Tupolev Tu-22RD Blinder

Soviet Tu-22 Blinder in 1/72 scale: modelling report using the ESCI kit by Meindert de Vreeze
The Tupolev Blinder was a 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.

The Blinder appeared in various versions. ESCI from Italy issued a kit back in 1982, together with a "Backfire" kit. This was quite welcome as Soviet aircraft kits of such a large subject were at the time quite rare.

The ESCI model is unfortunately quite in-accurate in dimensional sense. I presume that as no accurate information was available at the time, so ESCI had to use some basic information only which resulted in a number of big errors in the kit.

But, the kit can be corrected to represent an accurate Blinder model in 1/72. However, it takes effort to do so, but lets begin...

NOTE: MODELSVIT has released a much better kit in 2016. 

The wing looks accurate in plan view, only the main lower wheel bays need to corrected as reducing the aft section onf the undercarriage doors. Also, the "cano's" were sanded to be a little less blunt at the rear.

The fuselage nose contour needs refining as to make a more pointier impression.

The fuselage itself was lengthened 30 mm (1,2 inch) just before the wing leading edge with bended plastic cart.

The biggest inaccuracy of the kit is in the rear fuselage section. The nacelles were shortened 10 mm and the complete fairing and engine stub wings re-built. This is quite a job.

The tail fin was reduced 6 mm in height.

The horizontal tail stabilizers were corrected to give a larger 4 degree sweep by removing root sections with a razor saw.

The undercarriage legs have to be detailed with the boogie installation. Use new nose wheels as the ESCI kit's nose wheels are far to small. The nose undercarriage bay was moved 10mm more aft and reduced 10 mm in length. 

A Soviet Blinder is most striking in a metal finish, so I sprayed (at that time) various coats of Testor metal paints, over coating with Johnson Pledge/ Clear ..

Varnish, re-spraying and adding details with a paint brush. White panels are also scattered around the airframe.
Do not forget to polish carefully as sanding scratches come through when not done nicely.

The model was detailed with the interesting downwards firing ejection seats made from scrap. Therefore, three openings were made and the interior detailed.

Three seats were made and in addition, a large Kitchen missile was added inside the lower midsection- fuselage. 

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




Back to 1/72 jets ......

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

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Created November 26, 2000 ;