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First Look Review
172
Su-24MR Fencer-E
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by: John Griesbacker [ JGREASE ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

History
The Su-24MR is the Russian-designed tactical reconnaissance variant of the Su-24 (NATO code “Fencer”) family. This particular variant entered service in the early 1980’s, lacking its’ older brother’s radar, cannon, and avionics. Instead the “Fencer-E” carries a variety of cameras, reconnaissance equipment, and side-looking radar, referred to as the “Bayonet” suite of electronics. Its’ armament is limited to two R-60 missiles for self-defense. The Fencer recently made the news when an Su-24M was shot down by Turkish F-16s for apparently violating Turkish airspace.

The Kit
Trumpeter have now issued their first Su-24 in 1/72, and they’ve started with the –MR variant. So let’s take a quick peek in the box and see what you get for your money. To start with the box is quite sturdy, and is split into two sections once you get inside. There is a lot of plastic in the box – twenty-seven sprues plus the top and bottom fuselage halves. You also get two sheets of decals and the Trumpeter-standard color painting and decal diagrams along with their typical instruction book. The parts count is stated as “190 ”, but not to worry – a lot of that is weaponry that you won’t be using for this recon version (but you’ll really be able to load up your spares for other projects). What you do get is a lot of nicely-molded parts. I’m quite impressed with the restrained panel lines on the exterior surfaces, and the ejection seats look to be slide-molded affairs consisting of just two really well-detailed pieces. The cockpit looks to be nicely detailed out-of-the-box, and side console detail is molded into the fuselage interior. I really can’t get over the molding, right down to the nose pitot which has the fins molded in and looks quite nice.

Accuracy
So you get really nicely molded parts, but what about accuracy? Trumpeter has an “iffy” reputation when it comes to the accuracy of some of it’s models. I have to be completely honest and say that I’ve never been a “rivet counter”, but I take nothing away from those that are purists and look for fidelity and accuracy in a model, especially when one is spending hard-earned cash for a kit like this. Well this time around, I’ve been looking at photos online and I can make a few observations based on comparisons to the prototype. First, a glaring omission is the lack of cameras – there are two located under the nose behind the gear bay, and a pod under the port intake which are all portrayed in the box painting. Unfortunately none of them are present in the kit. There is a clear part E2 which Trumpeter would have you locate behind the nose gear bay, but it bears absolutely no resemblance to the centerline cameras. In fact, it appears to be the correct pod for the –M variant, the bomber version. The other omission seems to be the electronics pod carried by a majority of the –MRs in most photos I’ve viewed online. It is not in the box, and considering how much weaponry they loaded the box with, it’s a shame the pod and correct cameras are missing from an otherwise great looking kit.
It would appear that the modeler has two options with this kit – you can build it as the –MR, leaving off the centerline parts for the –M, possibly scratchbuilding the camera pods. From there you can add on the two R-60s and the two fuel tanks and call it a day. You could also elect to try an –M using what’s provided and correcting the panel lines on the forward fuselage since they represent the –MR’s side-looking radar panels. Either way, Trumpeter have once again given us parts of different versions instead of one proper kit.

Please look for my build review which will start shortly.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Terrific molding, really restrained panel lines. Some of the molding such as the nose pitot and the gear bays is just dynamite. The slide molded seats look great!
Lows: This is the reconnaissance version, but none of the necessary parts are provided for the cameras or electronics pods. The fuselage looks right for an -MR, but the provided details look correct for an -M.
Verdict: If you want a Su-24MR or -M, you can work with this kit and make one or the other. Out of the box you get a little of each version. Frustrating lack of research considering the quality of the plastic.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 01672
  Suggested Retail: $64.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 09, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 75.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.63%

Our Thanks to Stevens International!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About John Griesbacker (jgrease)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

I'm a transplant to the great state of Texas - born and raised in New York. I've been building model planes since I was in grade school.

Copyright ©2017 text by John Griesbacker [ JGREASE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

A model right out of the headlines! That molding does look fine. The cockpit detail, too. It is annoying that they left off the necessary stores to build a proper Fencer. Perhaps they are releasing a Soviet stores set? Doesn't Hasegawa have one? Good review, John.
FEB 09, 2016 - 08:33 AM
Thanks very much. Like I mentioned it's got great molding but what were they thinking?
FEB 09, 2016 - 09:29 AM
Well they are bringing the M version out, so they are making the most of the moulds by trying to get as many versions out as possible. Why they couldn't have moulded the forward fuselage as a extra part or added the camera pods as an extra sprue, only Trumpeter know. Andy
FEB 09, 2016 - 11:08 AM
The forward fuselage is correct for an -MR, but there are no cameras for the bottom of the fuselage or under the port intake and no electronics pod. One extra sprue could have had those three items instead of a slew of weapons not used on the recon version packed in the box. I hope their -M version has the correct nose.
FEB 09, 2016 - 11:26 PM
I think that the forward fuselage, especially the nose cone part is still wrong as on the 1/48 prototype. I hope that ModelSvit (or someone else) will release a better kit or Trumpeter will fix the issue on the 24M variant. Still no build examples of this one, it could look better when assembled. This aircraft should be extremely popular at this moment.
FEB 25, 2016 - 11:23 PM
I'm working on a build of the sample kit - I hope to have it done in the next couple of weeks.
MAR 01, 2016 - 07:37 AM
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