Testors’ 1/72 B-2A ‘Spirit of Missouri’
This aircraft has intrigued me since the moment I saw it at one of the Mildenhall air shows when I was a lad… I’d always wanted to build one and when I came across the Testors’ kit I snapped it up.
Being very basic, I did a lot of extra work to the model to bring it up to scratch. I discarded the kit’s single open bomb bay, opened up the second, and then set about scratch-building my own. References were hard to come by so some of the detail was poetic license, but you get the general idea. The wheel bays also had a lot of detail added to them. I also added some additional detail to the intakes as there was nothing present whatsoever; engine fans came from the spares box, and if memory serves me correctly they’re actually from an old Monogram B-52. All the raised panel detail was sanded off the model as the real aircraft is completely smooth to preserve its stealth characteristics.
Although the colour scheme looks fairly bland, it is actually quite complex to recreate. The lighter grey RAM coating was painted on first – this was then masked off and the darker greys painted over the top (see picture 2)
The final image shows two heavies of their day – the B-17G and the B-2A. It’s amazing to think their first flights were only just over 50 years apart.
Everything derogatory written about this kit is true and unfortunately it was a real pig – nothing fitted and it took an eternity to get the centre-section and outer wing joints smooth. The lower section of the model sits too deep when slotted into the upper sections, so I had to build up the entire leading and trailing edges up with plastic card and filler. The intakes also needed huge amounts of filler to get them to fit correctly into the upper centre section, and the trailing edges were a nightmare to get to a scale thickness. The entire left wing was also badly warped so this had to be straightened out in hot water before construction could even begin!
All paints were Xtracolour enamels, and I used an aftermarket decal sheet from Begemont to recreate the ‘Spirit of Missouri’ of the 509th Bomb Wing based at Whiteman AFB.
However, despite the battle to build it, it’s a great model to have in my collection.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.