used the same Green 24092 (Gunze H302) of the wheels. The codes were taken from my spare decals, while the national insignia are from the Kazan box. I used some pencils graphite to enhance the paneling, and some Black oil to weather the rear part of the fuselage. Under the wings I fixed the K-8, missiles one IR guided and one Radar guided, in White overall with some stencilling taken from my spare decals.

The result is impressive, the kit is big, heavy, and… Soviet!! Beautiful beast….

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