With the Finemolds Millennium Falcon complete on the 22nd August 2013 I took a two month hiatus to populate the Small Wonder YouTube channel as well as rip my CD collection to MP3. By the 27th October I was ready to start the Kopro kit. I opened the Cutting Edge cockpit detail set for Su-22M and compared it to the Neomega equivalent. Both are a respectable representations of the cockpit but I chose the Cutting Edge example as a basis for the Su-17/22. The Neomega instructions consist of one small piece of paper with an exploded view of the assembly – rather inadequate. The Cutting Edge kit is much better with an entire two sides of A4 – although it is mostly text. The Cutting Edge instructions are occasionally baffling and it isn’t clear where some of the parts go because they are not mentioned at all. More diagrams and less waffle might have helped. The Neomega set includes the nosewheel undercarriage bay whilst the Cutting Edge set includes the canopy frames so a hybrid of the two will be best.
WARNING: The Kopro Kit can be made into a Su-17M3 or Su-22M4 BUT NOT the Su-22M3 because the rear fuselage is not wide enough to represent the engine fitted to this version. This would exclude you from building the Libyan airframes (for example). We have chosen the pre-unification East German version as our target airframe.
1) Cutting Edge recommends you cut away the Kopro fuselage side locating lugs. I agree – add your own fuselage locators – this will preserve your sanity during test fitting of the resin cockpit plug. The fuselage sides do not want to stay mated-up unless you do this.
2 & 3) Work starts by thinning down the cockpit walls on the kit to fit the resin cockpit tub.
4) The Cutting Edge instructions say dry-fit a lot and this is good advice. The Cutting Edge instrument panel is meant to be mounted onto the instrument cowl but you will notice that the panel is too small and leaves very large gaps around it when fitted. So instead I mounted it directly into the cockpit tub then filled all the gaps with plastic strut and superglue.
5) More dry-fitting – holding the cockpit in place with the fuselage sides held temporarily together with tape – here I positioning the instrument cowl and canopy jack section behind the ejection seat head rest. I thought that the Neomega instrument cowl was superior to the Cutting Edge equivalent so I am using that here. It is in green resin instead of Cutting Edge’s light grey. Although you canot see it the resin cockpit plug is sitting on top of the Neomega resin nose undercarriage bay. Cutting Edge suggest cutting off the characteristic extension to the bay roof to fit the cockpit. However, if you are careful, most of it can be preserved. It is there on the real thing so don’t cut it away for no good reason. You may have to cut some of the roof away so the bay WILL be ‘see-through’ – but the top of the bay will be formed by the underside of the cockpit plug.
At this point of the build the intake bullet is complete and filled with lead to weight the nose. The Cutting Edge resin jet pipe is also mounted although you will find that you will have to reduce the width of the resin because the fuselage sides won’t meet with it inserted. Always dry fit before glueing!
6) By early November I put aside the Su-22 to start work on the OEZ Su-7. This photo was taken on the 20th November 2013 and shows progress building up the Su-7 cockpit from eduar photoetch. The Neomega resin cockpit sits next to the Su-7 assembly. This is being used as guidance – we might use a few pieces from Neomega here and there to embellish to Eduard metal. By this stage we have also built the nose intake shock cone assembly and the nose undercarriage bay.