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Richard Mcstay
59 articles

Northrop B2

October 2, 2016 · in Aviation · · 29 · 2.6K

Hi again folks, this is the kit of the B2 stealth bomber. I had originally planned on building the Testors 1/72 version and bought the kit a couple of years back, but I was a bit put off by the reviews. I eventually sold it again on e-bay as it didn't look like much fun! I found this kit down at the local model shop for £11 so I took the easy option of a quick build!

The kit goes together like you would expect a Revell kit from 1993 to go together. The parts were hard fitting with lots of gaps to be filled. I cheated a bit and left a lot of gaps underneath as I would have been on ages, and you won't see the underneath once it's in the display case. But you can't really complain too much for £11.

A total of 21 B2's were built and 20 still remain in service. One crashed on take off in 2008, though the crew ejected safely. There were originally plans to build 132 of them, but this number was decreased due to the de-escalation of the cold war, and the fact each one cost $737 million in 1997 money! It is estimated that $2.1 billion was spent on each aircraft from the research and development stages through to the production and testing. The figure for the total spend on the B2 was calculated in 2004 to have reached $44.75 billion! They are expected to remain in service till 2058 as well so you can only guess what the total spend on them will be by then.

The B2 can carry either 80 500lb JDAM's, or 16 2,400lb B83 thermo-nuclear bombs, so that is quite a payload! As far as I am aware it is the only stealth aircraft which is nuclear capable.

One thing that is really notable about the shape of the B2, is that the head on view looks rather like that of your stereotypical flying saucer. It has even been claimed that the US government played up to the whole Area 51 thing, because whilst the public were busy accusing them of hiding UFO's and aliens, they were distracted from the fact that over $44 billion of tax payers money was being spent on bombers!

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

29 responses

  1. Looks good enough from here Richard.
    Nice one mate.

  2. Simple yet effective in it's nature. So tell me...just how big (or small) is the wingspan in inches? I sometimes use a "common object" in one of the pics for perspective on those unfamiliar with a particular scale. Nice build, btw.

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    said on October 2, 2016

    Nice one Richard. I've put my testors b2 on hold til I can get in the mood if ever. I had a look at others online and frankly wish I'd left it in the box. Maybe one day I will finish it but it is a lot of work. Much like amts Valkyrie. A lot of work and then what to do with the thing once built its huge. I may just pick up a 1/144 model myself.

    • Thanks Anthony. Yeah, the Testors will make into a better model eventually with a lot of hard work put in. All the raised panel lines would have to be sanded and millions of gaps would need filled though! I just took the easy way out.

  4. Horten brothers must have been proud when saw their original design & ideas to materialize as a cool B-2 Spirit. Nicely captured the feeling of a very special plane into this fine model. Cool budged - yours & Air Force - when you want something badly, money is not an issue. I have a Revell/Monogram Air Power Combo (B1, B2, B52) waiting the right moment in my stash - real peace keeper combo 🙂

    • Thanks very much! The flying wing was way before it's time really! I'd like to build a B52 at some point, maybe just in 1/144 as well though. 1/72 might be massive!

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    said on October 2, 2016

    Jack Northrop was certainly proud. Exactly same size as his xb35 and yb49

  6. Nice work, Richard. The B-2 has a great shape. I saw one for the first time last month at the USAF museum in Dayton and was surprised how small it actually looks.

  7. Years ago there used to be an advert here for Guinness - 'tall, dark, and have some...' well, maybe not so tall...

  8. Very nicely done, when I deployed to Andersen AFB Guam in VRC 30 I got to see a few B-2s, you have captured the look very very well!

  9. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice work on a rarely seen model.

  10. Nice! I'd like to build one, but usually only build 1/72, and didn't want to tackle that model in that scale. I've thought about 1/144 for some of the bigger subjects (52, 130 and others), and might default to this for the B-2. Such a cool-looking aircraft. I've seen a couple buzz the airshows here, and looks like you captured it nicely.

    • Thanks Greg. I originally planned on building all my jets in 1/32 and all my bombers in 1/72. But I gave up on this when I realised exactly how big some of those models are!

  11. Looks great. I built DML's 1/200 some years ago, came with the F-117 too, It looks like something out of sci-fi.

  12. Good looking model Richard, what flat topcoat did you use ? I need to finish my Dragon 1/200, just needs the flat finish and undercarriage, the F117 is done.

    • Thank you Allan, cheers. I finished it with Vallejo matt varnish air brushed on. I always mix a little bit of gloss varnish in as well so it isn't too frosty, so maybe 3/4 matt to 1/4 gloss.
      It's painted in various shades of Tamiya matt black mixed with matt white.

  13. Makes a change from cars and motorbikes! Not really my thing, but it certainly looks impressive.

  14. You won t have muc friends after crashing a real one !
    Great job on this rather old and mediocre kit, Richard.

  15. Excellent looking aircraft. You saved yourself a huge headache by passing on the testers kit. I bought one years ago and was greatly disappointed by the connection of the outer wings to the center section. The biggest gaps in any kit I have ever had.

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