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Bare metal SR-71


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Hi all,

 

I've got the new Revell Blackbird kit and recall Hasegawa doing a 1/72nd Blackbird years ago with a bare metal top side paint scheme.

 

Does anyone know if that's accurate? I'd like to do the Revell kit in that scheme.

 

Marc.

 

 

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The Revell, and Hasegawa, kits have been released with the D-21 drone with markings for one of the two M-21 motherships.  It’s kind of a fudge since the M-21s were based on the A-12,  not the SR-71, and were a little different, especially at the nose, and neither company molded the differences.

 

940 was the one with the bare metal finish


http://www.habu.org/m21-d21/06940.html


The other, 941, was painted black.

 

http://www.habu.org/m21-d21/06941.html

 

Fun note, both companies got the drone wrong.  The one they included was the GTD-21B version launched from a B-52, not the D-21 flown on the M-21s.  The large twin probes sticking forward from the wing are a dead giveaway that it’s the B-52 version.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_D-21

 

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Thanks gents,

 

I guess that means that the silver topside scheme as suggested by Hasegawa way back when is not applicable for the new 1/48 Revell kit (or the Hasegawa kit itself for that matter).

 

I was hoping there might be a SR-71 with bare metal on top, but guess not, it's still going to be a great kit.

 

Marc.

 

 

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having seen the U2, A12, and SR71 up close I noticed right off the bat that they were not black. A very dark midnight blue in color. Yet the f117 was black. Also the paint on the first three was a matte finish and almost looked fuzzy. As for the silver SR71, there are photos of it.

 

I wonder who will be the first to make an S71 (are there photos?)? Ben Rich speaks of it in his book Skunkworks

gary

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2 hours ago, ChesshireCat said:

having seen the U2, A12, and SR71 up close I noticed right off the bat that they were not black. A very dark midnight blue in color. Yet the f117 was black. Also the paint on the first three was a matte finish and almost looked fuzzy. As for the silver SR71, there are photos of it.

 

I wonder who will be the first to make an S71 (are there photos?)? Ben Rich speaks of it in his book Skunkworks

gary

 

The SR-71 paint was black, full stop. No other colour or scheme.

The black paint was a special type which had ferrous particles in. It certainly weathered due to heating/cooling, constantly "washed" with JP7 spills, wear and tear from crew walking and maintaining etc. So various shades from black to dark grey or charcoal would be appropriate.

But it's not to be confused with paints used on the U-2C or the early (painted) X-15 finish for instance.

The finish was on the flat side of satin.

Cheers,

J

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On 12/31/2021 at 11:23 AM, ChesshireCat said:

I wonder who will be the first to make an S71 (are there photos?)? Ben Rich speaks of it in his book Skunkworks

I'm very, very curious! I have that book on my Must Read list.

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On 12/30/2021 at 9:43 AM, serendip said:

Hi all,

 

I've got the new Revell Blackbird kit and recall Hasegawa doing a 1/72nd Blackbird years ago with a bare metal top side paint scheme.

 

Does anyone know if that's accurate? I'd like to do the Revell kit in that scheme.

 

Marc.

 

 

 

As an aside, for those interested, Hase will be re-releasing this:

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10837588

 

Edited by JackMan
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A-12 would offer several cool finishes, from bare metal to various versions of black-and-bare to all black, and make a better starting point for the M-21. It was also sleeker (and faster) and had a Viet Nam combat record. Wish someone would get the marketing courage to tackle The Original.

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On 12/30/2021 at 8:23 PM, JeffreyK said:

 

The SR-71 paint was black, full stop. No other colour or scheme.

The black paint was a special type which had ferrous particles in. It certainly weathered due to heating/cooling, constantly "washed" with JP7 spills, wear and tear from crew walking and maintaining etc. So various shades from black to dark grey or charcoal would be appropriate.

But it's not to be confused with paints used on the U-2C or the early (painted) X-15 finish for instance.

The finish was on the flat side of satin.

Cheers,

J

don't tell anybody that in Ohio! When you first see them, they do look black till your eyes adjust. Black, when the light hits it turns to a dark grey color, but midnight blue goes strait to black. Nothing new here as they've known this for a hundred years

gary

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8 hours ago, ChesshireCat said:

don't tell anybody that in Ohio! When you first see them, they do look black till your eyes adjust. Black, when the light hits it turns to a dark grey color, but midnight blue goes strait to black. Nothing new here as they've known this for a hundred years

gary

 

If your "Ohio" comment was meant to refer to seeing the jet(s) indoors at the USAF Museum then you must account for seeing them under mercury-vapor lighting.  My experience of seeing many SRs in sunlight (operational, not museum restorations) confirms they are black with no hint or shade of any other color.

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On 1/2/2022 at 11:49 AM, habu2 said:

 

If your "Ohio" comment was meant to refer to seeing the jet(s) indoors at the USAF Museum then you must account for seeing them under mercury-vapor lighting.  My experience of seeing many SRs in sunlight (operational, not museum restorations) confirms they are black with no hint or shade of any other color.

