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SR-71 Blackbird Part 1

Caracal Models 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird Part 1 Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2019 Manufacturer Caracal Models
Subject SR-71 Blackbird Part 1 Scale 1/48
Set Number 48100 Pros 22 unique subjects
Cons See text Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) $17.99

First Look

Here is the latest from Caracal, this set for the Testors/Italeri 1/48 SR-71A/B and YF-12A kits and provides markings for 22 distinctive subjects plus a bonus D-21 drone for one of the subjects below.

SR-71 Blackbird Part 1 SR-71 Blackbird Part 1

The aircraft presented in this set include:

  • A-12 trainer, 60-6927
  • A-12, 60-6928
  • YF-12A, 60-6934, AFFTC
  • YF-12A, 60-6935, AFFTC, ADC Shield
  • YF-12A, 60-6935, NASA
  • YF-12A, 60-6936, AFFTC
  • M-12, 60-6940
  • SR-71A, 61-7955
  • SR-71B, 61-7956, '1000th Sortie'
  • SR-71A, 61-7961, 'Bald But Bold'
  • SR-71A, 61-7964, 'The Bododian Express'
  • SR-71A, 61-7967, '10'
  • SR-71A, 61-7967, '1'
  • SR-71A, 61-7970, 'Super Skater'
  • SR-71A, 61-7971, 'We're the Fakawee'
  • SR-71A, 61-7972, 'Charlie's Problem'
  • SR-71A, 61-7974, 'Ichi Ban'
  • SR-71A, 61-7975, Cat outline
  • SR-71A, 61-7976, 9th SRW shield
  • SR-71A, 61-7978, Playboy Bunny Head
  • SR-71A, 61-7980, 'Rosemary's Baby-san'
  • SR-71B, 61-7956
  • D-21, 501

This is one of two sets from Caracal Models that cover the Blackbird from start to finish. As you can see in the images, this set consists of three decal sheets, two covering the distinctive subjects and one that provides a comprehensive set of airframe stencils and markings. The distinctive subjects start at the beginning with the CIA's aircraft, the single-seat A-12, the two-seat A-12 trainer, and the M-21 mothership. This decal set provides the markings for the D-21 should you opt to build an M-12. While the A-12s were being tested, Lockheed produced three F-12 interceptor prototypes which served as cover for the CIA's flight operations. The remaining subjects cover a variety of USAF SR-71A subjects, most of which had distinctive art on their vertical stabilizers.

The airframe stencil set has one nice feature not seen before - the red window seals. The stencil set also provides the variations in standard markings between early service and later service aircraft. Check your references to see which airframe you're building and what stencil types were carried at the photo's time period.

Between this decal set and Part 2, there are a variety of subjects to choose from, but one notable example is missing from both releases - SR-71C 61-7981. After the loss of one of the only two SR-71B trainers, the Skunkworks joined the aft fuselage of 60-6934 (YF-12A #1 damaged beyond repair) with a forward fuselage mock-up of an SR-71A, plus the addition of the SR-71B raised rear cockpit to render the one and only SR-71C, now on display at the Hill AFB museum.

For more information about this set and the other releases from Caracal Models, visit their website at http://caracalmodels.com.

My sincere thanks to Caracal Models for this review sample!