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F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Metallic Details SR-71 Blackbird Inlet Cones
1:48 Scale

Engineers of the Lockheed Skunkworks faced many unprecedented design challenges in the creation of the A-12/YF-12A/SR-71 family.  One task was to design an air inlet that could feed the correct quantity, velocity, and pressure of air to the monstrous J58 powerplants at airspeeds between zero and 2,000+ knots.  This was accomplished via the development of the Air Inlet Control System (AICS) that featured a large variable geometry air inlet spike.  On the ground and up to speeds of about Mach 1.6, the inlet spike sat full forward.  At higher speeds, it began to automatically translate in a rearward fashion, retracting more than two feet into the intake where it achieved its most efficient airflow at Mach 3.2.

The classic Testor’s 1:48 scale SR-71 Blackbird has the inlet spikes, of course, but little beyond that is in fact accurate.  The kit spikes are just simple hollow cones that connect to a blanking plate a little bit further aft of the intake lip.  The real item is a complex cone shape and that tapers significantly as it goes father aft where one will find baffles and inlet guide vanes that are visible down the narrow throat of the intake.  These structures helped stabilize the airflow and minimize airflow stagnation before it reached the engine face itself.      

The Metallic Details SR-71 Blackbird Inlet Cone set comes with six cast resin parts.  The casting is flawless and these parts, some of which will be hard to see in the completed model, are regardless replete with detail.  There’s even the array of semi-porous mesh on the spike mid-body.  Nice!  A real SR-71 fan will note that there’s a ring of rivets just forward of that section that’s missing here, but if you’re that serious, you’ll likely have a pounce wheel on your bench to add those details yourself.  This set has the cone in the full-forward position, and if one was to do an in-flight Mach 3+ diorama setting, setting the cone back two scale feet would require a little work (but not too much; just cut off the back end of the spike at the right spot).    

The intake cone itself is a solid hunk of resin which then fits into the intake section and then the guide vanes.  It’s pretty simple - but also quite effective.  The builder will have to conduct a little elementary surgery to fit the forward intake/intake lip to the kit engine nacelles.  Definitely test fit until it works.  Unfortunately, one of my forward intake module sections was warped.  These things can happen with thin resin.  A little hot water and reshaping should fix this defect, however. 

Once again, Metallic Details provides a high level of accuracy due to their very thorough research.  It will add some key details to the Testors Blackbird kit.           

Many thanks are owed to Metallic Details for the review sample.  You can find them online and order their products at http://www.metdetails.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/metdetails/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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