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1/48 Revell B-1B Lancer 

by Alan Purusram

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The BONE - a Cold War relic revitalised into the new frontline hero of the footsoldier - able to loiter for hours with a varied bombload, ready to carry out strategic, tactical and even CAS duties all within the same mission. A truly versatile bomb platform which accounted for 60% of all ordnance dropped in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bet you didn't know that!

This is the Ellsworth AB-based "Swift Justice" in a typical multi-mission config as it would have been based at Thumrait, Oman in 2003. The paint is a combination of Tamiya AS spray, Gunze Mr Color lacquer and White Ensign enamel. The decals are from the excellent Fox One range and are just about the best decals I've ever used.

The Revell kit builds up to just under three feet long and takes some careful handling not to sweep your workbench clear every time you turn it around! This build was considerably modified from the kit, which portrays a typical Reagan-era nuclear SAC bomber.

It's still a great kit, by far the most accurate B-1 available, and was further enhanced with the addition of the Eduard PE interior and exterior set.

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I rebuilt the kit's SRAM launchers into the current config conventional rotary launchers (CRLs), and loaded them both with 4 standard JDAMs and 2 bunker busters from Golden Dragon and the excellent Shawn Hull.  I scratchbuilt the aft conventional munitions carrier and loaded it up with 12 WCMD cluster bombs (converted from Hasegawa Rockeyes.) 

I also whiff'ed a bit with the addition of a Sniper XR pod, also from Shawn Hull. (I'm not sponsored by Shawn, he just makes great stuff!)

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I needed to scratchbuild many of the new avionics and sensor fairings and antennae, vents and GPS bubble to bring the Bone up to date. Indispensable additions to modernise this kit are Shawn Hull's ALE-50 decoy dispensers, which fit with minimum fuss either side of the aft fuselage.

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In addition I rebuilt the engine nacelles to the correct length and added Cutting Edge burner cans and nozzles. I also built a tail support to take the weight of the plane off the main landing gear, which is very accurate but possibly not quite up to the job in the long term!

There is a fantastic thread in the Jet Modeling Forums on all you need to know about building and modifying Revell's 1/48 kit. All in all, this was one of the most difficult builds I've ever done and used up most of my reserves of plastic card, putty and patience - but it was definitely worth it in the end to add this BIG bird to my collection.

Alan

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Photos and text by Alan Purusram

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