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Revell 1/72 SR-71 Blackbird


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Welcome one and all to my next build, Revell's venerable 1/72 SR-71 Blackbird. I've seen some fantastic 48th scale blackbirds built around these parts in the last few months and was inspired to have a go at my own version of this amazing aircraft. 

 

I pondered long and hard at which kit to buy as all the 1/72 versions seem to have their issues... In the end Revell's boxing was relatively cheap, quick to be delivered and had a nice cockpit, with pilots(!), which I'm a sucker for, even if i they're going to be pretty much invisible. The kit turned up in a slightly battered state, though the box art is lovely:

 

51922478481_a2003d5a04_c.jpg

 

Everything is in black plastic, there are raised panel lines, a bit of flash and first impression is that the cockpit, indeed, is great, but the rest is going to need wrestling together. I'm already envisaging a fair bit of sanding and filling and that'll probably lead to a load of rescribing, how much I'm not sure yet, but I'm really keen to get a clean, crisp finish which is going to require a fair bit of elbow grease!

 

51923101425_2bbece0be4_c.jpg

 

So far I've just got the cockpit and pilots done. This was a mix of airbrushing the base coats followed by detail painting, shading and highlighting with brushes. Not going to see much of this with the canopies on but at least I'll know the pilots are well turned out in there! 

 

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I'll try and keep regular updates going on this one but won't bore you with too many gory details of ill fitting parts and lashings of sprue goo... Thanks for dropping by! Sam

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@billn53 @Alan P thanks gents! I'm a bit funny about 1/72 🤪, it's the only scale I've ever made (man and boy!) and I like everything on the shelf to match... I think if I was to try a bigger scale I'd skip 48th and maybe try 32nd scale so you can really tell the difference and go nuts with the added detail. Alan, your Blackbird build is going to be permanently open in another tab so I can draw inspiration as I go! 

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2 hours ago, SaminCam said:

@billn53 @Alan P I'm a bit funny about 1/72 🤪, it's the only scale I've ever made (man and boy!) and I like everything on the shelf to match... I think if I was to try a bigger scale I'd skip 48th and maybe try 32nd scale so you can really tell the difference and go nuts with the added detail. 


 

I feel much the same as you, everything I have (in aircraft) are 1/72, except for just a couple larger builds.

 

Here’s the link to my 1/72 Blackbird WIP, maybe you can find it of some use.

 
https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235027443-i-couldnt-resist-sr-71a-blackbird/#comment-2834403

 

 

- Bill 

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7 hours ago, billn53 said:

 

Here’s the link to my 1/72 Blackbird WIP, maybe you can find it of some use.

Perfect! Thanks Bill, this is a fantastic build and extremely useful - your cockpit and pilots are great (revell did a good job with the figures didn't they?!?), I'm definitely going to have to take a shot at painting insignias on there arm patches having seen yours!

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A last shot of the cockpit before it gets sealed away forever: 

 

51928844231_7bde03bff7_c.jpg

 

Finished up the pilots too and they are now glued in place. @billn53's build set me the challenge of painting a shoulder patch and after hunting for photos decided to go for good ol' stars and stripes 🇺🇸, they're tiny and think I went blue holding my breath trying to paint the red stripes but didn't turn out too bad! 

 

51929183934_3feef1382b_c.jpg

 

So the cockpit and pilots were a joy to paint and assemble but I suspect the rest is going to be hard work - as an example have a look at the sprue attachment to the front canopy! I cut this off with a fine saw and now trying to sculpt it with sharp knife to match the shape of the other side, fun fun!

 

51929472865_e9246cc7f4_c.jpg

 

 

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On 3/9/2022 at 11:34 PM, KingTiger435 said:

Brilliant work on that cockpit! Shame not much will be visible :(

Thank you! I'm going to do by best to make the transparencies transparent so hopefully it'll be possible to see a bit of action inside, the bright yellow suits at the very least! 

 

@billn53 @Alan P @Eric Mc thanks gents, the detailed cockpit and pilots were the main reason I went for the revell version, doesn't seem like any of the 1/72 options are great but after lots of dry fitting and planning I'm hopeful I can wrestle this one into shape!

 

I've decided the whole thing is getting sanded flat and the panel lines rescribed so I've ordered some more Dyno tape and been practicing my technique on the little drone that comes with the kit - nice that they provide a paint mule that you can test things out on! Hopefully I'll make some progress over the weekend and gets some pictures up on Sunday - RFI for the Apache to come as well. Cheers, Sam

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IIRC this is the Monogram kit reboxed by Revell, it's the only one that provides correctly suited pilots.

Nothing wrong with it and..my oh my, that cockpit work!😱

Edited by Robertone139
added text.
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The cockpit details and pilots looks amazing. I also have pair of Revell Blackbird kits in my stash because the price was very attractive. But after getting a bit experience on Blackbird I have seen a lot of inaccuracies in this kit. Some of them can be fixed but especially the cockpit and canopy area as well as MLG bay is a big problem. I can share some images from my Oxcart build to show the canopy issues:

1130.jpg

1132.jpg

 

The Italeri/Monogram YF-12A kit has the best canopy shape:

1131.jpg

1133.jpg

 

Mainly because of the canopy shape I started to convert this kit into A-12B in 1:72 scale using the printed part. I have removed the entire fuselage section and replaced with the printed one.

