Su-34 was allegedly shot down just couple a days ago somewhere in Ukraine. It was seen plunging through the air in a flat spin, much like Maverick’s Tomcat was lost 36 years ago. However, this was real life, not a movie. And it was one of the very few Su-34 to be lost in service. That plane, as we all know is a successor of Su-24, of which we don’t see much in the recent events. However, as platforms, tactical fighter bombers are overly important in any armed conflict. Modeling-wise, both are in limited availability. This is what we will discuss here today, inspired by the latest events mentioned above.
Su-24 in 48th scale is available only from Trumpeter. It is in limited numbers too. That is a mistake on behalf of the model producers, but even bigger mistake is the missing Su-34. The latter one is actually available in 48th scale from both Kitty Hawk and HobbyBoss. Kitty Hawk are gone and HobbyBoss kit has significant flaws, which can be altered only with serious investment in terms of aftermarket. HB kit is not bad, but if you want to do a proper Fullback, there is no way around spending 2 or 3 times above the price of the kit itself. In some areas, same goes for the Kitty Hawk, so no, it is not perfect if that thought crossed your mind while reading.
Kitty Hawk were allegedly purchased by Trumpeter. And Trumpeter and HobbyBoss are pretty much the same thing. Which leads to the inevitable question: will they re-release KH Su-34 under Trumpeter/HB brand?
It is quite tricky. If they do, KH, being the better tooling, will overshadow HobbyBoss’ Fullback and they will either have to stop producing that, or separate the markets. If, they decide to not release Kitty Hawk, that would be pretty damn waste of a good model. If they sell it to somebody else, that will ruin their own HB Su-34 sales. Pretty tricky, eh? And a lot of “ifs” too.
Now, the question lurking here is why only them? Great Wall Hobby and MiniBase have perfectly good line of Flankers. It is only logical for them two to approach Fullback subject with full force. After all, Su-34 was a boutique jet in the 90s, when only prototypes were flying at some airshows. Nowadays however, Syria, Ukraine and some action in the far East made the plane very interesting subject both for modelers and aviation fans.
Since we have Su-30s, Su-27s and Su-35s already, it is about time for someone to fill that gap and release a new tooling of Su-34 Fullback. And we are not talking Zvezda here. The abovementioned companies have proven that they know how to do a good kit and satisfy modeler’s needs. As with the previous article, this should serve as a reminder to them. Su-34 in 48th scale is wanted badly. The market needs an option different than the HobbyBoss’ one.