Hasegawa 1/72 RB-47H Stratojet Kit Build Review
By Chuck Holte
|Date of Review||April 2015||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||02120||Primary Media||Styrene plus Resin Conversions/Details|
|Pros||Only kit in this scale, lots of aftermarket products available for upgrade||Cons||'60s era kit with fit issues, raised panel lines/rivets and thick original canopy and decals|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||59.99 (kit only)|
The RB-47H was a reconnaissance variant of the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) six-engine B-47 jet bomber. Loaded with advanced Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) collection equipment and antennas, a pressurized compartment in the bomb bay for three Electronic Warfare Officers, a.k.a. "Ravens", the Stratojet flew sensitive reconnaissance missions around the periphery of the Soviet Union. Thirty-five "H models" were built and delivered to SAC's 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) at Forbes AFB Kansas between August 1955 and January 1957. One aircraft (53-4281) was shot down by Soviet fighters over the Barents Sea on 1July 1960. For the story of the shoot down and the two survivors, see the book The Little Toy Dog, by William Lindsay White. The aircraft I've modeled, RB-47H, 53-4296, the last SAC B-47, was flown to Davis Monthan AFB AZ for storage on 29 Dec 1967.
The starting point for the RB-47H conversion is Hasegawa's venerable Boeing B-47E bomber kit. For a look at this recently re-issued kit, see the first-look here. The DB Production (now Flightpath) RB-47H conversion includes a large resin plug for the Raven's pressurized compartment in the bomb bay, and all the antenna lumps and bumps except the large "Tell Two" ELINT pod hanging off the aft starboard fuselage, which I scratch built. The Eagles Talon resin Update ET602 provided a cockpit interior and main gear-well replacements. I also used Pavla's excellent resin ejection seats and their crystal clear vac-form canopy.
After sanding the fuselage and wings smooth, I lightly scribed the panel lines with the back of a #11 X-Acto blade. The model was primed with Tamiya rattle-can Surface Primer. Tamiya rattle-can AS-12 Bare Metal Silver served as the color base coat with several flavors of Alclad 2 airbrushed to highlight different fuselage panels/sections. Wings were masked and painted with Model Master FS 16515 Canada Voodoo Gray enamel, a.k.a. Boeing Gray, for the wing walk areas. Decals were Wolfpac # 72-021 and 72-065, beautifully printed with the "painted on" look when finished. Top coat was Floquil flat.
After all these years, the vintage Hasegawa kit is still the only game in town in 1/72. Many after-market products give it a new life and add updated details. I enjoyed building the "H" conversion and plan to do one of the colorful research or weather Stratojets as a future project. Recommended for experienced modelers.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!