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Legendary Blackbird - Part 5: SR-71A "Blackbird" (1:48 Revell + 3D Printed Parts)


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Hi all,

Here is another Blackbird topic from me. In this WIP I will present the improvements/modifications I am planning to do on recently released 1:48 Revell SR-71A using the 3D printed parts I modeled for my other ongoing Blackbird/Oxcart projects.

 

I will not go in detail for the kit review because recently @Mike posted an excellent review here:

 

and @Alan P did a great WIP and RFI here:

 

Here are some pictures of boxart and the sprues:

2616.jpg

2772.jpg

2778.jpg

2771.jpg

2617.jpg

 

The built Blackbird is the 1:48 Italeri/Testors kit which is used currently for 1:48 A-12B "Titanium Goose" conversion reported here:

 

I hope you will enjoy this build.

 

Serkan

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2 minutes ago, Alan P said:

Oh yes, very yes 😂👍 can't wait!

Thanks Alan,

I started to add YF-12A model to my "Part 0" topic and in parallel 1:48 "Part 4: Titanium Goose" is ongoing. Fortunately "Part 1" and "Part 2" projects have been almost completed. I hope one day I can finish all these projects... 🤔😁🙃

2693.jpg

 

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Lets start this build with the intake assembly. Here are the parts from kit sprues:

2779.jpg

 

One of the inlet duct wall part has defect which is most probably due to trapped air inside the mold. The same problem exist for the port side intake wall at lip area. Also one of the fin root has same defect. This is a shame for Revell as apparently they don't have a QC step before boxing the sprues (right upper):

2771.jpg

 

But fortunately I will not use any of these parts. I have partially glued them to build the intake assembly:

2780.jpg

 

And here are the exhaust assembly parts:

2781.jpg

 

The engine cowling parts were also removed from sprue:

2783.jpg

 

All parts were assembled together with masking tape and here is the comparison of kit inlet versus printed one (for my A-12B build)

2784.jpg

 

More pictures will follow...

 

Serkan

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Here is a test shot of nose well which I printed out for A-12B project:

2785.jpg

2773.jpg

 

It seems that Revell has a bit oversized the bay length. It would be great if someone has a chance to get the right size of one of the nose landing gear doors...

 

Serkan

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It looks like you have been unlucky having some parts not properly formed, the only thing I noticed on my kit was one of the intake spikes had a rounded tip, I have added some plastic so that I can sand it back to a point.  The only item of the kit that I am unhappy about is the way the nose RWR antennas have been made, they are just indents on the chine without any raised area where the antenna is supposed to be, it just looks wrong against photos.  What do you think Serkan?  :hmmm:

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5 minutes ago, Retired Bob said:

The only item of the kit that I am unhappy about is the way the nose RWR antennas have been made, they are just indents on the chine without any raised area where the antenna is supposed to be, it just looks wrong against photos.  What do you think Serkan?

To be honest I haven't checked the rest of the kit yet Bob. But I have found here a discussion that maybe helpful:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?/topic/268117-sr-71-rwr/

 

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2 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

It looks like you have been unlucky having some parts not properly formed, the only thing I noticed on my kit was one of the intake spikes had a rounded tip, I have added some plastic so that I can sand it back to a point.  The only item of the kit that I am unhappy about is the way the nose RWR antennas have been made, they are just indents on the chine without any raised area where the antenna is supposed to be, it just looks wrong against photos.  What do you think Serkan?  :hmmm:

One of the inlet spikes on the box that I have opened are also rounded. This seems like a potential open goal for some aftermarket company to provide some corrected and 'spikier' parts. 

 

@Serkan Sen Thread followed. I'm also up for purchasing parts (whether these be for improving the detail, or allowing the Revell model to be adapted to an A-12 or YF-12) if you are in a position to supply at some point in the future. 🙂 The Oxcart family of aircraft are my favourite flying machines, so would love the opportunity to go to town on them. 

Edited by March
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All main parts were detached from the sprues and brought together using masking tape:

2774.jpg

 

And here is the Italeri/Testors kit:

2775.jpg

 

And here is the comparison of two kits:

2776.jpg

2777.jpg

 

Clearly Revell kit has better chine shape (I haven't compared with the real aircraft yet!..) but I am a bit suspicious about the position and dimension of the tertiary doors... 🤔

 

Serkan

 

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Thanks for the link to the arc forum Serkan, there were some excellent photos there showing that indeed the Revell kit has RWR antenna that are too skinny.

