After I finished building the SR-71 Blackbird, I was on the lookout for the next model. Initially, I was very tempted in building the MiG-21 SMT by Eduard. I love that plane but it didn’t seem like an easy build, so I decided to wait for some time and see if something better come out. Until recently I received the monthly newsletter in my inbox from Italeri, in which they showcase their latest models. While I was scrolling the Lockheed U-2 entered the view and I immediately knew, this will be my next build!
Many years ago, while I was reading about the SR-71, I ended up reading about Kelly Johnson, the mastermind behind many airplanes but in particular the F-104 Starfighter, and the strategic reconnaissance airplanes U-2, and SR-71. Being fascinated by the Blackbird, I couldn’t get to ignore the U-2 Dragon lady.
First flown in 1955, the only weapon of this plane was the photo camera, nothing else. Its defense system was the ability to fly so high that no radar could detect it, and no missile could reach it. That was until 1960 when the Russians took him down and the SR-71 was born. Although much slower in speed than its successor, the U-2 was kept in service and is still serving to this very day.
Italeri officially called this model, the Lockheed TR-1A/B, soon after seeing it, I thought having this model alongside the SR-71 would make a great pair, and maybe in the future I’ll get my hands on F-104 and have a little “Kelly Johnson” collection. So, I placed an order and counted the days till the delivery. The box is fairly big and the artwork looks really nice. But the model is huge! The 1:48 scale makes the wingspan really wide! I was a bit disappointed at the beginning since I would prefer it on the same scale as the SR-71, but it’s the only one on the market, so I accepted that fact.
The model seems like an easy build, the pieces are large and well detailed. The Italeri is offering this model in 2 versions, single-seat, and double-seat trainer. And 4 versions of decals. But I think I’ll go for the single-seat version with the pilot in spacesuit graphic on the nose, just like one pictured on the box.
I equipped this time better and practiced over with some smaller models so hopefully, this build will come out great.
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