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B-45 Tornado -- Never Made Mach 2 But Mach2 Made It

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Hi all, I'm back again. This time, after a unanimous vote (from Christian, whom we all know is exiled to Africa!), my next attempt at self-flagellation will be the notorious Mach 2 B-45 Tornado jet bomber in 1/72.

By and large, the Mach 2 offerings have gotten a pretty bad rap -- in most cases not deserved. This is one of those kits. While not exactly a snap-together, and certainly not up to the modern pour-from-the-box-self-assembling model standard, it really isn't THAT bad. (Perhaps because my kit was bought so long ago that it was maybe a first run from the molds and now qualifies for Social Security?)

In any event, we'll begin by showing the worst it has to offer. I'll not do a sprue review per se, as that has been done by others. Not many have actually assembled the kit, however.

It looks like this:


We now come to the first of the problem areas, the mold release pins, which are in some cases, humongous. These are marked "A" in the following picture. The items marked "B" are the sink holes on the other side of said pins, and the sink marks are in direct proportion to the size of the pins!


Moving along, we encounter a few areas of excess plastic, known to us modelers as "flash".


There really isn't much flash on my kit, so no worries.

However, the next photo shows the real PITA as far as I am concerned -- the red arrows point to the "short shots" or missing plastic, which happens to occur on BOTH of the left-hand pieces of the pilot AND the co-pilot's seats. However, Mach 2 was kind enough to give us excess plastic in the cockpit itself, where the entire left-hand side (shown with "X's") should not even exist. The cockpit should look more like an American B-47, with a walkway from the nose entry door, and requiring a short climb up to the aforementioned seating.


Please forgive the out-of-focus picture, but in-focus, it's REALLY ugly!

Next, we have some classic "sink" marks, where not enough plastic filled the mold completely, leaving small "divots" -- as opposed to the short-shots, where plastic is missing entirely.

Here "A" denotes the sink mark filled with CA glue, as this will be the left engine intake fairing and it will have a landing light fabricated later on. The "B" marks denote the sink marks of the right side engine intake (which does NOT have a landing light) as well as both exhaust fairing, which are simply filled with red primer putty, as they will require no reworking other than sanding.


Next we have the clear parts, which are somewhat thick and not real clear. It remains to be seen whether they can be cleaned and used, or must be replaced.


That accounts for most of the issues; a couple others will be addressed down the road. For now, the drill will be fill, sand, fill, sand, polish, etc. I will try hard to use little filler other than CA, because this will be a mostly NMF finish. In the areas where I must use filler, I will probably give those areas a light smear of CA glue also, to harden them up for polishing. Since every seam on this build will require sanding and polishing and re-scribing of lines, this part will not go quickly. This will not be a two-week build!

Without further ado, I will show the tools that will help to tame this part of the beastly build:


First, some of the sanding devices, mostly available through beauty supply outlets. You could pilfer these from your significant other, but I would suggest this only to those extremely young or those desiring only restful sleep!

My favorites in this photo are the 4-grit version at the top -- as you progress through each of the four stages, you can virtually arrive at a polished canopy type finish. I also love the standing twigs, which are simply the larger items cut into 3mm widths. You can buy these at hobbyist supply, or roll your own in you have really sharp blades and a steady hand. I like them because you can get into tight spots, do minimal surrounding damage, and as they wear, simply snip off the ends with your sprue snippers and keep on keepin' on.

For really tough chores (like thinning wings and vacuform models) I like the black one, which is #80 grit on one side and #100 grit on the other. For this build, I probably won't need that much muscle.

Next, we have the means for restoring all those nicely scribed kit panel lines (which while building this kit, many will be destroyed), the scribing tools:


At the top, and going clockwise, we have a few of the perhaps 2 dozen scribing templates, available from many suppliers. While not really necessary, I find they save a lot of time restoring vents, small panel and the like.

Next we have the Dymo tape, which used to be used as a medium for old-school labeling. They have been largely replaced by newer technology, but remain invaluable for this use. You peel the protective film from the back, leaving a sticky, thickish plastic tape, which when applied to the model, gives you a nice, fairly hard edge to run the scribing device against, particularly on vertical lines on a fuselage. Each piece of tape is good for only a few "stick-ons" however, before it becomes roughed up on the edge or the sticky gets too stuck up with sanding or scribing dust. In any event, get some if you want to do any scribing, because sooner-or-later, you'll need it. I found mine on Amazon for a pretty low price, which was good, because few office supply stores in my area still carry any.

