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Speedman

Cyber-Hobby 1/200 YB-49 (Royal Air Force Tacoma B.1) - Completed

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Build 3

If the "What If" group build had gotten enough votes this was going to be one of my builds for it. I had put it back in my stash, but I realised I paid less than £10 and we can build any genre, so here it is :)

Korea, June 1950. North Korea invades the South with devastating swiftness, within days U.S. troops and aircraft are engaging North Korean forces, trying to stem the tide. August 1950, President Truman requests military aid from Great Britain and while initially resistant, Prime Minister Attlee eventually capitulates.

As part of their role the Royal Air Force is tasked with long range strategic bombing, unfortunately they are poorly equipped to undertake this task and are desperate to re-equip their bomber squadrons with new aircraft. Initially they are offered the B-29 by Boeing, whilst this would be an improvement on aircraft already in their inventory, a jet powered bomber would be preferable.

By chance, the USAF had just cancelled the Northrop YB-49 "Flying Wing" project. With several airframes completed and more airframes in production, Northrop took the bold step to approach the British government directly. If the B-49 was operationally successful, it was possible the USAF could reverse it's decision and equip the Strategic Bomber Command with them. With the U.S. desperate for increased bomber strength in Korea they approved the sale of aircraft and deliveries commenced October 1950. The B-49 was designated Tacoma B.1 by the RAF.

The Tacoma served with distinction in Korea and by the end of hostilities in 1955 was seen to be the most capable strategic bomber in the world. Despite it's success the USAF never adopted the B-49, instead opting for the B-47 and eventually the B-52. The Tacoma remained in front line service until 1958 when it was replaced by the Handley Page Victor. From 1958 it served in the photo reconnaissance role until it's service retirement in 1966.

So, an unusual aircraft in fictional markings (spares box) in a ridiculously small scale :D

Price: £7.87 from eBay.

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Very nicely engraved panel lines.

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A choice of canopy types.

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Fantastic detail for tis scale.

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The cockpit, six crew positions (one seat to be fitted in the middle) and I'm going to paint belts on all of them! :P

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Edited by Speedman

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Nice back story. I never knew this kit existed. I'm following a 1:72 build of one of these A/C on another forum. A wicked piece of kit too advanced for it's time it's a shame these never went into service. The pit looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

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Time I started this one. I've de-sprued and cleaned the wings fuselage errr... wingselage parts up along with everything bar the landing gear and semi-built the cockpit. I've assembled the side and rear walls but not glued them to the cockpit floor to make it easier to paint. I've left the instrument panel separate for the same reason.

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This is going to be fun to paint ;)

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"Wingselage" :)

While you're doing the belts, don't forget their buckles, as well as rudder pedals and throttles :D

This looks like a nice little kit, but they're ridiculously priced this part of the woods, much more than a tenner.

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Got one of these in the stash.

Love the RAF proposal.

You have to love that cockpit layout too. Very Sci fi.

But, How did they get out in a hurry?

Somewhere I have pics of them awaiting scrapping at the factory.

Pete

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This looks like a nice little kit, but they're ridiculously priced this part of the woods, much more than a tenner.

I've been really lucky on eBay with 1/200 kits. As well as this one I've managed to pick up the Vulcan as well as Dragon's Tu-95 and B-52 and paid roughly £8-12 each for them. (Triple cold war bomber build at some point in the future) To be honest, although they are very nice kits I probably wouldn't have paid the £20+ that these go for new.

It does annoy me how much some of the small scale kits cost compared to bigger scales, Revell 1/72 F-16C £6.99, Revell 1/144 F-16C £5.20. (Wonderland Models) They might be half the size but there's only about a quarter to a third of the plastic in them! :lol: And I a lot of manufactures supply decals for only one scheme, it's not like there's a huge choice of after market decals out there. Sods.

But, How did they get out in a hurry?

5 escape hatches for in flight (2 forward, 2 middle & 1 tail) or pop the bubbles and climb out for a belly landing evacuation. If it did belly land, at least you could just walk off a flying wing to safety rather than have to jump down ;)

Edited by Speedman

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Good start, now I know where Lucas got some of his ideas from!!!!

Pete

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The cockpit is finished, belts and buckles were painted on and I picked out the details on all the instrument panels. After this I gave it an oil wash which worked really well with the aluminium.

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I added the fins tonight. As usual on this kit, the parts fitted perfectly. Having dry fitted most of the other parts this may turn out to be my first ever kit without any filler :)

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After installing the cockpit and gunner's station I glued the upper and lower Wingselage © together.

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Loving this build. There is something about the flying wings. What's the wingspan on it?

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Too cool!

Can't wait to see the color scheme... 617 Squadron?

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This is something new :) nice build so far

Cheers

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Too cool!

Can't wait to see the color scheme... 617 Squadron?

No, I'll be doing it as a 15 Sqn aircraft. As it's an alternate timeline it needed to be squadrons that operated the Washington in real life. I chose 15 Sqn as they were one of the first to operate Washingtons. As for the colour scheme, a little artistic licence is being used and it's going to be natural metal & black. There was a 15 Sqn Washington delivered and flown like this and I think they will look fantastic on the Tacoma.

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I've been slowly plugging away at this one :)

I cut six holes in the underside of the nose to add ballast, once it was set I filled and sanded them smooth. The reason I did it this way was to ensure the weight was as far forward as possible, something that would have proved difficult because of the shape if I had done it before assembly. Even so, it only just keeps the nose down and there is a lot of ballast in there. I've also added guns to the rear turret as this will be an operational aircraft rather than the prototype the kit depicts. Everything is masked and ready for primer now.

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Really looking forward to every instalment of this build. Such a cool A/C. I have been watching a build on ISM of the 1:72 kit and the guy either forgot or didn't put enough weight in it. It looks like one of those if you think you have enough, add more.. :chair:

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And more... And more... AND more! :P

I've primed the beast, pre-shaded it and sprayed the silver on. Although the undersides will be black, I've sprayed the exhaust area in silver as I don't think paint would have survived too well. I can either leave it exposed or weather it to death and burn it off, I'll decide what to do later.

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Is it just me? I can't see the pictures.

Edit: it is just me. That's looking great.

Edited by snapper_city

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The decals are on! The black line decals are from the kit sheet, the roundels are from a Mark 1 set I had spare and the codes are from the Xtradecal 1/144 Hunter sheet. So OK, in reality the codes are from a Hunter, but this is an alternate timeline after all... :whistle:

It's not until you loose a fuselage that you realise how difficult it is to work out placement of markings, at least the Vulcan has a nose and fin to play with! :lol:

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I gave it a very light oil wash yesterday, followed by a pin wash in a few places to enhance the Pitt pen panel lines.

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