Cold War Warrior – Boeing B-52, Bomber Command Group Build
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 B-52 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 Minicraft kit in 1/144 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.