My photos are from the mid 80s, old style 35mm film that has been digitised but they are not as sharp as modern digital photos.

 A damp airshow day at RAF Mildenhall 1984?, tail number 17980 this was with the hi-vis white markings/insignia.

PICT0353

The digitising has made the black underside appear 'frosted' but it wasn't that cold, it was late May.

Here is a side shot of the same aircraft.

PICT0351

 

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3 hours ago, March said:

One of the inlet spikes on the box that I have opened are also rounded. This seems like a potential open goal for some aftermarket company to provide some corrected and 'spikier' parts. 

I did think about using a metal point to improve the inlet cone spike but it would have injured someone, probably me. 🙄

Here are a couple of photos of the intakes.

PICT0357

Notice the bare metal as the spike enters the intake.

The next year was sunnier and the aircraft (17958) now had the low viz red codes and insignia.

PICT0069

 

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Ooh, I need to follow this. Mind if I pull up a chair?

 

Cheers,

 

Tom.

Edited by Tomjw
Typo
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One of the J-58 engine parts were brought together to check the dimensions:

2782.jpg

 

According to the reference the actual length of the J-58 engine is 5440 mm which gives 113.35 mm in 1:48 scale. But my digital caliper shows something different... Nearly 10 mm undersized engine is a bit much difference!..

That also explains why assembled exhaust interior looks so strange. I think Revell engineers have decided to give a depth feeling to afterburner can by undersizing the dimensions and using a tapered afterburner can... 🤔😁🙃

Serkan

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The intake parts are both in printed and assembled forms:

2791.jpg

2792.jpg

2683.jpg

 

The printed intake assembly will definitely give the model better look:

2793.jpg

 

To be able to place new intake the indents at the cowling mouth have to be removed:

2794.jpg

 

Also the alignment of intake end was done by removing the core of the kit part:

2795.jpg

2796.jpg

 

Next step is to test the exhaust assembly.

 

Serkan

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Parts are looking great Serkan.  I can see the need for the front wheel well on the Italeri kit.  It looked from Alan’s build as though Revell is better, although yours looks another step up.  Are the Revell engines intended to be installed or just sat on the base?

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10 hours ago, bar side said:

 Are the Revell engines intended to be installed or just sat on the base?

If I may leap in... Revell supply separate parts for the external display engines and the internal assembly. I don't know if the 'whole' engine assembly will fit the nacelle if you wanted to try it?

 

@Serkan Sen the printed parts are so much better represented! Very cool, and excellent scaling to fit.

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11 hours ago, bar side said:

Parts are looking great Serkan.  I can see the need for the front wheel well on the Italeri kit.  It looked from Alan’s build as though Revell is better, although yours looks another step up.  Are the Revell engines intended to be installed or just sat on the base?

48 minutes ago, Alan P said:

If I may leap in... Revell supply separate parts for the external display engines and the internal assembly. I don't know if the 'whole' engine assembly will fit the nacelle if you wanted to try it?

 

I was planning to come this point later 🙂

Here are dry fit test images including J-58 engine:

2824.jpg

2825.jpg

2826.jpg

 

It seems that the engine fits to cowling without any problem (although none of the engine details will be seen) 🙃

Serkan

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1 hour ago, Alan P said:

the printed parts are so much better represented! Very cool, and excellent scaling to fit.

Thanks Alan. I took some pictures of kit and printed nose wells:

2806.jpg

2807.jpg

 

I added many interior details to the 3D model and I will post them very soon in "Part 0" WIP:

Serkan

 

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The nose well 3D model has been updated any ready for test print:

2818.jpg

 

Also NLG drag strut door rod has been added to NLG model:

2819.jpg

2820.jpg

 

The nose well doors will be printed together. It will take around 4 hours to see the results.

 

Serkan

 

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24 minutes ago, bar side said:

Yep those wheel well prints look great.  It’s not like there isn’t room inside the kit to fit the proper depth

To be honest I haven't checked yet if the wheel well fits. But in M-21 and A-12B,  the second cockpit was placed at Qbay area which should be the case in Blackbird to enable enough room for the rear cockpit.

2054.jpg

 

The below drawing is also from my ongoing YF-12A modelling:

2695.jpg

 

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