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WIP-- Update 3-22-2022 New 1/48 Revell SR-71A Blackbird

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  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
WIP-- Update 3-22-2022 New 1/48 Revell SR-71A Blackbird
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, January 9, 2022 1:58 PM

Okay, let's get this ball rolling.

The new Revell Blackbird is a Revell of Germany kit. It has not been offically released for sale in the US. I purchased my kit on ebay from an on-line hobby store in England called  Jumblies Models I paid $90.00 for the kit.

The box is substantial in weight and the dimensions are 24x17x5. 

When I opened the box I was greeted with a view of the main fuselage. The fuselage, sans nose, is about 23 inches long. There are two clear frets and 14 grey plastic frets. Total parts count is 207. A 40 page instruction booklet is included.

Below the fuselage are a bunch of frets enclosed in plastic bags.

The parts are made of thick plastic, much thicker than typical Revellogram parts. The parts are crisply molded and there is no flash.

Included are parts for two complete jet engines for display outside of the aircraft. The molded detailing is very well done.

The cockpit is molded with raised gauges. Really nice decals are included for the cockpit. 

I used masking tape and a Sharpie pen to identily each fret. 

Each paint color is translated into 21 languages. English is second from the top. Looking at the paint charts with all of those languages would drive me nuts, so I made up a cheat sheet.

OKAY, let's start building!

 

Step number one is to glue three ribs and a long keel to the lower fuselage. I used a Sharpie pen to indentify the ribs so that they don't get mixed up. The keel is a really thick piece of plastic. I don't know if the real aircraft has a keel or not. Maybe Revell included a keel in an effort to add stiffness to the model. There is a problem with the rib identified with a red arrow.

It seems that the fuselage is slighty warped. When the right side rib was pressed down tight to the fuselage a 1/32 space developed between the left  rib and the fuselage. I decided to glue the right side of the rib to the fuselage and then clamp the left side of the rib to the fuselage. I'll need to let the glue on the right side of the rib set overnight before clamping the left side.

 

 

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Sunday, January 9, 2022 2:19 PM

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

1/48 Hasegawa D3A1 Type 99 Val

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, January 9, 2022 2:32 PM

Nice!  Following

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Sunday, January 9, 2022 3:49 PM

Yes, following!

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/48 Airfix Bf109 & 1/35 Tamiya Famo

On deck: Who knows!

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, January 9, 2022 4:17 PM

One more thing regarding the ribs.

All the ribs are marked indicating which side faces the front of the aircraft. I don't know how important that is, but it is easy to miss.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, January 10, 2022 11:08 AM

I glued and clamped the left side of the rib to the fuselage. When will the fun stuff start? I hope soon.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Monday, January 10, 2022 4:49 PM

Hey Johnny, thanks for sharing this build for us. Two days ago I had the opportunity to get one on eBay for $110 shipped. I procrastinated and now, today, they are sold out!

I intended to build mine in flight. Sounds like Revell will be changing my mind about that if they eliminate the stand. Makes me wonder why! Their idea of a stand may be too weak to support the Blackbird safely. I will be looking for feedback on that question as more people complete their builds!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, January 10, 2022 5:14 PM

Definitely following this one!  Good to see that the molding is so well done and there isn't any flash.  I like the idea they had with the internal structure...seems like it would be necessary for such a long, wide, low-profile piece of plastic.  Got mine on the way from the UK too.  It'll be up next in the rotation.  Hoping Quinta will be coming along in the next couple of months with a cockpit set for it.  Happy building Johnny!

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, January 10, 2022 7:16 PM

Shipwreck

Hey Johnny, thanks for sharing this build for us. Two days ago I had the opportunity to get one on eBay for $110 shipped. I procrastinated and now, today, they are sold out!

 

As my late brother-in-law used to say, "Those who snooze-lose".

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 11:17 AM

The keel and the ribs have been installed.

