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B-29 Update Sets (for 1:48 Revell Monogram)


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B-29 Update Sets (for Revell Monogram)
1:48 Eduard/Brassin


The venerable B-29 in 1:48 is a monster of a kit, but it is a product of a bygone age in terms of detail and complexity. It has raised panel lines, gimmicky working features and some simplification that a great many modellers would like to see remedied, and yet may not feel competent to do so themselves. Well guess what? Eduard got wind of the re-release of the kit, and went to work, with the result being an absolute cornucopia of sets suitable for the basic kit that will bring the detail up to scratch and result in a thoroughly modern looking B-29 kit that I really hope can be built so that the wings can be removed for storage, as I have one now, thanks to Creative.

The sets will doubtless be available in a BigEd set in due course, but in case you don't want to go the "whole hog", you can now buy them separately so that you can pick and choose the areas that you feel should be the focus of your model. Buy them all, buy a few, or just the one set to fit your whim and budget.

Brassin Wheel Set (648132)
Superb resin replacement wheels for the kit parts, which have a very faint diamond tread pattern moulded in. The new resin units are moulded as a single part with separate hubs, which removes the need for seam hiding and reinstating the tread pattern (always horrible for us mere mortals), and you get massively enhanced detail. The tread pattern is superbly crisp, the hubs are finely cast, and the sidewalls of the tyres have the maker's mark and tyre data in raised type around the rim. The inner hubs are also incredibly well detailed with bolt heads, brake hose detail on the outer hub, and a cylindrical hole to accept the axle on the rear of the hub. This level of detail extends to the twin nose wheels, which have one hub each cast into the wheel, with the spokes skinned over to be removed with a sharp implement. The separate outer hubs have the same skin over the gaps between spokes, plus an optional flat circle of Photo-Etch (PE) for the hub-caps that the nose wheels sometimes wore.

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In addition to all this lovely resin, you get a large sheet of kabuki tape masking material with pre-cut doughnuts to make masking the wheels for painting a doddle.

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Front Interior (49616)
This is by far the largest of the sets for this kit, and arrives in Eduard's bigger Ziplok bag packaging, with three frets of PE. The largest measures 14.4cm2, the next 14.4cm x 9.4cm, and the smallest, which is pre-painted and self-adhesive, measures 9.4cm x 7cm.




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The three sheets contain all the parts you will need to detail the forward pressurised compartment that starts in the nose and extends as far back as the front bomb-bay bulkhead. You will need to remove a lot of the crude moulded-in interior detail on the fuselage sides to accommodate the large etched sound/heat insulation panels that cover the walls of the cockpit, onto which a myriad of equipment boxes are added, and the consoles for the pilots and Flight Engineer are radically overhauled. The Flight Engineer's console has all its raised detail removed, and replaced by laminated instrumentation, a highly detailed set of control levers, plus other panels, boxes and grab handles that are omitted from the kit. The radio operator's panel is similarly updated, and the navigation table is overhauled with a new surface, instruments, equipment draw and navigation tools. The pilots' seats are removed and replaced by new folded units with detailed framework and armrests, and their instrument panels to the sides and centre console are removed entirely, to be replaced with freshly fabricated panels built up entirely from PE. Their forward panels that sit over the rudder pedals are also replaced, as are the pedals themselves, and it is all brought together with the addition of some floor skins, a detailed hatch next to the FE's new chair, bomb-sight, release mechanism updates, and a bomb-aimer's jump-seat right at the front of the cockpit. The navigation cabinet is then given new doors, straps and other details, with the navigator's chair mount adapted to accommodate more realistic looking legs on the base. The seat armour behind the pilots that separate them from the navigator's area is also replaced with a more detailed part that fits into the same slot as the kit part. Overall a very detailed set.

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Front Interior Zoom (FE616)
If you simply want a set of highly detailed instrument panel faces without going to the lengths described in the set above, the Zoom set includes just that on a self-adhesive and pre-painted fret measuring 7cm x 5.9cm, requiring very little in the way of adaptation of the kit, other than to remove the raised detail on the kit panels.




