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airea

Testors 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

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I used chrome only for the oleos ( or whatever those shiny parts in hydrolic actuators are called) but I have oversprayed it, covering some portions of the gear struts as well. And you are right, I am planning to paint the rest of the gear wells with a darker shade of Alclad, steel mixed with some burned metal maybe.

OIC... I'll climb back into my box then :)

Great work mate :thumbsup:

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Seriously, this is my first scratch building attemp, if you do not count a few small wiring jobs on my previous builds;) Thanks to Justin mc Cracken's great work in progress thread in Aeroscale, I was able to do this. He has a very nice and detailed build blog there. And on the other hand, when comparing what some experienced modellers do here, I really have a lot to learn;) I have not even made a camo paint yet on any aircraft;)

You are doing a very nice job with this, and no need to be apologetic about your experience. Remember this is a hobby, and we do it for enjoyment. If you are happy with what you are doing, that is all that is necessary. I know for me, since my legs are all busted up and I cannot compete in sports any longer, it is way for me to expend that energy….which is my enjoyment. Keep up the great work, I look forward to watching your finish it.

Have a Great Day, Gary

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Impressive work on this American icon!

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Fantastic build. Your wheel bays are very inspirative.

Do you plan to scratch build also engines?

Happy modeling, 66misos

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You are a very brave man to do this one with relatively little experience. Looking very good so far! The biggest problem I had with mine was getting the tail cone fitted and faired in satisfactorily. Look forward to seeing it finished.

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Thanks a lot friends, it is very nice to hear your supporting comments.

Fantastic build. Your wheel bays are very inspirative.

Do you plan to scratch build also engines?

Happy modeling, 66misos

I am not planning to scratchbuild engines, that requires some more dedication and skill than I can currently cope up with. I have already finished the engines, and planning to install them to the main body. And I must admit that it would be really a big challange for me to workon those engines, since I am planning to finish this somehow and jump to an easier kit without any scratchbuilding:) I need some relief after Testor's SR-71:)

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You are a very brave man to do this one with relatively little experience. Looking very good so far! The biggest problem I had with mine was getting the tail cone fitted and faired in satisfactorily. Look forward to seeing it finished.

Thank you! Yesterday, I tried to dry fit the tail cone and I can see what you mean:) I saw that either you can fit the upper part perfectly but the lower cone part doesnt match, or vice versa...

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Thank you! Yesterday, I tried to dry fit the tail cone and I can see what you mean:) I saw that either you can fit the upper part perfectly but the lower cone part doesnt match, or vice versa...

When I built mine (ages ago: and without the fantastic job you did on the landing gears) I remember resorting to putting a big piece of sprue (vertically) at the split, on the fuselage side, to increase its "thickness". By adjusting the length of this sprue rod I was able to find an acceptable fit of the tail cone.

If I may suggest another modification, the Testor kit has a shape problem in the nose chine. Seen from above, it's too pointed, and it's mid way between the more rounded curve of the SR-71 and the more pointed shape of the A-12. I added some thick plastic card on both sides to restore the shape, sanded and blended to the existing fuselage with putty.

Cheers

Davide

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Hello again,

it has been a long time since my last update. I am progressing very slowly; the kit is really difficult to deal with and sometimes I am loosing my SR-71 mojo or giving a break to the kit for other modelling works or just dont have time for modelling.

After completing landing gear wells and all plumming, I have placed them and joined the fuselage halves. I used liquid sprue for gluing gear wells and also for joining the fuselage parts. I also used some strengtining materials for the fuselage (which I highly recommend, since the kit is quite big and the load the fuselage carries is very high). I used various leftover kit materials for the inner fuselage. The liquid sprues takes a lot of time to cure (months if the joint is large) but in the end you have very strong bond between parts and it is the same material that you sand and rescribe and whatnot. Especially the engines and the main body of the aircraft should be really joined together strongly and liquid sprue was good for that.

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Landing gears required some protection after intalling to the body and I used those plastic thingies that you see in pizza delivery boxes.

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When everything was in place and fuselage parts joined, I filled tiny gaps with Tamiya white putty, CA glue, liquid sprue and Humbrols grey filler (which was a total since it did not cure and I had to remove it). In the pics, you cant clearly see but there were hundreds of tiny spots that required filling and sanding. After filling and sanding with sanding papers, I also used dremel tool for gettind the perfect shine on the fuselage. I have discovered that when you run your dremel's soft polishing head on naked plastic, you get a very shiny surface and get rid of all minor scratches.

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Thanks for watching...

salih

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Hello again,

After hours of endless sanding and filling sessions, I primed the model to see if everything was leveled properly. I also wanted the grey primer to serve as a preshading agent. I used Alclads grey primer and for the canopy section, I used Mr.surfacer 1200.

