1/72 Revell Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Gallery Article by Olaf Sprenger on Mar 21 2014

 

 

To every boy who grew up in the 70's the SR-71 Blackbird is a myth. I always wanted to build one, the old Revell kit was available so I started. It went together very well and especially the cockpit is nice, with a little drybrush you can highlight the details of the instrument panels and the pilot figures are quite nice too. I built it straight out of the box except the two miniature U.S. flags on the pilot suits made by a laser-printer and two plastic stripes to fix the canopies. If you want to build the model with open canopies make sure you choose the 1974 Blackbird from Okinawa as the cockpit represents an aircraft of the 60's/70's. The type flown in the 90's already had a big square display in the rear cockpit. The pressure-suits of the pilots in the 70's were WHITE, the orange coloured suits were introduced later. The seats are a little bit too small, you should lift them up for 2 mm in the cockpit. I cut of the legs of the pilot, to place him correctly on the front seat. The windscreen provided by Revell is a bit chubby, I put a tiny triangular splinter right in front of it to give it the right look. The overall black camouflage is a little boring so I drybrushed the surface with anthracite spots first and sprayed thin black layers upon it afterwards. 

 

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Interestingly I made my own experience with the Blackbird: In the mid 80's I served in the German Luftwaffe as a conscript radar-operator in the North German NATO radar site of Brekendorf. At this time Blackbirds flew missions from the UK alongside the East Baltic coast with Mach 2.7 and at 25000 m altitude. On several occasions I could watch them coming and the (unsuccessful) Warsaw Pact attempts to intercept them. The Blackbird was just a tiny blip on the radar screen with an attached symbol and a large velocity vector, but nevertheless it was a spectacular view. The intercepting MiGs (in most cases MiG 23 Flogger I was told) were coming from the south, taking of from East Germany constantly accelerating in a big turn but they never reached the Blackbird.

Enjoy the photos.

Olaf Sprenger

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Photos and text by Olaf Sprenger