1/144 Academy RB-47-H "Stratojet, a Cold War Warrior"

Gallery Article by Gerd Wilcken on Nov 20 2020



The B-47 "Stratojet' 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 with speed and altitude performance. 

It was designed to carry a nuclear weapon to its designated target. 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 place the bomb into the target area while escaping in the opposite direction at low altitude and high, subsonic speed. 

20 years ago, HobbyCraft released their B-47 Stratojet series in 1/144 scale with the B-47B, B-47E, and RB-47H. Like other HobbyCraft toolings, Academy acquired the B-47 molds and released the B-47B/E kit in 2006. In this release, Academy has produced the kit which contains all nessesary parts options for the B-47B, B-47E, and RB-47H in this box along with an impressive set of Cartograf decals.

The kit consists of a total of five cast frames in a gray plastic and two frames made of clear cast material for the cockpit glazing. All parts are neatly cast, without fish skin and without sink points that are difficult to remove. The main frame with the two fuselage halves also includes the engine inlets and outlets. These are presented very nicely.

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The second large frame contains details such as the landing gear, tanks, cockpit interior, tires and much more. I particularly like the rims of the tires, which are equipped with many details. I also like the landing gear flaps very much, they are provided with fine engravings and countersunk rivets.

Two frames, each with one part, are included for the wings.

The last gray injection molding frame contains the optional parts for various models. The clear parts contain a glass dome for the front, while the pulpit covered with sheet metal is included here. There are also two types of radome for the underside of the fuselage.

The color details are given for several manufacturers, from Humbrol, Gunze, Lifecolor, Testors Modelmaster Enamel & Acryl, Revell and Vallejo are listed in the paint index in the construction plan for the FS numbers.

For the colors, I mainly use the metal colors Vallejo Air Dull Aluminium and Chrome, Vallejo Model Color Silver, MiG Metal and Revell Aqua Color Aluminium.

The only difference to the information in the assembly instructions was remembering my 2006 visit in the Dayton USAF Museum, were they use Zinc Chromate Yellow for the inner landing flaps and the cockpit instead of Zinc Chromate Green. The edges of the landing flaps red. Ejection seats medium to dark green.

Decal variants:

  • B-47B-II, S / N 51-2324, converted to B-47E standard, 305th Bomb Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida, USA 1954

  • B-47B-40-BW, S / N 51-2212, 306th Bomb Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida, USA in the early 1950s

  • B-47B-II, S / N 51-2336, converted to B-47E, 320th Bomb Wing, March AFB, California, USA 1959

  • B-47E-75-BW, S / N 51-7071, 22nd Bomb Wing

  • B-47B-15, S / N 50-042, 305th Bomb Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida, USA 1953

  • RB-47H-1-BW, S / N 5334291, 55th SRW Det. 2, Yokota AFB, Japan 1965

  • RB-47H-1-BW, S / N 53-4280, 55th SRW Det. 1, RAF Upper Heyford, Great Britain 1967 (the version I built)

The kit is very well detailed for the 1: 144 scale. All structures on the model look harmonious and are neatly executed. It was an enjoyable build with no trouble. Everything fits together well.

Highly recommend and I will definitely build another version of this B-47.

Gerd Wilcken

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Photos and text by Gerd Wilcken