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SR-71A/B, YF-12A, and A-12 Blackbird Super Detailed Nozzles

Cutting Edge 1/48 SR-71A/B, YF-12A, and A-12 Blackbird Super Detailed Nozzles First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2007 Manufacturer Cutting Edge
Subject SR-71A/B, YF-12A, and A-12 Blackbird Super Detailed Nozzles Scale 1/48
Kit Number CEC48516 Primary Media Resin
Pros Significant improvement in look and detail over kit Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) OOP

First Look

Cutting Edge Modelworks is back again with some interesting new products and a hint at the near future. Check out that title above. SR-71A/B, YF-12A, A-12. We know that Testors has released the SR-71A and SR-71B kits as well as the YF-12A in 1/48 scale. Rumor has it that there may be an A-12 conversion in the wings as well. Kiwi Resin produced a conversion for the A-12, but it is my understanding that the conversion is no longer in production.

SR-71A/B, YF-12A, and A-12 Blackbird Super Detailed Nozzles

According to several online stores, the 1/48 scale SR-71 kit is still available while the YF-12 is only available through kit swaps and eBay. Both are still available in 1/72 scale.

So back to this release, Cutting Edge has produced some beautiful castings of the rather complex exhaust nozzle and afterburner chamber for the monstrous J58 engines that power the SR-71A/B/C, YF-12A, and the A-11/A-12.M-12. I had a chance to see the masters under development along with the reference photos from the National Air and Space Museum's SR-71 display. I was intrigued enough to stop by there myself for my own photo reference.

Each assembly is three pieces, the dish-like afterburner spray ring array that caps on one end of the afterburner chamber. On the other end of the chamber is the ring section of blow (suck)-in doors that mounts to the rear of each engine nacelle. Over this goes another length of tailpipe that ends in a standard-looking nozzle. The instructions clearly show how all of this goes together and when you put these three pieces together with some good painting and weathering, you'll have a very realistic afterburner section on your model.

My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!

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