Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

tomprobert

1/48th Boeing B-52H Stratofortress

Recommended Posts

Sanger had been promising to release a 1/48th B-52 for a number of years, and kept teasing me whenever I visited the website with a message that stated the model was under construction but nothing more - I must confess I began to question whether it would ever actually be released. However, last year it was finally ready to purchase so I took the plunge and ordered one. 

 

Any version of the venerable B-52 can be modelled, ranging from the early tall-tailed versions typified by the D-model, right through to the current-day H version. Sanger also offer a wide array of decals to accompany the kit, with many different schemes that the B-52 has worn over the years being on offer to purchase with your chosen variant.

 

I decided to go for a current B-52H - with 'Memphis Belle IV' nose art - as I vividly remember it displaying at one of the RAF Mildenhall airshows and taking lots of pictures of it under some very stormy skies. I also had a very good wander around one at last year's airshow at RAF Fairford too, so plenty of resource material is at hand.

 

A few weeks after I placed the order, a rather large box arrived at my work (always the best option with an eagle-eyed wife scrutinising any parcels that arrive at my house!) and inside plenty of protective bubble wrap was one of the biggest kits I've laid eyes on. Only the 1/32nd B-29 I did a few years ago exceeds it in span:

 

Posted Image

 

The wings are massive - the 30cm/12" ruler gives a sense of scale here. Each wing is approximately 2ft so the eventual span of the finished model will be around the 4ft mark. Sparring the wings so they remain rigid is going to be quite a challenge I feel, and the thought of rubbing down all those wheel-halves doesn't fill me with joy...

 

Posted Image

 

I imagine, due to the difficulty in obtaining a vacuumform machine large enough, the fuselage is moulded in four sections, with a lengthwise break just aft of the rear undercarriage bays. This also allows a separate mould of the differently shaped forward fuselage for the D, E, and F versions. Again, the 30cm/12" ruler shows the size of this brute:

 

Posted Image

 

Here are the stabilisers and engine pylons:

 

Posted Image

 

This sheet contains the vertical fin, tip-tanks, various sensors as well as the different tail turrets for the G/H versions:

 

Posted Image

 

These are the pods for the eight Pratt and Whitney JT3D engines - unique to the H variant:

 

Posted Image

 

A close-up of the parts reveals some lovely fine surface and panel details:

 

Posted Image

 

Sanger provide a wealth of detailed drawings and plans in order to help with construction, as well as some nice looking decals:

 

Posted Image

 

And finally, a comprehensive set of white metal parts for the engines, landing gear, interior as well as some further detailing parts. There's a crystal clear canopy too - but only one which means very careful cutting and no room for error!

 

Posted Image

 

I had promised myself that I wouldn't start this until I'd finished my Shackleton project, but to be honest it's an itch I've got to scratch and I really fancy having a go at it. It'll certainly be a longer-term project as I have other builds (Shackleton included) still going on in the background, so don't hold your breath for regular updates but I'll post my progress as and when there is some.

 

In the meantime, I've got to decide where to start: wings and engines or fuselage...

 

Tom

 

 

 

 

Edited by tomprobert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!

You are brave!

So wheels down ig will be!

Fuselage I'd say for where to start ;)

Good luck, I will follow your progress!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good grief!

 

I'd love a 1/48 one of these to sit beside my B-1B….but I think that vac form would push me over the edge! Good luck mate, will be watching!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you need volunteers to sand those wheel halfs.......... :)

I know, you want to do it all yourself..... can't blame you.

This will be a great treat to watch.

 

I wrote to Sanger and suggested he scale down some of the parts so we of the "One True Scale" could do more with the Monogram kit.... make various versions, but 

I suspect he was not keen on it. That would have been good for me and I suspect many other folks.

So, Mr. Sanger, if you remember, or you are reading....... pretty please...... ?

 

Anyway, Tom, more please. Looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that's my attention well and truly got . Can't wait to see this progress

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck Tom, I'll be watching this, taking notes...My NB-52A will be built after our new house :)  I'd really like to see how the main fuselage and wing parts go together.

 

I think several detail parts should be replaced by resin or 3D printed items, such as the wheels, engine intakes/exhausts and possibly some landing gear items.

Cheers

Jeffrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so you gained a few hours grace by getting the kit delivered to work. How did you then manage to sneak a kit this size past Mrs Tom when you went home? In these situations I just brazen it out and Mrs Martian has long since given up being either cross or surprised.

 

Martian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody good show tackling a vac-form! You're a better modeller than I'll ever be. I'd rather wrestle an orang-utan than attempt to cut that out accurately! Good luck! I bet it'll be stunning when it's done: 4ft wingspan -  awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, exdraken said:

Wow!

You are brave!

So wheels down ig will be!

Fuselage I'd say for where to start ;)

Good luck, I will follow your progress!

Yes I plan on wheels down, and possibly and open bomb bay, too. I may even get really adventurous and drop the flaps as well.

14 hours ago, DaveJL said:

Good grief!