There is a lot of pipes and silver bags of insulation in the wheel wells. Plus there are some strange rust colored panels

There were a lot of compaints about the lack of detail in the wheel wells of earlier Blackbird kits. The amount of detail in the wheel wells in this kit is just fine for me because I loathe turning over my larger airplane builds. First of all I don't like picking up my models (broken turret guns, propellers and landing gear) and turning them over is just a recipe for disaster (droping the model on the floor). I'll paint the wheel well walls and floor with Testors Aluminum and paint the two tanks with Testors Chrome. Next will be a light wash of Testors Rust on the walls followed by some weathering. Then I'll call it a day.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 4:27 PM

Johnny, how does the fusalage top dry fit to the bottom after installing the rib?

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 4:31 PM

Shipwreck

Johnny, how does the fusalage top dry fit to the bottom after installing the rib?

 

I have not tried that. I'll give it a try tomorrow. Should be interesting.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, January 13, 2022 2:12 PM

Shipwreck

Johnny, how does the fusalage top dry fit to the bottom after installing the rib?

 

It is a very tight fight, especially toward the front of the fuselage. Clamps will be required.

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, January 13, 2022 2:30 PM

Here is an example of poor Revell engineering. Revell indicates that the part that contains the arms for landing gear doors (red arrow) is to be installed in Step 4. The arms will stick out of the bottom of the fuselage and will be easily broken off during assembly. I recommend that this part be installed toward the end of construction.

Another example of poor Revell engineering. Revell indicates that the main landing gear is to be installed in Step 12.These will stick out of the bottom of the fuselage and will be easily broken off during assembly (remember the landing gear on the Revell P-47). I haven't figured how I am going to deal with this.

The fuselage locating pins (yellow arrow) are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to small. They are pretty much useless. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 3:16 PM

The next step is to work on the main landing gear. Guess what, the instructions are incorrect. Indifferent

I dry assembled the two parts of the landing gear and it was obvious that something is wrong. The two sides of the hole in the landing gear did not match up and the locating pin was on the wrong side of one of the parts.

 

This is the instruction sheet. Parts 88 and 91 are incorrect and need to be reversed.

Part 88 should be part 91, and part 91 should be 88.

The instructions indicated that part 87 and part 91 should be glued together. Note that the locating pin on part 87 will not mate with the locating hole on part 91 when the parts are assembled.

The correct way to do this assembly is to use part 90 instead of part 87. Note that the locating pin in part 90 will mate with the locating hole in part 91 when the parts are assembled. This kind of error should not happen as it would drive a modeler nuts trying to figure out what is wrong.  Maybe the person that built the prototype kit did not correspond with the person that wrote the instructions. I will need to pay particular attention to mistakes in the instructions as things move forward.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:16 AM

I look forward to this one.  

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 6:42 AM

Don’t you love when the manufacturer goofs and mislabels parts, or not list them at all and one is left scratching your head trying to figure out what and where it goes? Looks like one very large model after completion and should make kite a display piece. Looking good JK.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:33 PM

The detail on the Revell seat (right) is pretty minimal. Also, there is a seam dividing the headrest. So, I purchased a resin seat from Aires (left). The set was used in a Lockheed C2, however, it was also used in early Blackbirds. Unfortunetly, it is too tall. Plus, all of the molded detail in the base of the seat will be hidden once it is installed into the cockpit. I may sand off the molded seatbelts on the Revell seat and use the PE belts from the Aires seat.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Thursday, January 20, 2022 10:15 AM

The Aires seat is also wider than the kit seat. It may not fit that way either!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, January 22, 2022 4:20 PM

The resin seats have a big block of resin under the seats that needs to be removed. 

The seats fit perfectly in the cockpit tubs.

I purchased  prepainted acrylic cockpit gauges from Red Fox. The problem in using the prepainted gauges is that I would need to sand off all of the molded gauges. I think that I'll stay with Revell's cockpit decals.

