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Flankerman

M-55 Geophysica from Modelsvit

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Just arrived - the latest kit from the Ukrainian enterprise of Modelsvit... the Myasischev M-55 'Geophysica' high-altitude observation aircraft.

 

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With each new release, Modelsvit are raising the bar for moulding quality - the crispness and engraved surface detail is simply stunning.

 

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Page 3 of the 12-page instruction booklet - note the 22-part K-36 ejection seat construction.

 

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Page 10 showing the painting and decal-placement guide.

 

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The superbly printed decal sheet - those sponsors logos are all perfectly readable!

 

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The parts are crisly moulded in light grey plastic - with stunning engraved surface detail.

 

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Modelsvit have captured the shape of the double-curvature laminar-flow long-span wing superbly.

 

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Open or closed canopy options are included - note the parts for the K-36 ejection seat.

 

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Self-adhesive masks for the canopy and wheel hubs are provided - as is this etched-brass sheet of parts.

 

More photos of the rest of the sprues are here:- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/model_m-55_modelsvit.html

 

This close-up photo shows off the delicate engraved panel detail perfectly...

 

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Finally, to whet your appetite, here's the real thing I photographed at MAKS 2012....

 

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I can't wait to get started on this kit - it will make an interesting companion to Modelsvit's previously released M-17 'Stratosphera'...

 

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Ken

 

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49 minutes ago, Flankerman said:

Page 3 of the 12-page instruction booklet - note the 22-part K-36 ejection seat construction.

 

Holy Mother Russia!  That looks more like a seat I'd expect to see in a 1/32 scale kit.  It seems that the 1/72 scale manufacturers really are upping their game! 

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2 hours ago, mdauben said:

Holy Mother Russia!  That looks more like a seat I'd expect to see in a 1/32 scale kit.  It seems that the 1/72 scale manufacturers really are upping their game! 

Indeed.

Having it on a separate spruce means they could offer it as an after market if they wanted.

Fascinating aircraft, a blend of U2 and Edgely Optica with a dash of Richard Branson.

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The original single-engined M-17 was designed to shoot down recconnaisance balloons that were released in western Europe to drift over the Soviet Union.

 

They were extremely difficult to locate and even more difficult to shoot down - most cannon fire going straight through the envelope, making a hole but not bringing the balloon down.

 

The original M-17 had a dorsal turret with cannons that fired special tracer rounds - but as the release of the balloons ceased, the need for the M-17 interceptor declined and it was converted into the 'Stratosphera' recconnaisance aircraft.

 

You can see the turret (without the cannons) and its fairing on this Anigrand resin kit I built a few years back....

 

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The Anigrand build is here.. http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_m-17.html

 

The Modelsvit M-17 is here... http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/model_m-17_modelsvit.html

 

Ken

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OH NO !!!

I've only just found room for the "Stratosphera" ! Now this...........

 

Click !!...........Buy !!............and hang the consequences !!

Rog

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A bit of progress....

 

The cockpit tub is made up from a floor, two side consoles plus front and rear bulkheads.
A control column and even the rudder pedals are included.

Decals are provided for the instrument panels - perfectly adequate in this scale - IMHO...

 

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Cockpit and nosewheel bay (made up from a 'roof', two side and two end parts) sub assemblies fitted inside the starboard front fuselage.
Modelsvit recommend 18 grams of nose weight - my bit of lead flashing weighs 22 grams....

 

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Cockpit, wheel bay and lead weight...

 

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Forward fuselage all buttoned up...

 

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The multi-part K-36 ejection seat will be added at the end of the build...

 

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Ken

 

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The twin jetpipes are each made up from two halves - with an internal nozzle...

 

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Full length intake trunking is provided - each intake made up from two halves...

 

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Bulkheads provide the compressor faces (top} and turbines....

 

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Intakes and jetpipes in place inside the centre-fuselage 'bathtub'.....

 

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The 'bathtub' is constructed from a lower fuselage section - plus two side panels.....

 

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Lower fuselage - with side panels and two-part tai;cone attached... Lots of joints!

 

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Top view of the centre-fuselage sub-assembly.

 

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Ken

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More progress (if anyone is interested??)......

 

The forward fuselage fits into the rear fuselage between the engine intakes - but there isn't much of a mating surface, resulting in a potentially weak joint......

 

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So to try to improve the joint, I added small blocks of plasticard to give the forward fuselage something to butt up against....

 

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The front fuselage (which is quite heavy due to the lead weights) now has a 'ledge' to attach to....

 

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Closer view of the plastic card additions....

 

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It would have been easier to make the 'ledge' before fitting the intakes in place... but I hadn't discovered the problem until too late.

 

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The M-55 has a box-like structure at the rear - between the exhaust nozzles - this is provided by Modelsvit with two halves into which are inserted two etched-brass vanes.... which must be bent to shape - all very fiddly...

 

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It took a lot of head-scratching to try and work out how the box fitted between the jetpipes....

