|KIT:||Revell AG 1/72 B-52D Stratofortress|
The BUFF really needs no introduction, having been around for more than half a century.
If you haven't got any books on the BUFF yet, you can check out the great site below for the history of the B-52 and the differences between the models from A-H. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher2/b52.html
I've never seen the 1/72 B-52D kit by Monogram but from what I know about it, I believe this is a repackaging of that kit. There is actually an unused part in one of the sprues that says copyright Monogram without mentioning Revell. I don't know which year this kit was released but the instruction sheet and decals are copyrighted in 1999. (Note: your editor would put this kit's initial release to about 1969 or so.)
Even before opening the box, from the length of the box, I had guessed the fuselage is separated into just 2 halves and I was right. That should give you an idea of how long the box is. The parts are moulded in hard, dark-green plastic and packaged into plastic bags, with at least 2 sprues to each bag. There is some minor flash on the large parts but nothing to worry too much about. Sadly, I found one half of the tail warped but I don't know if it was like that when it left the factory or if it occurred during transport/storage. All panel lines are the raised type but they are finely done. There are raised lines which serve as a guide for the decals which demarcate the walkways. These, of course, are not present on the real aircraft.
The instruction sheet is the standard newsprint type, in German and English mainly. There are 2 pages dedicated to diagrams of all the sprues for easy parts location. The painting guide tells you what percentage of paints (by name) to mix for each colour. From other Revell AG reviews, I assume the names of the paints are for Revell-made ones (it's not explicitly mentioned) For myself, I'll have to cross-reference those with the colour photos in my reference books. There is only one paint scheme shown - the SEA camouflaged one. I found one of the decals (no. 13) not mentioned in the instructions. I believe it should be placed forward of the air-refuelling access doors, just aft of the cockpit front windows. On my instruction sheet, there is one decal numbered 2_ on the port wing (second digit is not printed properly). I assume it should be 26.
The one-piece spoilers on the top of each wing can be positioned open or closed. (on the real plane, there are 7 spoilers on each wing, split into 2 groups - 3 inboard and 4 outboard. These 2 groups can be positioned differently.) The flaps are designed to be movable and can be fixed up or down. The vortex generators (tiny fins) on top of the wings and elevators are moulded on.
The bomb bay detail is quite bare and is just one part which is just a relief showing the lowest layer of 9 bombs. The bomb bay doors are designed to be movable. On the real aircraft, the bomb bay doors come in 2 sections but in the kit, only the lower section of the doors can be opened up. The weapons pylon under each wing is the longer Hound-dog type and 12 bombs are provided for each pylon. The bombs are supposed to be 750 pounders.
The landing gear struts are not reinforced so I don't know how well they will hold the weight of this huge monster. It doesn't appear that the nose will need any weights since the wings are between the forward and aft landing gears. Gear door detail is pretty basic. Same goes for the wheel wells.
The cockpit interior is pretty plain, and only includes parts for the 2 pilots, including one-piece ejection seats, control columns and decals for instrument panels. 3 fully-suited crew figures in sitting position are included (aircraft commander, co-pilot and gunner). You can't see the Nav, RN and EWO so it's ok that they're not included. The crew access hatch near the nose can be fixed in open or closed postion. There is nothing inside if you do decide to open it. There should be 2 small windows on each of the ejection hatches for the 2 pilots and these are represented using decals.
The single transparency sprue is individually bagged and provides for the cockpit windows (a single, U-shaped part), the 2 small windows at the side of the fuselage as well as the gunner's windows and the periscope window at the gunner's station. Windscreen wipers are moulded on the pilots' windows.
One of the engines (the no. 1 engine) can be displayed with panel open or closed. If opened, it exposes the two-part J-57 inside which has some basic detail. On the real B-52D, there is an "antenna farm" at the bottom of the fuselage between the wings and tail. It is not represented in the kit. The 4 guns at the tail are designed to be movable.
The decals are for 2 B-52Ds at the "Giant Voice" bombing competition, December 1971:
1. Orlando - Where the Action Is (B-52D-35-BW Stratofortress, 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Wing, USAF; McCoy AFB, Florida USA) (this is the aircraft shown on the box art)
2. Big Country Bomber (B-52D-40-BW Stratofortress, 337th Bomb Squadron, 96th Strategic Aerospace Wing, USAF; Dyess AFB, Texas USA) There is a large, yellow-coloured, winged numeral "2" on the tail fin which is common to both aircraft.
A large portion of the decal sheet is dedicated to the black lines that demarcate the walkways on the spine of the fuselage, the wings and the elevators. The decal sheet was found stuffed amidst the instruction sheets and there is no plastic bag to protect the decals, just a paper sheet on top. The quality of the decals looks good.
This kit is by no means perfect but it exceeded my expectations, considering its age. The main shortcoming is a general lack of detail but that can be fixed by superdetailing, which is half the fun of modelling. Overall, I think if you want to build a Vietnam War era B-52D, this is a nice kit
to begin with. If you want to be a bit different, you can convert it to a B-52F by modifying the engines and using new decals.
I'm a BUFF buff so I have accumulated a mini-library of BUFF books long before I got
1) B-52 Stratofortress: Boeing's Cold War Warrior (Osprey Aerospace) by Robert F. Dorr, Lindsey Peacock
2) Boeing B-52: A Documentary History (Schiffer Military Aviation History (Hardcover)) by Walter J. Boyne
3) Boeing B-52: Stratofortress (Crowood Press (UK) (Hardcover)) by Tony Thornborough, Peter E. Davies
4) Famous Airplanes of the World #?? B-52 Stratofortress (Bunrindo Press (Jpn))
5) Walk Around - B-52 Stratofortress (Squadron/Signal Publications) by Lou Drendel
6) B-52 Stratofortress in Action (Aircraft, No 130)(Squadron/Signal Publications) by Larry Davis
7) Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (Osprey) by Lindsay Peacock.
8) B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat 1955-1973 (Combat Aircraft, 43)(Osprey) by Jon Lake
9) B-52 Stratofortress Units In Operation Desert Storm (Combat Aircraft 50)(Osprey) by Jon Lake, Tony Holmes
10) Fine Scale Modeler Magazine, Dec 2002.
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