Pocket Bone! Academy 1/144 B-1B Lancer
Academy 1/144 B-1B Lancer
Academy has greatly improved their boxart and configuration from its early days. Newer, better boxart, colorful sides and information is presented well. The decals are Cartograph, so no more poor registration issues. However, why Academy has switched to making the instructions in two booklets is beyond me. There is no reason for this. Or, if there is, I’d like to hear what excuse Academy gives. With one in color and one mostly monochrome.
Also greatly improved are the sprues, which had no flash. Also the whole MCP multicolored plastic method, similar to Bandai is nice for those of us which don’t plan on painting the kit. Which is about less than 1%, I guesstimate. This wasn’t an issue until later.
As far as I can tell, there are no major shape issues. The only point taken away is for the scale, because some of the parts would have been far too small to recreate in 1/144.
Subject/Cool Factor: 8
While the B-1B is part of the bomber triad, modern bombers aren’t at the top of the popularity ladder. Sure, B-17s and Lancasters are very popular, but this isn’t one of them. Also, the scale is a good and bad thing about this kit. While it’s small enough to hold in one palm, and it fits inside Detolf cabinets, a lot of detail is lost.
Engineered to be a snap kit, it still maintains its lines, and the recessed panels aren’t too large. There were no major fit issues, except for those parts that don’t want to close up fully, which is common with snap kits. Since most of will glue them anyway, the issue resolves itself.
BOX SCORE: 42
No major issues here. The only spot that required extensive sanding were the engine nacelles. Not quite right up to par with the rest. And the snap fit issue discussed earlier. Detail: 8
Again, because of the scale, you don’t get all the detail you would with a 1/72 or 1/48 kit. But for what you do get, I had no problems with it.
Since this was designed as a snap kit, the ease of build was paramount. It went together in one night, and was ready for paint. Easy peasy. However, the multicolored plastic meant that the wheels were molded in black, not white. I wouldn’t have done it in reverse. Now I had to paint the hubs and the tires. Which is something most do anyway, but...
For such a small kit, it’s a bit more expensive than I thought it should be. $35 retail... that’s a bit much. But we know that a licensing fee is a good portion of that, so I can’t blame Academy wholly.
Fun Factor: 9
Easy, fun, nice subject, what else? Easy to paint as well. I used Caracal decals for my build, since I wanted to build The Dark Knight.
BUILD SCORE: 43
Add it all up and the D score is...85 out of 100
A solid B kit. It’s only let down by its scale, and snap fit engineering. Fun build!