Modelcollect 1/72 B-2A Spirit Kit First Look
|Date of Review
The ModelCollect B-2A has arrived! Shipping from China was about 17 days. The shipping box is sturdy and the kit box was undamaged. First, the box is the usual matt-finished ModelCollect painting on the top. The box is smaller than I expected due to the way the kit is packed. The four wing sections are stacked on the side of the two center fuselage sections on the bottom, packed in a cut-out foam layers. Nothing is moving to damage any of the sections. The other parts are in five clear sleeves and one canopy sleeve. Decals are paper covered in their own sleeve. Everything is protected.
The instructions are the (now normal) multi-page booklet. One page of aircraft history, two pages of parts tree layouts without parts numbers shown- rather simple overall. The rest of the booklet comprises 42 large construction diagrams, two per page, and two-color pages of markings/decal color drawings. Parts numbers are included but no words or picto-grams are included (presumption is everything is glued, which is correct)- rather sparse and somewhat strange. Many diagrams show only two or three parts being installed.
Exterior shape appears accurate. Wing leading and flap trailing edges are sharp, with the slight curve down on the front edge. The two little bumps in front of the windscreen are there. Panel lines are not extremely fine and will look okay with a couple of paint coats in place. Parts breakdown follows existing panel lines on the original jet.
The kit is mostly interior parts, as the outer wings and center body comprise six parts molded of rather thick, sturdy plastic. No Testor's thin "oil-canning" plastic here. The surface is rather plain and does not include the (very) small air data sensor locations or other surface features.
The cockpit area is rather complete, including the area behind the pilots, which is not visible when built. Instrument panels are six color PE pieces. Not much is visible as there are no open windows. No need for any aftermarket items here.
Main landing gear consists of two pieces, but the wheel wells and doors are detailed and glue to the lower fuselage. Nose well is three sections as well. Wheels and tires are two-part and well detailed. The door hinges are separate pieces, making a gear up model easy. Bomb bay is a single curved-ceiling section, walls and curved forward and rear bulkheads that glue to the lower fuselage. Engine compartments build the same, with walls and bulkheads all gluing to the lower section. All will benefit from the usual aftermarket PE additions and metal landing gear legs.
If it sounds like everything clues to the lower fuselage, you are correct. This piece is actually a forward and aft plastic section with wing attachment areas and some thin pieces between all the large open area for the wheel, engine and bomb bays. Top fuselage is made of one piece, with the canopy and the engine inlet and area aft of them separate pieces. The engines are depicted with quite a few pieces to replicate the curved intake and exhaust trunks, The latter change shape from round to slot and have quite a curve before being attached to the exhaust nozzle area. Once all the internal build-ups are installed the fuselage halves are glued along B-2 panel lines with the leading edge (s?) wrapped around to the join underneath. The nose "beak" is well molded. Ten (!) doors are provided to attach to the lower section. Lots of white areas to detail if you show everything open.
Nose gear and boarding ladder are well done, without a lot of fiddly parts. The wings have separate flaps and two-piece split-brake rudders. The latter can be depicted open or shut, but the main flaps are designed to be shown in the retracted mode. They are separate, but work will be involved to show them in the down position. Also, the center aft boat tail control flap is separate, but again fits only in the flight position. The outer wings have a tab on the aft root section and the fuselage has the forward tab attached, making for a sturdier wing join support.
Weapons - not much. Only two rotary launchers, with eight unguided BDU-56 (?) sized bombs included. Big fail here, as this is not a load the B-2 carries. Much room for the aftermarket to improve this feature. (MOABs are now available from two sources, just need to scratch the bay attachments.)
Color call-outs are minimal, nothing on the interior and only white and grey 36118 are listed. Two Bobs decals are for the "Spirit of America" 509th Wing CC jet, "Spirit of New York", and "Spirit of Mississippi". Grey walkways and "No Step" markings are all there. Hopefully aftermarket companies will provide the other 17 aircraft markings.
Overall, a great improvement on the old Testor's kit, with the emphasis on the interior bays (what else is there on a B-2?).