GoT (Game of Tupolev: Tu-22m3)

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  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    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:
    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.
    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.

  • david leigh-smith said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    To paraphrase Tyrion Lannister, “I have a tender spot in my heart for obsessives and fanatics and rivet counters”.

    I love challenges, Aleksander. And as noted above I have a soft spot for ‘interesting’ cases and looking at your work, you certainly qualify. Your work is outstanding. I’ll tell you right now that I’ll be a follower – regardless of the patience required or how crazy, or how ‘tectonic’ it gets. Hell, I just finished a Work in Progress that reached 540 something posts, so bring it on.

    Aleks, I like your style and I’m already looking forward to the next post…

    …for the night is dark, and full of terrors.

  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    Thanks a lot David!

    I imagine you are talking about your magnificent build of the USS Enterprise. I am really impressed with your ship and the sea. As someone who never attempted to model water, yet who is curious to try this in not so remote future, you have my utmost respect.

    There are so many memorable lines from Tyrion and GoTh protagonists in general. So true to life, sometimes I actually forget that they all ultimately come from R.R. Martin. So here’s a quote from one of the less loveable character, Ramsay B., where I wager grandmaster Martin is speaking to us directly: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”


  • Craig Abrahamson said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    I’ll be curious to see this finished…..don’t recall seeing one before.

  • david leigh-smith said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    Aleks, in my mind you are a master modeler and I’d advise anyone to sign in to your log if they are serious about technique and like to be entertained.

    In terms of GoTh – I think your quote from the ‘bastard’ cuts to the heart (literally) of the whole story. It’s a funny thing, six years ago my son came back from school with a project to ‘make a medieval castle’ – of course, what I heard was ‘get your father to make an exact scale model replica of Winterfell castle’. The school ended up keeping it on permanent display…

    Cheers to you too, my friend.

    Valar Morgulis.

  • Greg Kittinger said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    Wow – some intricate details in there for that scale!

  • Tom Cleaver said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    This is really interesting – going to be cool to see the result.

  • david leigh-smith said 1 year, 1 month ago:

    Just amazing work. Absolutely incredible ‘pit. I am seriously impressed, Aleks.

  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year ago:

    Fellow iModelarians,

    I am thrilled to report progress from the comrades at the Tupolev Scale OKB. The cockpit of the Tu-22 M3 is now almost complete.

    Abundance of reference material, additional equipment and resources assigned to the project, as well as the devoted effort of the motivated team, all contributed to this success. I, for one, am very excited and proud of the collective; let us all hope that they continue with the same aplomb…


    14 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Craig Abrahamson said 1 year ago:

    Wow…..that cockpit work is MOST impressive, sir – beautifully represented.

  • James B Robinson said 1 year ago:

    Incredible work, and at this scale…….almost hard to fathom. Hat’s off to you! Well done.

  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year ago:

    Sorry about the mess with disappearing / reappearing posts. I was getting some strange errors while loading the images. But it’s all good now… 😉 And thanks for all the nice words guys! I will forward it all to the OKB…

  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year ago:

    Hello friends,

    After finishing the interior of the cockpit, logical progression is to install in the fuselage and close it up. In case of  Tu-22m3, the nose segment of the fuselage is a separate subassembly and, in addition to cockpit, contains the landing-gear bay. So, before committing the front section to the glue there is more work to be done.

    My primal instinct for detailing was already agitated by the vastness of plastic in this box, then compounded by  tremendous references I collected for this Tupolev bomber on one side, and Tumpeter’s panache in spreading Easter-egg problems and inaccuracies all across the kit, on the other. I realized early on that the greatest challenge here will be to curb this drive to make everything right, for the real danger of the patient never waking up from coma, after successful operation. But I digress…

    …actually, I’d like to digress some more! Expecting that the Trumpeter kit designers are aerospace engineers is by all measure not realistic, or even outright silly. Few of us may be optimistic in assuming that they have technical knowledge and even understand how, for example, the kinematic system of a landing gear works before modeling one. Some may think that studying  details of the subject made into a kit would be required. And, if I may be so bold to generalize, most of us expect that the gentleman doing the CAD work at least once glossed over the walk-around photos available in many corners of the Internet. Voice in my head says “yes, surely he had”, but evidence in the box points in the other direction. My mind reels, struggling to understand and amidst the drama of Swedish prog-rock radiating from my speakers, I have epiphany: there is an ulterior motive here! Of course they know how everything should look; they just don’t want to make it too easy. They understand my soul and how it likes to be challenged. Most people believe Tamiya to be epitome of excellence in scale-modeling, yet Trumpeter transcends this to the next plane of motivational imperfection! Yes, yes, I see it now! Does this mean I may level up?

    end of Digression…

    … and onto trying to correct and detail nonsensical linkage of the landing gear and building from scratch the ventral camera orifice, forgotten by Trumpeter for our benefit, just like ESCI some 1/3rd of a century ago… Whilst already on a creative crusade, main undercarriage bay is baptized as well.
    As always, keep on building!

    23 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 1 year ago:

    Simply incredible, 72nd scale and the level of detail is outstanding. I know that Trumpeter probably over engineered this kit a bit and with that as you stated not all that accurate in lot of the details. I do have the Esci kit still wrapped in it’s shrink wrapped plastic. I haven’t looked inside this kit. I have read a little about the drawbacks of that kit. And here an amazing build with all the upgrades to bring it up to speed so to speak. Thanks for sharing, if you can would you mind listing some of the colors you used like in the wheel wells and cockpit. Thanks in advance and will be watching this with extreme interest.

  • Aleksandar Sekularac said 1 year ago:

    Thanks a lot Chuck and sorry for my late reply.

    I’m not sure why, but I stopped getting e-mail notifications about replies to my posts, even if I ticked all the boxes in the settings. Strange…

    In my humble opinion Esci kit is now defunct for any purpose other than paint testing. I don’t think you will be happy building it. I wasn’t happy with it even before Trumpeter came out with this rendering of the Tu-22m3. So, my advice is to sell it if you can – it may still hold some value to vintage kit collectors.

    The colors I used so far for this build are mostly mixed at home I’m afraid. In the mean time I’ve got couple of sets of AKAN water based acrylic paints for Russian modern jets and they look mighty fine and spray really well. I also mixed my own brew for the ubiquitous cockpit turquoise, just to receive an AKAN jar few days later…

    I was also experimenting with Tamyia Super Fine Primer from the rattle can and I could swear that Russians used it for the upper light grey finish on these Tu-22m3 beasts. I am almost tempted to apply it like that, with some weathering of course…

    Anyhow, it makes me really happy that you find my build inspiring, which in turn inspires me to keep on truckin’. Everybody, please feel free to comment, good or bad; it helps me a great deal.

    You may expect another update soon…

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