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1/72 Tupolev Tu-22M3 "Backfire" by Trumpeter

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This is a kit I had been waiting for years. Although the fuselage, wings and all the most important dimensions and shapes look very good, many of the smaller parts are below the level of the rest of the kit. That is why I felt rather disappointed when I really started fiddling with the parts about a year ago. Luckily we've received some nice AM parts after that, the most important being the Neomega resin cockpit with accurate seats. The newest addition is a small PE set for the afterburners. A nice decal sheet from Authentic Decals is available as well. I'll be using all these three products on my build.

I'll start with landing gears. They are far from being accurate. Since I don't want to compromise the strength of the main landing gears, I won't do much for the bogeys. They will be hidden behind the wheels anyway and basically look the part. The original position of the gear actuator was a joke. An actuator that starts from the main strut and after a ninety degree turn returns back just can't work as an actuator... Duly corrected.

The front landing gear was modified much drastically. I added the torque arm, lengthened the shock strut and modified the actuator and the drag brace. I will shorten the front gear strut since the gear well is way too deep and will be modified as well. Pictures tell more than thousand words:

The Trumpeter version.


After some modifications




Edited by janman
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That Trumpeter gear on the left was a big LOL - an oleo strut that prevents itself from working at all. I mean, even if they don't bother with research, they should at least apply some common sense when staring at their CAD drawings. I'm glad you corrected it. I assume that's a metal rod you used in your correction?

Any chance you can post pics of the Neomega cockpit? I ordered some seats from Linden Hill for my Backfire, and am waiting on stock for other items before they ship the whole box out. If the cockpit looks good enough, I'll consider upgrading to them. Also, how are the PE for afterburners? What brand and where can I find them? Thank you! I'll be watching this build closely.



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Any chance you can post pics of the Neomega cockpit? I ordered some seats from Linden Hill for my Backfire, and am waiting on stock for other items before they ship the whole box out. If the cockpit looks good enough, I'll consider upgrading to them. Also, how are the PE for afterburners? What brand and where can I find them? Thank you! I'll be watching this build closely.

As a matter of fact, I don't have any of the products mentioned - yet. They are being shipped to Finland as we speak, but when they arrive, I'll post some photos.

The afterburners come from Ukraine and were promoted here on ARC a couple of weeks ago: http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=232271&st=0&p=2214506entry2214506

Wow! Landing gear looks great! :cheers:

Thanks, Nenad!

yippie! Jan making a new aircraft and the Backfire it is! Will watch this with great anticipation! :cheers:

Sure I will be making a new aircraft! :) I know it's been some months since I finished the bis, but it's the short Nordic summer that is to blame. Also, I really didn't know what to build next - as usual! :D

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Thanks, fellas!

The wheels seem to be direct copies of the originals, which are not very accurate. I was contemplating whether I should get a set of Equipage wheels but since I've already ordered a decal sheet, resin pit, PE burner rings and one book, the total budget would get rather extensive. After all, it's only a plastic model I'm building. (Did I say that? :blink: )

Anyway, the pit came yesterday. It looks very nice and the mold quality leaves very little to be desired. I'd expect the fit to be rather good since for instance both the cockpit bulkheads and the floors match the dimensions of the original parts perfectly. I say this because the fit of the kit has been almost perfect this far. Also the resin cockpit hatches should fit just fine after some light sanding and test fitting.

This will be a big bird and since I'm a rather realistic guy, I'll keep the wings clean and retain the possibility to adjust the wing angles. I don't know where I'm going to put this thing when I've finished it so a chance to make it a bit more compact can be very important in the end. Luckily all the parts fitted extremely nicely. I just added slats of styrene for both wings in order to get the flaps better on the level of the wing surface. I might leave the brakes open, not probably fully, but half-way through. I've found a picture of such a situation so it shouldn't be very wrong.

The wings:


Neomega cockpit parts before painting:



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  • 3 weeks later...

Despite of my original plan to leave the bomb bay doors shut to hide the rather inaccurate bay, I suddenly decided to do the opposite. There are some great walkaround photos available of the bomb bays but they are mostly of bomb bays with bombs while mine will be with Kh-15 "Kickbacks" on a rotary launcher. Of the launcher I've only managed to find one single picture (either in colour or b/w). So, I'm not totally sure which details are part of the "bomb suite" and which integral part of the bay. Anyway, I've added some plumbing on the bomb bay roof (only to realize the will be mostly hidden by the complete missile package) and various details for the walls as well. There will be more, they just don't look busy enough.


With unfinished missiles and rotary launcher.


The main gear bays look very nice even straight OOB, but I'll be adding some extra hydraulic lines and plumbing.


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The intakes. What can I say. Such enormous intakes on a modern kit and without any inner details. Luckily the variable inlet ramps are very easily done from sheet styrene. In reality, the floor of the intake should be concave but for the simplicity mine's straight. For the same reason (and because they won't show anyhow) I didn't add any details on the rear part of the ramp. The front one on the other hand was riveted and the prominent perforations were added (in the form of darker gray paint brushed through a masking tape stencil).



Most of the smaller intakes - or inlets - are rather crudely done as well. The small inlets at the bottom of the intakes were not present at all on the kit. Actually they are, but it seems Trumpeter thought they can be shut down completely and were present only as small engraved rectangles. Apparently that's not the case and the inlets are solid. I constructed them from a piece of PE metal and styrene sheet.

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Another grossly inaccurate area are the bomb bay doors. The shape should be pretty much right, but the (inner) surface details are fictional. I covered all the recesses with styrene sheet in order to get a smooth surface for (more or less) correct details.

The wings are already painted with white from the underside.


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