GoT (Game of Tupolev: Tu-22m3)
Disambiguation: This is not GoTh (Game of Thrones) the HBO series, this is GoT- something completely different…
As some of you may be aware, in 2018 we are not going to see smart-mouthed dwarves, dull giants and platinum blondes riding flying reptiles, having sex with their cousins and burning zombies from the Norht. There will be no skull-crushing, impaling, decapitating, or flaying, to the dismay of the loyal audience. You may turn to your favorite world-news channel for similar content.
GoTh is maybe taking sabbatical until 2019, but GoT is just starting, so do not despair! It is also going to be epic in nature, yet somewhat more concise, so that it hopefully won’t run for 8 seasons… I cannot promise you all the big budget attractions mentioned above, but there will be some prominent brutality to the plastic and potential cussing on the way, so parental advisory apples.
This build is planed as a centerpiece of my larger diorama project that you can find all about here: http://imodeler.com/groups/dioramas/forum/topic/in-search-of-a-better-tittle/
I considered to post everything there, but being one of my more ambitious models, ultimately decided it deserved a life of its own, at least while it’s being built. So here we are…
The kit in question is of course Trumpeter’s 1:72 scale Tupolev Tu-22m3.
Admittedly, I have made progress with this kit already, before starting the post. This head-start will help me to set a livelier pace to the posting than what my tectonic building style would allow and hopefully I’ll catch up with the present tense somewhere close to the finish. With this in mind, several alternative beginnings to this job are conceivable and indeed I may have begun differently, but for the benefit of those who prefer linear narrative let us start in the cockpit.
In the days of old, we didn’t just download Nutella from the App-store; we had to open the jar, take it with a spoon and spread it on a… no, wait, we still do this… le’me start again.
There was an old kit of the Tu-22m3 in 1:72 scale made by ESCI – you can still find it on eBay, like someone would want to buy it – this kit is quite basic and inaccurate to the extreme, which was the norm back then. Compared to this, contemporary Trumpeter kit may as well be something that aliens brought to Earth, to advance the hobby. With Perestroika we gained significant insight into the elusive world of Soviet technology, so today the truth rests just couple of clicks away. And the truth is: Trumpeter designers are quite lame themselves. If I were to stay true to the Tu-22m3, I’d better roll up my sleeves (or wear a t-shirt). Is my grammar correct here? Indicative, subjunctive…
I just realized I didn’t say a word about the cockpit yet. Oh, to hell with linear narrative! Just try to follow where I’m going…
The first thing I did was to test fit and then permanently glue the windshield to the front fuselage frame. I followed by sanding off all detail from the clear part of the windscreen. Why? Well, it is wrong. If you compare the contours of the frame to the pictures of the real aircraft it becomes very apparent. By using progressively finer grit of micro-mesh and finally polishing with the Tamiya Compound transparency of the windshield is regained.
On a typical large bomber the crew needs to negotiate a narrow orifice in the front fuselage to reach the cockpit. As if this act alone is a reason for the fitness of the pilots. This Tupolev is different. It has opening canopy hatches, similar to a smaller fighter aircraft. Pilots can simply hop out of their seats through the side opening. Only difference here is the 6 meters of vertical fall that follows if the maintenance platforms were not in place. These canopy hatches also allow a good view into the “office space” when opened, so I wanted to make sure that it is worth looking into on my model. Trumpeter’s kit cockpit is decent and in a pinch it could be worked to a good result. But, the NeOmega resin cockpit is so much better. To make things even more interesting, I combined it with the photo-etched bits from the Part set – made, as a matter of fact, for that old ESCI kit. Some cutting, sanding and adapting was required, as you’d expect.
Well, I could ramble on for some hours, but here are the pictures instead.
I am sure we lost the impatient ones already, which is ok, as patience will be of essence here…
16 attached images. Click to enlarge.