 

I'd love a 1/48 one of these to sit beside my B-1B….but I think that vac form would push me over the edge! Good luck mate, will be watching!

Do it, Dave! A B-1 an B-52H in this scale would make an awesome spectacle. And vaforms are the best form of modelling there is! :)

14 hours ago, Bendinggrass said:

Maybe you need volunteers to sand those wheel halfs.......... :)

I know, you want to do it all yourself..... can't blame you.

This will be a great treat to watch.

 

I wrote to Sanger and suggested he scale down some of the parts so we of the "One True Scale" could do more with the Monogram kit.... make various versions, but 

I suspect he was not keen on it. That would have been good for me and I suspect many other folks.

So, Mr. Sanger, if you remember, or you are reading....... pretty please...... ?

 

Anyway, Tom, more please. Looking forward to it.

I've always thought the old Monogram 1/72nd kit could do with some more love... LoneStar models do a few resin sets for it (a couple of which I've got) but there is certainly scope for a lot more.

13 hours ago, JeffreyK said:

Good luck Tom, I'll be watching this, taking notes...My NB-52A will be built after our new house :)  I'd really like to see how the main fuselage and wing parts go together.

 

I think several detail parts should be replaced by resin or 3D printed items, such as the wheels, engine intakes/exhausts and possibly some landing gear items.

Cheers

Jeffrey

The engines are going to be a lot of work, as looking over the parts and test fitting the front fans reveal that the entire intake trunking has got to be fabricated to stop the fans floating around in... well... nothingness. Certainly resin or 3D printed parts will help, but I'm going to go down the old fashioned route of scratch work. Saying that, some 3D printed wheels would be very welcome and save a lot of work on the basic kit parts. 

12 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

OK, so you gained a few hours grace by getting the kit delivered to work. How did you then manage to sneak a kit this size past Mrs Tom when you went home? In these situations I just brazen it out and Mrs Martian has long since given up being either cross or surprised.

 

Martian

To be fair she's pretty understanding, but a 1/24th Harrier, 1/18th Fw190 and 1/32nd Su-27 all arrived within a short time of each other. I thought this addition may be stretching her understanding a little too far, so it was conveniently smuggled in when she was out and put in the attic. It was then casually brought down the other day without her giving it a second glance! Happy days!

11 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

Bloody good show tackling a vac-form! You're a better modeller than I'll ever be. I'd rather wrestle an orang-utan than attempt to cut that out accurately! Good luck! I bet it'll be stunning when it's done: 4ft wingspan -  awesome!

Vacforms are nowhere near as scary or as difficult as they look. They do require a little more thinking outside the box, but once cut out and sanded to the correct thickness they go together fairly easily to be honest - especially ones like this. However, I wouldn't recommend cutting your teeth and losing your vac-virginity on something this big, as bracing and sparring it is going to be 'fun' to say the least...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superb Tom. If I was in your shoes and had this to build... I would have to do a special one, Balls 8 or something... NASA maybe... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Radleigh said:

Superb Tom. If I was in your shoes and had this to build... I would have to do a special one, Balls 8 or something... NASA maybe... 

This scheme?

 

26093456328_06c9e00984_b.jpg

 

Its is tempting but getting a decent finish with all that white..?

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great project!

Looking forward to see this one develop.

 

How about doing it like this?

B52.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that is massive, I'm used to 1/32 scale kits but that is in another league.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom! You have forsaken the one true scale! I expected nothing less than 1/32 from you. :fraidnot:.

Totally bonkers. :banghead:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, HL-10 said:

Great project!

Looking forward to see this one develop.

 

How about doing it like this?

B52.jpg

Unfortunately my kit is the wrong variant... I think this one above is a B model and thus has different engines, nose and tail to my kit...

7 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

Tom! You have forsaken the one true scale! I expected nothing less than 1/32 from you. :fraidnot:.

Totally bonkers. :banghead:

25095884647_0c68f7eee2_z.jpg

 

There was a card 1/32nd version of the B-52 but that is pushing it a bit in terms of size.

Edited by tomprobert
formatting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom, I think you might be a member on this Facebook page by Kevin Rigby building the Sanger kit, I have read that he was a bit disappointed with the decals, so it might be something to take into consideration later on

https://www.facebook.com/groups/305398789902373/

 

His Summary of the kit

Summary:
Seems like I waited a decade or two for this kit and was delighted when it finally came out! I had built the Sanger B-47 and modified it to RB-47H standard and was very happy with the quality and engeneering of the kit. I knew that the B-52 would be a much more difficult undertaking but had high hopes and expectations.
When the kit finally arrived I was impressed and excited to see an upgrade compared to the former ID/Tigger kit. Please remember that I chose the D version and the others may be a whole different experience.
*Plusses!
1. It's a B-52 in 1/48! Sanger's almost over ambition in factoring in all versions of the "Buf/Buff" is impressive.
2. The kit's metal parts are a real plus! The engine fronts were perfect and although the "bullets" on the engine rear were too sharp, the fix was easy by fasioning new ones from bombs in the spare box. I elected to go gear up, since I wanted it depicted in flight. Those of you who are "gear down" proponents will be happy with the effort put into the metal parts. Gear down will also be complicated by the need to droop the landing flaps. 
3. The plastic was typical for vac form. Some of the panel lines were good and others would require repair or rescribing. Lines were accurate and match up at mating surfaces.
4. Clear parts are clear.
5. Overall engineering is sensible and impressive. 
6. No asymetrical part halves. Fit was reasonable. 

