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Greg Kittinger
119 articles

Revell B-57B Canberra 1/72

February 27, 2015 · in Aviation · · 9 · 3K

I love to buy old lots on eBay, and this kit was one I built when I was a boy. It is a VERY toy-like kit - no panel detail, no cockpit to speak of, and the whole tail section "slotted" into the back end leaving huge gaps (any others out there remember this kit?)

Also, the engine intakes and exhausts were just blanks.

I wanted to do a S.Vietnamese version rather than SEA (which in hindsight, with such a poor base to work with, an SEA scheme would have covered a multitude of sins...!). I did find a decal set, but they were really difficult to work with. They were printed on white film, so had to trim right up to the decal edge, and even then they didn't cut very well, so the edges show some raggedness. I also used some grey US decals to mimic the faded out US markings that I saw on reference pics (see pics).

I couldn't leave the engines as is. I took some spare F-14 compressor blades, the nose cones of some maverick missiles and some styrene, and drilled out the nacelle fronts and then rebuilt them.

I also took some drop tanks cut in half and inserted them into the rear of the nacelles, and drilled out the blanks there to open up the exhaust end of the nacelles.

The pylons were pretty much just a blob of plastic, so I at least added sway braces. I don't use much PE, but found it necessary here.

Added a few ariels and probes, and other decals from the spares box, and used a heavy does of auto putty and elbow grease to cover up the tail section gap. I decided not to try to spend a great deal of time on panel lines - I did a bit of work on the tail just because it looked the most out-of-place without any further effort, and did a little shading on the top. I found that the lead pencil routine I had used on the Crusader didn't work as easily on the MM metalizer finish.

I love building the new kits that fit like a glove and have a bazillion parts (Tamaya, Airfix, etc.) but I also love the challenge of taking these old dogs and trying to shine them up a bit.

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. I do remember this one! I built two of them when I was a kid. The first one was in the SEA camo, then I saw a picture of an all black one, which prompted the second. All hand brushed out of the little square bottles purchased from the local five and dime - no hobby shops then!

  2. The first boxing of this was an overall black one, with red USAF markings. Night intruder markings.
    I remember seeing the Martin company test pilot do a show using an aircraft in these markings at their open house, circa 1957.
    This one I remember buying when I came back from Viet Nam, it was the only one 'til the Italeri/Testors 1/72nd

  3. I built the night intruder kit circa 1960, it had an arsenal under wings, but I don't beleve it was in 1/72.

  4. Good work on an ancient kit, well done

  5. Nice job on this "dinosaur" kit. I remember building this as a kid, it was molded in black and had red decals, very different fo the time.

  6. Greg,
    Nice work. BTW, good luck on building all of your stash...

  7. You obviously enjoyed this, Greg, which is what this hobby is all about.

  8. Way to improve an old kit with little or no detail. I also enjoy doing the same on occasion especially when you pick one up for 5 or 10 dollars at a show. Good job Greg.

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    P.k said on March 1, 2015

    This reminds me of 1973 I also got Canberra with just such a cover and F-89 Scorpion.
    Well you use this kit and build.


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