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Old 08-09-2020, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

Greetings I am on the fence to start collecting 1/72 Blackbird, A12, Yf-12 and M-21 models. And as a newbie in the collecting aviation world I would love to hear from you. Which manufacturer has best molds, details, crisp printing and overall quality control. I know each manufacturer has its pros and cons. I would love to hear about your experiences with Century Wings, TSM models, AF1 or any other manufacturer I am not aware of. Your input is greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance...
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

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Greetings I am on the fence to start collecting 1/72 Blackbird, A12, Yf-12 and M-21 models. And as a newbie in the collecting aviation world I would love to hear from you. Which manufacturer has best molds, details, crisp printing and overall quality control. I know each manufacturer has its pros and cons. I would love to hear about your experiences with Century Wings, TSM models, AF1 or any other manufacturer I am not aware of. Your input is greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance...
I don't have any sr-71/a-12s in my collection but I believe tsm never actually made a diecast a-12
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Old 08-09-2020, 03:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

Greetings MRIYA.

TSM haven't released any models yet, nor have they released any updated images of their progress. What we've seen so far had whopping great technical errors, but pretty painting.

Century Wings is everybody's darling for doing the Blackbird in the first place. Nobody (me included) expected to ever see it in diecast. It broke all the rules of "diecast wisdom". Unfortunately it has some errors, one of which, to my mind is huge. As is CW's way though, they never correct their toolings. So what we were damn lucky to get, what, fourteen or so more years ago, is now a bit of an overpriced joke. If you're serious about Blackbirds the straight spikes are unacceptable. If you're obsessed then having the jet optimised for zero speed not Mach 3; well, that's just for know nothings.

AF1. Not many releases. Not particularly well finished either, but actually, technically more accurate than CW. The rear cockpit doesn't open. The front cockpit opening is clumsy. The pilot figure is an AF1 blue loon. IIRC the pitot head has all the finesse of a pitch fork.

Personally I'd like to see Calibre take the Blackbird familly on, all of them. They're special and complex aeroplanes. It needs an outfit that knows something about aircraft, and is willing to pay attention to detail to get them right. So that's either Calibre, or theoretically, if they wanted to and had the right research team Corgi. And I can't see Corgi wanting to so that's Calibre as the only hope to get them done right.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

Thanks for the info!! I see TSM models never came up with anything solid. I saw a picture of YF or A-12 if I am not mistaken displayed at some fair on the internet that’s it. Anyway so if I understand that correctly CW’s Sr-71 representation has it’s spikes in ‘spike forward’ position. And after some research I found out that spikes begin to retract at around MACH 1.5 speed. So traveling at full speed the spikes retract full 26 inches. And spike also shifts downwards at about MACH 1.0 in order to reduce leading shockwave pressure off the engine in order to improve air flow inside the engine if I’m not mistaken. So CW’s model is a closer representation from standstill and all the way up to about MACH 1.5?? May I ask what are other issues with CW molds?? And yes Calibre wings produces beautiful F14 examples indeed. Thanks again @Adour...
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

i only got the century wing sr-71. along with a few 1/200 sr-71 from hogan
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

i have the last century wing release, you can still find it if you really want one but.... i don't think is a good idea, there are a few problems with the model, the quality is not great, on mine the paint is not perfect and the cockpit canopy can't be closed well, nothing major but for a model so expensive is a bit hard to accept these defects.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

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Thanks for the info!! I see TSM models never came up with anything solid. I saw a picture of YF or A-12 if I am not mistaken displayed at some fair on the internet that’s it. Anyway so if I understand that correctly CW’s Sr-71 representation has it’s spikes in ‘spike forward’ position. And after some research I found out that spikes begin to retract at around MACH 1.5 speed. So traveling at full speed the spikes retract full 26 inches. And spike also shifts downwards at about MACH 1.0 in order to reduce leading shockwave pressure off the engine in order to improve air flow inside the engine if I’m not mistaken. So CW’s model is a closer representation from standstill and all the way up to about MACH 1.5?? May I ask what are other issues with CW molds?? And yes Calibre wings produces beautiful F14 examples indeed. Thanks again @Adour...
I am not aware of the spikes moving downwards at about Mach 1.0, there is no reference to this in either the A-12 or SR-71 flight manuals. Can you state your source? The spikes are mounted at an angle so that the spike actuators retract them backwards, outwards and upwards. They are not mounted symmetrically fore and aft. The first three drawings should make the actual situation clear.

Next is an enlargement of a shot of the surviving two seat A-12 that I took in LA a few years ago. It shows the right engine from pretty much head on. Note how the spike is offset downwards and inwards. This is in its full forwards (low speed and altitude) position.

