SR-71 Blackbird Pitot Tube

Published: September 2nd, 2017     
Product Image
Air Master Series Package
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model
Price: $8.50
Product / Stock #: AM-48-132

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 Italeri, Tamiya, and Testors; all using the same plastic that was originally released in 1982 by Italeri. I used the Testors kit 4055 'Famous Spy Planes' that was kitted with the Testors U-2.

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 0.6mm (#73) 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 three 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.

Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035

  • Assembled 2
    Assembled 2
  • Contents 1
    Contents 1
  • Contents 2
    Contents 2
  • Contents 3
    Contents 3
  • Instructions
  • Package Rear
    Package Rear

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