Modelcollect 1/72 B-2A
The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy penetration strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defences; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.
There are 20 B-2s in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate them until 2032. The B-2 is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m), with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on internal fuel and over 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with one mid-air refuelling. It entered service in 1997 as the second aircraft designed to have advanced stealth technology after the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft. Though designed originally as primarily a nuclear bomber, the B-2 was first used in combat dropping conventional, non-nuclear ordnance in the Kosovo War in 1999. It later served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
More information available about the B-2 on Wikipedia here.
The only other kit of this aircraft is from Testors in 1991. From what I read it has issues with accuracy and detail. You might see another 2 kits of what are called Stealth Bombers – but they’re not even remotely accurate.
The kit comes in a big top opening box and contains 7 bagged sprues sat atop the wing tops and bottoms and the top and bottom of the fuselage which are recessed into foam packaging at the bottom of the box. The sprue attachment points look appropriate for the part being attached and all the ejector pin marks are out of the way. Inside the box we have:
- 6 large parts (wings and fuselage)
- 7 sprues of 279 parts
- 1 clear sprue with 1 part
- 1 small pE fret of 5 parts
- 1 decal sheet with 3 decal options
- 1 instruction book of 26 pages showing the build over 42 steps
The bulk of the kit does not take up many parts and a lot of the parts are used in the bomb bay, 50 parts, which can be open or closed. The cockpit takes 20 parts and the pre-coloured PE parts for the instruments. I notice there aren’t any seat belts supplied, although you may well not see they are missing unless you have a lamp and a magnifying glass. The undercarriage takes about 50 parts and looks nice and sturdy to deal with the weight of the aircraft. There is a note to add 50g (2 oz) of weight to the nose, so it’s a real tail sitter if you forget this step. There is also the crew ladder and the auxiliary engine intake doors fitted in the open or closed positions. These are completely missing from the Testors kit. The kit does include engines which are buried inside the aircraft, like the real thing. The intake and exhaust ducting is also included. The wings have all the flying controls attached and the flaps can be mounted open or closed. The wings fit to the main body of the aircraft with some pretty bulky attachment points, which is a good thing.
The instructions cover the build in 42 steps and each step is nicely laid out and easy to understand. The Diagrams are clear and there are red part views as necessary to bring your attention to an important detail, such as part alignment.
There aren’t any paint call outs in the instructions, but a little research will solve most things. Most of the internal details won’t be visible anyway. Externally the aircraft is just 2 colours and they are called out by FS number, Testors, Humbrol, Mr.Color, Xtracylics and Mr. Paint. The decals are designed by Two Bobs, printed by Cartograf and cover 3 options:
- 82-1066 Spirit of America
- 82-1068 Spirit of New York
- 82-1071 Spirit of Mississippi
This kit is currently on sale for about $100.
This is the only modern and up to date kit of a B-2A
Many thanks to Flyhawk for sending the kit for review.