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Airfix 1/72 B-57, worth buying?


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Quick question on this old kit: what is it like? I understand that it's based on the original B(I).6 and having that one I have an idea of the level of detail but what about shapes? Is this a decent starting point for a B-57? Did Airfix add the proper American variant features or is everything except the front fuselage like the original kit?

I have the chance of buying one at a good price but I'd like to know if it's worth buying one or should I better start from the Italeri kit and it's short fuselage for a B-57..

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13 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Quick question on this old kit: what is it like? I understand that it's based on the original B(I).6 and having that one I have an idea of the level of detail but what about shapes? Is this a decent starting point for a B-57? Did Airfix add the proper American variant features or is everything except the front fuselage like the original kit?

I have the chance of buying one at a good price but I'd like to know if it's worth buying one or should I better start from the Italeri kit and it's short fuselage for a B-57..

Airfix did a B-57 in 72nd?  Shiver me timbers!  Scalemates shows that they did.  Looking at the instructions, I would guess that they molded some new fuselage and nose pieces.  The fuselage halves are one piece each half.  There are separate nose pieces for the B-57B and RB-57E.  The rudder for sure is positionable and I didn't look at the other control surfaces.  IIRC the Italeri has all control surfaces fixed.

Later,

Dave

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Here's what's being talked about, 

Airfix-B-57-B.jpg

Airfix-B-57-E.jpg

and this model it was based on.

Airfix-Canberra-B-I-6.jpg

I've never measured either for accuracy, and the RAF model was built for a friend - so long gone.  But instructions for both are on Scalemates,

and both have separate parts for rudder, elevator and aileron. 

RAF has a bomb-bay, payload, alternate doors for open or closed.  USAF has no such features,  closed doors engineered as part of the fuselage halves.

I have my doubts that Airfix is the best starting point. 

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15 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Quick question on this old kit: what is it like? I understand that it's based on the original B(I).6 and having that one I have an idea of the level of detail but what about shapes? Is this a decent starting point for a B-57? Did Airfix add the proper American variant features or is everything except the front fuselage like the original kit?

I have the chance of buying one at a good price but I'd like to know if it's worth buying one or should I better start from the Italeri kit and it's short fuselage for a B-57..

Quick? If you want a model that looks like a B.57 then either kit fits the bill, but if you want an accurate model then you are stuck. The Airfix kit is a modified version of the B.(I)6 kit with the same level of detail or lack of. In overall shape it is far better than the Italeri kit but the devil is in the detail. The wings; the nacelles have been altered to represent the J.65 set up, but the underside air intake is the wrong shape, it has two gas ports on the starter instead of one. They have had a very rudimentary attempt at the hub detail on the main wheels. 

The fuselage; the tail and rudder are fine, the air brake on the side are ok but with fictional details inside. The two aerial fairings on the top and bottom just aft of the bomb bay are molded on and oval not round. The bomb bay door is molded closed with no option to have it rotated. Now the biggest issue, yet again Airfix got the nose wrong! Not so much the profile that's ok apart from the RB.57E camera nose, no, this time it's the canopy, I'm only guessing on this but to me it looks like the took the measurement of the transparent part of the canopy as the over all width, not taking into account the very wide metal parts, this gives a very narrow and overly curved canopy, the seats are quite good though! The fuselage is also too long, for some reson they have it the same length as the UK PR. Canberra's. The nose wheel has been modified too to represent the Martin one, though it's a bit chunky. As it stands, the only option for an accurate B model Martin Canberra is to mate the Italeri front fuselage to an Airfix fuselage after shortening it and attach modified FROG wings. All the above regarding the canopy also applies to the 1/48 Airfix kit! 

 

John

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13 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Thank you, @canberra kid!  Is it just me, or does the Airfix B.6 kit look like it's got the longer fuselage of the PR.7 aft of the nose gear?

Without going to measure it, from what I remember it's the right length. It's just the B.57 that is too long, which as it turns out is useful as I use them to built 1/72 PR.3's and 7's. 

