|1/72 Martin RB-57D-2|
|Kit Number: 7239|
|Reviewed by Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511|
MSRP: $ 43.00
Web Site: ww.hiplanes.dragnet.com.au
I had always loved the long wing RB-57 since I first saw one at Davis-Monthan back in 1983. I couldn't wait until a kit of this fantastic aircraft was produced. Well, a couple of months ago Dave Morrissette informed this reviewer's Corp that indeed High Planes did make one available in 1/72. I almost begged him to let me review this kit and he relented (I'm easy- Ed.).
When viewing the box, I was not impressed with the presentation. This looked like a home made presentation. Upon opening it, I was equally unimpressed. The parts looked like they were done on a home machine. The plastic was soft and the runners were in awkward places that make removal of the parts touchy at best. In fact when the wings were removed from the runners, there were huge dents in the leading edges that had to be filled. Not a good start , but then, the manufacturer did state on the box that this kit was for experienced builders.
I was comparing the parts of this kit with the Testor's B-57B from awhile back and almost all of the parts were identical except poorly produced, There was flash all over that took some time to clean up. Once the parts were cleaned up, I painted the cockpit parts as per some photos that I had. The cockpit and nose wheel well fit nicely which surprised me. I then glued the fuselage halves together, and then once I did this, I remembered that I didn't add weight to the nose so it would sit right. I Dremeled out the wing insert space and added a ton of lead shot into the opening and CA glued this into the nose.
The fuselage took a lot of filler to get it right. I also found out that the wing roots had to be Dremeled out so the sings would fit. Lots of unnecessary work in my mind. I also had to Dremel out the locating slots for the horizontal stabilizers. Fortunately both the wings and the stabilizers were cast with the correct dihedral. Much filler was used to fill the gaps in the wing to fuselage joints.
Now came the tricky part. The new nose was cast as a resin part and part of the nose of the aircraft had to be removed to fit the new one. I guess I got lucky with my cut as the new nose plug fit exactly with very little filler to the joint.
The kit came with two very clear vac-u-formed canopies. I immediately ruined the first one by cutting it too narrow. I then took my time and cur the second with lots of fitting and testing. It looked good to me at this point.
I then primed the entire aircraft with Duplicolor White Primer. Since the top part of the A/C was to be white, I thought this best. I then airbrushed the entire A/C with Duplicolor Automotive Lacquer. I let this set for two days and masked off the strange scalloped demarcation line. I then airbrushed the bottom with Duplicolor Black Lacquer. I set this aside for two days to dry. (Actually the lacquer dries in about an hour)
I then proceeded to glue the landing gear in place. It was then that I noticed that I really should have added about a pound of lead as it now sat on its tail. Guess I'll have to glue it to a base.
I painted the canopy and glued it on using watch crystal cement. It didn't quite fit the way I wanted it to and I may have to remove it and trim a little bit more.
The decals were a bit scary as they were of the super thin variety that tends to curl up on themselves. Fortunately, they didn't do that to me. They set down nicely without any setting solution. The one problem is that they weren't opaque enough to covet the black demarcation line and it showed through the stars and bars.
Actually the kit turned out better than I thought considering the first look. High Planes was right that it did require an experienced modeler and even I found it a challenge, however I now have my long winged RB-57D for my collection.
I feel that I could only recommend this kit to someone with a lot of building experience. I also feel that a kit of this quality should not cost over $20.00. This one lists for $43.00.
I do, however wish to thank High Planes and IPMS/USA to giving me this kit to review. I also expect to not get any more from this manufacturer because of this negative review.
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