I have to say this cockpit set is some of the nicest resin I have used. Not only is it super detailed but the dry fit testing was without any of the usual problems of having to squeeze the resin in. It was almost a perfect fit first time with only the rear cockpit requiring a little adjustment.
Not sure if the level of detail really comes out in the photos above as the naked resin is difficult to get a decent contrast on but it really is a beautiful set and if you have one of these kits I thoroughly recommend picking up this resin.
Whilst the fuselage is all clamped up I thought I would tackle the Lockheed D-21 drone included in the kit.
For those that don’t know the D-21 was an unmanned drone that was originally designed to be launched from the back of the M-21, a variant of the original Lockheed A-12 photo reconnaissance aircraft from which the SR-71 was derived. The D-21 was developed as a response to policies bought in by Eisenhower after the downing of Gary Powers. The original D-21/M-21 combination was designed so as the drone would be launched at Mach 3, complete a pre-programmed overflight of Russia or China then eject its recon package for retrieval before the drone was to self destruct, however this combination was short lived after an accident during launch of a drone lead to the loss of a crew member.
After this the drone program was modified to the D-21B which was to be launched from under the wing of a B-52. It is this D-21B that is actually included in the kit and whilst its inclusion with an SR-71 is slightly erroneous this they are know to be displayed together in museums and the two aircraft are linked.
The model looks fairly simple and is victim to some more of old Revell’s superb sprue gates as the photos show. Still it will make an interesting addition to the shelf and will look nice along side the completed SR-71, there is also the inclusion of the drones trolley to display it upon which is a nice touch.
Well the cockpits for the SR-71 provided no issues at all and look pretty decent even if I do say so myself. There was a nice amount of raised detail to pick out so I didn’t feel the need for any aftermarket. Time to get it installed!
So after a quick coat of my new AK primer, which went through the airbrush without issue, it was time to get some paint on the hull of the Seawolf, now I have heard that modern paints mean the red anti-fouling has been phased out and replaced with a black version but wheres the interest in that so off I went and I bought a jar of Tamiya’s hull red.
However a quick coat of this and it looked way too brown to my eye so after googling for what seemed like hours I came across a recommendation of mixing your own from x-9 red and x-1 black, I cant remember the exact ration but it was something like 5:1, this got the shade looking much better to my eye but I must have had pressure too high on my compressor for the amount of thinners I had mixed in as you can see from the photo above the finish was terrible!
Out with the fine and extra fine sanding sticks it is then to get this buffed up enough to take another, this time hopefully better, coat!
With the cockpit all painted up It was time to route the cables and fibre optics. I know the pilots helmets not right and it will be fixed but anyway here’s a couple of pics of where I’m at. Now I’m off to get some LEDs wired up and get some tests run.
I don’t know about you guys but I love this bit, removing the masking from the main scheme and you really get the sense of what the finished article is going to look like. Anyway having removed the masking I now need to add a load more masking in order to paint the red pinstripes and tail sections.
It’s finally time to get back to sticking some plastic together! I’ve been working on the Vampire again and have managed to get the fuslage shut and the main parts of the wings together. This was fairly uneventful although I have been left with a small step at one of the wing roots which I am not sure how to address without losing some of the fine rivet engraving etc. I may just have to try and reinstate this after some remedial work is carried out.
Well I can wait no longer, time to get some paint down, this is proving to be a little more difficult than usual as my AS186 chinese compressor keeps overheating, I will strip it down again and see if I can’t get it somewhere near normal, if not I guess the letter to santa will be leaving early this year!