 

John

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Thanks a lot everyone, and John in particular ! I have seen your wip and the use of the Italeri front fuselage rang alarmed me regarding the shape of the cockpit, shape that the cover showed as suspect but I couldn't really understand why.

I'm now torn because I'm wondering what use I could make of he Airfix parts. Sure I could follow your same path but I wonder, if I have to use the Frog wings as these are more accurate, why not just cross-kit the Italeri and Frog kits ? Afterall things like airbrakes and other details can be rescribed and the frog fuselage IIRC is accurate enough, or am I missing something else ? True that the kit I've seen is really quite cheap so it would not break the bank but I'm having some doubts now...

 

 

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3 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Thanks a lot everyone, and John in particular ! I have seen your wip and the use of the Italeri front fuselage rang alarmed me regarding the shape of the cockpit, shape that the cover showed as suspect but I couldn't really understand why.

I'm now torn because I'm wondering what use I could make of he Airfix parts. Sure I could follow your same path but I wonder, if I have to use the Frog wings as these are more accurate, why not just cross-kit the Italeri and Frog kits ? Afterall things like airbrakes and other details can be rescribed and the frog fuselage IIRC is accurate enough, or am I missing something else ? True that the kit I've seen is really quite cheap so it would not break the bank but I'm having some doubts now...

 

 

You can add the Italeri front fuselage to the FROG kit, other than the fuselage airbrakes you would need to shorten the bomb bay not too difficult a job. As for the Airfix kit you could take advantage of the lengthened fuselage and combine it with the Aeroclub nose and do a PR.3 or PR.7 or T.22. 

John 

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Thanks again John, for some reason I'm less and less convinced it's worth buying that kit. The longer fuselage as a basis for a PR is interesting, however I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to just insert a spacer in the fuselage of a fishbowl canopy kit ? Ok, not that this would be a simple exercise in itself (cut, insert plasticard, rejoin, fill, sand, rescribe etc..) but the Airfix fuselage would need chopping anyway to glue the front of a B.2/6.

Sounds like there is room for a family of proper B-57 kits, wonder if any company would be interested... not that the Canberra family has been particularly well treated in scale anyway, surprising for such an important type.

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5 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Thanks again John, for some reason I'm less and less convinced it's worth buying that kit. The longer fuselage as a basis for a PR is interesting, however I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler to just insert a spacer in the fuselage of a fishbowl canopy kit ? Ok, not that this would be a simple exercise in itself (cut, insert plasticard, rejoin, fill, sand, rescribe etc..) but the Airfix fuselage would need chopping anyway to glue the front of a B.2/6.

Sounds like there is room for a family of proper B-57 kits, wonder if any company would be interested... not that the Canberra family has been particularly well treated in scale anyway, surprising for such an important type.

Giorgio I do like the B.57 option for the PR Canberra's, aside from the right length which means only one cut for the nose job, but with the bomb bay already sealed up all I need to do is scribe the flair bay and fuel tank. There is most defiantly a need for a B.57 family it would need a bit of planning but with a variation of 2 fuselages and 3 wings and a bit of thought it could be done, whilst we are in fantasy land we can add a PR.3 and PR.7 to the wish list.

 

John

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12 hours ago, canberra kid said:

add a PR.3 and PR.7 to the wish list

Indeed.  AMP Models may become the source for that, assuming they have molds for the B.6 also.

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2 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Indeed.  AMP Models may become the source for that, assuming they have molds for the B.6 also.

They would still been a new fuselage or a new forward fuselage with the extra length built in,  but the wings would be ok for a PR.7 if you're not too fussy about panel detail.

 

John

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I built one as a RB-57E in 2020 at link 

I was happy with the outcome, it looks like a B-57. But detailing the cockpit was pointless because it was too narrow. Chris

 

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17 hours ago, Chrisj2003 said:

I built one as a RB-57E in 2020 at link 

I was happy with the outcome, it looks like a B-57. But detailing the cockpit was pointless because it was too narrow. Chris

 

Looks good Chris, out of the two choices of Kit, the Airfix is definatly the most accurate dimensionally. If they hadn't screwed up on the canopy it would have been a much better option. 

John

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