Airfix 1/48 Martin B-57B Canberra
Some time ago I purchased the new Airfix 1/48 scale Martin B-57B Canberra.
Being 1/48 scale make sure you have plenty of shelf space as this bomber is a shelf hog. When built the length from nose to tail is 406 -mm (16”) with a wingspan of 416mm (16.4”). The large box contains 8 part trees 1 of with is the clear parts for a total of 120 pieces. The large instruction booklet contains 36 steps with different options depending on which of the 3 versions you are building. The color notes are for Humbrol paints only.
The overall look upon first inspection is that the parts are crisp with no flash, recessed panel line and a few ejector pin marks. Some of the ejector pin marks are in some hard to remove places. The bomb bay has 11 marks that will need to be cleaned up.
If you don’t want to mess with the marks the bomb bay can be modeled closed. Speaking of bomb bay there are plenty of bombs to fill it along with some LGB for the wing pylons.
As for the panel line they some rather large for the scale.
Looking at the tail, and comparing to online references, the tail seems to have the wrong surface detail. It should have rows of rivets, instead it has deep panel lines which should not be too difficult to correct.
The cockpit has simple yet raised detail along with 3 crew figures to pick from. Each has a set of poseable arms. There are two types of ejection seats depending on the version you build. The seats have molded on seat belts.
There is some nice detail in the boxed in wheel wells along with weighted tires. Also included are 2 types of engine intake nacelles for their specific version.
The clear part tree includes a 2 part canopy that can be posed open or closed. The frame work on it is raised and should be masking very easy. It also includes wingtip navigation lights, gun sight and a clear piece for the sensor array on the nose of the G version.
The tail and horizontal control surfaces are molded separate along with the air brakes which can be posed in the opened or closed position.
There are 3 versions to build:
An overall black B-57B of the 822nd Bomb Squadron, 38th Bomb Group (T), Laon, France, 1966-1967
A natural metal finish RB-57E ‘Patricia Lynn’, 6250th Combat Support Group, 2nd Air Division, Tan Son Nhut, South Vietnam, 1963.
A 3 tone SEA camoflouge with black underside B-57G, 13th Bomb Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon, Thailand, 1971.
The decal sheet is a large sheet with markings for all 3 aircraft along with aircraft and bomb stencils. The decals are thin, sharp extensive.
Overall it seems to be a great and enjoyable kit to build. With this scale there is enough room for the detail minded modeler to go wild. A web search will show a number of after market decals, resin and PE parts to super detail the B-57. If you’re a fan of Airfix kits both old and new then you will be very pleased with this one.