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B-47B/E Kit

Academy 1/144 B-47B/E Stratojet Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2006 Manufacturer Academy
Subject B-47B/E Stratojet Scale 1/144
Kit Number 4443 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Interior and exterior fuselage are separate parts, excellent detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $13.50

First Look

B-47B/E Kit
B-47B/E Kit
B-47B/E Kit
B-47B/E Kit
B-47B/E Kit
B-47B/E Kit

The B-47 was to be the Strategic Air Command's first all-jet strategic medium bomber. Designed to augment the B-36 Peacemaker heavy bomber, the B-47 was able to counter the air defenses of the time with its sheer speed and altitude performance.

Like the B-36, the B-47 was designed to carry a nuclear weapon to its designated target. Neither aircraft was designed to carry conventional bombs. Unlike the B-36, the B-47 could not only drop its weapon from altitude, it could also approach the target from low altitude and "toss" the bomb into the target area while escaping in the opposite direction at low altitude and high (subsonic) speed.

The aircraft was designed with such low drag and so aerodynamically clean, one scuff mark on the wing walkway would cost the aircraft a few knots in speed.

If you want to get a good perspective of the B-47, find yourself a copy of the James Stewart classic movie 'Strategic Air Command'. You'll be looking for this B-47 as well as the upcoming Hobbycraft 1/144 B-36 kit to scratch the resulting modelers' itch!

This is the Hobbycraft kit released under the Academy logo. Molded in silver, the kit is presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree with a crystal clear styrene canopy. The kit sports nicely scribed details and no flash.

Like its Hasegawa 1/72 big brother, this Academy/Hobbycraft 1/144 scale kit features a relatively detailed (for this scale) cockpit and main wheel wells. And like its big brother, it does not have an option for an open weapons bay.

It does not appear that the landing gear was designed to be positioned in the up position.

The kit also provides external fuel tanks and your choice of B-47B remote tail gun or B-47E tail fairing (with no guns).

Markings are provided for two Stratojet examples:

  • B-47B, 51-2212, 306 BW, 1951
  • B-47E, 51-2320, 441 BS/320 BW

If you are building up the family of cold war bombers in 1/144 scale, this is a great time with so many subjects now represented in this scale. 1/144 scale also provides the bomber modeler with the advantage of collecting and displaying a wide variety of aircraft types without having to add a room or two on the house.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!