Monogram’s 1/48 B-58 Hustler
I won't go into detail on the genesis of the B-58; however, it was an aircraft that was ahead of it's time. As a kid growing up in the 50's and coming of age in the late '60's, it was not uncommon during those halcyon days to be suddenly startled by a sonic boom. Come to find out it was the B-58 making speed runs or just making runs. It was fast and could fly under the radar doing low level bomb runs at mach speeds.
Revell, Lindberg, Monogram and if I am not mistaken Aurora all had kits of the B-58, always in a fit the box scale of 1/1XX something. In 1985, in true Monogram fashion, Monogram released the model in 1/48 scale as part of their big bomber program. I had one when they first came out but it sat for awhile on the shelf of doom. It wasn't until I told a modeling friend that I had one and was about to undertake the build when he told me it was a dog of a kit. Based on that I got rid of it. That was about 28 and half years ago. Lately the urge hit me to have a go. I managed to pick up an original issue (sans decals) off Scale Model Graveyard, an on line auction site, for a decent price.
I started into the build almost immediately and it didn't take long to realize I was in for a real treat. Fit problems in the cockpit, the windshield is incorrect in that it has one too many windows on the starboard side that needs taking care of, not mention the horrible fit. The small windows for the Radar Operator and Bombardier station don't fit properly. The pilots cockpit is the only one that has the option of posing the canopy open or closed. I opted for closed and that was a bad fit. The fuselage is molded top and bottom and that's a bad fit as is the fuselage to wing assembly and the tail plane assembly In other words, bad fit overall. I like Monogram kits and enjoy the challenges that they offer, but this was sheer skullduggery. On the plus side! Yes there is one, the landing gear are nicely detailed, albeit a bit fiddly but fit well, the gear doors and wheel wells are nicely appointed and detailed as well.
I spent an inordinate amount of time on the fuselage, windshield and canopy filling and sanding. The wing to fuselage and tail plane to fuselage gaps again required much sanding and filling. Once I was satisfied with the way it was shaping up, I gave it a coat of gloss black and began the painting of the Natural Metal Finish. I used Alclad, Magnesium, Dark Aluminum, Duraluminum, Testor Anodonic Grey buff, (Got a nice shiny finish) and Tamiya Nato black for the wheels. It ate a lot of tape, but overall I am happy with the way it turned out. The engines actually fit quite well with very little sanding and filling. The decals are carcal and I chose the one for "Champion of Champions" featured in a documentary starring Jimmy Stewart. I somehow managed to get the title "Champion of Champions" a little slanted. It's not noticeable when viewing it, but it is still irritating. I left the engines off for ease of handling for decaling. I am not sure if I like the center fuel/bomb arrangement. I may change it depending on my motivation when I get the engines on. More pics to follow.
Okay, I am calling it finished. I got the engines on today, Star Wars Day. Again, the fit was atrocious. I didn't want to ruin what I had so I was careful with the putty and sanding. Not the greatest but it's better than a big gap. I don't think there will be another 1/48 B-58 in my collection. I am fairly happy with the way it turned out as opposed to it flying into a wall. Enjoy, and those who have commented: Thank you for your kind comments and observations.
36 additional images. Click to enlarge.