RUSSIA’S FLANKER-derived Su-34 Fullback is an imposing beast, yet model companies have been slow to release modern renditions of the ‘utkonos’ (platypus) or ‘hell duck’ as it’s also known.

Trumpeter’s 1/72 offering (01652) comes in a surprisingly large box, due to the horizontally split fuselage/wing halves being supplied in a protective cardboard frame. It comprises 32 styrene runners (24 for ordnance), so this is effectively a kit and weapons set combined. The detail is impressive, with delicate engraved panel lines, and it’s a quantum leap over previous efforts in this scale. There’s a superb cockpit and undercarriage bays, but the highlights are the Saturn AL-31 engine nozzles, with finely moulded inner and outer exhaust petals.

Armament comes from Trumpeter’s existing Flanker and Fencer kits, with a mix of ‘dumb’ and ‘smart’ bombs, air-to-ground/air-to-air missiles and multiple stores racks. However, not all stores are applicable to Fullback, so references should be checked. The two decal sheets are superb (one is dedicated to weapons stencilling), with full airframe data for two schemes; one in an eye-catching two-tone ‘shark’ livery, the other in three-colour disruptive camouflage. www.pocketbond.co.uk