Here’s a poor quality wind tunnel shot of the high Mach condition. It looks like a ram jet.

Finally a blurred shot of a collector’s CW SR-71 grabbed from the net. Yes the spikes are fully forward, but they’re at completely the wrong angle. IMHO they just look silly.

Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models-73c51b31-1de3-4b98-9fc7-cffe7caec2f1.jpg
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Last edited by Adour; 08-11-2020 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Lousy picture positioning. Still lousy, why are pictures on this forum so difficult?
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

@wildpig did yours came with any issues?? I’ve heard with some models canopy is really hard to open many collectors decided not to alter it altogether in order to prevent breakage, then glaring issues are huge seams in the middle of the aircraft which is a dealbreaker for me. I am really not keen on interactive series models just because of ‘toyish’ feel due to huge seams!!
@theo78 Thanks for sharing your experiences with the model. Can you upload a picture of the affected paint area?? In which store did you buy it?? Did you attempted to replace the model?? I must say I am really on the fence while discovering all these sloppy made in china production issues and cannot accept the fact that the product I buy solely for display purposes has eyesores littered all around. I do not have a problem to pay 150$ for the model heck I would pay twice that but for an authentic design ( thanks to @Adour for pointing out design issues ) and a solid quality production line that pumps out consistently well made models. I am a model railway collector as well and have no problem purchasing a model that costs several hundreds but for a high quality end product. When you unbox the brand new item you should be ecstatic and not fearful of damaged paint job, sloppy seams, things broken etc. and hoping that you got the ‘good’ one!! Oh well I really want a proper 1/72 SR-71 model but I think I will listen to Adour’s advice and hold off for any other companies attempts...
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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@Adour thank you very very much for your time and effort to share your knowledge about this magnificent birds with me. Well as it turned out that info I came out with was from some kiddo. Well we live in an era of the internet where anyone can upload everything unfortunately!! I must say I’m really bummed because I would like to own a proper SR-71. Do you own any SR-71, A-12 etc. models??
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My pleasure MRIYA. Yes the internet is certainly a double edged sword that many have cut themselves on. I bought the first CW SR-71 when it came out 14 years ago. 1/72 is my preferred scale and it was such a shock (accompanied by such comments from my vendor as “we don’t think there’ll ever be another one released) that I simply couldn’t resist. It sits in flying pose at the back of my cabinet where it looks pretty good at a distance, in the shadows. And you can’t see that the crew’s pressure suits are the wrong colour. As a self confessed A-12/YF-12/SR-71 obsessive though, I simply can’t believe how CW has managed to sell so many of them since. I want one that I can display front and centre in the light! Like you, cost isn’t the issue, it’s quality.

I haven’t looked at the smaller scales, they’re simply not for me.
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A word about AF1 SR-71. To be honest after again some ‘web’ research haha I know it seems that Air Force 1 SR-71 attempt doesn’t have that middle section seam as CW’s does from the pictures available on the internet it looks like it’s seams flow on underbelly and symmetrically run along the fuselage on both sides ( port & starboard ) here’s the picture

https://www.ebay.com/itm/153839935197

Anyway it looks way more convincing to me. More accurate engine intakes. But on the con side similarly ‘movable’ and consequently fragile canopy with a seam, less printing and overall details and pitot tube final finish like a fork So what do you say @Adour looking good at a 80.000 ft or less??
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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@wildpig did yours came with any issues?? I’ve heard with some models canopy is really hard to open many collectors decided not to alter it altogether in order to prevent breakage, then glaring issues are huge seams in the middle of the aircraft which is a dealbreaker for me. I am really not keen on interactive series models just because of ‘toyish’ feel due to huge seams!!
I will have to take out of box and look. It still fresh unopened...lol.. thanks for letting me know to check.
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Pic of the CW SR-71 gap.. it's def there. wish it was smaller but i can see that its probably hard to make a large unibody mould seeing how big the plane is. It is a really big aircraft...lol.

