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Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder B

by Bill "C2C" Dye


Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder B


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I built this model several years ago and was fortunate enough to have it place first in a few contests in the mid 90’s in the Northern California ‘circuit’. About that time I prepared a rough draft of the following article but never finished it. For the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve been focused on N scale trains after building 1/72nd scale aircraft for 25 adult years before that. Recently I decided to pick up where I left off. With the encouragement of Dave Hansen, who left the San Jose, California area to pursue his flying endeavors, I dusted off this article. Dave introduced me to the HyperScale website and encouraged me to submit this particular subject. (I think he liked the model!)

While active in the San Jose contest circuit, I guess I was known for attempting the more difficult kits. Not necessarily because they were difficult, but because they just happened to be the only kits available for the unusual subjects I wanted to build. Hence, I’ve built a lot of vacuforms and many turkey kits. Roy Sutherland, aka Cooper Details, once said at a Fremont, California modeling meeting, “Bill, once again, has turned Crap into Cake!”. So I guess I’m Bill (C2C) Dye.

This kit is by no means ‘crap’ but does fall under ‘unusual’ for an injection molded product.

That said, this article is a tad old, so the prices, etc. may be out of date. I’m hoping it will encourage those that have this kit in their closet to build it!! I simply love this a/c. Like the XB-70, it looks like it’s going Mach 2 just sitting on the ground! (The XB-70 is another story!)



The Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder B


The Tu-22 was the Soviet Union’s first attempt at a truly intercontinental bomber. Unfortunately, after initial testing in the early 60’s it was soon discovered that the range was far less than anticipated. An aerial refueling probe was added making the bomber at least something of a threat. But the primary ‘work horse” intercontinental bomber for many years was the turboprop Tu-95 Bear.

The Blinder B model was fitted with the ‘Kitchen’ air to surface standoff missile (460 mile range) in the late 60’s that compensated only somewhat for the still deficient range.

Many Blinders were exported, particularly to Iran and were even spotted during the Desert Storm operation.



ESCI's 1/72 Scale Blinder B


ESCI marketed the 1/72nd scale Blinder A and Blinder B with the missile for USD$36.00 in (around) 1993. At the time, this seemed a little steep but with the aid of a gift certificate I bought one. (I had a feeling that AMT wasn’t going to release the same kit for $15.00 any time soon. They’re on to us – the “gotta have it NOW”!! Syndrome.)

Although quite large, about the size of a B-47, the ESCI engineering of the kit is pretty close to a typical jet fighter. I wouldn’t sink a lot of money or time detailing the cockpit because after painting maybe you’ll see the seat and that’s about all. Even the people playing ‘Plastic Model Doctor’ with their tiny flashlights looking into plastic model orifices wouldn’t see much!



The wing fuselage joint on the top surface, naturally, is not too hot – I put a fairly large fillet of putty to get the joint close to that of the real aircraft.


After assembly I sanded the entire aircraft with 400 grit - yes 400 - to try to alleviate the way too deep panel lines. Then 600, then 1000, then 1500 then 2000.



Painting and Markings


I painted the entire aircraft with SnJ and found lots of sanding scratches (Dave Hansen likes to point these out – his eyes are younger and better!). So, I wet sanded it all off with 1000 grit paper. Sand, sand, sand, dunk (water), sand, sand, sand, dunk, s,s,s dunk; repaint, sand, sand, sand, dunk . . you get the picture. If you don’t, there’s what the mess looked like:



Finally I repainted it with about 5 light coats of SnJ with 15 min to ½ hour between coats – one coat about each commercial on TV. Now the fun begins. To get the paneling effect or, what I call ‘quilting’ one must mask off certain areas and re-spray that panel with a slightly different color. Trouble is that with SnJ the trick is to get the polish on ASAP; like with in 30 minutes. Tape takes a long time to get just right and I found another, faster way. It may sound a little strange, but it worked.

I used strips of wet three ring binder paper that adheres nicely to wing surfaces as masking. These strips were dunked (that word again) it into a small bowl of clean water and pulled from the water across the top of the bowl to squeegee off the excess water. I laid the wet strip next to one of the panel lines on the wing. I repeated this three times surrounding the panel with wet strips of paper with no water drops on the ‘target panel’. After the paper was on the mark, I loaded the bowl of my airbrush with SnJ and a drop or two of Stainless steel (or titanium or even a gray paint) and lightly sprayed this onto the panel. No, the paper did not fly away because the water and paper has enough surface tension to hold it in place. And use a low spray air pressure. You can successfully blow it away if you really try. I got tired of repairing pulled up polishing powder and notice that wet paper stuck to glass quite will. So with a glass like surface, like one ready for SnJ, it should work and it did!

I did most of the ‘quilting’ in one night (you can work really fast with wet paper strips) Remember, it’s got to be not rock hard dry when you polish. I donned my respirator and polished the whole model with SnJ polishing powder. Ooooo - Shiney! Then, I let the model sit for about two or three days. Then I washed it! The water cleans off all of the excess powder. Buff with a very soft cloth. Additional ‘quilting’ was done using 3M Label tape as shown below.





One or two evenings were needed for masking and painting the many white areas on the model. I used an “off-white” but if I had it to do over again, I’d use a very light gray for a better scale effect.


The box decals are OK. I flattened the ‘wing box’ with clear flat after the decals were dry. Pastels on the engine exhausts and black or ‘grime’ wash on the gears. Add pitots, probe, remove window masking; DONE!





Bottom line: The panel lines are too deep and the wing fuselage joint is a challenge but it builds into a very nice model of an unusual aircraft subject.

As a side light, check out the size of a Single TU-22 engine pod with a KP kit YAK-23 (in work).






I used a “Profile” which has sufficient drawings, photos and color schemes to build the kit. Other references are:

  • Taylor, M., Warbirds Illustrated, No. 30, ‘Strategic Bombers 1945 to 1985’

  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of A/C #211 Vol 18 issue 3

  • Gunston, Soviet War Planes, 1977

  • AW&ST “Soviet Weapons” index, March 1975

  • AW&ST June 15, 1981 photo



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Bill Dye
Page Created 24 January, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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