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The priming session revealed a lot of mistakes and endless filling/sanding work started for me. Especially the canopy section was a real PITA. I dont know how many times I have primed, filled, sanded and primed again. My mistake was filling the canopy section spots with tamiya white putty (which is lacquer based) and priming it with mr.surfacer (which is also lacquer based). Mr. surfacer was attacking cured primer and leading to depressed areas on the surface. I was not able to get a smooth and slick surface around the cockpit area, even after 3-4 priming/filling/sanding sessions (which took weeks I guess). Then I realized lacquer on lacquer issue and I brushed heavy layers of Future (which is acrylic) on filled and sanded areas and waited for it to cure. After future has cured properly, I sprayed Mr.surfacer and it was ok this time.

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CA glue can also be a good sealing agent for puttied areas but it should be sanded in short time, otherwise you will end up with a quartz tough material on soft plastic (ask me how I know that:)).

thanks for watching...

salih

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Hello again,

After filling and sanding everything for hundreds of hours, I sprayed tamiya nato black on the whole model. I also tried to to spray some lighter shades of nato black and antracite but after a gloss coat of future, everything turned out to be a glossy black:)

(By the way, during the painting process, I learned how to make my own acrylic thinner. I mixed 40ml of water with 20ml of Isopropyl alcohol and added 1ml of acrylic flow improver and 1ml of acrylic retarder in it. Now tamiya paints spray beautifully and I make my own very cheap acrylic thinner, which is nearly identical to tamiyas own product.)

With the gloss coat curing, I have applied all decals, which did not take much time but the real challenge was having no silvering on a black surface. I ahev applied Microsol and for some spots Solvaset, which is a hotter product than Sol.

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The tires supplied with the kit are ridicilous to say the least. I was not able to find aftermarket ones so I decided to convert the kit parts to more reasonable ones. The kit tires have very thin bases (like bicycle or classical age aircraft tires) but the SR-71 tires have flat and wide bases. In order to replicate that, I have glued 4mm wide plastic strips around the tires' bases and filled the gap with liquid sprue and CA glue. Then sanded all tires and painted the sides with aluminium color and bases with nato black to get the worn look. I still have some work to bring the tires to a more worn and flat look. Probably I will slightly sand the bases to get some lines and scratches. And the shapes of the tires are not that perfect but this is best I can get.

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thanks,

salih

Edited by airea

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Hello again,

As of now I have completed decalling, I sealed them with future and finished making tires and landing gear doors. I will work on some post-shading and apply some pastels, oils paints and various grey shades for weathering. It really looks like a toy now but I hope it will look more realistic soon with the application of some artictic licence.

Meantime, I would like to show you the car models that I have completed when dealing (or fighting we should say maybe) with the SR-71 kit. These are my first car models and I should say I really enjoyed building them. Especially the painting phase of car modelling is really educating.

Nissan Xanavi Nismo R34 (my first car model, and I should say it was a over my skill level, I did not get a good final gloss coat on it)

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German Schwimwagen (this is in 1/48 scale, it is only 8cm long but it is a very nice little kit. I tried a few mud and weathering effects on it. Not ended up so well but it was a good learning experience for me).

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Mercedes CLK200 DTM (This is a kit I made for my wife. First time I used 2part auto gloss coat on it and it was great. You can attain a glass like shiny and tough surface with proper sanding and polishing).

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Thanks for follwing. I am hoping that I will finish SR-71 soon, since the artistic and fun painting part is starting and it will be more bearable than my endless filling and sanding hours.

regards,

salih

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Your doing a fine job on a real pain of a kit. I know because I'm building the same thing at the moment. It's looking awesome 👍

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Thanks for the kind words guys, I am very close to finishing this kit. Just a couple of small items left that I have to deal with, like coloring up the landing gear wells, plugging gear doors, application of some pastels and oils for weathering etc...

salih

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Aires,

I just read through your entire build thread. A most impressive build of a difficult kit for sure. I also followed Justin's build on Aeroscale step by step, so I'm familiar with what you had to overcome. Looking forward to your next update.

Joel

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Hello again,

I have finally finished this kit after more than a years work. Today, the last items to install were front landing gear and the lights attached to it. The kit's lights did not have a lens so I decided to scracch one from clear sprue leftovers. I have sanded down a small clear piece of sprue till 5000 grid and then polished it with a polishing compound made for real autos' clear parts. The result is follows:

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I really liked how the lens turned out, as this is the first time that I tried making a lens but the final light is not good since chrome base coat of the lamp was not good (the paint I had was very grainy, tamiya chrome silver) and I really did not want to loose time on coating it with Alclad chrome.

Anyhow, this is the final look of my SR-71. I will post pics in "display case1 section.

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Thank you...

salih

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Congratulations on completing your SR-71. You've turned a so so kit into a true masterpiece. Justin would be very proud of your efforts.

Joel

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