Also pics of the 1/200 herpas Sr-71A and B
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

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A word about AF1 SR-71. To be honest after again some ‘web’ research haha I know it seems that Air Force 1 SR-71 attempt doesn’t have that middle section seam as CW’s does from the pictures available on the internet it looks like it’s seams flow on underbelly and symmetrically run along the fuselage on both sides ( port & starboard ) here’s the picture

https://www.ebay.com/itm/153839935197

Anyway it looks way more convincing to me. More accurate engine intakes. But on the con side similarly ‘movable’ and consequently fragile canopy with a seam, less printing and overall details and pitot tube final finish like a fork So what do you say @Adour looking good at a 80.000 ft or less??
You’re correct that the spikes and mid fuselage seam are fixed. Now fixing the spikes is what I meant when I said that AF1 is a more accurate technical representation than CW. However, it’s far from being all good news. On AF1 the Tertiary doors are not properly open, i.e. they’ve tried to model them open but they’re blocked off. CW has them properly open like they should be below Mach 1.5. AF1 hasn’t even bothered to attempt a proper crew figure. For a closed in flight display that’s hard to see, but it can be seen, and it would bug me. AFAIK there’s no rear crew figure at all and that would really bug me. The cockpit area on both models isn’t great, but I think AF1 is probably worse. And yes, both nose areas aren’t quite right, but AF1 is eye catching compared to CW. For a gear down display the AF1 gear is worse than CW. For in flight the AF1 underside finish isn’t great.

Overall, you’re just trading one set of problems for another. Granted though, one of those isn’t complete technical nonsense. Personally I’m going to cross my fingers and wait for another manufacturer. But I already have an SR-71 as a “gap filler” and it really is down to personal choice. I have to say that I wasn’t at all impressed by the cockpit of Herpa’s SR-71A.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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@wildpig I hope you’re OK with the model that seam is too much for me honestly. Thanks for the effort and uploaded pictures I can imagine that CW Blackbird dwarfs Herpa’s indeed

@Adour I agree with everything you said. Tertiary doors on AF1 model seem to be flush more like a solid piece with the rest of the plane if I’m not mistaken. And about the canopy and cockpit I would prefer non plastic moving parts ( no seams and no color in discrepancy due to different materials used). I mean how many collectors actually alter that canopy many never due to fragile state of it. So all you get is cons actually. Why so you can see poorly detailed crew and the cockpit?? So I would prefer flush single piece plane. A solid canopy with it’s crew preinstalled at the factory like many train model manufacturers do with the locomotive engineers. You said yourself that the SR-71 and it’s cousins are a handful to recreate so why ruining that beautiful sleek, seamless and streamlined design with dodgy parts with huge seams and gaps. If you want to play LEGO has the solution for you!! Well to my knowledge these two models are everything we’ve got so far in bigger 1/72 scale I have zero interest in plastic kits and I’m guessing with no other worthy manufacturers coming forward to release 1/72 Blackbirds I have a feeling we’re in for the long haul. The waiting game that may never end!! I can get AF1’s brand new attempt for 89.95€ plus shipping though so we will see...
@Adour what is for your taste best manufactured model in your collection?? Which one is your gem?? Which model, accuracy, scale and manufacturer?? Many thanks...
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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hey these are the pictures of my sr71

this is the canopy, ar you can see it's far from perfect
https://freeimage.host/i/dWKWjj

and this picture shows the paint defects...see the white line and the other defect below?
https://freeimage.host/i/dWK6nR


btw my best model so far is the f8 by century wings that is one of the reasons this sr71 really disappointed me

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Old 08-13-2020, 03:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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@wildpig I hope you’re OK with the model that seam is too much for me honestly. Thanks for the effort and uploaded pictures I can imagine that CW Blackbird dwarfs Herpa’s indeed

@Adour I agree with everything you said. Tertiary doors on AF1 model seem to be flush more like a solid piece with the rest of the plane if I’m not mistaken. And about the canopy and cockpit I would prefer non plastic moving parts ( no seams and no color in discrepancy due to different materials used). I mean how many collectors actually alter that canopy many never due to fragile state of it. So all you get is cons actually. Why so you can see poorly detailed crew and the cockpit?? So I would prefer flush single piece plane. A solid canopy with it’s crew preinstalled at the factory like many train model manufacturers do with the locomotive engineers. You said yourself that the SR-71 and it’s cousins are a handful to recreate so why ruining that beautiful sleek, seamless and streamlined design with dodgy parts with huge seams and gaps. If you want to play LEGO has the solution for you!! Well to my knowledge these two models are everything we’ve got so far in bigger 1/72 scale I have zero interest in plastic kits and I’m guessing with no other worthy manufacturers coming forward to release 1/72 Blackbirds I have a feeling we’re in for the long haul. The waiting game that may never end!! I can get AF1’s brand new attempt for 89.95€ plus shipping though so we will see...
Dead right, but it's the "tradition" in diecast aircraft, which is one reason we have so many compromised models. Corgi's with enormous gear door lugs. HM's with distracting interior canopy posts. Dragon P-47's with fictitious canopy parts. Lots of manufacturers with clunky canopy hinges which then don't work properly. Canopies that don't close properly (even on the CalW F-14) etc.