Next, the scribing devices themselves. First up, a plain old embroidery needle stuck in a pin vise -- my oldest, and surely the cheapest devise. Next another scribing tip,

stuck in another pin vise. This hardened tip from Mission Models, may no longer be available. (Mission Models also made the best scribing device that I ever used, a little two-sided little hatchet-shaped deal, about .005" wide, that cut a perfect square-edged slot into the plastic, that required virtually no sanding afterward. If you have one you'd like to be rid of -- I'm your man!). Lastly, a regular carbon steel tool scriber, useful if you encounter really hard plastic (which is why I no longer have the MM one described above). I also have another type, from Squadron Shop, (not pictured here) with two curvy end that are triangular in section. It is great for longer, straight lines, not so much so on curves. Also, there is a new series of scribing chisels out of Japan, but at $30 US to $60 US, I'm not certain that I'm that sincere.

Next we have just simple brass shim stock, whose main advantage is that it can be trimmed to get into tight spots (also great for making cowl fins on P2V-3 Neptune models!), as is the regular old credit card, which plastic gets cut up from time to time for the cause.

And lastly a plain old 6-inch steel ruler, which usually I either tape into place, or glue a piece of fine sandpaper to the back with rubber cement, so that it doesn't slide around so much.

Well, enough for now. Next tie, we'll get into actually molesting plastic...

Later, Ed

Edited by TheRealMrEd
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I always fancied building an RAF/Sculthrorpe version of this particular aircraft. A pity it's so under-represented by the main kit manufacturers. I'll be watching how you get on with this. Good luck on it!


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Hi Ed,

Well as I am to blame for all the torture, frustration and perplexity fun, enjoyment and happy feelings that you are about to go through I had better get on board and watch all the shenanigans. Thus, :popcorn: & :drink: ...

I have seen what must be a later iteration of this model, which can only be described as a more challenging build. Flash so prevalent that it more resembled a vacform...

Christian, still exiled to africa

P.S. Sorry... :blush:

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I too would vote for a RAF Sculthorpe based bird, but I fear that I might have caused enough trouble already. So I will :shutup:


Christian, still exiled to africa

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Bentwaters --

Nice, clean job on the B-45. I also would have preferred to do a -C version, which would both be easier and would also feature more British markings, but I've always had the hots for an -A variant. Also, I plan to open up the front fuse door, add a little detail, and provide the walkway to the cockpit, as stated earlier. I have a secret weapon that may help:





I photocopied these from the archives at the (then new) USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio in 1969. I have been waiting to use them since then.

They are available to anyone who wishes a .pdf file version (so that it can be scaled up or down more readily), if you send me a PM. Better yet, suggest a place where I can upload them in .pdf form so that they will be available to everyone.

BE AWARE -- these drawing reflect the prototypes, as witnessed by the buzz # as well as the fact that the canopy is not re-enforced. Check your references for correct length, particularly in the nose, as well as type of glass cover used on the rear turret.



Edited by TheRealMrEd
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Hi Baron,

I have them up on Fotki, so transferring is no problem. The problem is finding a site that will allow them to be uploaded as .pdf files, I suppose because it's somehow easier to put a virus in a pdf. The main reason for trying to get them up as .pdf files, is that anyone can load them into Adobe Acrobat (or take them to many business printers) and they can be quite easily scaled up or down.


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Good man! I'll be watching this with interest. I have to admit I find it a little disheartening for the hobby as a whole when kits are rubbished because they're not incredibly easy to build. This hobby would be a much poorer pastime if products were left exclusively to huge corporations. I love limited run kits. The sense of reward from building one is more than worth the effort.

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Greetings and salutations!

Back for round two of the B-45 melee.
I started sanding down the CA. After the first set of wings, I found it behooves one to sand as little as possible, to avoid as much scribing work later as you possibly can. This picture shows the sanded, but not polished port wing.B45009-vi.jpg

The nacelles consist of two halves, top and bottom, joined by a long horizontal seam line. I removed the locator pegs and concentrated on aligning the vertical panel lines, as well as edges.


First sanding results in a sort of smooth surface on the nacelle, before any polishing.


Another nasty ejector pin rears it's ugly head. Even though its inside the wheel well, even I can't ignore this one:


Next, the wing assembly (not yet glued together), looks better after re-scribing and a little polishing.



Kind of hard to tell in this pic, but the nacelle is looking better also:


Next we have the two engine intakes, filled. The one on the left fixed with CA for later modification, and the one on the right with spot putty. Also shown is the intake cone, which doesn't look much like the real thing.


Also, it prtrudes too far out of the naelle intake -- should be further back.



Should look like this:


In any event, it was right at this point that my first MAJOR aggravation occurred.

More soon,


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Good god, I thought you had enough after your intense Neptune build, seems you have no limits!

I'm sure this will end up equally superbly built and finished.

Don't know much about the Tornado, but have admired from afar for a long time.

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After speaking with Ed we will put the pdf's up on IPMSStockholm for permanent access, but until that can be arranged they can be found here:


I also found the Primeportal: http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/howard_mason3/b-45c/

Good luck Ed!

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