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1/48 Monogram B-58 Hustler  

by Colin Whitehouse

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Another excellent looking bomber from the US and a kit that looks great in 1/48. When designed in 1951 the B-58 was so advanced that the specification was deemed to be largely unachievable with existing technology. However it flew in 1956 and entered service in 1959. The technology was so new  that 11 of 30 development aircraft were lost in accidents and 18 of 97 aircraft which entered service were also lost. This was expensive as each B-58 cost the same as 3 B52's to build. Yet such was the pace of change, it served for less than 10 years before being declared obsolete in 1969. The Hustler was the first of the post war delta bombers to be supersonic and so deserves a prime spot in the delta bomber collection.

 So much can go wrong, so fast in the B-58 Hustler.

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This was the mid 80's boxing of the kit which I bought from a deceased collectors estate before the kit was re-released in the early 2000's. The model is basically from the box with the cockpits tidied up and the nose probe modified for easy removal. This is done by fixing some tube in the nose and a brass rod in the end of the probe(I do this often as my collection has to travel the world with me and it is easier to do this than keep repairing bits on arrival).
The only issue I had with construction was I clamped the outer wings too tightly while the glue set. There should be a gap between upper and lower wings but I collapsed this. As a result when I came to fit the engines there was a gap in the middle between pylon and wing. I should have put some plastic scrap in to provide the strength without distorting the lower wing. The pilots canopy I left loose to see the novel escape pod inside.

Finish was an overall coat of gloss black auto spray and then various shades of Alclad. I sanded off most of the surface detail and used a thick coat of the auto spray to fill any remaining gaps and scratches. The model looked great in overall gloss black and it would have been good to finish it in a "night intruder" scheme. I used the shades of Alclad to denote the panel lines and this worked particularly well on the engines.  

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Decals in my kit were for the trans-Atlantic race winner and I don't normally do special schemes. I picked this scheme from the Internet web site of a B-58 Association but their web page seems to have folded so I'm not able to pass on credits or specifics. Decals were therefore a mix of kit and spares items with serials printed on the PC. I think it looks great with its contemporary deltas, although the TSR2 is a later design. The delta missing from the set now is the Valkerie1/48 XB-70 anyone?

Cheers

Colin

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Photos and text by Colin W

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