And then not everyone even wants accuracy. For example some want their models loaded with so much ordance that they'd either have a radius of action of about thirty miles, or would never make it off the carrier deck with more gas than to have to hit the tanker immediately - if there was one. Or in some cases would just plain wind up in the drink. In other words we're back to toys not models. Hence we generally get lego ordnance that doesn't fit properly, often on incorrect pylons and carriers, rather than well modelled, permanently attached loads. Many collectors just don’t know their stuff so manufacturers intentionally produce models that they know are are wrong because they know how many complaints they’d get if they did them right, and so it goes on. Truth be told the diecast aircraft collecting market is neither very knowledgable or mature, and the product reflects that. You have some very knowledgeable people on forums, but they’re a tiny proportion of the market. Many of us correct our models, but there comes a point that you’re contradicting a major objective of buying pre-built, which is saving time.

It’s all a bit unsatisfactory, but that's just how diecast aircraft are. Plastic is the alternative, and I refuse to waste my time that way. There's other things to do in life.

It could be a very long wait indeed for a good Blackbird. I hope not.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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@Adour what is for your taste best manufactured model in your collection?? Which one is your gem?? Which model, accuracy, scale and manufacturer?? Many thanks...
Not an easy question to answer honestly. There isn't a single one that doesn't come with some sort of reservation. After much thought though, this. 1/30 scale John Jenkins Designs Airco DH-2. It’s not diecast though, it’s resin. WWI isn’t a common interest around here, but I find these machines fascinating. Although as an engineer I find the modern stuff more interesting, as I pilot I’ve always found flying the old stuff far more fulfilling. Of the two kinds of fly-by-wire, digital; or pulley, turnbuckle and cable, I know which I prefer. BTW, I wouldn’t want to be accused of line shooting, the oldest machine in my logbook is only the DH.82, by coincidence another of Sir Geoffrey’s designs (1931). This JJD offering really is “museum quality”, right down to the buttons in the pilot’s leather seat cushion. The rotary engine rotates with the propeller. If you look at the much praised Wingnut Wings plastic kits, even they recommend not bothering with turnbuckles in the rigging - yet there they are. Still, in my opinion it’s not perfect - but I’ll leave the nit picking to personal tastes.

The early JJDs aren’t quite this good though. Unfortunately, that covers some of the more popular types like the Camel and Fokker DR1.
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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@theo78 thanks for the uploaded pics. Indeed that paint damage and canopy gap could be blamed for underwhelming production quality. Cannot understand someone on the QC stand in the factory gave it a pass!! That canopy gap would bother me so much that I would probably try to glue the canopy permanently on.

@Adour Hahahaha you just made my day!! Indeed for some ideal planes would look like

https://www.google.com/search?q=airp...oshop&tbm=isch

You’re a pilot?? I hope you don’t mind if I ask which birds do you fly?? Totally agree with your description of model making business. Selling numbers before accuracy!! I am new to aviation collecting but that doesn’t stop me to learn more about the model and the real plane it represents. Plus you have many seasoned aviators here ( like you @Adour ) that collect for many years and are happy to give us newbies pointers and facts. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make things different. For example model railway manufacturers have clearly stated beginner sets and professional section all built under the same roof you have ‘toy’ trains and then you have a real deal. Oh my that model is looking amazing!! The level of details making it like a different world. I am very interested in early 20th century ocean liners Olympic class liners in particular and I must say that pilots of that era were indeed very brave!! A true pioneers indeed!! Well I don't know how’s with the licensing for the SR-71 and it’s cousins but I would assume it takes a lot of effort and $$$ to obtain it and with two manufacturers already sitting at the table making models especially CW has quite a few releases and business is business at the end of the day. I know first hand from railway world that the company had licensing and finished pre-production sample of locomotive model but other manufacturer released the very same model spec a few months earlier so they pulled the plug and shelved the model at a tremendous cost!! So most commonly if a model is being offered by someone others stay away. I do hope companies here do communicate in a friendly manner about their future releases and intentions. So we wait ( and maybe purchase AF1 version ) for new 1/72 SR-71’s and I would like to buy a XB-70A Valkyrie but in a 1/200 scale due to it’s massive size.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks to the Wuhan virus I'm not flying very much at all. When I do though, it's Boeing's "more electric jet", the 787; and because my company will only let us fly for one other operator, I instruct on the North American T-6G in my spare time and that's it. There's quite a few of us that do what's termed "non-company flying", and not everone sticks to the rules. I couldn't possibly comment other than to say, these days I do. We all know guys that have been involved in high profile mishaps, some with fatalities.

