The Sukhoi Su-7 was a swept wing attack aircraft developed by the Soviet Union during the fifties, capable of supersonic flight. Originally intended as a pure dogfighter, it became the main ground attack aircraft of the Soviet Airforce in the 1960’s. Because of its intended life as a fighter aircraft, it suffered from its short operation range and low weapons load, but made up with ruggedness of its airframe.
In 1968 the Indian Air Force took delivery of 140 aircraft, equipped to six squadrons. These all saw combat during the 1971 war with Pakistan and operated at a very high tempo of six sorties per pilot a day. Fourteen aircraft were lost to AA and were eventually replaced with new Su-7’s delivered from the Soviet Union. The IAF finally retired its fleet of Su-7’s in 1986. This particular airframe was part of 32nd squadron nicknamed “The Thunderbirds”. It was piloted by the wing commander A.C. Sanhu during 1982. Most likely inspired on the cannons that were used during colonial times, which often sported tiger-like decorations, resulted in what is most likely the most colourful paint scheme ever put on an Su-7.
The kit used to construct this aircraft was the 1/48 Kopro boxing, which recently went defunct despite a name change. I must say that this has to be one of the worst kits I have even assembled. The first stages of the build went without many problems, but problems started when the wings had to be placed onto the fuselage. Because this is the BMK version, you have to add a huge amount of putty to recreate an accurate shape of the fuselage and this is were all the problems began. It took me such a long time to get it relatively good looking that I gave up on this model for nearly three years. Eventually I resurrected the model and completed it. Now, honestly I would say that this kit is probably okay as long as you don’t make a BMK version, were you need to adjust the wings and fuselage. I also added various scratchbuild details and strengthened the pitots, hard point and antennas with metal wiring and sewing needles.
The base was constructed with self designed material made from MDF and other materials. These were then glued together, painted using spray paint cans and weathered with products like Tamiya’s panel line accentor and powder pigments.