Minicraft 1/144 B-52H Stratofortress






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




There are not too may military aircraft where one can have a grandfather and grandson flying the same type in active service, but the B-52 (along with the KC-135 and C-130) is one of those few that can have that claim to fame. Sure, the early B-52s are gone to the scrap yard and those still in service are the 'new' planes (built in 1961-2), but even then we are talking about 40 year old airframes. To make things even more amazing, they are scheduled to be around during their 50th year!

A good Google (that is a web search, for the uninitiated) will turn up more info on this aircraft than I could possibly mention in a historical background, so I'll let your fingers do the typing if you want to know more.



Many of you may recognize this as being the old Crown kit. I've never see it myself, but in the box, the kit looks rather impressive. Engraved panel lines and lots of optional bits. The dark green and white plastic is well done with no flash, the usual problem ejector pin marks on small bits and quite a few sink areas on the wings, especially opposite flap detail sections. The cockpit is rather sparse, consisting of but a floor with molded on seats and console, and an instrument panel. Frankly, I think most will just paint the whole area black and leave it as such.

The kit is designed to be molded with the flaps lowered, though test fitting showed that they can be placed in the up position, should you wish to do so. There is no real wheel well detail, nor is there any for the outrigger wells, just an attachment point for the struts.

What really is impressive is the extent of underwing goodies. First of all, a pair of Hound Dogs, four Skybolt, or  twelve SRAM can be carried on pylons under the wings, with separate pylons provided. Also included are  two ADM-20 Quail decoy drones. For those not wanting to install these weapons, there are display stands provided for the Hound Dog, Skybolt and Quail.

Instructions are cheaply reproduced and consist of 15 construction steps. Colors are given in generic terms, though those for the external camouflage are given with FS 595 numbers. There is no history or any indication of what unit the markings are for. It seems to me that they are for the 2nd Bomb Wing as I've seen the 'flying 2' somewhere before. Decals are well printed and if they are like most Minicraft ones, should fit without any real tussle.



From what everyone tells me, this the the kit to have in 1/144 if doing a B-52 as the Revell version is too narrow. Personally, I find the MSRP to be a bit high for a kit like this, especially as it is no where near a new tool, but that is a judgment you'll have to make. It appears to be a well designed kit and test fitting a few parts shows that fit should be pretty good if built as it comes. I should also mention that this is a representation of the plane when it first entered service. I don't see all the various antennas and fairings that are present on current planes. It also includes the tail gun, which was removed a decade ago and replaced by ECM stuff.

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