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  1. Combat Models is to release (soon?) a 1/32nd Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird vacuform kit Source: http://combatmodels.us/home V.P.
  2. I'm calling this one finished for now. I got this kit back in the late 80s and out of the kits I made back then I thought it was one worth attempting to rebuild and try to finish it to a higher standard. The fit of the kit is poor and I had made a pretty awful job of blending in the upper and lower fuselage halves originally, plus the rear tailcone is a terrible fit. Without completely breaking the model down I could not do much about those problems, so I instead tried to apply a better finish with an airbrush, plus I got a nice new set of decals, and I got resin wheels and metal undercarriage for it. I also tried to rescribe it which went ok in places, but I suspect it would have been easier to do with an unassembled model, plus no paint on it. Finally I got a set of crew members for the SR-71 from plus model in resin and had a go at figure painting. I guess I'm happy enough with it for a first finished model after being out of the hobby for nearly 30 years and I'm hoping the next model (a Mirage F1) will be much better. The model is pretty big! My portable studio box wasn't quite up to the job! The canopies have a thick rough layer of paint on them from when I first build the kit, so I'm not that happy with them, I didn't want to sand them too much though as I felt they might break. Nice to have something in the display cabinet again, and looking forward to getting stuck into the next project!
  3. After a 25 year break I've just got back into modelling kits and I thought the bests way to get back into things would be to try and rebuild the 1/48th Blackbird I built around 1988. Back then I did not have an airbrush, nor was I much into filling and sanding, and I had no idea what rescribing was! Thanks to the internet and sites such as this I learned a lot about new tools and techniques so hopefully this rebuilt Blackbird will turn out nicely. I have new quality decals for it, plus a SAC metal undecarriage and some True Details resin wheels to add to it. I saw there was a resin exhaust/tailpipe set for the 1/48th SR-71, but it seems to be hard to find so I'll most likely just do what I can with the kit parts. Here it is stripped down at the start (the undercarriage, engine parts, etc came away easily, the glue had dried and was barely holding it together) I sanded off the massive injection mark on the top and I plan to scribe in the braking parachute doors later (as I saw on another build thread of this kit) First attempt at rescribing at the rear, will probably need a bit of a tidy up later Lots of filling and sanding to the underside of the front fuselage (the UMM scriber I got is really nice to use I have to say!) As this weekend is meant to be very cold indeed (and hence I'll give my road bike a rest, (my other main hobby!)) I'm anticipating I'll have time to finish the scribing and sanding and get a coat of Mr Surfacer 1200 on it, and hopefully it won't look terrible!
  4. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird with D-21B Drone Hasegawa 1:72 Rather than repeat the great review done by our very own Paul AH HERE this review will concentrate on the drone as the SR-71 is exactly the same. The kit does come in a very attractive open top box with an artists impression of the aircraft, complete with drone, at speed climbing through the clouds. Inside you get the upper and lower halves of the fuselage/wings plus two sprues of black styrene and one small sprue of clear styrene. The plastic is really quite hard and brittle which doesn’t bode well for cutting out. Being the same kit as the Gravestone version the build of the parent aircraft is exactly the same. The only difference in this version is the inclusion of the D-21B drone. Which is assembled from upper and lower fuselage sections with the wings pre-moulded just like the SR-71. To this assembly the exhaust nozzle is fitted aft along with the fin, whilst at the front the two piece nose section with pre-moulded pitot probe is fitted at the front. The pylon on which the drone is mounted is a two piece affair which went assembled is fitted to the parent aircraft through two slots that need to be opened up before the main fuselage pieces are glued together. The slots are well marked on the inside so shouldn’t prove too much of a problem to open and clean up. With the pylon in place and both aircraft and drone painted up the drone can be fitted in position. Decals The decal sheet not only provides the cockpit instrument panels and side consoles, but also a complete set of wing walk stripes, stencils and insignia. The choice of two aircraft can be built these are:- • US Air Force Test Aircraft 17950 with D-21B Drone 507 based at Area 51with both aircraft in overall black scheme • US Air Force Test Aircraft 06940 with D-21 Drone based at