I've no idea how licencing and all the behind the scenes machinations work. You hear rumours and a lot of speculation. Even when company representatives make statements though, you don't really know whether to take them at face value or not. I tend to ignore all that and just focus on the models. I do communicate to differing degrees with HM (a lot, but with varied results), Corgi (very limited, but have managed to prevent the odd critical mistake), and Oxford (just a friendly chat really). Unfortunately I have no contacts at CalW which is a real shame. Can't have everything I guess.

I'd like an XB-70, but 1/144 is my preferred small scale. These days that's a dinosaur scale, so I guess that's tough luck. Dragon did a 1/200 XB-70A a few years ago. I haven't seen it up close. I think it was entirely plastic. It may be worth your while trying to track one down.

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Old 08-13-2020, 06:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Pic of the CW SR-71 gap.. it's def there. wish it was smaller but i can see that its probably hard to make a large unibody mould seeing how big the plane is. It is a really big aircraft...lol.

Also pics of the 1/200 herpas Sr-71A and B
It don't mind too much to me. This gap could be what Mr. Graham is talking about in this video, although I never saw this on a picture until now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeBu6mRDaro

start watching from 1:05:00 for two minutes.


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Old 08-13-2020, 10:08 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Die cast 1/72 Blackbird models

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For example some want their models loaded with so much ordance
That's me ,,,,lol... see here:

https://www.diecastaircraftforum.com...66-post21.html
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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@Adour How’s the Dreamliner on controls light as a feather?? I’ve read somewhere that 787’s have unusual high number of cracked cockpit windshields is that true??

@jawomba Tnx for the SR-71 link I have that very same video in my YouTube recommendations I’ll definitely watch it entirely. Need to learn more about this amazing birds...
Hmmm interesting so that ‘mega 5 inch’ gap as described in the video is preventing of splitting the plane on two and could actually be a real deal. Never heard of that large gaps but we’re talking about Habu’s here. So CW’s strangulation line has some credibility to it
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It don't mind too much to me. This gap could be what Mr. Graham is talking about in this video, although I never saw this on a picture until now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeBu6mRDaro

start watching from 1:05:00 for two minutes.

I’ve tried telling myself that in the past, and if CW had got the the spikes right, I would have accepted their joint as the cold version. As I said though, I want the hot, high and fast version so then it wouldn’t work anyway.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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@Adour How’s the Dreamliner on controls light as a feather?? I’ve read somewhere that 787’s have unusual high number of cracked cockpit windshields is that true??
Certainly not “light as a feather”. We’re stressed to +2.5/-1.0g clean which is normal for a heavy jet, but only +1.5/0.0g dirty which in my experience is a little low for this class of aeroplane. Anyway, Boeing have done a super job of making the handling characteristics feel pretty natural, far better than Airbus. However, the “natural” way that you prevent pilots over stressing big aeroplanes is by making the controls heavy. For small deflections, like you may require tracking a hand flown ILS they’re nothing. Start throwing it about though - simulated GPWS pull ups, steep turns etc, and you’re off to the gym. Well, compared to the competition in the electric world, nothing like pre-electric Boeings though, 75, 74 etc.

