Author Topic: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika  (Read 717 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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By the late 1940's, potent propaganda showed the Red Air Force was beloved by the Soviet people.



However, there were cracks beneath that highly polished surface.



The Red Air Force faced two crises simultaneously: a lack of jet-powered training aircraft and a perceived lack of political reliability among trainee pilots.



So the Central Committee for Air decreed the next generation of primary jet trainers should be capable of carrying a third crew member, a political commissar.



There were other options for meeting this criteria and from the end result, one might think perhaps other factors played an over-riding role in the design process.



While the Tupolev bureau's approach to the problem was unique, the odd layout had the advantage of keeping the student pilot in view at all times which should  ensure rock-solid adherence to communist doctrine. Even the great Comrade Stalin approved.



The student pilot was seated in the middle fuselage and the instructor to starboard. The political commissar was over on the left, naturally.



Built by the most politically reliable elements of the Tupolev bureau, construction was of course incredibly shoddy as communist party hacks proved themselves utterly incompetent when it came to actual work.





Finished in an eye-catching color western analysts referred to as "baby snot green" the paint was officially known as People's Primer #3003.



While flight characteristics weren't always fatal, landing and ground handling were downright deadly and these tasks were managed by the instructor assuming he hadn't yet lost his will to live.



Universally referred to as the Troika due to the triple fuselages, the Bort numbers visible in U.S.A.F. recon photos suggest over 90 of these death traps were built. Conservative estimates are that each class of trainees had a 33 1/3% chance of surviving to graduate on to less lethal aircraft.



The Tupolev Troika ceased to exist about the same time ex-KGB head Lavrentiy Beria did.



All that's left today are  a few grainy recon photos and this crude BP (Bolshie Plastikovny) model, one of only three ever sold.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 05:46:14 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 05:14:35 AM »
This all began a year ago last winter when a vintage 1/72 Heller F-84G showed up in the mail (thanks a million, hamsterman!) Few things convey the thrill of early jet flight like this box art:



For a year I was stymied by what to do with this kit. One idea was adding a belly intake like on an F-16.



I thought I was going to go with this so I started by attempting to improve the tailpipe.



That's a little hard to make out. Here's a close-up:



Not being thrilled with the concept, I lost interest and the kit sat, the only progress being that straw stuck in the rear end. Then my haul from the Renton show arrived. Inside were two Italeri Italaeri  Italaerei (apparently) F-84Fs. Once again, more incredible box art:



So now I had two F-84Fs and an F-84G. In a moment of beer-inspired modeling clarity it came to me. While I'd seen a Zwillig, I'd never seen a Twillig. Three fuselages it would be!



Originally, I hoped to make it with swept wings etc. since I had an abundance of them between the two F-84F kits, but that led to all sorts of problems. I hoped the straight F-84G wings would work, but I only used half of them to connect the center fuselage. The outer wings are refugees from a T-33 since what was left of the F-84G wings ended up too short.



The tail feathers were all left-overs, the horiz. stabs. from an Airfix DH Herron and the new fins and rudders from a nameless Me-410.



I had a bugger of a time getting it all together and ended out dropping it between coats of paint. That meant I had to get the fuselages lined up and attached again, but at least they ended out a little less cock-eyed second time around.



Speaking of paint, the old hairy stick was used along with a lot of acrylic Polly Scale Weyerhauser Green.



The canopies were tinted with Model Masters Flat Black and the tailpipes finished with Model Masters Jet Exhaust.



Decals were mostly from those three Admiral Ansaldos I picked up recently which thankfully provided 10 matching red stars.



The nose and fuselage Bort numbers are all left-overs from Monogram P-36s.



Despite a few problems, I had a lot of fun putting this one together.



I'd like to thank Bill & Jeff for their eagle-eyes at the show and for helping me truly appreciate the F-84!



I'd also like to thank Commissar Lemon Jello for his wise GB leadership and steadfast commitment to the cause!



I hope you enjoyed the Tupolev Troika and reading a little more aircraft history that's been forgotten in triplicate.

Brian da Basher

« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 05:56:44 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 07:40:26 AM »
*snort* Truly an inspirational product, comrade.  A tribute to the Peoples' genius as inspired by Comrade Stalin and his advisors.  I would presume that the political commissar had override authority in case of a disagreement with either the instructor and/or student as to which way to turn or whether to climb or dive?

Offline AXOR

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 05:01:52 PM »
Surely Tophe will love this  :D
Well done Brian  :)
Alex

Offline Tophe

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 11:08:16 PM »
Surely Tophe will love this  :D
Yes, I do:  :-* :-* :-* !!!
Wonderful!!!
Maybe I will photopaint it from triplex into twin, simply... ;)

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 11:54:37 AM »
Another Smasher from the Basher! Spledidski!

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 01:40:10 PM »
Surely Tophe will love this  :D
Yes, I do:  :-* :-* :-* !!!
Wonderful!!!
Maybe I will photopaint it from triplex into twin, simply... ;)
Why not also go the other way and do a quintuple-fuselage aircraft with two instructors, two students, and a political commissar (again, on the left)?

Offline ericr

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 02:35:17 PM »

great tri-fuselage !  :)

Offline Tophe

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 11:51:27 PM »
Why not also go the other way and do a quintuple-fuselage aircraft with two instructors, two students, and a political commissar (again, on the left)?
Sorry, I have tenderness for twin-planes, not for multiplanes...

Maybe I will photopaint it from triplex into twin, simply... ;)
Here is the Dvoika (thanks Brian!):

Offline finsrin

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 08:24:49 AM »
Unique and politically correct aircraft.
Again,,, superb research BdB.
Creative kit bash to build likeness of Tu-13 (otherwise not available as one kit).  Well - there were three kits minted and sold.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 04:27:23 PM by finsrin »

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: Brian da Basher's Bolshie Build #6 - The Tupolev Tu-13 Troika
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 11:05:23 AM »
Ahhh ! Creative find, adapt, create... nice job.