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Jeff Thomsen
4 articles

1/72 North American XB-70A

July 21, 2017 · in Aviation · 40 Comments

Two XB-70As were produced by North American Aviation toward fulfilling a US Air Force requirement for a supersonic long-range bomber to replace the B-52 by 1963. As surface-to-air missiles became more of a threat to bombers (even supersonic ones), the bomber program was eventually cancelled, and the aircraft began high speed handling and sonic boom research under NASA, the Air Force, and Stanford University in support of US SST research. Air Vehicle #2 was tragically lost in a mid air collision with an F-104, and A/V #1 was retired to the US Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio in 1969.

The XB-70 was capable of over Mach 3 at 70,000 feet.

The AMT kit was used along with photoetch parts from Extratech and generic resin wheels purchased on eBay. Other improvements include:

Opening up the intakes and adding sheet styrene ducting walls, extending aft to engine compressor faces.
Replacing under-wing structural detail above the exhaust cones.
Replacing afterburner sections with F-104 parts and brass tubing.
Rebuilding the ECS exhaust area behind the nose gear bay.
Adding an inner pressurized cockpit window structure.
Detailing landing gear struts and wells.
Detaching and reinstalling the elevons in drooped position.
Adding a boundary layer probe and some antennae and pitot probes.

The finish is Tamiya Pure White spray overcoated with Testor’s semi-gloss lacquer. Markings came from the kit, some spare decal sheets, and a few were custom printed by Draw Decal. The model represents A/V #1 after it was turned over to NASA in 1967.

Every display case needs a Valkyrie!

-Jeff Thomsen

34 additional images. Click to enlarge.

40 responses

  1. V-E-R-Y nice work, Jeff (and H-U-G-E)...just like the display case must be. 🙂

  2. Awesome build of an awesome plane!
    My brother and I were obsessed with the XB-70 after building the Aurora kit way back when.

    Brian Riedel

  3. Yeah, built that great kit as a kid also. Then a few years ago got to walk around it at Wright-Patterson. What an amazing machine from the 60s!

  4. Really nice effort you put into it, and a great payoff! Well done.

  5. Impressive build with a very nice end result!
    Hat off!

  6. Very nice work Jeff, I enjoyed the pictures. Very nice indeed.

  7. Profile Photo
    said on July 21, 2017

    Nice. I built two of these when they came out and sadly dont have either now not even a photo. Good to see one built.

  8. Great model of a great plane. I've seen the remaining one at Wright Patterson (USAF Museum) and it's a beast. A beautiful beast.

  9. Ditto on that Awesome! A real beautiful aircraft.

  10. Wow, what a slick and impressive looking airplane and model. I've seen a few of these built, but rarely this nice. Well done Jeff !

  11. Lovely work Jeff, great to see the additional work that you've put in to the kit, it has certainly paid off

  12. Fantastic work on a not-so-easy kit. Very Impressive!

  13. Lots of fit issues with it, and glad to move on.
    Thanks, Steve.

  14. Superb workmanship!

  15. Wow Jeff! That's a great model of a fantastic machine, I love it! 🙂

  16. Looks more like 2060's than 1960's. Beautiful Valkyrie. Great, great job, Jeff.

  17. Great job! Seen the one at Wright-Patt several times...the park bench under the belly so you could sit and rest under "an aluminum overcast" was a special touch.

  18. I was 4 years old when they rolled the XB-70, my dad was an Aeronautical Engineer for North American at the time and took me to that event. Awesome then, imagine the impression that it left on a 4 year old like me, ever since it was all ever wanted to do was anything with aviation. This build brings back fond memories of that day. Haven't had the chance to make it to Wright Patterson, but it is on the list. Well done model of the Valkyrie. Thanks for sharing

  19. Beautiful job!

  20. Really well done build on a very interesting subject! Great article! It would be cool to do a what if version if it had entered service.

  21. Yeah, I think I saw someone's model done as a what-if, but can't remember where.
    Thanks, Richard!

  22. Wow. I remember the first time i saw it in Seattle.

    Great photos, too.

    So, just what kind of display case do you have that this thing fits in?

  23. Thanks, David. Hope you enjoy building yours.

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