Profile Photo
Jaime Carreon
95 articles

Cold War WarriorBoeing B-52, Bomber Command Group Build

September 24, 2022 · in Aviation · · 16 · 1.2K

When I resumed modeling a few years back, I decided to try to build airplanes that were significant to me, either airplanes I had flown and worked on, or those that just grabbed my attention. The Boeing holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first airplane I ever got to see up close, and the one that sparked my interest in aviation. That interest turned into a 45 year career. All because my dad decided to take us to an Armed Forces Day open house one May day in 1963, and because an unnamed Air Force airman hoisted me on his shoulders, then walked five year old me around the airplane while patiently answering my endless questions. I can still remember the big bombers coming and going at all times of the day or night, the roar of the engines making the ground shake and windows rattle.

B-52B 53-0394 was assigned to the 95th Bomb Wing at Biggs AFB in my home town of El Paso, Texas. This was the second airplane to bear the name "City of El Paso", but the only one with the extensive nose art. When her career ended, she was delivered to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, to be placed on display. As often happens with government entities, a ball was dropped, priorities changed, the airplane forgotten, and she was scrapped sometime in the early 80s.

This is the kit in scale. The kit contains parts to do all the major B-52 variants from the mid B models up to the G and H airplanes. It went together fairly quickly, which was offset by the so so fit, especially around the wing pylons and engine pods. There was a lot of putty and sanding involved to get the surface good enough for the traditional silver and white SAC paint scheme. Nose art and serial number decals were printed by my good friend Cliff, who is not only a whiz at that sort of things, but my go to guru on anything having to do with Biggs AFB. The rest of the markings are from the kit and they were excellent, especially the extensive walkway decals.

For anyone who would like more info on Biggs, or aviation in the southwest, I recommend Cliff's website, Desert Wings. There's a lot of good info for the Cold War buff there.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Amazing job, Jaime! Even in 1/144 this is a sizeable model!

  2. Nice work, Jaime. I’ve been curious to see one of these built. I vaguely remember a B-52 named after a town that was accidentally shot down by a live Sidewinder from a NM ANG F-100. Would that possibly have been the first “City of El Paso”?

    • Thanks, John! The airplane you're thinking of was B-52B 53-0380, named "Cuidad Juarez" after the Mexican city right across the Rio Grande from El Paso. It was indeed shot down by a NM ANG F-100 while on a training flight with the loss of three of the B-52 crew. The first "City of El Paso" was 53-0388.

  3. Great job on this at such a tricky scale Jaime, until I read your write up I thought it was the 1/72 kit.

  4. Impressive model, Jaime, and good write-up, thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. Impressive work Jaime. Even in 1/144 the BUFF is a definite BUFF.

  6. Very impressive build indeed, Jaime @jetmex
    Beautiful work done on this, even in /144 scale, huge aircraft.

  7. Fantastic build!

  8. Have not seen a B-52 model in some time, and that is a very striking build...great job, Jaime!

  9. Thanks, everyone! This model is part of our local club's build theme for the year, which is Bigs and Littles. The idea is to build the same airplane in two different scales. This one is the Littles. I have the Monogram 1/72 scale Buff lined up as the Bigs...I don't know what I was thinking when I made that call!

  10. Great job on this B-52, Jaime (@jetmex). B-52s look cool regardless what scale they are in. Your info brought back a lot of memories for me. I also grew up in El Paso. I graduated from Irvin High School and then UTEP, although it was Texas Western when I was a freshman. I remember going to an open house at Biggs when I was a little kid. I was paying more attention to a snow cone than where I was walking, and realized I had walked under an airplane. It turned out I had walked under the wing of a B-36, which was the biggest airplane I had ever seen. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  11. Nicely done Jaime, looks good in that scheme and with the nose art.

  12. Jaime, @jetmex
    Nice work here buddy ! I remember Biggs Airfield VERY well. I walked as a guard there on many occasions as a Private in the Army. Later on I was there as the Sergeant of the Guard too. I can remember a lot of Huey's and Cobra's parked there. During my time the big bombers were already gone. On occasion however, we did get a C-130, C-141 or C-5A landing there. This base has a wonderful history behind it. It's nice to see you build this one up. Did you use the air compressor I gave you yet ? Just curious.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane here with this one. Take care. I definitely clicked on the "like" button.

    • Glad you liked it, Louis! Yes, I have been using that compressor, it's been a real game changer for me, thanks!.
      A lot of military traffic still goes through Biggs, and for a while it was home to an Army unit flying captured Soviet helicopters to familiarize our troops with them.

  13. Nice to see a Buff in an older non-camo scheme! Looks great.

Leave a Reply