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I put in many hours over the weekend but there's not much to look at, I'm afraid. Been working to fill the small gaps around my grids and, in some cases, blend them in with the fuselage. Putty, sand, inspect, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat...

 

To protect the detail on the grids I covered the openings with tape:

 

38158044636_0056b17511.jpg

 

Bad news is, I discovered that sprue goo might be a fine filler but it sucks as an adhesive. So far, I've had five of my grids pop out, which were re-installed using CA.

 

24361176448_43620cd4bc.jpg

 

As soon as I'm satisfied with my putty work, I'll give everything a shot of black primer and check to see if there are any final blemishes to correct. Until then, model on!

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Have you considered gel type C/A ? Its very thick like the sprue goo but you can apply it with a toothpick to get a small bead so no mess. 

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3 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Have you considered gel type C/A ? Its very thick like the sprue goo but you can apply it with a toothpick to get a small bead so no mess. 

Thanks for the tip, I should have thought of that. I'll have to pick some up in case the need arises in the future. Hopefully not on this build, though!

4 hours ago, CurrantBunbury said:

Very nice work on a beautiful bird.:popcorn: 

Thank you sir for the kind words!

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I think I am finally, after a lot of elbow grease and not some small degree of frustration, finished with my work on the Blackbird's grids and now able to move on to other things. Here's a pic of the grids on the starboard engine:

 

 26500165779_426bbd8759_z.jpg

 

 

Not perfect by any means, but I'm hoping that with the weathered, matt black finish I'm planning any small blemishes will become unnoticeable.

 

Tonight's topic is the engine inlets. I discovered during all the putty and sanding work I was doing on the grids that the lip on the engine inlets is much too thick. I wish I had noticed this before joining the fuselage halves, as it would have been much easier to correct then.

 

38244457842_bc01560a2b.jpg

 

I tackled this by cutting and scraping away the inner edge of the lip, finished off by some work with a diamond needle file and fine sandpaper. I found the best tool for the cutting job, in this case, was a curved scalpel. I believe its medical use is for removing stitches.

 

38244457942_4623012ebc_z.jpg

 

Here's a pic of the thinned-down inlet lip. It may not look so great in this closeup photo, but to the naked eyeball it's much better than before:

 

37565106534_a4344b0399.jpg

 

I also did some work to fix this little problem:

 

38052686621_d48dc274ab_z.jpg

 

 

I needed a filler that bonds well to the plastic and can be carved & sanded, without flaking away. For this, I'm trusting that I've finally found an application where sprue goo will do the job (basically, melted styrene)!

 

38244457872_2d44b83200.jpg

 

Last item for tonight  -- A few posts ago I had a tip about where to get disposable micro applicators cheap. Just so noone thinks I spend all my time in the ladies' cosmetic aisle, here are a couple of other useful tools:

 

38276430631_1be3de9c21.jpg

 

The small dental brush does a great job of cleaning out crud from hard to reach places, such as the inside of the engine intakes after thinning the inlet lips. It also does a pretty good job of cleaning sanding debris from panel lines. But the best tool I've found for that latter job is the plastic end of the floss tool. In the past I've tried cleaning panel lines with needles and scribing blades, and always end up with the tool slipping out of the panel line and putting deep scratches where I don't want them. Sharpened toothpicks work better, but dull quickly. The plastic end of the dental floss thingamabob is thin enough to get into most panel lines, doesn't dull, and doesn't cause any damage if it slips out of place.

 

That's all for now!

 

 

 

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Tomorrow (Monday) I fly to San Francisco for a week-long business trip, so I wanted to get as much done this weekend as possible.

 

First, I re-scribed some of the panel detail that got lost in the putty-sand-putty-sand process related to the PE grids. I also had to take my scribing tool to the vertical stabs, as the kit's moldings left much to be desired.

 

38318919196_4cdab7a57b.jpg

 

With the scribing done, I took polishing cloth to the entire bird in preparation for painting. I masked off the cockpit, wheel wells, and engine exhausts using a combination of tape, sponges, and blu-tack.

 

38343759722_d8dccbfbde.jpg

 

38373798201_5f506010e5.jpg

 

38343759592_ea1aae5f57.jpg

 

37659948814_676daa4b4d.jpg

 

Next, I epoxied the afterburner cans and nozzles in place. There was a small seam/gap at the join which needed a wee amount of putty to address. Also, with the afterburner cans in place the vertical stabs don't sit flush -- I will need to cut down their tabs a bit before adding them.

