Soda Can SR-71 Blackbird in 1/18th scale

Discussion in 'CAN MODELS (Both aluminium and Tin)' started by gman_93643, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. gman_93643

    gman_93643 New Member

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    This is the first time I've uploaded the majority of these photos of this project anywhere online. I was commissioned to build this model back in 2010 for an IPMS show in Northern California. Using over 700 Coke Zero cans, aluminum sheeting for strengthening, and mounting bracket hardware to attach the wings to the main fuselage, I set about building the model in 1/18th scale which brought it in at just about 6 foot long.

    The plans were provided by a fellow hobbyist and enlarged at a local printer. The Wing and nacelle assemblies were completed first:

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    The two completed assemblies are now done:

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    As you can see, they are so large they take up the entire table:

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    Now the main fuselage is added to the assemblies. This is where the mounting brackets were installed. It required three for each side to handle the weight of the nacelle assemblies so they did not sag:

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    The nose cone, cockpit and edges are now added the assembly:

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    The full length of the project is now on display as it now extends 6 feet across the table surface:

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    The familiar lines of the SR-71 begin to take shape out of over 700 Coke Zero cans:

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    Adding the Final Touches:

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    Completed and on display:

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    This massive model now resides at Beale Air force Base, 8 miles east of Marysville, California in the Reconnaissance Wing ready room. She had previously been on permanent display in Yuba City, California at a local Hobby Shoppe until it was forced to close its doors. The Reconnaissance wing was eager to give her a new home and sent a USAF van and personnel to escort her to the location where she still resides to this day.
  2. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    WOW! Most impressive, most impressive indeed! Congratulations on having it permanently displayed at the Air Force Base. I am quite certain that it will be well taken care of there.
    I have seen quite a few of these kind of projects over the years. I have to say that I have never seen anything on this scale before.
    KUDOS TO YOU ON A FINE JOB WELL DONE!!!
  3. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    WOW! WOW! WOW! This is a beautiful build! Choosing the almost entirely black cans was ingenious. It looks like a model of a plane that has been tuned for advertising purposes. Absolutely fantastic work! Congrats on the display option, I'm sure it's a huge attraction! :)
  4. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    It is awesome, extremely so. Have you ever done one shiny side out? I saw one made from aluminum flashing from Home Depot, it looked like all it needed was an engine and wiring to fly. Just curious. Please, post what you got!! ;)
    Revell-Fan likes this.
  5. lyter1958

    lyter1958 Esteemed Member

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    all i can say is...:surprise::surprise::surprise:ClaphandsClaphandsClaphandsClaphandsClaphands:Bravo::Bravo::Bravo:
  6. gman_93643

    gman_93643 New Member

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    In my experience, you can build shiny side out with a little due diligence. There are distinct differences in building with say, beer, energy drink and soda cans as they each have their own unique properties. Furthermore, some companies appear to treat their cans with some type of coating that makes it that much more difficult to build entirely shiny side out. Its not impossible, but the process simply takes a bit more time. Patience becomes key as you may find yourself waiting just a tad bit longer for the glue to hold before moving on to the next step. I have had success building shiny side out with Pepsi cans and if you're going to attempt it I would recommend starting there with a Fiddler's Green type pattern.

    There are also alternatives to creating the shiny side out appearance. A few years ago, I experimented with building a P-51 Mustang out of cans using logo out and then I painstakingly cut out and paneled over the logos with strips of silver only cans. I think the experiment was a success and the completed model, in my opinion, had the look of the shiny aircraft aluminum coupled with the paneled detail of aircraft in general. I added insignia's out of white and blue can and also paneled the nose all yellow. Here is the completed model:

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    This method in my opinion, presents another way of achieving the shiny side out appearance. Furthermore, it can be utilized on many other aircraft such as these examples:

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    F4U Corsair in all blue Pepsi

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    Curtiss Jenny in all yellow Sunkist lemonade


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    Stoli Mig in all Coca-Cola Red
  7. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Oh boy, this rocks!!!

    :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:
  8. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Moderator

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    These look GREAT!!!
  9. gman_93643

    gman_93643 New Member

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    Thank you sir! They came out pretty good considering they were merely experimental builds...
    Rhaven Blaack likes this.
  10. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    These are outrageously awesome!!! I'm tempted to make a tiny English Wheel and start whacking out some of these. The lining is supposed to prevent the aluminum from leaching into the soda. I imagine High Temperature Aluminum paint, the painted with a clear coat would give you the same effect, but these are the best of this genre I've seen. Superb!! :)
  11. gman_93643

    gman_93643 New Member

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    Here are some photos of my experimentation into building with the silver side out. For this experiment conducted several years ago, I used a Fiddler's Green F-86 Sabre pattern for this attempt and used Pepsi Cans and built the model in reverse. The process was a bit more time consuming than the normal logo/print method out, but as you can see, it is clearly doable and can achieve positive results as well..

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  12. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    It looks like heavy metal! :)
  13. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    These are some excellent looking birds. The amount of detailing that one could put into something like this is amazing. What holds them together, epoxy, glue? We need a tutorial for dummies, and you have this down!! ;)
  14. gman_93643

    gman_93643 New Member

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    Oh the detailing is indeed endless and in some of these models I've hardly touched on it, but I will get to that in a later thread. As for the adhesive choice, over the years I have tried a number of products such as Quick grip, generic super glue products, Zap no drip Gel, Testors Super glue and finally several years ago after my preferred brand ceased production, I settled in on Loctite Super Glue Gel. This has been the product that I prefer and one that was instrumental in building some of my largest scale projects, so I swear by it. I figure if it can hold together a 1/18th scale F-15 Eagle and a 1:1 scale R2 series Astromech, it can hold together any project.

    I will gather my documentation and instructions together and choose an appropriate project for a tutorial and I will gladly post it after my next thread very shortly. :)

    I'll give you a photographic hint of what the next build thread will detail the assembly of:

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    I'm sure everyone will recognize it... :)
  15. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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