Tu-22m3 – Beauty & the Beast

January 12, 2019 · in Aviation · · 27 · 6.3K
This article is part of a series:
  1. just some ladders...
  2. Tu-22m3 – Beauty & the Beast
  3. Tu-22m3: The Diorama

This is a small step for mankind, but a glorious one for my workbench - I finished a model!

Yes, the “GoT” concludes before “GoTh” and I cannot be happier about the epilogue. Eat my dust George R. R.! To keep up with the acronyms and experience all the in-progress buzzing and grumbling I encourage you follow this link:


22m3 is one of those iconic machines that bridges the past with future, from the Cold War to Global Warming and beyond… The most appealing aspect of Soviet aircraft for me is that mix of medieval roughness and aerodynamic elegance that they possess. Tu-22m3 is a point in case looking like a sensible fusion of an inquisition device and a starship.

This kit covers a sizeable real-estate even as a “small scale”, but not using its sheer bulk as the only attribute to impress is the real trick here. I tend to diverge from the beaten path and roam the backcountry on most of my builds, so saying that this one was special in this regard wouldn't be fair. But it was certainly one of the most epic such journeys for me. The Tu kit is of the particular kind (dare I say typical of this Chinese manufacturer) that challenges you regardless of how closely you follow the assembly instructions, or sometimes exactly for it. Trying to bring my usual density of details and maintain high standard on something big and demanding was no weekend task, but it did provided a great canvas to be creative and try to make something unique.

I do hope you can enjoy these images even without going into minutiae of the build, as the model is basically an idea we try to convey, with a bit of an artistic license.

As I always say, if you want to avoid a disappointing end write it yourself!


Reader reactions:
25  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

27 responses

  1. I confess not having seen your WIP so far, but I don’t think if indeed it would diminish the stunning effect your complete built Tupolev delivers to the beholder.
    What a fantastic model by all means! Definitly the benchmark to anyone whishing to build this kit. Congratulations Aleksandar for a truly outstanding model.

  2. Followed the WiP and this is a perfect ending (let’s hope GRR Martin is learning from this!).

    I think this elevates the status of modeling, Aleks - I love this build and not least for the ‘just’ ladders. She is beautifully crafted and the painting and weathering is pitch perfect to me.

    Can’t put into words just how much I like this.

    ‘Liked’ x 1,000 000!

  3. Aleksander: Absolutely superb! This effort is superior work, and is deserving of the highest recognition...Congratulations!

  4. That’s truly impressive, Aleksander!

  5. Beautiful. Simply beautiful! This is quite a beast of a model and yours is excellent in every respect.

    Well done, Aleksander!

  6. Stunning build, sir...you did a great job a great job on this!

  7. Thank you all for this great feedback! It really means a lot to me.

  8. Absolutely magnificent build, I have no words, just Fantastic.

  9. This is a fantastic model! Watched with pleasure!

  10. One of the coolest aeroplanes of all times, marvellous model and an article well worth reading.
    Many thanks to you, Aleks!

  11. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    I just logged in here and WHAMMMMM … I see this beauty Aleksander … but not the BEAST ( I know you meant the plane, but honestly … she is all beauty ).
    A very stunning piece of work and for sure a very well way to catch a eye. Your paint work on this model really captures the look ( except for the shark mouth … for me this gives it a some what cartoony look … but that is just my personal view ).
    Thank you for sharing the images of this beauty.

  12. This is just really amazing work and a totally stunning result. I really like this!

  13. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Marc, Dmitry, Tom, so many others, I've seen your work and was inspired; makes me so happy if I can bring some inspiration back to ya all!

  14. Congratulations on finally getting it done! The crew platforms turned out great and as for the paint scheme, I dare say a shark motif never looked more at home! (Especially the way the camouflage just mimics a Great White anyway. Whoever did the real world version was definitely on the ball!) The exhausts are fantastic as well and the weathering brings it all together nicely. The work you did between the nozzle livens that area up as well.

    I just came across a video this week showing how tough this bird is! It took the off road excursion like a champ and if the wing hadn't hit the outbuilding would've probably just been towed back to the runway! The crew walked away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_MhECex_mc

  15. A "Goldilocks" build that is just right on so many levels. Aleksander, this is strong work on your behalf and goes above and beyond what one would call normal modeling. Congratulations on doing a aircraft that is rarely seen on these pages. The model plays the role of the Tu-22m3 very well and it is a strong contender for "Model of the Month"

  16. Yeah okay, you win... ?
    Builds like this are what inspired me to start modelling in the first place!
    Absolutely unbelievable work.

  17. Wow! A real impressive build! Super painting, decent wheathering and all that details in 1/72. A real Masterwork! Also fotographing itself is first level. Congratlations!
    How much time did you spend on it?

  18. I am humbled by all your positive comments, thank you once more!
    For all that are interested I will be finishing works on the base and completing the scene over here:
    There are 100+ PAG-14 plates to lay down and some figures to paint; but first I need to find appropriately large plank of wood as a base...
    See U there!

  19. Nice model and putting the vehicle next to it give a good sense of the size. The weathering is nicely done--not so much as it looks unflyable yet enough so that it looks well used.

  20. Like all above, I totally love this model! One of the best I've seen in a long time, at least in terms of the type of realism I appreciate in modeling. Well done!

  21. Really amazing build, Aleksandar! Just loving it!

  22. Svaka cast 🙂 !
    Outstanding weathering, metallic parts are fantastic!
    What did You use for weathering?

    • Hvala najlepše! 🙂

      As for the weathering metal, if you are referring to the parts of the flaps, the base is Alclad and the stains are done with metallic “Oilbrushers” by Ammo of Mig - these are quite good, also the non-metallic shades. Brush some streaks on, leave them for couple of hours (or overnight) and then come back with a q-tip, dry or with a drop of odorless thinner, to convince the most stubborn streaks to fade.
      On the other hand, if we are talking exhaust cans - on the outside I again used different shades of Alclad with random masking using salt and the sponge staining. The inside is mostly photo-etch, which I burnished with AK Burnishing fluid and then distressed with a coarse brush.


  23. If you think it looks great in the photos just wait until you see it in the flesh, I was fortunate to see it when I visited Aleks in November and I considered the cockpit a work of art in its own right. Well done Aleks an absolute beauty.

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