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Seatbelts (49617)
This small pre-painted set measuring 7cm x 4cm includes a full set of seatbelts and lap-belts for the whole crew, which can either be added to the kit seats, or to the replacement seats included in the various sets available, and described in this article.




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Rear Interior (49634)
The rear interior is used on the section of the fuselage behind the aft bomb bay bulkhead, which is also a pressure wall, and contains the gunner's position for the remote turrets, beds for the crew to rest on long journeys, and the tail gunner's position, which is outside the rear pressure door. The gunner's area receives a new skin for the floor, plus a more accurate pedestal for his seat that is made up from conical rolled sections, atop which a new seat and instrument package are added. The remote gun-sight is also detailed with a number of very small parts, which improve the look appreciably, while the viewing blisters are treated to a set of circular frames, as well as ancillary equipment surrounding them. The top observation blister aperture is lined with a rolled PE part to improve the look, as it will be visible through the top blister. The pressure bulkheads are both skinned with parts etched to depict the web-work that strengthens the curved surface. This would be best installed after annealing it in a hot flame, then allowing it to cool naturally, so that the brass is more malleable. The internal bulkhead with door through to the sleeping compartment is detailed with additional parts that fit over the moulded in detail for the most part, with only a few parts needing removing completely.

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The rear gunner's position is detailed with a panel on each side of the gunner, which will just be visible through the opposite windows to the intrepid observer.

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Undercarriage Set (48743)
The landing gear bays on the B-29 are large, and the main bays are very visible when you lift the model up. The kit part referred to as the "wheel plate" is a single piece that is installed in the lower wing, with only a "retractor motor" added, so it is in need of some work. This set contains two large sheets of PE, one measuring 21cm x 13.4cm, the other 18cm x 13.4cm, and starts with the gear legs, adding detail & missing small parts to all three legs, and adding detailed skins to the inner faces of the kit main landing gear bay covers, whilst replacing the nose gear bay doors completely and adding new hinges throughout. The main bay "plates" are thrown out in favour of a new single piece bay part in PE, which are then skinned with detailed PE sheets, plus additional ribbing, with small details added afterward. The nose gear bay that is built into the bottom of the cockpit is given new front and rear bulkheads, as well as sidewall and roof skins, leaving nothing of the original bay visible, other than the hatch into the cockpit, a part for which is included in the Interior Set above.




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Exterior Set (48744)
Measuring 16.2cm x 13.4cm, this set deals mainly with the wings, engine nacelles and tail, using the majority of parts adding access panels for the aileron mechanism, and the four engine nacelles aft of the firewall. Heat-proof plates for the super-charger outlets, acces panels and outlets are festooned on and around the nacelle, giving it a distinctly three-dimensional look. Many round access panels are added around the wing and tail, plus the giant fin and rudder, with the rest of the parts providing wiring harnesses for the engines, small antennae, recognition lights on the belly, and more panels near the bomb bay hinge-points. Part 41 alone is replicated 243 times and dotted around the under-wing area near the engine nacelles in fours and sixes, all neatly arranged. PVA and one of Radu Brinzan's sticky pick-up pencils would be a good idea if you don't want to go insane during the process.




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A-Bombs Set (48763)
The B-29 will be forever synonymous with the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as Monogram have tooled the basic shapes of Little Boy and Fat Man as an acknowledgement of that fact. The bombs are a little simplified however, and if you plan on modelling them, this set will be of great use.

Little Boy was a cylindrical bomb with a square aerodynamic stabilising fin at the rear, which the set replicates more accurately and at a more scale thickness to replace the kit part. The four raised areas that should have the Yagi Antennae projecting form them on the body of the bomb are removed and replaced by new ones with the antennae included, and the shackles electrical plugs on the top of the bomb are reproduced in PE for extra detail.




