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B-52H Stratofortress

Italeri, 1/72 scale


S u m m a r y

Item No. Italeri No 1262 - Boeing B-52H Stratofortress
Contents and Media: 149 part in grey injection moulded plastic; 1 clear part; markings for three aircraft
Scale 1/72
Price: around 30.63 (available online from Hannants) and model retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent decals; good surface detail; three colour scheme options; good instruction sheet detail; easy assembly
Disadvantages: Very big
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Mick Evans

Italeri's 1/48 scale B-52H will be available online from Squadron.com




The release of the Italeri Boeing B-52 H Stratofortress in 1/72 scale is a welcome return of the now hard to find AMT kit.  The kit has a nice set of decals included depicting some of the later grey colour schemes the B-52 flew in.  There are 149 light grey injection moulded styrene plastic parts and 1 clear part included in the kit.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

When this kit was first released by AMT a few years ago, it was considered to be an improvement over the older Monogram kit which was an earlier B-52D model.   The most noticeable difference between the B-52H and earlier versions was the replacement of the water-injected J57 turbojet engines with Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3 turbofans.  The four 50 cal machine guns carried by earlier versions as defensive tail armament was replaced with the single General Electric M61 20-mm six-barrel rotary cannon.  The B-52H was provided with the AN/ASQ-151 advanced Electro-optical Viewing System (EVS) to give the B-52 crew enhanced vision when flying at low level at night.  The system is contained in two prominent fairings visible underneath the nose.  The port fairing contains a steerable Westinghouse AN/AVQ-22 low-light-level television camera, while the starboard unit contains a Hughes AN/AAQ-6 forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor.  The other major distinguishing feature of the later models of the B52 is the tail fin is shorter.

Previously to build the later H model some serious conversion work was required on the Monogram D model adding the chin sensors, replacing the engine pods, reducing the tail height and adding the new tail defensive system.

The surface detail is nicely engraved and is crisply moulded.  An interesting but I think not a deliberate inclusion in the moulding is some skin wrinkling around the nose.  I think these are actually sink marks caused by internal surface detail moulding but it sort of represents some of the skin wrinkling on the real aircraft.

The cockpit is reasonably detailed for the areas that will be visible through the windscreen.  Super detailers may wish to replace the ejection seats with more detailed items but for my personal view, I would not bother.

The wheel well areas have adequate detail with good structural detail and fuselage ribbing.  The undercarriage is nicely moulded with some good realistic detail provided.

Once assembly starts you start to fathom the size of this kit.  The fuselage is in two sections with the forward section overlapping and locking into the rear section for added strength.  One of the most important parts is captured between the forward fuselage section and that is the wing carry through box.  When you see the length of the wings you can understand the value of this solid piece of plastic.  The stress the weight of the wings would place on the top fuselage seam joint would be tremendous each time the model was lifted of the desk or shelf.  I am not sure how tight the wings fit on to this assembly but by not gluing the wings on may allow for easier transport or storage.

The turbofan engines have sufficient detail and should look quite good when assembled and painted.

Twelve cruise missiles are provided to be carried on the main wing pylons and the two prominent outboard fuel tanks are provided.

The two chin mounted sensor pods are the final assembly and these are one of the most distinctive features of the B-52H.

I do not have accurate scale plans of the B-52 in 1/72 scale so I cannot make too many comments on the accuracy of the dimensions of the kit but from memory when AMT first released the kit there were a few detrimental comments on accuracy flying around.  The most noticeable is the straightness of the wings, which normally droop quite a bit on the ground.  The other missing details is the myriad of air cooling scoops and vents that are all over the aircraft.

The transparency for the cockpit is moulded crystal clear and will not require any polishing.

The fit of the kit should present no major problems and some filler will probably be required on the fuselage seams and the front to rear fuselage joint.  The only other major problem the builder will have is display space.  The kit will need almost 1 square meter of space for display, a glass top coffee table comes to mind quickly.

Decals are provided for three aircraft as follows:

  • B-52H Stratofortress of the 410th Bomber Wing based at Sawer Air Force Base.  This aircraft was finished in overall Gunship Grey FS36118 with low visibility United States national markings.

  • B-52H Stratofortress of the 92nd Bomber Wing in 1988.  This aircraft was finished in overall Gunship Grey FS36118 and Field Green FS34097with low visibility United States national markings.  A large Bald Eagle motif is painted on the tail.

  • B-52H Stratofortress of the 9th 20th Bomber Squadron 7th Bomber Wing in 1988 based at Carswell Air Force base.  This aircraft was finished in overall Gunship Grey FS36118 and Field Green FS34097with low visibility United States national markings.

The decals are crisp, accurate in colour and in register.  The wing walk area decals are huge and will be difficult to handle due to their size.  My previous experience with Italeri decals is they have been a bit stiff and have not conformed well to the surface detail, but these look very good. 

Recommended for all modellers of average skill and experience.

Thanks to Italeri for the review sample

Review Copyright 2006 by Mick Evans
This Page Created on 17 August, 2006
Last updated 17 August, 2006

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