Modified SR-71 with D-21 Drone
Model by Bruce Craig

Photos by Bruce Craig

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Lockheed M-12 with D-21 Drone left front view

Lockheed made three M-12 motherships designed to lauch the Mach 4+ D-21 recon drone. One is known to have been lost to a midair during launch of its drone. The first aircraft now resides at Seattle Air Museum at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. I spent several hours observing that aircraft and making notes as a source of information to make this model.

Lockheed M-12 with D-21 Drone right rear view

This 1/48th M-12 is made from a Testors SR-71 with cockpit area patched from a Testors YF-12 because the M-12 windscreen and canopy are more similar to those on the YF-12. The shape of the nose and chines is also quite different from the SR-71, so that was all reshaped. The D-21 drone is a vac kit from Eagles Talon.

Lockheed M-12 with D-21 Drone top view

Paint is various shades of Alclad with satin black made with equal parts of Testors Gloss Black and Flat Black enamel. Some of the panels are decals painted with Alclad.

Lockheed M-12 with D-21 Drone left rear view

The fuselage bulges slightly at the second cockpit. I created the bulge with Squadron Green Putty. Another difference in A-12/M-12 Blackbirds as compared to the SR-71 is that the refueling door is further aft, so that got moved back.

Lockheed M-12 under construction

The M-12, on the right, under construction. After this photo was taken, I added the fuselage bulge for the second seat, the drone operator's cockpit. This bulge was present on the M-12 but not present on the A-12.

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