Several military buiders are is hosting a /military build competition on flickr, including myself. One of the categories in the contest is for Warsaw Pact aircraft. As one of the judges I don't participate in the contest, obviously, but it did inspire me to build something.
The Su-24 Fencer was developed in the 'seventies as a counterpart to Western strike aircraft such as the Tornado IDS and the F-111 Aardvark. At the time it was considered to be one of the most sophisticated Soviet aircraft and it caused NATO considerable worries.
Su-24M Fencer-D (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
Like its Western counterparts, the Fencer has variable geometry wings. On my model these are interconnected using a mechanism I developed many years ago for my F-14 Tomcats, ensuring that their movement is synchronised.
Su-24M Fencer-D (2) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
Over the years several new versions were developed. On early production models, called the Fencer-A by NATO, the aft fuselage was box-shaped. On later models it was more closely contoured around the engines. This was not easy to pull off in LEGO.
Su-24M Fencer-D (4) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
The most difficult element of this build was the vertical tail. I wanted the demarcation line between the white leading edge and the grey area to be straight. When using normal LEGO slopes to build a longer slope, there will always be steps. I solved this by using cheese slopes and making them step 1.5 plates relative to each other. It is not a new technique, but one that was tricky to apply to a construction that is just one stud wide.
Su-24M Fencer-D (5) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
Another tricky part: the landing gear. The Fencer was designed to operate from austere fields, which requires a pretty hefty undercarriage. Mine doesn't fold in exactly the same way as the real one,in which the main wheels lie flat when retracted, but looks reasonably accurate when extended and all the doors are the right shape.
Su-24M Fencer-D (11) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
The Fencer carries most of its weapons on four fuselage pylons and two pylons under the wing gloves. Two smaller pylons are mounted under the wings and obviously need to swivel to stay aligned with the fuselage as the wing sweep changes. On my model they carry AA-8 'Aphid' short range air-to-air missiles, carried for self-defense. The larger missiles on the wing glove pylon are AS-17 'Krypton' Anti-radar missiles. These are designed to home in on enemy radar emitters, such as the radar used by Patriot surface-to-air missiles. One of the hardpoints under the fuselage carries a fantasmagoria pod. This is an emitter-location system that feeds data to the AS-17s and seems to be a standard fit for Fencers used for suppression of enemy air defenses.
Some people know me as a car builder, others see me as building town, but I enjoyed returning to the thing I probably like doing best: building military aircraft.
Edited by Rufus, 29 May 2011 - 10:39 AM.