 

I will follow your build with great interest.

 

Serkan

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On 3/9/2022 at 11:24 PM, SaminCam said:

decided to go for good ol' stars and stripes 🇺🇸, they're tiny and think I went blue holding my breath trying to paint the red stripes but didn't turn out too bad! 

They (and the whole cockpit) turned out amazing! I thought they were decals at 1/72. Love the SR71 and the scale.

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Gidday, many have commented on the cockpit you've done, what a superb job you've done of it, and what a shame that much of what you've done won't be seen. Will your model be displayed on the ground or in flight? If on the ground I don't supposed it could have the cockpits open? Sorry if this has already been dealt with. Regards, Jeff.

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On 3/12/2022 at 5:02 AM, AdrianMF said:

Love the cockpit and crew. I will follow your scribing with interest as I have one of these in the stash too for a rainy day/week/month/year…

Thanks Adrian, rescribing has begun around the nose and cockpit - my skills are pretty limited but making a bit of progress, photos to come soon along with some thoughts/questions on technique!

 

On 3/13/2022 at 2:18 PM, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday, many have commented on the cockpit you've done, what a superb job you've done of it, and what a shame that much of what you've done won't be seen. Will your model be displayed on the ground or in flight? If on the ground I don't supposed it could have the cockpits open? Sorry if this has already been dealt with. Regards, Jeff.

Cheers Jeff, I've been pondering this for the last few days! I think she's going to be in flight as the blackbird just doesn't quite look right unless it's going like a rocket at Mach 3...

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On 3/13/2022 at 12:54 PM, Serkan Sen said:

The cockpit details and pilots looks amazing. I also have pair of Revell Blackbird kits in my stash because the price was very attractive. But after getting a bit experience on Blackbird I have seen a lot of inaccuracies in this kit. Some of them can be fixed but especially the cockpit and canopy area as well as MLG bay is a big problem. I can share some images from my Oxcart build to show the canopy issues:

1130.jpg

1132.jpg

 

The Italeri/Monogram YF-12A kit has the best canopy shape:

1131.jpg

1133.jpg

 

Mainly because of the canopy shape I started to convert this kit into A-12B in 1:72 scale using the printed part. I have removed the entire fuselage section and replaced with the printed one.

 

I will follow your build with great interest.

 

Serkan

Thanks Serkan, this is massively useful information and a study that I'm sure others will want to refer to as well. I see what you mean about the cockpit shapes but have already committed (ie glued on!) the parts ootb - it doesn't look too bad after a fair bit of sanding and filling so I'll stick with it. I'm afraid my 'bird isn't going to get close to your beauties but I'm using them as inspiration - who knows, maybe airfix are watching you as well and can be persuaded to produce a new, 1/72 version 😝

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Evening all! Thought I'd post a bit of an update on the work done so far to the front end. I've done things in a slightly funny order, the nose and canopies are glued in without cockpit or transparencies so I could really attack the filling and sanding in this area. It all fits quite well, though the transparent part on the front of the cockpit is going to need quite a lot of work (that's probably the next job).

 

It's a bit difficult to see here but I've started the rescribing. All the raised panel lines on this front section have been sanded off and replaced with recessed lines. I've not done much scribing before but have a technique developing: Dymo tape is stuck on and then the spike tool in the photo is scored along the edge half a dozen times. For curved lines I've used flexible masking tape but you have to be much more careful here not to slip off line. Once the line is in place the surface is sanded through progressively finer grades using forwards and back motions, rather than round and round which leave quite obvious swirling scratches which look odd. Finally the line is scored again to clean it out and then you have a fairly neat, fine panel line. I think I'm going to spray a thin coat of Mr surfacer to check for inevitable imperfections and will post some more snaps as I go. I'm also waiting for more Dymo tape to be delivered as I've nearly run out and I need some long strips to do the lines down the fuselage. Any tips or thoughts greatly appreciated! 

 

51943627302_34f52b09aa_c.jpg

 

Ps, one thing I forgot to mention is you can keep the scribing spike sharp by filing the tip periodically, seems to help. Cheers, Sam

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Looking very good Sam.

 

I use a similar scribing method to you but clean the channels at the end using isopropyl alcohol on a bit of kitchen roll (avoid cotton buds as they leave fibres). A bit of clean, re-scribe and clean again is sometimes needed.

 

For polishing I now use the micromesh cloths available, they come in packs with a variety of grades (Alclad do a pack like that)  and you can really get a good surface with them.

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50 minutes ago, Johnson said:

Looking very good Sam.

 

I use a similar scribing method to you but clean the channels at the end using isopropyl alcohol on a bit of kitchen roll (avoid cotton buds as they leave fibres). A bit of clean, re-scribe and clean again is sometimes needed.

 

For polishing I now use the micromesh cloths available, they come in packs with a variety of grades (Alclad do a pack like that)  and you can really get a good surface with them.

Thanks Charlie, that's great, I'll try that with the isopropyl. Micromesh I'm already there! I've polished up to 4000 so far but have cloths of 6, 8 and 12 for when I've got the whole top surface done. 

 

@Model Mate, I'll give this a go on the piggyback drone scribing mule which I've been practicing with before the real thing - I've been using sprue goo and mr surfacer to touch up mistakes so might have to be a bit careful! 

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