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Spruced-up Spirit

Photo: 73624 B-2A Cockpit and Interior

 

WHILE MODELCOLLECT’S 1/72 B-2 has been well received, Eduard’s bumper package of photo-etched (PE) brass and metal accessories is unsurprising, as they address several shortcomings associated with styrene moulding techniques.

Starting with the cockpit, there is a two-fret package (73624) with instrument panels, side consoles and seat straps as pre-painted items. However, the most significant improvement is to the crew access bay, with a replacement compartment, comprising an external ladder and hatch, interior handrails and steps, and full bulkhead detail. As a bonus, there are accurate faceted edges for the intake splitter plates, which will require the styrene versions to be excised carefully.

Arguably, a bomber’s weapons bay is its principle focus (at least when the doors are open), and Eduard has catered for this with two sets, covering the bay itself (72663) and the doors (72665). Each comprises an A5-size PE brass fret, and neither are for the faint-hearted or inexperienced modeller, as there’s a serious amount of folding required, although the results will be stunning. Different approaches are adopted; the bomb bay enhancements are designed to augment the basic styrene structure and arguably these represent the most challenging construction/folding requirements. As well as ribs and liners, there are actuator mechanisms for the doors and airflow baffles, while the central beam is an incredibly detailed sub-assembly. Note lengths of 0.3 and 0.6mm styrene rod must be sourced separately, and for those not acquiring the bomb bay door upgrade, there are stencils to improve the kit items.

72663 B-2A Bomb Bay

By comparison, the doors are intended as direct replacements for the styrene components, providing inner and outer faces, strengthening ribs and actuator arms, all designed to interlink with the bomb bay interior PE. Again, lengths of 0.3mm styrene rod are needed to complete the improvements.

72665 B-2A Bomb Bay Doors

Wheel bays are a staple for Eduard’s PE enhancements, and Modelcollect’s kit provides a huge canvas for the former’s B-2A Undercarriage (72664), although close cross-checking with references is recommended, as the brass items lack 3D relief in terms of ribs and equipment boxes. It follows a similar approach to the bomb bay set, providing a series of liners for the respective bays, which requires all moulded detail to be removed, and these then receive structural additions and wiring/cabling looms. There are also replacement doors for all wheel bays, each comprising inner/outer faces (separate for the nose and folded for the main gear), with actuators and hinge mechanisms.

72664 B-2A Undercarriage

Last, but not least, there is a comprehensive wheel and canopy mask set (CX504), which makes painting the B-2 all the easier. As usual, these are of the self-adhesive kabuki tape format, and all are pre-cut to the correct shape/size.

CX504 B-2A Canopy Mask

More details on these and other items, as well as pricing and ordering, is at: www.eduard.com

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