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Monday, October 19, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020

ModelsCollect U.S.A.F. B-2A Spirit Stealth Bomber With MOP GBU-57 1/72

  • Product Name : U.S.A.F. B-2A Spirit Stealth Bomber With MOP GBU-57
  • Product Number : UA72206
  • Manufacturer : Modelscollect

Quality of Packaging:-

Quality of Materials:-

Quality of Instructions:-

Quality of Decals:-

Overall Rating:-

The Aircraft.

The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit,  is an American heavy strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two.The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as up to eighty 500-pound class (230 kg) Mk 82 JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400-pound (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.

Designed and manufactured by Northrop, later Northrop Grumman, the cost of each aircraft averaged US$737 million (in 1997 dollars).Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft, which includes spare parts, equipment, retrofitting, and software support.The total program cost, which included development, engineering and testing, averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997.

Because of its considerable capital and operating costs, the project was controversial in the U.S. Congress. The winding-down of the Cold War in the latter portion of the 1980s dramatically reduced the need for the aircraft, which was designed with the intention of penetrating Soviet airspace and attacking high-value targets. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Congress slashed plans to purchase 132 bombers to 21. In 2008, a B-2 was destroyed in a crash shortly after takeoff, though the crew ejected safely.Twenty B-2s are in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate them until 2032.

The B-2 is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m), with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on internal fuel and over 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with one midair refueling. It entered service in 1997 as the second aircraft designed to have advanced stealth technology after the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft. Though designed originally as primarily a nuclear bomber, the B-2 was first used in combat dropping conventional, non-nuclear ordnance in the KosovoWar in 1999. It later served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Source Wikipedia 

 

The Kit.

Modelscollect 1/72 kit of the B-2 is the third model of this type. Revell’s kit could best be described as speculative when it was released and bore no real resemblance to the real aircraft. Testor released a more accurate version when the aircraft when the B-2 was official seen by the public but still suffered from some shape issues. This is the second release of this kit by Modeslcollect following the first offering released in 2017 with this version including new parts for the MOP GBU-57

 

Now logically when buying a bomber in 1/72 scale you would expect a large aircraft. However the box itself whilst not small is certainly not massive with everything packed securely in a sturdy box and protected by foam you only start to get a true idea of how large this kit is as the bagged sprues are removed until you reveal the fuselage and wings. Even then you don’t get that true sense of scale until you lay the fuselage and wings out and then you know. This kit is big! For a sense of scale the 1/72 F-15E gives you an idea of this aircrafts impressive wingspan.

 

Sprues.

Fuselage.

The first thing that people may notice are the panel lines which to some peoples taste could be over pronounced. It is a large grey aircraft so for some they will be a feature that breaks up the surface and will probably be less visible under primer and paint. Others may feel the need to fill them in a little. The second  thing that rapidly becomes apparent is a lack of locating pins. Whilst it is fairly obvious how this kit fuselage goes together I would not have thought it unreasonable to have these on the kit.

Wings.

Again like the fuselage wings have the same panel lines that may need some attention and a lack of locating pins although the slot tabs do make joining fairly obvious. Given their size I would inclined to suggest a slightly stronger glue than you might normally use to seal them up and join them to the fuselage.

Sprue A.

Two sets of this sprue containing wheels which noticeably are not weighted which I would have expected on an aircraft of this sheer bulk, but this is not massively difficult to remedy. The main undercarriage parts which seem sturdy and should carry the kit. Whilst fairly detailed they could benefit as most model undercarriages will from addition of hydraulic lines. The ejection seats are fairly well detailed but given the small canopy for this size of aircraft any cockpit detail is going to vanish fairly quickly as you seal the fuselage up. Air intakes and bomb bay doors are also present. Mine appear to be lacking the sink marks that others have commented on.

Sprue B.

Consisting of landing gear doors and most of the components of the bomb bay and doors itself. The bay itself is pretty well detailed in comparison to many kits of the same age so this is a welcome sight. Again could possibly benefit from some detailing with wire to busy it up a little if you have access to any reference photos of this area.

Sprue C.

Mainly  comprising of small components to make up the details around the forward undercarriage and more parts for the bomb bay.

Sprue D.

This sprue contains the control surfaces of the aircraft and engine covers and being such visible parts of the kit it is pleasing to see no apparent distortions to the surfaces. Whether this area could be improved with the Eduard photo set will be down to the eye and skill of the individual modeller 🙂

Sprue L.

New parts for this version of the kit are the two sprues for the GBU -57 A/B. To date the B-2 is the only aircraft available that can carry this massive ordinance. The sprues of a slightly lighter colour and when made fit directly in the bomb bay with no option in the kit to display them externally from the aircraft.

Clear parts.

The kit only clear part is the windscreen which appears clear from any distortion with the frames clearly moulded and should provide no great challenges for masking. Possibly this part should be tinted looking at photographs of the real aircraft but different modellers view will vary.

Photo Etch.

Included is a small photo etch fret for control panels in the cockpit. Given that it will not be seen when the cockpit is closed up many modellers may choose to not detail this part.

Decals.

Printed by Cartograf the decals cover markings for four aircraft even if the instructions only mention three of them. The aircraft are.

  • Spirit of Pennsylvania.
  • Spirit of Arizona.
  • Spirit of Texas.
  • Spirit of Indiana

Safety and walk way markings are also included.

Instructions.

The instructions come in a well printed and sturdy booklet consisting of 36 stages. By and large the layout and instruction are clear although some areas could lead to a little guess work especially around the bomb Bay Area. Painting instructions are a little lacking only calling out colours for the exterior of the aircraft whilst failing to mention the cockpit. Decal instructions could also benefit from perhaps offering a larger view for placement purposes.

 

Pros

  • The most accurate model of a B-2 in this scale.
  • Good detail especially in areas like the bomb bay.
  • Excellent quality decals.

Cons

  • Oversized panel lines.
  • Lack of colour call out for the interior.
  • Instructions could be improved.
  • Lack of locating pins.

Conclusion

This will build the most accurate model of the B-2 in this scale. The kit will be an impressive addition to anyones modern jet collection. Possibly one for the modeller who has a little experience given the lack of locating pins. But all in all. A truly impressive kit of an impressive aircraft.

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1 Comment

Rafael 2nd June 2020 at 11:02 am

Excellent review!. A beast of a kit that would look impressive once finished.

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