 

37659949464_c129950369.jpg

 

At this point I was ready to prime. I used Stynylrez black as I was impressed how well it went on the afterburner cans previously. Here's the result:

 

37659949534_c47ff10df7_b.jpg

 

(Vertical stabs are fitted temporarily for this photo)

 

Some detail shots:

 

Gridwork. Not perfect, but I'm tired of working on them ;-)

26598152729_f16a670b3d.jpg

 

Lower nose chine. Remember how bad it looked originally...

38343759412_91455739a7.jpg

 

Intake area:

38343757822_9b1d975e19.jpg

 

That troublesome wing tip, now nicely smooth:

38373798581_b528bfa3cc.jpg

 

And finally, the Blackbird's tail. I see from the photo there's still a bit of a problem needing putty.

37659947914_f016690bb2.jpg

 

Next update is at least a week away. That's when I will begin blackbasing & weathering. Until then, keep building!

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Excellent work!  I built this kit many years ago, well before there were resin and photo etch goodies for it.  What an improvement.

 

You may want to flatten the end of the tail cone a bit.  It's actually the fuel dump port.  There is a nice shot of it in the Squadron Walk Around on page 57.  Google might be of use as well.

 

Keep up the good work.  I want to build another one now!

 

David

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I got back late Thursday from my trip to San Francisco and have resumed working on the SR-71. First order of business was to re-work the tail cone to represent the fuel dump. Here's what I came up with:

 

38451324006_3db260f8e9.jpg

 

I also attended to a few details left over from my earlier work on the landing gear. First, I built up and painted the PE doors for the main landing gear:

 

24634840798_00f8ac4723.jpg

 

After that, I took some time detailing the landing gear with landing lights, cabling, and a few other odd bits & shapes visible in photos of the real thing:

 

37620244955_51dee4bf26.jpg

 

38451323996_4640313dee_z.jpg

 

With these items taken care of I believe I'm finally ready to begin painting in earnest.

 

 

 

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Well, I thought I could wait until morning but I was wrong. I fired up the old airbrush and put on the initial coat for my black basing with black, Alclad II Gloss Black. It went on without any problems at all, and the Blackbird is now tucked away for the night in its very own dustproof box.

 

37622518405_cd47984c97_b.jpg

 

And with that, good night!

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It's been a few days and I thought I'd give an update. Painting has begun! I am using the blackbasing technique previously referenced -- it's something I haven't tried before, much less for an aircraft that's entirely black! Let's see how it works out.

 

I will be using various shades of MRP black & gray over a deep black Alclad primer. The sequence of painting will be from darker to lighter. First I masked off those areas that will eventually be painted in lighter shades.

 

38540072612_f6c7116a96_z.jpg

 

After painting in my darkest shade, I reversed the masking process and followed up with a slightly lighter shade. Here are a few pics of the result:

 

38540072462_64cc3171f6_z.jpg

 

38515221126_7e41cd056e_z.jpg

 

37854948394_19f94491e8_z.jpg

 

38515221036_cf543fef72_z.jpg

 

38571661031_f6c7116a96_z.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the photos don't accurately reflect the appearance of the model. I suspect pics taken in direct sunlight would be better. Also, the difference between the dark and light colors may be too severe. I expect this to improve when I add clear coats later. And, there's always the option of using a black filter to tone down the differences should that be necessary.

 

Next step is to repeat the above on the Blackbird's belly, then move on to weathering.

 

Finally, here's a little something I found in the news today, I hope you enjoy it!

 

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16243/this-sr-71-blackbird-cockpit-tour-is-the-most-fascinating-thing-youll-see-all-week

 

 

 

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Bill,

    You've really put some great work into that Blackbird!  Starting to look very impressive!  Looking forward to the finishing touches.

 

Gaz

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Thanks for the kind words, Gaz! This is my fourth build since returning to the hobby, I'm learning a lot and am grateful that there are so many helpful persons on this site.

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Looking great!

 am a bit late on this  -  but the below article, while quite light, has some good facts and trivia in it on the SR-71 - including details on the metallic tires and so on.... which I think someone mentioned earlier. 

 

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/the-real-x-jet-12377380/

 

 

 

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Thanks Bruce, that's an interesting article you posted.

 

Basic painting is nearly complete. I painted the underside similar to how I did the upper surfaces, referring to photos for panel shading guidance.

 

37886249064_e288e7738d_b.jpg

 

I also applied a filter using my primary black shade to tone down the lighter panels topside.

 

37886249134_980236f645_z.jpg

 

The removable nose section was painted in lighter shades. This is typical of what is seen in photos, but in some photos the nose is actually darker than the aircraft overall. I've found that there is great variation among actual SR-71s regarding coloration, weathering, panel shading, etc.