OK, I'll give you that without a second thought. Yet the black F117 is still black. Why did it not change color? Now I don't care if the SR71 is painted day glow pink. The first time I saw the U2 and the A12 together, I was with my brother and he made the very dark blue comment. My brother inlaw did the samething. We had a rather involved discussion over this at my house one night, and I gave my opinion as to maybe why. Simply went upstairs and brought down two tuxedos. One was a well respected black, and the other was a Burberry midnight blue. Went outside with them and hit them with a flashlight. We saw a grey suit and a black suit. I learned this from three sources. The printing trades, photo work, and lastly astronomy. White is known as the lack of any color, where as black is a combo of all colors. Black and white are not known as colors, and that's one reason why it's so hard to match blacks and whites. One last thing that will send some folks into orbit. Whatever color you choose (once again I don't care), after one flight at speed the color of the paint will change. How much I don't know. This came from an extensive article and interviews by engineers and air crews.

 

Had I known I was going to start a riot, I'd have kept my thoughts to myself. The comment on the mercury vapor lighting is interesting, and perhaps you are right. I simply don't know! Add to this that in my old age; my eyes are no where close to what they were thirty years ago. Have not seen one in twenty years as I never had that much interest in them. Now the X planes are another story

gary

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On 1/3/2022 at 5:36 PM, ChesshireCat said:

White is known as the lack of any color, where as black is a combo of all colors

Me thinks you have those descriptions reversed.

Also, the F-117s do not fly at Mach 3+ and their surfaces temperature does not reach those of an object flying at those speeds, just a thought.

Edited by hemspilot
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Light is additive, paint (pigments) are subtractive.

 

If you shine a red, green and blue light on the same spot it will appear "white".

 

If you mix red, green and blue paint it will appear "black". 

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The only SR-71 shown to have bare metal anywhere was the very first jet as there is a nose on picture of it showing it with a reverse style scheme to the A-12s, i.e. black fuselage and engine pods, bare metal chines. But according to references it never flew that way. When it flew it had it's all black normal paintjob.

 

As for the SR-71 paintjob, when I did an SR-71 model about 15 years ago, I painted 10 black shade samples on a small piece of sheet styrene and compared it with the paint on the full size SR-71 we have at the SAC Museum near Ashland, Nebraska. On my strip I had Testors, Tamiya and Floquil shades. The closest color I could find in my comparison was Floquil Grimy Black. It was only a tiny hair off, but otherwise it matched almost dead on. When I painted my model I was satisfied with the color result.

 

Today things are a little more complicated since Floquil is no more and neither is Testors Model Master. The Floquil enamel shades are long gone. About four years ago, Testors model Master did several of the Floquil shades in MM Acryl and my hobby shop had two bottles I was able to snag. But even these shades are discontinued. If you are very lucky you may find some left over at shops and if you do, GET THEM.

 

Of the Tamiya shades, Rubber Black is close, but still looks a tick dark (I compared it to the SAC Museum jet last week). But there can be variations even with Blackbird paint.

 

For instance if a jet is fitted with a different nose from what it normally carries, there can be a visible "tan line" of sorts. The wing chine areas might also see a little staining from JP-7 fuel since the Blackbird was notorious for fuel leaks until it's structure heats to normal operating temperature and the plane "grows" slightly.

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6 hours ago, Jay Chladek said:

The only SR-71 shown to have bare metal anywhere was the very first jet as there is a nose on picture of it showing it with a reverse style scheme to the A-12s, i.e. black fuselage and engine pods, bare metal chines. But according to references it never flew that way. When it flew it had it's all black normal paintjob.

 

 

Bare metal chines?? That would be interesting as the chine surfaces on the SR-71 are composite plastic (asbestos/resin)... I haven't seen the photo you mentioned so I can only assume the chines were painted silver/aluminium?

J

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Here it is. The first SR-71 built had this sort of reverse paintscheme on it to the A-12s. But it never flew like this. It was all black when it had its first flight. The construction of the SRs took a bit longer at the start as there was apparently a problem with workmanship on the factory floor according to the Jim Goodall and Jay Miller Aerofax book on the Blackbird family.

 

The A-12 prototype had full metal chines (in fact it was completely unpainted in fact for its first flight) and it was never finished to operational mission specs. So I am assuming perhaps the first SR-71 had the metal triangular zig zag panels in place of the composite ones until they fitted the proper ones. There are a couple images in the Squadron SR-71 Walkaround book showing Palmdale's Blackbird testing some composite triangle panels painted white (perhaps a different composite formulation perhaps to better work against some frequencies of radar). 

4057192379_e873d3f37d_b.jpg

Edited by Jay Chladek
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Here's a couple images of my Hasegawa Blackbird. The first shows my base coat of Floquil Grimy Black on the work in progress model. Below it is an LS/Arii 1/144 Blackbird still in raw plastic for comparison. I use two types of light sources on my bench, one a natural light lamp, the other with an incandescent bulb so I can see how the colors look. The second image is of the completed model. When I had the model glosscoated in preparation for the decals, it looked a lot darker than it did after flat coating. Once flat painted, it had the right look I was after. I intend to use the same color on my 1/48 Revell model which I just started work on.

painted71-2.jpg

fin71-1.jpg

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Wow, thanks, never saw that pic (or if I did then I don't recall...). Still interesting - making sheet metal chine panels instead of the actual composite ones sounds a bit excessive in terms of added work load and cost...

At some point the triangular chine panels on the A-12 were replaced by composite rectangular panels, as on the SR-71. Famously, a number of those triangular panels were falling off on the A-12's maiden flight. Not sure if there was a persisting problem with panel mounting that led to them being replaced eventually?

J

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