SR-71 Blackbird Pitot Tube

Published: August 30th, 2017     
Product Image
Product picture
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1:72
Company: Master Model
Price: $8.50
Product / Stock #: AM-72-119

Master Model has come to the rescue of Blackbird modelers with their latest releases in 1/72 and 1/48 scale. The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Alpha-Beta probe measures incidence and yaw and is mounted to the RF isolation segment of the nose cone. The pitot tube branches off to the side of the alpha/beta probe. The size and detail are quite difficult to realize due to molding limitations. You can find many releases of the Blackbird from Revell / Takara / AHM (first released in 1966), Hasegawa (first released in 1983), Monogram / Revell (first released in 1984), Italeri / Testors (first released in 1985), and Academy / Minicraft (first released in 1985). I used the Monogram / Revell kit 85-5810 that was re-released in 2011.

Notable is the superb re-sealable packaging that Master Model uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the package securely until final assembly. I would have liked to have seen the resin section packed like previous sets, but mine came out just fine. In those sets, the resin is secured in a high density foam block that is backed with some sort of adhesive tape to minimize the resin from being moved around, or crushed for that matter. You will want to be careful handling the metal and resin parts as their small size makes them an easy sacrifice to the carpet monster. The resin part is especially easy to crush or break in handling, so be sure to handle with care.

Assembling the resin and brass is quite simple due to the excellent fit. Mounting the assembly to the nose cone is where the fun comes in. You will need to shave off the front of the plastic nose cone until the taper from the brass almost matches up. There is a slight bump from where the alpha-beta probe inserts into the nose cone. Take it slow and easy and you will get there. Once you get the nose cone taper to nearly match the rear alpha-beta tube, you will need to drill a 0.4mm (1/64" or roughly a #78 carbide drill bit) hole to mount the assembly properly. Make sure you check your photographs to get the proper alignment of the alpha-beta tube and the resin pitot tube. The pitot tube is not horizontal to the alpha beta probe and should be at a slight angle down from horizontal. The two photos with the green background are from the Master Model website.

Be sure to use your favorite CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the resin or brass. You will also want to be careful painting the alpha beta probe and pitot tube to retain their sleek nature.

Highly recommended! This set is a super upgrade over the over-sized injected kit parts. This excellent alpha beta probe and pitot tube will point you in the right direction!

Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this set.

  • Package rear
    Package rear
  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Package contents
    Package contents
  • Product photo from manufacturer website
    Product photo from manufacturer website
  • Comparison of kit-supplied pitot tube (above) to unassembled Master Model pitot tube (below)
    Comparison of kit-supplied pitot tube (above) to unassembled Master Model pitot tube (below)
  • Assembled Master Model pitot tube
    Assembled Master Model pitot tube
  • Comparison of kit-supplied pitot tube (above) to Master Model pitot tube (below)
    Comparison of kit-supplied pitot tube (above) to Master Model pitot tube (below)
  • Assembled product photo from manufacturer website
    Assembled product photo from manufacturer website