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Salineated Michigander

Trumpeter's 1/72 scale TU-160 Blackjack

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Gents:

 

Have any of you assembled this kit, the Trumpeter SU-160 Blackjack (or White Swan)?

 

If so, due to its massive size, how did you handle painting it?

 

Overall, was it a desirable project for you?

 

Any opinions on the construction, the execution, and the results of your labor would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Can't help you with the question (as I went the 1/144 route), but for these bombers I feel like there's a missing scale (kind of like 1/48 between 1/72 and 1/32) - at 1/72 most of them are much too big (e.g. Tu-95 and Tu-160), while at 1/144 they're too small and lack detail.

 

Maybe 1:100 would be something to try here, kind of like it would be great if they would make some bigger military vehicles in 1/48 scale instead of 1/72 (e.g. an S-300V system is almost too big in 1/35, especially to have one of each sub-types, but it's also kind of toy-like in 1/72)..

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I built it in 2008 (where does time go..?) :woot.gif:

 

Photo_112.jpg

 

My build is here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_tu-160-trump.html

(complete with my walkround photos of the real thing...)

 

One major error concerns the Kh-55M cruise missiles - they are way too long - as is the spindle on the rotary launcher.

 

Amodel do an accurate Kh-55 (two to a box, IIRC)....... so you would need a few boxes for a full complement !

 

AMU72127.jpg?t=

 

As for painting - I used a rattle can of automotive paint - Halfords White Plastic Primer - with a top coat of Halfords Appliance White.

 

Good luck with your build.

 

Ken

 

 

 

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Not the Trumpeter (which is in the pile of kits to build), but I'm at the final construction stages of the earlier A-Model Tu-160.

 

As for painting..... it shouldn't be such a difficult job.... with time and a lot of paint :) I plan to use tamiya white with some preshading to give it some texture

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1 hour ago, Flankerman said:

I built it in 2008 (where does time go..?) :woot.gif:

 

Photo_112.jpg

 

My build is here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_tu-160-trump.html

(complete with my walkround photos of the real thing...)

 

One major error concerns the Kh-55M cruise missiles - they are way too long - as is the spindle on the rotary launcher.

 

Amodel do an accurate Kh-55 (two to a box, IIRC)....... so you would need a few boxes for a full complement !

 

AMU72127.jpg?t=

 

As for painting - I used a rattle can of automotive paint - Halfords White Plastic Primer - with a top coat of Halfords Appliance White.

 

Good luck with your build.

 

Ken

 

 

 

Nice work, Ken!

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How big does the 1/72 kit measure out to? I'm a 48 builder almost exclusively but I'd make an exception for something like this.

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Posted (edited)

More or less 70x70cm. You can spare some space by building the wings fully swept back..... however it's an uncommon way to have it parked. I remember reading somewhere that it would tip over... anyway it's a possible configuration with either a jack under the tail (during maintenance) or maybe for an unfuelled plane. In fact if you look on google earth there's one Tu-160 parked that way at the Kazan factory (lower left of the airfield). Seems one of the unpainted development airframes (maybe grey 29).

Edited by Yuri

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Yuri is correct - unlike the Tu-22M3 Backfire - which is normally parked with its wings swept to save ramp space - the Tu-160 is parked with its wings fully forward.

 

Due to CG issues, it would tip onto its tail when parked with the wings swept - unless it had the obligatory jack under its tail......

 

I took this photos from a tethered hot air balloon at a MAKS airshow ......

 

Real_28.jpg

 

This one was at Engels in 2007....

 

day04_008.jpg

 

Lots of people ask how big is it - compared to a Rockwell B-1 ???

 

It's about half as big again.... (Revell B-1 next to my Master Club resin Tu-160).

 

Photo_128.jpg

 

Another interesting fact - the Blackjack is the world's largest warplane - and its swing wings are the largest moving surfaces ever fitted to an aircraft.

 

The previous record holder was the NA XB-70 with its downwards folding wingtips.

 

Ken

 

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Wow so in 1/72 it's actually bigger than the XB-70???!!! I am aware of the size of that as my LHS has one on display (to which I will one day add one to my collection). 

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4 hours ago, Whiskey said:

Wow so in 1/72 it's actually bigger than the XB-70???!!!

 

I don't think it's bigger overall - merely that the area of the swept wings (at 293.15m2 / 3,152.15 sq ft) is greater than the area of the XB-70's moveable wingtips.

