March 2019

Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot B

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Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot B

Soviet Air Defences, 1965.

Leoman 1/72

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Have a look at many more of my models of Warsaw Pact aircraft my “Other Side” pages pages

The Su-9 Fishpot B drew on Soviet post WW2 studies into optimum aerodynamic configurations for different roles. Although sharing its basic fuselage design with the swept wing Su-7 Fitter attack aircraft, as an interceptor the “Fishpot” gained a small tailed delta wing planform (similar to the MiG-21 Fishbed), optimised for speed at height, but needing a very long take-off run.  Unlike the MiG21, the Fishpot’s very specialised interceptor role made its export potential very limited, with only the Soviet Air Defences (PVO) fielding the aircraft.

In its original form, armament was the Kaliningrad K-5 (NATO AA-1 Alkali) beam riding missile, a first generation air to air weapon for attacking bombers with a short range (about 2miles) and limited engagement envelope, dependent on the launching aircraft continuing to point at and track the target with its fire control radar until the missile struck.  Later Su-9s carried the more advanced K-55 missile which used a semi active radar homing unit or infra-red seeker head. An improved variant, the Su-11 Fishpot C carried a larger radar and the far more advanced and longer range (14 Miles) AA-3 Anab missile.

The Su-9 shot briefly to fame in 1960 as a result of the Gary Powers incident in 1962. Although the aircraft involved was unarmed (on its delivery flight), it attempted to ram Powers U-2 and may have contributed to his downing.  Su-9s left Soviet service in the late 1970s to be replaced by the Su-11, Su-15 Flagon and the MiG25 Foxbat.

There are a number of well known sayings that cover the futility of trying to tidy up something that is fundamentally poor (I’m being deliberately obscure for sake of the easily offended).  However, I’ve decided that it’s now time to stop polishing this one.  It will never be anything better than it is now!

This was another cheap acquisition from last year’s model swap at Telford.   My expectations were pretty low, and have proved well founded, but at least I only paid £5 for it!  

Despite the box looking like one of those unnamed generic “fighter jet” Chinese kits you get in cut price stationers, Leoman was in fact trying to be a serious modelling brand in the 1980s/1990s.  

Their kits were originally resin, with some injection moulded parts, covering what were, at that time, little known Soviet aircraft. Whilst that may have cut it back then, today’s plethora of superbly researched eastern block Cold War aircraft from European and Chinese manufacturers mean that it is difficult to remember how little real information we had in those days, when even clear photographs were hard to come by. Thank goodness, times have moved on.  

Despite some reasonable injection moulding, this kit clearly hails from that era and looks as though it may have been based on one of the resin offerings to start with.  Think Magna resin without the subtlety of detail or shape and you will be on the right track.  I have very little I can say that is good; shape is vague and suspect, detail is non-existent or wrong, panel lines are either heavily raised or very deeply engraved, fit is variable, filler is need and the canopy to my eyes is much too large.  In fact the whole think looks overscale.  The intake is solid, whilst there is no tailpipe at all, allowing you to see right into the fuselage and up to the laughable cockpit and seat.  Mind you, the instrument panel is actually quite good, as are the AA-1 Alkali missiles.

The very basic decals worked well, but the “bort” numbers seemed much too large to me and I’m not convinced yellow was that common, so mine come from the spares box.

So not recommended in any way, except perhaps like me to try and improve your hand brushed aluminium finishes.  Move on………………..