by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionWhen it comes to 1/48th scale aircraft models there cannot be many that match the B1-B Lancer from Revell of Germany for size and impressive lines. The model comes in at just under metre long (921mm) and an extended wingspan of 867mm, that should be big enough to keep most happy. The following text is the introduction as provided by Revell of Germany.
The B-1B is still one of the largest, fastest and most advanced long-range bombers in the USAF and forms the backbone of the Strategic Air Command. The swing-wing bomber is capable of carrying a 34 ton weapon load internally as well as 26 tons externally. It has a range of 12,000 km (7452 miles) at high altitude and can penetrate deep into enemy territory. The B-1B successfully withstood its baptism of fire in Operation Desert Fox in the war against Iraq. As planned successor to the B-52 the B-1A undertook its maiden flight in 1977 but then the program was delayed. The first B-1B was delivered to the USAF on 27.07.1985. The radar irradiation surface of the B-1B is only 25% that of the B-52. The weapon load has also been increased enormously. In three internal weapons bays both cruise missiles, guided missiles on a rotating bomb-bay system and conventional bombs can be carried.
The four GE F-101 engines each generate a thrust of 13,620 kg with afterburner. The maximum speed at an altitude of 10,600 metres (35,000 ft) is 1324 Km/h (822 mph).
ContentsThis model from Revell of Germany is packaged in a very large box measuring 650mm x 465mm, so remember that if ordering online. The box is a card tray with separate lid and so thankfully you can keep the assembled parts in the box. The contents breakdown as follows;
12 grey sprues
2 black sprues
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An advisory sheet
This is a big model, not a large one a big one measuring in at 92.1cm x 86.7cm and is supplied in a box measuring in at 75cmcm x 47cm x 10.5cm. The box itself is not the strongest offering and so will need packing in cardboard, as such those that shop online need to be aware of the potential postage costs of this kit. Packaging inside the box is acceptable as all of the injection moulded parts are packaged inside clear plastic bags. When looking at the mouldings I did find some flash present in some areas, but the area that causes me most concern is the size of the gates between the sprue and the moulded part; the removal of some parts will need to be tackled carefully to avoid damaging the mouldings.
CockpitThe cockpit is quite good considering how limited the view of this area is. The four ejector seats have a reasonable level of detail present, but there is harness detail present anywhere on them. The instrument panel and consoles all have raised control surface details and in addition to that Revell of Germany has supplied decals for this detail; I will be honest and say that I would sand down the raised detail and then use the supplied decals due to the limited view of this area of the model. There is an exception top consider and that is that there is a removable panel above the navigator and weapons officer, this allows you direct view into their office and so you may want to dress that area up if the panel is going to be left off. There is no detail moulded onto the inner faces of the fuselage halves in the cockpit area, but again this matters little due to the limited view.
UndercarriageThe undercarriage is a very nicely detailed of this model and having built the original release it is an area I really liked, but I would have liked to see some metal pins included to strengthen this aspect of the model. The side wall details of the wheel bays have a lot of raised detail present that will satisfy most modellers, but the addition of some wiring and cables to these side walls and the wheel struts generally will lift the area further if you have good reference. The tyres for this model have been supplied in black injection moulded plastic, two halves for each wheel. I know that this approach will please many due to complaints about vinyl rubber tyres that crop up quite often.
FuselageThe fuselage of this model is made up of eight parts; the tail and cockpit areas are made up of two parts each that are joined top and bottom as is usual for aircraft models. The centre portion of the fuselage is split into a top and bottom half due to the swing wing design of the B1. The overall length of the fuselage is finished with the addition of a single piece nose and tail cone. The recessed panel lines are quite nice overall, but it must be remembered that this is not a new model and so the panel lines are not as thin as we expect on offerings today. Again having built this model when it was first released, the only issue I encountered from memory is that I had a hard time keeping the leading edge of the of the articulation point of the fuselage where the wings attach, this was due to the weight of the wings forcing this area apart. I do not recall any major areas that required filling on the fuselage.
Engine NacellesThe engine nacelles have recessed panel lines present that are a match of the fuselage detail. The air intake channels down to the first compressor blade are represented to an acceptable standard. The exhaust nozzles detail could be better and I suspect there are aftermarket offerings available to lift this aspect. The front portion of the engine nacelles is a poor fit and caused several bouts of expletives when I first tackled this model.
Flight SurfacesThe wings are supplied in two halves with good recessed panel details, but none of the control surfaces are supplied separately from the box. The horizontal tail surfaces can be set in any position as they connect via a large pin that goes through the upright of the tail. This area also has acceptable recessed panel lines present.
Canopy GlazingThe glazing for the model is supplied as a smoky grey colour, this is unlike the version I made previously which was clear in my example. I do not know if this colour is correct for the B1 or not and so I will leave you to decide that. The clear parts are a little on the thick side and so may distort what you see through them, but as I said the view is limited and so this should not be a deal breaker.
WeaponsThe weaponís bays of this model have a reasonable level of detail present in a raised form, the addition of some scratch work will lift this area further, but it will not be easily seen once the rotary weapon portion of the system is installed. The 16 bombs supplied for the two forward bomb bays are a little low in detail in my opinion and one area of the model where I observed various degrees of flash present; this is particularly true on the fin areas. The rear bomb bay has what I believe is an extra fuel tank and I do not know how common this is if I am correct.
Instructions and DecalsThe instruction use black and white line drawings to guide you through construction and despite what is a very big model the instructions seem to do a good job. The decal sheet offers two finishing options for the model. The decals themselves are pretty good due to being of a reasonable thickness and not having much in the way of excess carrier film for the most part.
ConclusionIf you have the space this model does make an impressive sized addition to your line up. The model thanks to being a second generation release of the model does have several after market offerings available for those who want to lift the accuracy and detail of this kit to a higher standard. Flash does make an appearance on this offering and some of the ejector pin marks may need to be cleaned up during assembly. All things considered this is an impressive model at a fair price, and the size it is cannot fail to be noticed.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
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