Not sure about actual numbers of cracked windshields, although it is a concern because the windows are huge compared to earlier types. General window wear is a real problem. The interior surface is ridiculously soft. I don’t know what Boeing were thinking when they selected the material, but it seems like you hardly need to touch it to scratch it and most of the fleet are a real mess. That brings me to one of the aeroplane’s worst features, the lack of decent window blinds up front. You’d all p1ss yourselves laughing if you you saw the comical efforts we spend our time at with newspapers etc trying to keep from being fried and/ or blinded for eight hours at 40k in the blazing sun. Mr Boeing really didn’t think that one through at all.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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@Adour Thanks for the 787 input. I am not a pilot but I am really interested for straightforward feedback from the captains and officers. I have a friend that flew on Bombardier CRJ200/900 and because of Covid he lost his job and found it’s way to foreign carrier and 787’s and I can imagine the jump in everything I suppose. A few days ago I saw a beautiful specimen of pre-electric Boeing taking off in beautiful sunlight and it was no other than C32 757 carrying Mike Pompeo on board touring the eastern Europe.
Hahahaha so that rumor with the windows sounds plausible. Make no mistake I am deeply impressed with the Dreamliner it’s the cutting edge material so advanced like Porsche 959 was when new. Really like that Boeing stayed with the Li-Ion batteries after all that self ignition problems at the very beginning. They could opt for cheaper and faster solution with common and heavier batteries but they sticked with the plan and found a solution with the Japanese manufacturer!! Kudos Boeing for not backing down. I do hope they resolve that MCAS on 737 MAX asap. Maybe that missing sun visors are victims of the saving weight measures making it as lightweight as possible haha!! Joke aside that sounds indeed peculiar no adequate sun blinds for a product that cost several hundreds dollars.
Well back to our bird I do wish to be able to buy that perfect SR-71 model in the future. I do question though what kind of alloys do they use on the Blackbird models. I do imagine with a proper alloy mix they could make SR-71 as a whole piece. No seams and flush canopy. Not my expertise but I think it’s possible. But probably at a higher price?? And no hinges at 1/72 why not using magnets and making switch outs. And like in statues world you can buy a regular version with no extra switch outs and deluxe version with many more add ons...
Indeed hot, fast and high altitude SR-71 model with a well balanced stand that holds the plane completely horizontally a ‘high speed race’!! SR-71 was retired first time in 1990 a year before the official fall of the USSR but nowadays I think the US would need that SR 71/ rumored 72 birds back to counter Russia and China. Can’t wait to see the B-21 Raider unveiled. But I do hope Skunk Works has something ram and scram like in its ‘black’ sleeve!!
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Old 08-15-2020, 04:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Glad your friend landed on his feet. I'm sure he'll enjoy the 78. On the blinds, we have a typical Boeing mechano set for the front windscreens including a clip-on for the HUD, but like much of the cockpit ergonomics it's a joke. For the side windows we have these [email protected] roll up meshes that stow in a cupboard. They deform, they don't stay up, blah, blah, blah, woe is me. Rumour has it that Boeing designed the side windows to be electrically dimable like the passenger ones in the cabin, failing power off clear. However the FAA wouldn't wear it and Boeing didn't have a plan B. Who knows if that's the truth.

On the Blackbird models I just hope that when someone else has a go, and I believe someone will, this time they think fast, high and hot - not parked up somewhere. Boring.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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It sounds acceptable that the 787 engineers had such a difficulty finding a proper solution at the rollout. I get it the original ‘blinds’ design was a bust but that mediocre solution could be redeveloped and added later down the road on the already built planes along with regular maintenance and engine PIP‘s...
Well about new SR-71 prospects. I see Hobby Master has solid quality products and quite a lot of offerings. I’ve noticed their brand new tooling of U2 spy plane already up for preorder. If I’m correct Calibre Wings is not far behind with their U2 model. So two manufacturers doing the very same thing well that’s interesting. My thesis fell short about companies making different things. New to the business so I have no idea if U2 was requested repeatedly by collectors for a long time or not but almost identical releases seem a bit like punching under the waist. You said you have a few contacts. Did you try to get in touch with some companies about new SR-71 mould possibility?? I would ask them for 1/72 B-2 Spirit possibility as well. Yeah I know model and packaging would be huge hahaha...
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:17 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Well about new SR-71 prospects. I see Hobby Master has solid quality products and quite a lot of offerings. I’ve noticed their brand new tooling of U2 spy plane already up for preorder. If I’m correct Calibre Wings is not far behind with their U2 model. So two manufacturers doing the very same thing well that’s interesting. My thesis fell short about companies making different things. New to the business so I have no idea if U2 was requested repeatedly by collectors for a long time or not but almost identical releases seem a bit like punching under the waist. You said you have a few contacts. Did you try to get in touch with some companies about new SR-71 mould possibility?? I would ask them for 1/72 B-2 Spirit possibility as well. Yeah I know model and packaging would be huge hahaha...
I think most of us long time collectors would reckon that HM's quality has slowly dropped over the years. I can recall very few mentions of the U-2 from collectors, though I'm personally very glad to see it. I think we were all surprised to see HM announce the same version as CalW, it did seem like a direct attack, (as did their F-14 previously). The subsequent backtracking by them to say they'd also do a new tooling for the U-2A/C after their previous adamant refusal was even more surprising.

I don't have any special contacts over any other member of the public. At HM it's William Lu. I've probably been writing to him longer than most and hence have a better relationship than some - but that guarantees nothing, he's a businessman. I think his address is on the HM collector site, which despite its name, has no offical connection. It's a great resource though and tends to be first out with reliable info about 90% of the time. Sometimes vendors etc. publish earlier:
https://hobbymastercollector.com

William's a busy guy these days, so be polite; but keep emails brief and to the point, with photographic proof.

