Hobbycraft 1/144 RB-47H Stratojet
|Two aircraft; see review|
Boeing's B-47 was the USAF's first bomber to fully utilize sweptwing technology. It was designed as a fast, medium range bomber capable ofcarrying nuclear weapons. It was much loved by its crews and was very much likea huge fighter with its bubble canopy and sleek lines. Thanks to inflightrefueling capabilities, range was really only limited by the amount of oil theengines carried, though the idea of sitting on a parachute pack for 18-24 hoursgives me hemorrhoids just thinking about it!
The B-47 utilized a bicycle landing gear with outriggers toovercome the problem of where to put the main landing gear on a high wingedaircraft with a thin wing. Like the larger B-52, the plane didn't rotate, butjust lifted off the runway when enough speed had been reached. At one time,there were B-47 wings nearly circling the Soviet Union and China. Many wereconverted to weather reconnaissance and electronic intelligence (ELINT)aircraft. The B-47's withdrawal from service was quite rapid once metal fatiguewas discovered in the aircraft's rather flexible wings and cracks became a realproblem.
I think that many modelers rejoiced when Hobbycraft brought outits B-47 kit. There has been a Revell kit of some age and odd scale from the 50sas well as the 1/72 Hasegawa kit from the late '60s. The first is quite rare andthe second is a bit too big for many of us. 1/144 is a good scale for thesetypes of aircraft. The kit is by no means teeny, being about the same size as a1/48 P-51 if not a bit bigger.
It has the usual nicely engraved panel lines and flash-freeparts that one expects from Hobbycraft nowadays. There are no ejector pin markson any parts that will be visible from what I can see, and that is nice as thebits are quite scale so removal would be a problem.
The kit has not only the additional bits for the RB-47H, but isseems that one should be able to build a standard B-47E from this kit as well.All the regular bomber bits are still with the sprues. The RB-47 specific partsare on the sprue just to the right of the left wing sprue as shown above. Itmainly consists of a bunch of additional antenna as well as extended plates overthe top of the outer engine exhaust area to make that section a little lessvulnerable to heat seeking missiles fired from above.
Hobbycraftinstruction sheets have been pretty poor in the area of giving colors but thisone has a small table that shows interior colors in the third of 16 constructionsteps. There is no other color information given until the decal guide. Theinstructions give no historical background, but are quite good when it comes toshowing a logical construction sequence.
The decal options are for two identical aircraft with only aserial number change between them. There is a blue SAC band provided, but thecolor is way too light. I believe it is supposed to be a nice dark insigniablue. Placement of this band is not shown on the box art or the decalguide.
Overall, this looks like a very nice kit. One that I have seenbuilt in a very nice flying diorama with a Minicraft KC-97G. I'd recommend this for all butthe very new modeler.
Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!
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