Area 51 in silver and black scheme with the drone overall silver with the nose and wing leading edges in black. Conclusion This is not the most complex kit in the world to build but it will require a good paint job to bring out the interesting nature of the beasts. I personally prefer the silver scheme as it contrasts nicely with the all black model normally seen. I’m not sure of the plastic Hasegawa use in this kit as it does seem extraordinarily hard compared with their other kits and I’m not sure how well it will react with normal liquid poly that I use. Still, it’s an interesting subject and will look good in any collection. Walkround photos available HERE Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  5. Well another project completed. Revell SR-71A Blackbird based out of Beale Air Force Base, California. My only criticism with this kit is that even with all of the decals they say to put on it for the Beale Air Force Base version it appears slightly plain (no pun intended). To that effect, I am thinking of using some of the decals from the alternate version of this kit (USAF/ USAF Symbol and US Air Force text) to improve the look of it, but the Beale AFB version did not have these decals on it. Opinions on this welcome. Anyway onto the photos. Blackbird head on. Blackbird in its new home (at least until the B-1B is decalled) excuse part of my book collection :-) Comments on this welcome, but again I have to say this one has come out quite nicely, especially as this was one of my earliest model builds after restarting the hobby. Thanks for looking. Rick
  6. SR-71A Blackbird ‘Gravestone’ 1:72 Hasegawa If it were to be rolled out of Lockheed’s famous ‘Skunkworks’ factory for the first time tomorrow, the SR-71 Blackbird would still look like something from the future. It’s simply phenomenal to think that the sleek design of the aircraft, with its blended wing, colossal engines and sinister matt black paint, is over 50 years old. The SR-71 flew for the first time in 1964, two years after the aircraft it was developed from, the A-12. In comparison with its predecessor, the SR-71 was a larger aircraft, with a stretched fuselage designed to hold more fuel for greater endurance and a second cockpit for a Reconnaissance Systems Operator. The SR-71 began its active service career in 1966. The aircraft was used for reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam and Laos, flying from its base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. It also flew missions over the Baltic Sea from Mildenhall in the UK. Always a hugely expensive aircraft to operate, the Blackbird was retired in 1989, with the funding for the programme redirected to the troubled B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit programmes. However, with no suitable replacement in the development pipeline and increasing tensions across the globe, the SR-71 programme was reactivated in the early nineties, only to be retired for the second and final time in 1998. During its 32 year career, the Blackbird set dozens of records for absolute altitude and absolute speed, most of which still stand today, making the aircraft a true Cold War icon. Hasegawa’s SR-71A has been around for quite some time now, and although it lags some way behind newer kits in terms of part count and detail, it’s still a good all-rounder which will fulfil the basic requirements of most modellers. The kit arrives packed into a large top-opening box, inside which are just 43 parts. This is surprisingly few parts for such a large aircraft, but it’s as much down to the sleek, uncluttered design of the SR-71 as it is the vintage of the kit. The parts are moulded in glossy black plastic, with the obvious exception of the clear parts. When I say the plastic is glossy, I mean it. If you’re thinking of skipping the primer coat when you paint this model, I have one word of advice for you: don’t! Hasegawa’s moulds always seem to stand the test of time fairly well, and this is no exception. There is very little flash present, with the exception of the part for the windscreen on the clear sprue. Surface detail on this model is comprised of consistently fine, raised panel lines, with the exception of the control surfaces which are recessed. Given the choice I would opt for recessed panel lines, but I guess one of the virtues of a kit that must be painted near-black is that this feature doesn’t matter so much. The cockpit is comprised of a floor with side consoles moulded in place, onto which have to be added the bulkheads which fit behind each seat and the ejector seats themselves. These are well-shaped but fairly basic items, so you might want to replace them if you particularly want to pose the canopy in the open position. The instrument panels fit into the inside of the upper fuselage rather than the cockpit tub itself. In typical Hasegawa style, there is no raised detail on either the instrument panels or the side consoles, with decals being provided instead. That, as