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Fat Man lived up to its name, and was a large diameter tear-drop shape, with four stabilising fins on the rear, which had a large box assembly linking them together. The fins and box section are replaced entirely by a PE assembly, with lots of superb detail, while the tapering rear of the bomb is covered with a raised PE part that must be rolled and pressed to shape after annealing. The bomb shackles, Archie radar antennae and contact fuses on the nose of the bomb are also replaced, giving the bomb a much more realistic finish. The contact fuses should actually be small cylindrical protrusions from the nose of the bomb, which would lend themselves to having their locations drilled out and a quartet of 0.75mm rod inserted, trimmed to length and topped with the end-caps supplied with the set.

With this set you could make a display of these two terrible devices, mount them on trestles next to your B-29.

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Bomb Tails (48746)
If you don't fancy using the Atom bombs included (undocumented in my edition of the kit), the standard iron bomb load included with the kit could do with some finessing before it is installed in the bomb bay. This set measuring 11.9cm x 6.5cm contains twelve sets of rear fins for each bomb, plus spinners for the nose and rear of the bomb, the latter requiring some short lengths of 0.5mm or 0.75mm styrene rod to be added between the spinner and bomb body. The kit fins are simple to remove, having very small attachment points, so side-cutters and a swipe with a sanding stick will see them prepared for action.




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Conclusion
Add a bomb bay set, and your B-29 will be loaded with just about as much detail as you could need aside from some wiring here and there. I'm not sure when the bomb bay set will arrive, but it wasn't on the preliminary listing for February release, so we'll have to wait and see. Pick and choose, or go for broke it's up to you.

Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of
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It's a lovely looking set, but I can't help but wonder how much will be seen of the interior parts, especially the rear crew compartment. Even in 1/32nd scale barely any of the insides can be seen.

But I suppose it's a case of knowing it's there :)

Tom

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Tom pretty much sums it up

I got this beastie when it first came out and spent ages painting up the inside. Very little could be seen once she was closed up. It's a long time ago now but if I recall it right you could see a small amount through the front transparencies but not that much and that was about it. The gunners round windows don't let you see inside and the tail gunners window is small too

I'm surprised Eduard felt the interior frets worth doing

I'd be up for the wheels and bomb bay frets for the one in the stash though

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Using the Squadron vac-form canopy would improve visibility inside and make the sets more visible. The wheels, wheel well set and front compartment are on my shopping list. Considering others. Let's face it most will only build one so why not push the boat out? In terms of modelling hours per pound spent it will be pretty good value for money I'd think.

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Using the Squadron vac-form canopy would improve visibility inside and make the sets more visible. The wheels, wheel well set and front compartment are on my shopping list. Considering others. Let's face it most will only build one so why not push the boat out? In terms of modelling hours per pound spent it will be pretty good value for money I'd think.

That's exactly what I was thinking last night :)

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Now I'm back on the big computer rather than my phone I can see the pictures. Aren't pictures 1 and 3 the same? I'd assume the 3rd fret you mention is the one in the next section?

A very good review BTW, I've added the external set to my 'will buy' list as well.

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I just don't know what you mean :innocent: ...and no, the other instrument panel sheet is the Zoom. Notice it's a cut-down set from the main interior set, as you wouldn't have all the insulation "skin" and equipment box parts from the big set to do the full-job. :)

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I just don't know what you mean :innocent: ...and no, the other instrument panel sheet is the Zoom. Notice it's a cut-down set from the main interior set, as you wouldn't have all the insulation "skin" and equipment box parts from the big set to do the full-job. :)

That was sooo fast I'm not sure whether I dreamt it or not. That 3rd fret is an awesome piece of work.... :thumbsup:

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:lol: No, you didn't imagine it, I'd just forgotten to alter the URL I pasted :rolleyes: It's pretty cool, isn't it? If I had a bomb bay set, I'd be tempted to get the kit out of the box, rescribe it and start building :Tasty:

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I'd agree with that Neil - I've got a Squadron canopy coming to show off the cockpit sets, and some decals for a camouflaged aircraft, just as a break from the norm of shiny silver Super Forts :coolio:

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