Nose job

Fitting the nose to the SR-71 Blackbird
Installation of the nose on the SR-71 Blackbird
Main assembly of the SR-71 is complete with only the intake cones and the vertical stabilisers remaining
Main assembly of the SR-71 is complete with only the intake cones and the vertical stabilisers remaining

Well with the addition of the nose and engine nacelles the main phase of construction is pretty much complete. I will fit the Intake cones once I have managed to sand the inside of the cowlings as there was a liberal application of Mr. Dissolved Putty on their internal seams.

The join between the nose and the fuselage isn’t the best and it will be interesting trying to blend the join without damaging the raised detail. I might actually leave the vertical stabilisers off until after paint and decals are applied purely to ease access.

I have to say, considering the kits issues I am having a lot of fun with this one, they are coming to me as interesting problems to be solved rather than headaches. It’s a pleasant change to have so much mojo!

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Hull Paint Finished, Time for Decals


So I got the top half of the sub painted black and figures I might as well get the few decals on before I do any touch ups and detail painting, so here we are adding the decals, once these are dry and settled I might actually seal them in before continuing on with the detail painting etc just to give them a little protection incase something goes wrong.

Engine test


So following on from my first YouTube video showing the main instrument panel all lit up I thought that now the engine LEDs were all soldered up and the engines glued up I had better test the LED’s were still working!

As you can see they’re all running fine, the one on the bottom right is sitting a little further back in the engine that the others but I don’t think that it is worth trying to pull apart the engines now the glue is set to adjust, other than that there is still some light bleed where either I didn’t get an even coat of the metallics inside the engines or I have thinned the wall too much. What ever the cause I am hoping a couple coats of my new AK Primer with Microfillers will solve the issue.

Mellow yellow


I am loving this Mr Color paint, and no that’s not just the fumes talking. This is the first time I have ever used this range of paints and after a couple of disasters trying to thin the paint with various incorrect thinners I finally got a bottle of Mr Color Self Levelling Thinners and a quick test shoot confirmed I should have got the correct thinners from the start as this sprayed beautifully through the 0.2mm with a basic 50:50 mix ratio.

I can certainly see me using more of Mr Color in the future, but in the mean time the main Black Green is going to be supplied courtesy of the Vallejo Model Air range of colours.

Preshade


Well its time for another little update on the Vampire, with all the main airframe construction complete and the Mr Surfacer all cured and sanded it was time to move towards paint so the model was primed with the ever faithful Tamiya Fine, although I will be trialling a new primer on my next build.

Now being relatively new to this preshading malarky it was time for another first for me, a multi-coloured preshade. On this occasion as part of the wings and tailbooms along with the drop tanks are going to be getting painted a yellow colour I have preshaded these parts in Orange, we shall see how this works out shortly as thats her masked up ready for the first coats of Mr Color Chrome Yellow.

More Masking & A Hull


Heres the final paint going on the last of the TIE Fighter Solar panel framework and we can finally move on to something else, in this case it was just the two halves of the tiny hull which also needed a coat of blue/grey. There isn’t actually much else to this kit, just the cockpit and stand to paint up!

Vampire rises from.. the corner of the bench.


So whilst this isnt quite a ressurection of the undead from beyond the grave I thought it about time we did some more work to the Vampire build. I had a few issues with the fit of the intakes, this seems to be a common issue for me and I am starting to wonder if it’s the way I am building the kits.

With the benefit of hindsight I don’t think I would follow the construction order given in the instructions for this if I was to build these parts again I think I would either attach the intake to one half of a wing, attach this to the fuselage then complete with the other half of the wing, or attach the intake to the fuselage first, then put the wing in place before the glue between the wing halves cures just so I can move all the parts in relation to one another to try and get the best possible fit.

However it is what it is and I have a slight step and some gaps to deal with so I go with my tried and tested method of Mr Surfacer 1000 to address this issue. Here’s some photo’s waiting for the 2nd coat of Mr Surfacer to cure after the inital coat was sanded.

MIG Update



I know I havent posted for a while, things have been a little hectic in the flat so I haven’t had much time at the bench, here is a quick look at the paint on the MiG build now the demarcation has been sharpened up, needs a couple of touch ups etc but its looking ok.

I have also decided on the weapons this ones goingto be carrying, load out is going to be a couple of OFAB-100 on the rear pylons, UB-32 pods on the wing gloves, UB-16 on the outer fuselage pylons and the centre line will carry an external fuel tank. After all, who doesnt like rockets!

So much for keeping it simple



So much for keeping things nice and simple. As I had almost finished the paint I removed the masking tape and blue tack covering the cockpit and it really struck me how poor the cockpit was looking (there isn’t even a control stick) and the seat especially was annoying me, it looked pretty bad and also seems to sit too far forward leaving quite a big gap between the back of the seat and where the none existant bulkhead should be. These photos are from earlier on in the build to illustrate how poor things are looking as standard.