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GBU-32 Thermally Protected Bombs (648396) 1:48 Eduard Brassin The GBU-32 is a JDAM smart bomb built around the Mk.83 "dumb" bomb, with a seeker head and guiding vanes to the rear, and a launch weight of just over 1,000lbs. it is capable of being guided by GPS or laser, depending on which head is fitted, with the laser seeker giving the bomb a stubby rounded "nose" when compared to the pointed nose of the GPS guided variant. In Naval useage fires onboard ships are an even more grave danger to munitions due to the confined spaces and danger of sinking, so a thick lumpy coating is added to the warhead to resist heat for longer and delay cook-off, in the hope that the fire can be suppressed within that extended timeframe. As usual with Eduard's larger resin sets, they arrive in the oblong Brassin box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions wrapped around, providing extra protection. There are eight bomb bodies in the box, with moulded-in lugs and excellent surface detail, with a choice of four heads per unit, and eight tail-units that fit with a keyed-lug onto the rear of the body, where the casting block joins, thereby hiding any minor errors in removing them from the blocks. The seeker heads have a similar fitting, and the tail unit is attached to its block at the rear with very fine slivers of resin ensuring a good fill of the fins. The harness that marks out these bombs as a bit "special" is supplied as Photo-Etch (PE) parts, which are cut from the fret and curved to match the profile of the body, with a little annealing in a flame going a long way toward helping with this. Tensioning straps loop under the bomb, linking the three PE parts together, and this too must be rolled to fit the body shape. A set of stencils are included on the decal sheet, with a placement guide and painting instructions in a small diagram at the front of the instructions. Painting codes are given in Gunze Sangyo colours as well as the colour name if you don't have access to a conversion chart. With eight in the box there are plenty for a couple of projects, with a choice to heads as a bonus. My review sample was missing four tail units, so rather than delaying the review by getting replacements from Eduard, I did a little Photoshop doubling up the four that I had to show the correct contents. This is one of the first packing mistakes that I've ever experienced in one of their sets in around eight years, but it's still worth checking yours when they arrive, just in case. Review sample courtesy of
GBU-38 & GBU-38 Thermally Protected Bombs (648385 & 648386) 1:48 Eduard Brassin The GBU-38 is a 500lb iron bomb with JDAM kit installed that is considered "light" compared to others, and as such is used where dangers of collateral damage exist, to reduce the blast radius whilst still destroying the target. The core of the bomb is a Mk.82 casing, filled with tritonal explosive. The JDAM element is a bolt-on package that allows precision guidance once dropped, with a seeker head at the nose, and guidance vanes at the rear. It is currently in-use with a number of Allied countries. On-board a carrier they are usually coated with a thermal protection layer to prevent or delay cook-off in the event of fire. This gives the outer skin of the body a rough, stippled finish that is often grey in colour. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. The two sets build in exactly the same way, with just the thermal coating differentiating them. There are four bomb bodies, four tail units and four of four types of seeker head, plus an additional four of three inserts for the tail unit. There is also a set of masking for the complex seeker-head attachment, which will save you endless hand-painting, and a small PE sheet with four tail-cap ends that cover the mounting point of the casting block. Scrap diagrams show the positioning of the masks, and the alignment of the tail fins with the transport lugs, with colours being called out in Gunze codes as usual for Eduard. Finally, there is a small sheet of decals that includes the stencils applied to the bombs, which are shown in a final diagram on the instructions. From the sets you can make four bombs of either the USAF, USN, or B-2A Spirit specific units that use the pointed nose cones, and have their tail fins aligned differently, presumably due to the constraints of the Spirit's bomb bays. GBU-38 Non-Thermally Protected (648385) GBU-38 Thermally Protected (648386) The texture of the thermal protection is in-scale, so is quite hard to capture in photos, but it is definitely present, as you can see from the additional picture. Review sample courtesy of
US Navy and Air Force GBU-38 Bombs Videoaviation 1:32 A very welcome pair of releases from Videoaviation arrived at BM Londons offices the other day. Two sets of GBU-38 JDAM bombs in 1:32 scale, one of US Navy style and one US Air Force style. Each set is very well protected, being contained in a clear plastic box, within a zip lock bag wrapped in bubblewrap. Although the bomb lugs need a bit more as a couple in the review sample were broken. Each box contains eight complete bombs, and come in these separate parts. Bomb Casing Tail Lugs GPS Antenna Protective caps Decals Whilst the tails, lugs, caps are the same for each type, the USN bomb casing is a much rougher casting allowing for the ablative coating used on Navy bombs. It is details like this that make Videoavition products to be some of the best in the business. Naturally, the USAF bomb casing is nice and smooth. The extreme nose sections are also slightly different between versions, with the USAF version being a more pointed affair than the USN type. The builds are pretty straightforward, as once the parts have been carefully cut away from the moulding blocks they will only need a swipe with a sanding sponge before the tail is attached to the casing, followed by the lugs and the tail mounted GPS aerial. If the protective caps are to be used, then the nose of each bomb needs to be used before the cap can be fitted. Each type comes with its own distinct style of markings contained on a nicely printed decal sheet. Conclusion These two sets make very nice additions to the Videoaviation product range and will add something special to a completed model. With the well moulded, flawless resin, it should go together fairly easily. Once built and painted they will look great, although it would have been nice if some remove before flight flags had been provided too. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
US Navy MHU-191/M Munitions Transporter 1:32 VideoAviation The MHU-191/M is a bomb trolley used by the US Navy to transport two GBU-38 JDAMs from arsenal to the aircraft that are intending to use them. This kit is available in 1:32 at present, but I'm hopeful it will find its way to 1:48 in due course. Included in the white card box are three bags of resin and another containing a small decal sheet (not pictured). The bomb truck is built up from flesh coloured resin and should include two sets of wheels. My review sample however has a pair missing, so please check your package before stashing it. The lower bomb is cradled on a curved bracket, with a similar one completing the oval and permitting another to sit on top. Each part has rollers placed in recesses that support the bombs and stop them from rolling sideways, which would be no fun for anyone. The two cradles attach to the ladder chassis, and an L-shaped pull handle is attached to the front of the chassis. A bumper sits at the end of the handle, and two grab-handles and a brake lever form a T with the upright portion. A pair of figures are included with the set, and it's surprising how large they look compared to the more familiar (to me) 1:35. They are very well sculpted and have separate arms, all of which is in the same creamy flesh coloured resin. One is pulling, while the other pushes the trolley, and the instructions show them painted red, presumably for danger! Happily you also get a pair of bombs to fill your trolley, which some producers might not have included. They are nicely detailed and the dangerous part is covered with the rough ablative coating used on carriers that slows down the cook-off rate of the warheads in the event of a fire. The bombs have separate tail sections, GPS Antennae, and if you elect to use them, a DSU-33 Radar proximity sensor, which requires you to slice off the very tip of the nose. A separate diagram covers the painting of the bombs, and shows where the rings that show live (Yellow) or training (blue) round should go. The small decal sheet is designed for the trolley, and adds a large number of yellow markings that are dotted around the frame, as well as the serial number and some data plates on the handle. The trolley is painted gloss white with black handles, with orange or yellow rollers, but would undoubtedly become quite worn very quickly. Plenty of scope for weathering there! Conclusion A cool addition to any deck-side diorama, or just to have next to your 1:32 USN aircraft in the cabinet. You get a lot for your money, and hopefully yours will have all four wheels! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of