Actually, I've not spoken Blackbird to anyone yet. HM has a tooling size limitation. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it seems to be about 1/72 B-17 fuselage length maximum. The U-2 project has clarified it a bit since the 103 foot U-2R span obviously isn't proving a problem. However, the SR-71 fuselage is a lot longer than a B-17. And now we're into the two segment question again etc. To be honest, I think Calibre would do a better job of it, but, as I said, I don't have a contact there.

B-2? Man after my own heart, but I can hear it now. "It only comes in one colour, black". Well, so do the SR-71 and F-117. The F-22 and F-35 only come in grey. That doesn't seem to have any effect on sales (even when they can't paint the grey right, or the tooling is awful).

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Old 08-18-2020, 03:32 PM   #30 (permalink)
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HM’s quality dropped?? You mean as a manufacturing process or wrong technical hiccups added on the model as well?? To be honest I quite like their F-22 models well I like F-22’s in general they’re beautiful design and also it’s rival the Su-57’s. But 1/72 Su-57 haven’t seen a release from anyone else than the Air Force 1 or am I wrong here??
Thank you for the contact I may send a question about the SR-71 in the coming days. Rest assured I am fully aware of this is business for them and a passion for me. A simple question won’t hurt.
Well about size limitations I must say you have indeed confirmed my biggest fears. I don’t want a two section model at all I rather have nothing to be honest. All in or nothing at all. Could not stand to see any more gaps splitting the beautiful SR-71’s lines and not even dare to think about two or even three piece B-2 horror!! We have plastic kits for that. So finding the way to Calibre Wings and convincing them that 1/72 SR-71 and B-2 are worth the risk/effort. I do think there is quite a number of collectors that share our similar enthusiasm and tastes that would really appreciate big, bulky, true to the original, flush/seamless body, fast and hot mean flying machines. That kind of ‘grail’ bigger models are indeed more expensive/risky to manufacture but can yield a high praise from the collector community instantly becoming a centerpieces of their respective collections...
About B-2 and SR-71 having very limited release options. As CW proved us you can make a business out of it. Well those two aircraft are indeed legends therefore there will always be interest and sale for them. Their outstanding other worldly stealth appearance will assure that even average Joe’s from the street may purchase a beautifully crafted model which will simply look good in the office. Plus with a B-21 Raider scheduled for the very first flight in December 2021 the interest for the stealth flying wing bombers will definitely grow.
P.S. Don’t scare me with the fact that HM’s F22 mould is bad I am actually on the fence of getting one...
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:02 AM   #31 (permalink)
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On HM’s perceived quality drop it’s a mixture and different guys will put differing emphasis on what’s wrong.

A big problem has been paint colours in recent years. They switched to using an eyecatchingly odd shade of light green in their USAF SEA camouflage. There was a liberal addition of blue into much of their grey paint for a while though this thankfully seems to be dying out. Talking of grey, when it isn’t blue it’s very often the wrong shade of grey and that’s been a big problem on most of the F-22 releases. HM has a real tendency to paint models in too dark a shade and this has been particularly noticeable on many of the Soviet releases, like the recent MiG-29SMT.

Then there’s tool design, in particular their most recent jets. They’ve been placing very prominent horizontal joint lines down the middle of the forward fuselage. This has been very detrimental to the F-15, MiG-25, Su-27 etc. The reason is to be able to remove the metal from the mold without it curling over and they say it can’t be done any other way. That’s simply nonsense as other manufacturers have ably demonstrated. They are also very ignorant in general about technical detail and tend to make some very poor selections of aircraft technical features. There’s a long list. Be it non-opening speed-brakes on the T-38 (when they’re almost always open when shut down), non-opening air brakes on Harriers (they have to be open gear down), closed FOD doors on the Su-27 (well those are open 90% of the time in flight), hideous F-15 exhaust nozzles, and just don’t mention the brand new Tornado and MiG-29SMT, it’s a long and shameful list.

Their F-22 tooling isn’t too bad. I think the lack of a clear, or better still transparent green HUD in such a big cockpit is really lacking. It’s been done by other manufacturers. It’s a really obvious F-22 feature but they couldn’t be bothered. The other problem is some fictitious construction of the upper outboard corners of the engine intakes. HM normally just copies kits so I guess that’s where it came from. It’s not obvious at first sight though.

The rule in this game is, if you like it, buy it. Different people's eyes are caught by different flaws.