far as interior detail is concerned, is that. As you can see from the photographs above, the fuselage is comprised of upper and lower halves, with wings and nacelles moulded in place. The fit of the two halves appears to be excellent, and as the join line is around the SR-71’s distinctive chines, there will be little in the way of seams to clean up. The nose cone, with pitot tube moulded in place, is a separate assembly. The engine nacelles require the addition of the distinctive spikes at the front and the flame holders and exhausts at the rear. The flame holders are rather basic, solid parts, but they will help to prevent the dreaded see through effect. After the addition of the vertical stabilisers, all that remains to be done is add the parts for the undercarriage and the cockpit canopy. The undercarriage parts are fairly respectable in terms of detail, although the undercarriage bays themselves are fairly basic. I like the design of the main gear legs as the central of the three wheels is moulded in place. This will give the undercarriage greater strength and will aid with the alignment of the inner and outer wheels. The canopy is pretty thin and clear, although the aforementioned flash will need to be cleaned up. Decal options are provided for two aircraft: SR-71A of Detachment 1, 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Kadena Air Force Base, USAF. This aircraft features the gravestone artwork depicted on the lid of the box; and An SR-71A identified only as ‘Nighthawk’ owing to the tail artwork. Both aircraft are finished in a near black scheme. The paint used on the SR-71 in real life was, I believe, extremely dark blue so I’d be tempted to try Tamiya’s new Rubber Black or a similar shade from another manufacturer. The decals are nicely printed, if a little on the thick side. In my experience, however, Hasegawa decals usually perform quite well. Conclusion Although it’s no spring chicken, this is still a pretty reasonable kit. Whilst it may lack some of the finer details here and there, the fit of parts seems to be very good and it should build up into a pretty nice model. Having said that, this edition is not a cheap option, so you’ll need to decide whether you particularly want the decal options included before you decide which version to buy. Overall though it’s a decent kit and should be a fun, quick build. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  7. Chocksaway's 2012 Collection 2012 was not a particularly productive model-making year for me. Lots of excuses for this being the case, none worth repeating. I managed to add 4 more Harriers to my 1/48 scale Harrier collection (now up to 13), built my first 1/48th scale biplane, my first egg planes and built a model I should have made 30 years ago - the wonderful SR-71 together with a 1/144 YF-16 and a competition entry 1/100th Alize. Without further ado, here's how they turned out... Harrier GR7 - ZG532 operated by IV(AC) Squadron, RAF In the rarely seen two greens scheme using the Hasegawa / Revell 1/48th scale kit ... RFI Thread A pair of SR-71 "Blackbirds" The old Revell 1/72nd scale kit ... And the Hasegawa Egg Plane version ... RFI Thread Harrier GR5 - ZD412 / AH operated by 3(F) Squadron, RAF around 1990-91 Another two greens Harrier, using the Hasegawa GR.5 1/48th scale kit ... RFI Thread Sea Harrier FRS51 - IN623 / 23, 300 Sqdn, Indian Navy, circa 2012 The latest (last?) camouflage scheme of the just about flying Indian Navy SHARs, using the venerable Airfix 1/48th scale kit ... RFI Thread here Ansaldo SVA.5 - Italian Air Force, c 1918 Having joined the Great War SIG, I felt obliged to get my act together and build a 1/48th scale biplane, the Fly Models Ansaldo S.V.A.5 (Early) ... RFI Thread Breguet Alize - IN202, Indian Navy For our club's "6 Month Challenge" we are given a kit to build and do with it as we please - I decided not to build it quite the way it was intended. It's a Heller 1/100th scale Breguet Alize with scratch Indian Navy decals ... RFI Thread Harrier AV-8B II - 162074 / VL-07 of VMA-331 "Bumblebees", USMC, c1986 My latest Harrier Project Harrier, an AV-8B II using the Revell / Monogram 1/48th scale kit ... RFI Thread Harrier GR.1 Another Hasegawa Egg Plane, this time a Harrier GR.1 of the HOCU built from the box. A not very paint job it has to be said (may have another go at it) ... General Dynamics YF-16 A quick and dirty build of the Revell 1/144th scale YF-16 whilst building my next Harrier. A cockpit tub, seat and plasticine pilot added, else it's out of the box. Paper clip and milk bottle top for a stand. My Italian Navy Harrier is unlikely to get done now this year, but will be finished in January and the 1/144th scale A-6 Intruder is also on hold. The plan, but not the New Year Resolution, is to do more models next year, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so they say. Seasons greeting and best wishes for 2013 to you all
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