 

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....but I got there in the end......

 

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....... aided by this photo that I took at MAKS 2013....

 

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Ken

 

 

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More....

 

A bit of fettling sees the upper wing centre-section added - with joints to fill around the intakes...

 

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.... and at the rear end....

 

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Underside view.....

 

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The ultra long-span wings are made up from a full-length lower section and a shorter upper section.......

 

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Ken

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A little more progress....

 

The lower wing root is quite flexible - so I've added supports made from square-section plastic.....

 

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Whilst waiting for the wings to set, I constructed the two underwing sampling pods - each made up from six parts...

 

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Each pod has two tiny hinge-like antenna at the rear - provided as teeny-weeny etched brass parts - almost at the limit of my eyesight.... :analintruder:

 

The starboard pod also has a flate-plate structure - again included on the etched-brass fret - here it is on the real thing...

 

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More later...

 

Ken

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Lovely work so far, Ken. Not really my thing or my scale - but it is such an intriguing subject.

Looking forward to following your progress...

Cheers,

Nick.

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This is a beautiful, stylized plane, and the model is looking really good, (being greatly improved by the skills of the modeler).

A question, though: is this a real civil plane, or one of those grey area machines that hides its real military surveillance purposes doing "research"?

Cheers

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How did I miss this? Looking great Ken. I haven’t bought one of these yet but it’s inevitable (despite the storage issue the wingspan will create) so I think I’d better bookmark this.

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13 hours ago, Moa said:

A question, though: is this a real civil plane, or one of those grey area machines that hides its real military surveillance purposes doing "research"?

Cheers

The design started life as a high-flying, single-engined balloon interceptor - to try to intercept recconnaisance balloons launched from western Europe to drift across the Soviet Union taking photos.

 

They were extremely difficult to intercept, much harder to shoot down - the original M-17 had a remotely controlled gun turret firing tracer rounds - mounted on top of the fuselage.... you can see the turret at the wing root/fuselage junction here on my Anigrand M-17 (minus the cannon barrrels)...

 

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When the balloon overflights ceased (due to improved satellites), the M-17 was evolved into an Earth-resources platform for studying the upper atmosphere.

 

The bigger M-55 is purely civilian - and was flown from Brazil during upper-atmosphere Ozone studies a few years back.

 

Read the Wiki entry for both the M-17 and its bigger brother the twin-engined M-55 :- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myasishchev_M-55

 

My Anigrand build is here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_m-17.html

 

The Modelsvit M-17 build is here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/model_m-17_modelsvit.html

 

The ongoing Modelsvit M-55 build is here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/model_m-55_modelsvit.html

 

19 hours ago, Chemguy3000 said:

Will you be using brass rod or tubing to support those long wings?

I thought about - then completly forgot in my haste to get the wings on... :doh:

 

I thing they are rigid enough though :pray: - the overlapping design helps in that regard.

 

Ken

 

 

 

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More.....

 

The main wheel bays form the front end of the tail booms - and are assembled from an outer 'canoe' and an inner bay.

 

The bay is made up from a flat part that you have to fold up to form the roof and sides - a neat idea that saves having to line up separate parts

 

A separate part is inserted for rear bulkhead...

 

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The tailbooms/fins are each made up from two halves (bottom) ....

 

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The completed starboard boom is at the top.

 

Ken

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I'd never heard of this kit maker until yesterday and then.... BOOM .....a WIP. Looking good. They seem to be quite Yak heavy in my chosen 1:48 milieu

Edited by fubar57

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It's starting to come together now.....

 

The front sections of the tailbooms containing the maingear bays are glued in place on the underside of the wings....

 

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The mating surface - where the tailbooms attach - isn't very substantial - so I fashioned a plug made from plastic tubing wrapped with plastic card to strengthen the joint.....

 

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The model is getting difficult to handle with its long-span wings :analintruder: .........and attaching the tailbooms really needs three hands :wall:

 

The booms have a 'key' to aid in lining them up - but the fit is a bit 'slack' - allowing the booms to sag or rotate slightly.......

 

I tackled it by first glueing the port tailboom into place - lining things up by eye to make sure the fin was vertical and correctly aligned in side view.

 

After allowing the glue to set - but not too hard - I then attached the starboard boom and, with the model inverted and supported horizontally on the workbench, the horizontal stabiliser was glued in place and used to line everything up - it seems to have worked.....

 

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Underside view - the joints need to be filled and eliminated - difficult when you are handling what feels like a balalaika !!!!

 

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It's all downhill from here........ :whistle:

 

Ken

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Curious — Just how big is this model? It’s really hard to tell from your photos, without something for reference. 

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How big is it? - Wingspan is 520mm (20.5 in), length is 315mm (12.4 in) - here it is next to a MiG-25 Foxbat.,,,,,,,

 

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Ken

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Incredible project!

Not quite a U-2 but close....

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