Dragon  1/200 B-52G Stratofortress

KIT #: 2001
PRICE: $15.00 or so when new
DECALS: Two options 
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1997 release


The B-52G was proposed to extend the B-52's service life during delays in the B-58 Hustler program. At first, a radical redesign was envisioned with a completely new wing and Pratt & Whitney J75 engines. This was rejected to avoid slowdowns in production, although a large number of changes were implemented. The most significant of these was a new "wet" wing with integral fuel tanks, increasing gross aircraft weight by 38,000 pounds (17,000 kg). In addition, a pair of 700 US gallon (2,650 L) external fuel tanks were fitted under the wings on wet hardpoints. The traditional ailerons were also eliminated, and the spoilers now provided all roll control (roll control had always been primarily with spoilers due to the danger of wing twist under aileron deflection, but older models had small "feeler" ailerons fitted to provide feedback to the controls). The tail fin was shortened by 8 feet (2.4 m), water injection system capacity was increased to 1,200 US gallons (4,540 L), and the nose radome was enlarged. The tail gunner was relocated to the forward fuselage, aiming via a radar scope, and was now provided with an ejection seat. Dubbed the "Battle Station" concept, the offensive crew (pilot and copilot on the upper deck and the two bombing navigation system operators on the lower deck) faced forward, while the defensive crew (tail gunner and ECM operator) on the upper deck faced aft. The B-52G entered service on 13 February 1959 (a day earlier, the last B-36 was retired, making SAC an all-jet bomber force). 193 B-52Gs were produced, making this the most produced B-52 variant. Most B-52Gs were destroyed in compliance with the 1992 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; the last B-52G, number 58-224, was dismantled under New START treaty requirements in December 2013. A few examples remain on display for museums.


Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, Dragon started releasing a series of 1/200 aircraft. All these planes were bombers of some sort that in the standard scales, would still be fairly large. The B-52G was the first. The kit comes with two bags of sprues. One is the basic B-52 with the fuselage, wings, and landing gear. The other contains the tail bits, engines and pylongs as well as the cruise missiles pylons and missiles.

Despite the small windscreen windows, you are provided an interior shape so if you shine your light in there, it will bounce off something. For the G model you need to pen up a pair of holes on either side of the nose for sensors. You also need to determine which marking option you want early as the 416BW option requires some blisters on either side of the fin.

Once the basic wing is assembled and the fuselage halves glued together, the bomb bay, tailplanes and the rear gunner's position are attached. This is followed by the piece for the bomb bay/main gear wells. Then the landing gear and doors can be assembled. It appears that if you want to build this gear up, you can do so as all the doors are simple butt joins.

The final steps are the assembly of the engine pods and pylons. Then the weapons pylons along with their cruise missiles can be attached. The slots for all the pylons are already opened for you.

Instructions are well done and provide Gunze paint references. Two marking options are provided. One is a SIOP painted plane from the 379th BW in 1980 as shown on the box art. The other is a later 'lizard' scheme plane from the 416BW in 1987.Decals appear to be usable despite their age, which is good as I am unaware of any aftermarket in this scale. 


If you are lacking display space for large bombers, this would be a good choice. It and other variants in this line can still be found and not at exorbitant prices, so if you want a line of BUFFs, this one would be a good one to seek.  



May 2024

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