 

(Can someone find out the area of the XB-70's wingtips?)

 

Ken

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Posted (edited)

Tu-160

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-160

  • Length: 54.1 m (177 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 55.7 m (182 ft 9 in) wings spread (20°) 
  •                      35.6 m (117 ft) wings swept (65°)
  • Height: 13.1 m (43 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 400 m2 (4,300 sq ft) wings spread
  •                    360 m2 (3,875 sq ft) wings swept

 

XB-70 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_XB-70_Valkyrie

http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~mason/Mason_f/XB70PresS07.pdf

  • Length: 185 ft 0 in (56.39 m)
  • Wingspan: 105 ft 0 in (32.00 m)
  • Height: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
  • Wing area: 6,297 sq ft (585.0 m2)
Edited by AV O

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Those figures are interesting AV O - but they're not what I'm after.......

 

I'm trying to compare the total sweepable wing area of the Blackjack (your figure of 400m2) with the area of ONLY the folding wingtips on the Valkyrie.

 

I found this :-

 

Measuring just a bit over 20 feet at the trailing edge, these wingtips represent the
largest movable aerodynamic device ever used.

 

from here :http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~mason/Mason_f/XB70PresS07.pdf

 

My contention is that the above claim for the XB-70 is no longer true and it is now the Tu-160 that has "the largest movable aerodynamic device ever used" i.e. the sweeping wings.

 

I'm happy to be proved wrong though.....

 

Ken

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Posted (edited)

I have detailed 3-view drawings of the XB-70.  The wingtip span is 20' 5", the leading edge sweep is 65.5 deg.  Using a little math I get about 456.5 sq ft for each wingtip, or a little over 913 sq ft for both.  I read somewhere the XB-70 wingtip was larger than the wing of a B-58 Hustler but that doesn't jive with my math...

 

.

Edited by habu2

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1 hour ago, habu2 said:

I have detailed 3-view drawings of the XB-70.  The wingtip span is 20' 5", the leading edge sweep is 65.5 deg.  Using a little math I get about 456.5 sq ft for each wingtip, or a little over 913 sq ft for both.  I read somewhere the XB-70 wingtip was larger than the wing of a B-58 Hustler but that doesn't jive with my math...

 

.

Digging out some very rarely used arithmetic, your area calculation seems correct for the XB-70 wingtip(s).  According to Wikipedia the B-58 had a wingspan of 56'-9" so the fuselage width and the filleted wing roots (assuming the engineering convention would not count those as part of the wings) would need to be more than 15'-11" to exceed the span of the Valkyrie's wingtip.  The wing area seems similarly proportioned, so I'd have trouble seeing a measurement that would support the idea of the Hustler's wing being smaller.

 

Going back to Ken's original observation, I don't have full stats on the Blackjack but it's pretty obvious that the swinging portion of its wings greatly exceed the area of the XB-70's moveable tips. 

 

While the Tu-160 would seem to be the obvious current recordholder, the significantly smaller B-1B would have been the first production type to break the Valkyrie's record.  Doing some very rough calculations from the Detail & Scale plans, the area of each B-1B wing (moving portion, as exposed at minimum sweep) is roughly 720 square feet.

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I've essentially completed the build myself and ended up rattle can spray painting it with Tamiya white primer.  It took two full cans!

 

Flankerman's review and pictorial is spot-on in describing Trumpeter's rather whimsical notions of joins and connections; as big as this kit is, you'd think they would've engineered more functional joining processes.  The only acknowledegment is reinforced landing gear struts that are metal; otherwise get ready to fiddle with it as it is very large, flexible, and handling it was a big challenge.  And forget using a painting booth; this thing was WAY too big for that!

 

Luckily, I loaded enough lead shot into the nose early on to keep it from tail sitting, and even then, it doesn't take much to get it there.  

 

Now my problem is, where to put it.  It's far too big for display inside any of my display cases.  

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The XB-70 wingtips moved to accomplish a very novel aerodynamic principle - compression lift. At supersonic speeds the fuselage rode (surfed) on the shock waves generated by the wingtips, greatly reducing supersonic drag and increasing lift. 
 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_lift

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This is some really great information being put out here fellas, and not just about the Blackjack kit of course. Thanks. I'm definitely going to be pinching some pennies and try and get one. I love have these big planes and hang them from the ceiling.

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