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Old 08-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Well I have a tendency to see only flaws on the model once I identify them. Cannot convince myself to look at it’s strengths as well. And wrong paint is a glaring issue indeed. I really don’t understand how company’s QC can pass something painted in wrong color shade. To me that is just as bad as releasing a Su-57 wearing USAF paint scheme. Well which company released F-22’s as well?? Beside Lockheed theirs look super real haha!! About misfortunate gaps and seams I do hope progress in 3D printing quality and lower production costs of it could give us the ultimate seamless models in the future. Well one can hope!! And when we talked about size limitations well B-17 bomber has similar wingspan to SR-71’s length so it is possible I’m guessing??
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:22 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Not an easy question to answer honestly. There isn't a single one that doesn't come with some sort of reservation. After much thought though, this. 1/30 scale John Jenkins Designs Airco DH-2. It’s not diecast though, it’s resin. WWI isn’t a common interest around here, but I find these machines fascinating. Although as an engineer I find the modern stuff more interesting, as I pilot I’ve always found flying the old stuff far more fulfilling. Of the two kinds of fly-by-wire, digital; or pulley, turnbuckle and cable, I know which I prefer. BTW, I wouldn’t want to be accused of line shooting, the oldest machine in my logbook is only the DH.82, by coincidence another of Sir Geoffrey’s designs (1931). This JJD offering really is “museum quality”, right down to the buttons in the pilot’s leather seat cushion. The rotary engine rotates with the propeller. If you look at the much praised Wingnut Wings plastic kits, even they recommend not bothering with turnbuckles in the rigging - yet there they are. Still, in my opinion it’s not perfect - but I’ll leave the nit picking to personal tastes.

The early JJDs aren’t quite this good though. Unfortunately, that covers some of the more popular types like the Camel and Fokker DR1.

There's a Facebook group that's dedicated to Jenkins' collectors. I only mention this because a member maintains a photo-album, there, of his JJD model collection. Absolutely GORGEOUS pics for anyone who's interested in the company's little replicas. Yes, the planes are a weird scale, the 1/30 that's associated with Toy Soldiers, but they're the best scale models to be had at the price-point in question.


Here's one of the dozens of pics from Facebook:


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Old 08-21-2020, 12:52 AM   #34 (permalink)
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There's a Facebook group that's dedicated to Jenkins' collectors. I only mention this because a member maintains a photo-album, there, of his JJD model collection. Absolutely GORGEOUS pics for anyone who's interested in the company's little replicas. Yes, the planes are a weird scale, the 1/30 that's associated with Toy Soldiers, but they're the best scale models to be had at the price-point in question.


Here's one of the dozens of pics from Facebook:
Great shot. It is a weird scale, and it was one of the things that put me off his stuff for years (a long with the very poor pictures on the website, and of course the price). To be honest though they display very nicely with 1/32 models. The "error" is significant, but it's not something that the eye picks up at all.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Great shot. It is a weird scale, and it was one of the things that put me off his stuff for years (a long with the very poor pictures on the website, and of course the price). To be honest though they display very nicely with 1/32 models. The "error" is significant, but it's not something that the eye picks up at all.

On the scale, I don't notice it unless I place the model next to a similar type aircraft that's 1/32. I've added a number of Jenkins' figures to my collection. To my eye, the difference in size between the scales is noticeable when mixing the planes with the pilots and ground crew. Because of that, I really don't display the figs with 1/32 models. Here's another pic from the Jenkins' Facebook group:



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Old 08-21-2020, 11:14 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Nice choice of backgrounds used for placement of the model aircraft.....gives the whole scene some realism.

The JJD 1/30’s are not cheap....the one pictured by Adour, AIRCO DH-2 Pusher is currently over $300. To rich for my wallet

Great planes of the Era...Although I have less than a handful of Bi-Planes...I have an affinity for WWI aircraft mostly because of the now lost art of Dog Fighting

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Old 08-21-2020, 11:54 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Nice choice of backgrounds used for placement of the model aircraft.....gives the whole scene some realism.

The JJD 1/30’s are not cheap....the one pictured by Adour, AIRCO DH-2 Pusher is currently over $300. To rich for my wallet

Great planes of the Era...Although I have less than a handful of Bi-Planes...I have an affinity for WWI aircraft mostly because of the now lost art of Dog Fighting

BB
BB,

You can more or less track the evolution and quality of the models by the price tag. They started out around $200. Over time the models improved and the $$$ increased. Like yourself, I'm concerned with costs. However, the DH.2 really is something of a masterwork, what with the rigging being so complex. As Adour mentioned, the promotional pictures that Jenkins publishes are perfectly dreadful and do little to stimulate interest and appreciation in or of his work. That's why I posted the pics from the FB group. Browsing the venue for images gave me a much clearer vision of the virtues of JJ's model planes. One more pic of a Jenkins' model, and I'll leave the thread to 1/72 Blackbirds.

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