 

26826725579_105814b18a_z.jpg

 

The tail cone also got its own shade of dark gray:

 

38603578811_3af9afdf1f_z.jpg

 

Engine inlet cones and the area around the intake front often appear very dark in pictures, so I applied an even darker shade of black there:

 

37715370855_86232a11f5_z.jpg

 

The engines themselves typically show a lot of wear and weathering, I'm debating whether I should use the salt technique to dirty them up.

 

Finally, here are a few pics in direct sunlight. Pardon the dust, the black surface is unforgiving and it seems I am always cleaning with a tack cloth.

 

37886249164_bb1508f189_z.jpg

 

26826726359_f26f907fb0_c.jpg

 

26826726319_3a86f46665_c.jpg

 

 

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Stunning!

 

The effect is very very effective. 

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1 hour ago, At Sea said:

Stunning!

 

The effect is very very effective. 

I just put a clear gloss coat on in preparation for weathering, and much of the effect has been greatly lessened. Hopefully it will return when I put on the final dull coat after weathering and decaling is complete. 

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Just now, billn53 said:

I just put a clear gloss coat on in preparation for weathering, and much of the effect has been greatly lessened. Hopefully it will return when I put on the final dull coat after weathering and decaling is complete. 

Usually does.  I hate the gloss coat phase, allways feel like I've ballsed up weeks of work at that point!

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I've been working on weathering this black bird to represent some of the well-worn aircraft I've seen in photos. My first attempt was using the salt technique on the engine areas, which seem to get a lot of wear. I was dissatisfied with the results and ended up re-spraying much of the affected area.

 

24749046858_f5f8248efe_z.jpg

 

For the forward fuselage, I wanted to add streaking effects on the lower portion of the chine. I tried using the method shown in this video,

 

 

 

and am pretty happy with how it turned out:

 

38621550291_41fdb42cc6_z.jpg

 

37903874324_abf67c9c6b_z.jpg

 

I also applied a wash to the panel lines. For this, I used Ammo Mig's Stone Gray Wash for black aircraft:

 

26845090869_8702739a72_z.jpg

 

 

which gives a subtle effect that is exaggerated in the photos below:

 

24749046298_455713b4da.jpg

 

37903874724_127b5ea2c4_z.jpg

 

24749046918_ae8356d788_z.jpg

 

That's all for now!

 

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15 minutes ago, CurrantBunbury said:

This is looking pretty smart. :coolio: I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Me too ;-)

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That is a good video, but the music is cringe-inducing!

 

Well done with the weathering so far.  The resin exhausts look superb.  Nice job with the fuel dump, too!

 

David

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A great looking model, really coming together now and looking stunning. Your attention to detail and hard work is paying off.

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Thanks Booty, David, CurrantBunbury, and everyone else who has commented favorably on this build! I thought this would be a quick build but it's gone on nearly two months, and encouragement is very much appreciated.

 

I want to get the vertical stabs installed but before I do that, I thought it best to finish work on the fuselage topside so the stabs won't be in the way. In particular, I needed to mask and paint the red walkway warning stripes that run along the fuselage-wing join. The kit's decals do include these stripes, but I've heard that the decals aren't the best, and to try to add the long stripe decals seemed to me to be asking for trouble. 

 

Using the decals as a general guide, and after checking photos for reference, I masked off where the stripes would go:

 

26853146319_e1e22944f0_c.jpg

 

I then airbrushed a coat of white ModelMaster enamel, followed by ModelMaster Insignia Red. Drum roll, please...

 

38596789952_cd94dc73c7_c.jpg

 

To my eye, the red seems too 'pure' for this weathered Blackbird, so I will probably tone it down with a filter later on.

 

I do have one problem, though, and could use some advice on how to fix it. Specifically, the paint undercoat is visible along the edge of the red stripe. Here's a close-up:

 

37741257545_43b6dc0493_c.jpg

 

What should I do, and how do I keep it from happening in the future?

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That has happened to me before.  To prevent it, you can shoot a light coat of your final color first to seal the tape edges, then primer, then final color again.  Future (Klear) can also be used to seal the masking.  But that is hindsight.

 

To fix it, I would not try to cover it with more red.  Your stripes will be too wide.  Masking the red and shooting a light coat of black is probably your best option.

 

I spent about 6 hours yesterday masking off walkways on my Kinetic E-2C, and I'm still not done!  Isn't masking off most of your plane to paint a small area fun?

 

David

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