The main landing gear are hollow and the model is pretty heavy, so I decided to fill the landing gear with epoxy. Clamps were used while the epoxy cured.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Saturday, January 22, 2022 7:25 PM

Looking good. I willbe watching the rest of the build.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 3:53 PM

I painted the frames of the Aries seats a light grey. The seat cushions are Olive Drab and the head rests are Insignia Red. The seat belts are PE and were included with the seats.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, January 31, 2022 1:24 PM

This 1:1 plane's cockpit was painted a blue/grey.

I painted my kit's cockpits Testors' Gunship Grey. It's a pretty close match.

The kit's supplied decals are outstanding!! I used a lot of Micro Set to help the decals settle down over the molded details. It's too bad that most of this detail will not be visible through the canopy.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 12:47 AM

Cockpit looks just like the picture.  Excellent work Johnny.  

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 11:07 AM

lawdog114

Cockpit looks just like the picture.  Excellent work Johnny.  

 

Thanks.  Revell provided excellent decals for the cockpits.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 1:42 PM

Yep, that cokpit color looks just about perfect.  I look forward to seeing it all zipped up and painted!

BTW, are the main gear mounting points as fragile as some have made it out to be?  If the pins securely hold the gear in place, is it possible to just swing the legs into the gear bays temporarily while construction proceeds?

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, February 3, 2022 1:08 PM

Real G

Yep, that cokpit color looks just about perfect.  I look forward to seeing it all zipped up and painted!

BTW, are the main gear mounting points as fragile as some have made it out to be?  If the pins securely hold the gear in place, is it possible to just swing the legs into the gear bays temporarily while construction proceeds?

 

The pins don't look that fragile. The instructions indicate that the main landing gear are to be installed very early during construction. That means that they will stick out from the wing as the model is being built. Not a good idea. I'll see if I can swing them into the wheel well.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, February 4, 2022 4:43 PM

The oleo on the actual aircraft is orange/red in color. Maybe that's an anti-corrosion coating. I have no idea. To duplicate that color I painted the oleo Tamyia Clear Red over Testors' Chrome. The strut is painted Testors' Gunship Grey. You are probably asking why are the tires white? The wheel wells became so hot during flight that a regular rubber tire would explode. B. F. Goodrich came up with a solution. They mixed powered aluminum with rubber, hence the light grey color. The tires were inflated to 415 psi, cost $2,300/tire and lasted about 20 missions before they needed to be replaced.  First I painted the tires Testors' Light Grey. The tread area was painted Testors' Sand. Then I darkened the tread area with a black wash. I think that the tires need more black wash.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by JimC2020 on Saturday, February 5, 2022 7:45 AM

Super cool! I've got one of these on order, can't wait to start it. Yours looks great so far, can't wait to see how you finish it.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, February 6, 2022 11:14 AM

Update - February 6, 2022

The main landing gear well is made up of four pieces: Top, back and two sides. I painted them Testors' Metalizer Auminum and Testors' dull coat. A tan colored wash was added to replicate dust.

There have been discussions on the web concerning the thin pins (black arrow) that support the main landing gear. The concern is that the weight of the model will cause the pins to beak off . In reality, the pins are alignment pins, and they do not support the weight of the model. The bottom of the landing gear (red arrow) sits firmly against the top of the wheel well and it supports the weight of the model.

The instructions indicates that the main landing gear are to be installed in step 12/57. The result would be that the landing gear would be sticking out of the fulselage for 45 additional construction steps and would be easily broken off.

The alignment pins of the landing gear are captured by the holes in the wheel well. This requires that the landing gear needs to be installed before the well is glued to the fuselage.

I have a solution. Prior to glueing the well into place, I cut away the side of one of the alignment holes, thus forming a slot.

After I glued the well into place, one pin of the landing gear was inserted into the alignment hole. The landing gear was then twisted and the second pin sliped through the slot and snaped into the alignment hole. This allows the landing gear to be installed at the very end of construction. The landing gear can be removed by reversing the process. 

 

 

 

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

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