*Negatives?
1. wrong shape of rear engine "bullets"...easily fixed
2. Panel lines were hit and miss with most requiring repair/rescribing.
3. Clear parts of questionable outline. Thinking about it though, I think the forward canopy can be made to work. I was perhaps a little hasty to switch to the ID canopy simply since I had one. The rear gunner's canopy does not compare to any photos that I have seen. Probably carve a new blank and vacform a new one.
4. Like most vac forms, the wings and horizontal stabilizers are way too fat.
5. Rear turret area was not the correct shape.

*Things that worked.
1. Seperating the forward fuselage to reattach later. Kept dust out of the cockpit!
2. Dipping the bombs to get the yellow ring effect.
3. No need to go overboard with detailing the cockpti interior. Not much to see in there when completed.
4. Reconfiguring the engine pylons by notching the locations on the wing and adding and shaping blocks to fit. Lots of strength and less to fiddle with. I took the original shape of the pylons to wing fit to be suggestions only.
5. Reshaping the rear turret area.
6. Although the most tedious and dreaded part of the project, the decision to add the vortex generators was a good one. I think you can do without and even "rivet counters" will probably not notice or will be forgiving!
6. Scratch building HSAB pylon and beam rather than waiting for Sanger.
7. Frog tape worked well for all taping applications. Especially good on wing walk stripes. No bleed through when applied and wetted first to seal edges.

*Things that didn't work or were troublesome.
1. Do not try to use a heat gun to thin the wings! Near disaster! Perhaps a hair dryer would be okay.
2. Filling the panel lines with super glue was quick and easy but much harder than the surrounding plastic. Had to scribe lines NEXT to the filled in lines. Open to suggestions for the future!
3. Not sure I needed to switch to the ID canopy. The Sanger clear part will work. Not so the rear canopy.
4. Had high hopes for KOMBI Spot Putty but nope. Does not adhere well to styrene and does not scribe well. Used Bondo spot putty but it also does not scribe well. Open to suggestions!
5. Decals (!@#$%^&*() Expected better. Artwork is good except for the stars and bars. The USAF should be insignia blue. A test showed the decals will puddle up if you don't use liquid decal film to protedt them first. Decals will vanish against dark surfaces unless you back them with white or silver. In one of my posts, I suggested some solutions. Everything worked out in the end but I was not expecting that level of effort to get them to work.

I think that if you will review the progress reports posted on this site alot of your questions can be answered. Worth the money? Yup! Worth the effort? Yup! Worth the time? Yup!
Learned a lot? Yup! Build another? Nope. No room. This is my third 1/48 Buff. Build another Sanger vacform? Yup! Like I said at the top........It's a 1/48 B-52D! Where else are you going to get one?

I am now anxious for those who have invested in this kit to get going on it and post your experience! I will post progress on the diorama but I expect that to be months out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always think the B52 looks menacing in the camo scheme with the black underside Tom ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I'm in on this one!

 

Graham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great going Tom it will be interesting to see the progression from parts to the finished article.

 

Hope you have spoken to Sean about how many tables you need for Telford !

 

Robert

Edited by Robert
Grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, kev67 said:

I always think the B52 looks menacing in the camo scheme with the black underside Tom ;)

The D models certainly do look the part, Kev - can't do that version from this kit though. The early H models did have white undersides though, so if grey proved too boring I could always have a re-think...

30 minutes ago, Robert said:

Great going Tom it will be interesting to see the progression from parts to the finished article.

 

Hope you have spoken to Sean about how many tables you need for Telford !

 

Robert

Ha ha! No doubt he'll have a lot to say when I see him next! At least the wings are swept on this one.

 

Anyway - I've made a start today and have decided to have a go at the engines first. This is for two reasons: 

 

1) They are potentially going to be the trickiest part of the build, so I thought I'd tackle them first;

2) They're the smallest part of the whole kit so easy to handle and they're about the only part of the model that'll fit on my workbench.

 

Once they were cut out of the sheet, they were marked with indelible ink so I don't lose track of which each top and bottom halves belong to each other. Then I did some final sanding to remove excess plastic and ensure they were at the correct thickness and size:

 

Posted Image

 

Although there is a bit more trimming needed, a test fit revealed the parts matched well and I'm impressed with the fit so far:

 

Posted Image

 

And here are all four nacelle pairs ready to be worked on:

 

Posted Image

 

I've now got to ponder how to do the intake trunking to avoid the hollow look - problems common with kits of this nature unfortunately.

 

Until next time,

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice & 1/48 is a great scale for a B52. There seems to be a suggestion of a KC-135 in 1/48 but surely the only other kit to come near this.  A Herc would just look tiny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...