Tupolev TU-22 M2 "Backfire"
Soviet Bomber


Soviet Backfire model in 1/72 scale made by Meindert de Vreeze
The Tupolev Backfire was a modern Soviet bomber that was designed during the cold war. It served in huge numbers in the former USSR, a limited number now still in service with the Russian AF.


The Backfire appeared in various versions. ESCI from Italy issued a 1/72 kit back in 1989, together with a "Blinder" kit. This was quite welcome as Soviet aircraft kits of such a large subject were and at the time quite rare. 

NOTE: Trumpeter released a much better kit in 2009
 

 
The ESCI model (Kit no. 9070) is in-accurate in dimensional sense and outline. As no accurate information was available at that time, ESCI had to use some basic information only which resulted in a number of big errors in the kit.

The kit can be corrected to represent an accurate Backfire model in 1/72. However, it takes effort to do so, so how is it done?

The fuselage height in total fuselage length is far too heigh, 3 mm should be removed. A long cut is made on the upper fuselage parts to remove the plastic. 

The nose contour needs to be far "rounder" in cross section, so make cuts and bend round. Fill and sand the entire highly modified fuselage until this is really smooth.
The nose radar cone also needs to be much smaller and pointier, so cut and sand. 

The rear fuselage section needs new exhaust pipes, Make a cut along the kit's parts, remove a section, bend round and glue.

The tailfin was reduced 6 mm in height at the top.

The fuselage itself was lengthened 25 mm just before the main fuselage section with a plug. 
The intakes should be corrected also to reflect the 3 mm reduction in height. This gives a far better appearance. They were also set at an LE angle downwards.

The wings are acceptable in plan view, but the wing root itself should be moved 15 mm more aft. This requires major surgery on the fuselage and the wing pivot at the root, cutting is loose from the fuselage. 

Also, the fairings next to the main bays were extended. 

The cockpit windscreen can be used, but fill the lower part with putty to get a correct look. It requires some carefull looking at pictures and adjusting the position an look of this clear part.

The model was detailed with the cockpit hatches opened and adding ejection seats. Four were made and in addition, a U9-68 bombrack was added below the fuselage. 

backfire view
The wingglove with the pivot is not so accurate, but can left as is. The main lower wheelbays should be kept in the same position as in the original part but lengthened 15 mm. Replace the m.u.c doors with larger ones.

The horizontal tail stabilizers are correct but were set 10 mm more to the rear. The nose undercarriage bay was moved 5 mm more aft and reduced 5 mm length. The nosewheels should be replaced with larger ones

The undercarriage legs are a bit too long and have to be detailed with the boogie installation. After a lot of modelling, the model was ready and much better than the original kit.

The version made is of the Backfire Tu-22 M-2 of Soviet Naval aviation, Ryazan Centre, No. 49 RED of 1995. It has the straight intakes with canon in the rear tail. See references listed below for more info
upper view
 

......cockpit area
 

intake

tail area
 

aft view
A Soviet Backfire usually has a "blue"ish finish (Humbrol Hu-87 )with white undercoat, so the model was sprayed.  White antenna panels are located at the airframe. The aux doors at the intake were simulated with decals. 

Decals with the stars came from ESCI kit and spare box. 

 

Back to 1/72 jet models....

References:
- Tupolev Blinder and Backfire, ALTAIR, Poland 1995, (includes excellent drawings)
- World Air Power, Summer 1998, Volume 33


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Updated June, 2016; 
Created January 26, 2001