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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Sanger 1:48 B-52 Version B (A-E Variants)
Headhunter506
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 01, 2007
KitMaker: 1,428 posts
AeroScale: 41 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 09:25 AM GMT+7
This is a review of the Sanger 1:48 B-52 Version B, which covers the "A-F" variants. I'm going to list the issues I've come across so far. I would like to get some feedback from anyone who has purchased this kit and had similar problems. Sorry for the lack of photos. I'm looking for an alternate photo site to use after PB threw us that curve. I'll attempt to explain things as clearly and concisely as possible.

Well, I finally received my kit on July 2. Upon opening the box to inspect the contents, the first thing I noticed was that there was a major deformation of the top rear of the Port Front Main Fuselage section. It was more of a very deep dent, 113 x 23 mm in size. There was a corresponding dent in the same area of the starboard main fuselage, which was the same length but slightly narrower. Not wanting to use a heat gun and possibly deform the areas further, I first flattened the dents by sandwiching them between two pieces of thick brass stock and using lockjaws to apply pressure. When the dents were compressed as much as possible, I used the end of a length of 13/64 in. brass tube to shape the area from the inside of the part. Basically, it involved repeatedly rubbing the edge of the tube back and forth over the dents until they were no longer seen. The same was done to the starboard section. The areas were sanded to remove any remaining imperfections. This might seem a bit labor intensive; but, it worked.

The tail was also a problem. The surface of the parts is uneven, containing many depressions and undulations. Same repair method was used as on the main fuselage. The right tail half is 3 mm shorter than the left. After cementing the halves together, I made a mixture of Magic-Sculpt and phenolic micro-balloons (yup, the two can be mixed) and built up the tip of the right side to match the left. The panel lines do no not align; so, I filled them in with CA and will re-scribe them.

Now, it gets worse. All four of the wing sections have different dimensions, as do the wing roots on the main fuselage halves. The Right Upper Wing is the only one of the four which has the exact 1:48 root dimension of 204 mm. Unfortunately, it, and its three associates are 9 mm too long when measured from root to wingtip. Using the measurements from a set of 1:48 scale Boeing factory drawings of B-52D-55, Ser. No. 55-072, the length of the wings, measured along the leading edge, is 683 mm. The extra 9 mm in the kit wings is very noticeable. What really makes for a bad situation is that the Lower Right Wing is that its root is 209 mm. When attempting to align the upper and lower sections, there is a very ugly 5 mm gap between the upper and lower wing sections which extends the length of the wing.

The left wing sections have 207 mm roots; but that's all they have in common. The upper section is 6 mm shorter than the lower; and, being that both sections are too long to begin with, only compounds the problems. Neither wing can be mounted onto the main fuselage because the root on the left fuselage is 200 mm and the one on the right is 202 mm. It boggles my mind as to how there can be four wing sections with three different root dimensions and only one is correct. I have built vac kits previously and understand that there might be some minor discrepancies; but, this is flat out ridiculous. My modeling skills are at a fairly high level. I'm able to perform some fairly serious repairs/modifications to parts when necessary. However, these wings require a complete re-making of the parts. For me, it would be impossible to slice and splice the wings without ruining them further. This is beyond my scope of expertise. I've sent Gerald Elliott an email explaining the wing problems. Unfortunately, he won't be available until August 4th, at the earliest.

I also fabricated new landing gear doors from .016" brass sheet. The doors in the kit are too small and are incorrectly shaped.

This is all for now. Once I find a photo hosting site, I will add pictures to this post. Once again, I'd like to hear from others who have experienced any issues with their kits.

I would suggest getting a copy of Walter Boyne's Boeing B-52 A Documentary History. This book contains 4 pages of Boeing factory drawings. After a lot of research, I have found that this is the only book which contains a set of plans I have a PDF copy and printed the pages at 412% to obtain 1:48 scale working drawings. There are a total of 96 8 x 11 in. pages which need to be pieced together in order to create the scale drawings. It's definitely worth the effort if you want to get this plane built correctly. You can PM me for further info regarding the plans.

JClapp
#259
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: October 23, 2011
KitMaker: 2,126 posts
AeroScale: 1,626 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 11:26 AM GMT+7
wow, sounds like a huge amount of work ahead.
I've built a few vacuforms myself and never found substantial dimensional problems like you describe. It is interesting that the posted customer comments on Sanger's website are all variants on 'have received the kit and it looks great in the box'. I wonder if anyone has successfully built on yet.

I know that Drabslab has one of these and plans to build it this winter for the upcoming Lost Art vac and resin campaign. I am sure he will be interested to read about your progress.
Headhunter506
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 01, 2007
KitMaker: 1,428 posts
AeroScale: 41 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 12:46 PM GMT+7
I'm not trying to paint this with a broad brush by saying the kit isn't good. On the contrary. Overall, it's a nice kit and scales pretty well with the Boeing drawings. It's the wing issues which have me flummoxed. I've never been bested by a piece of plastic in fifty years of modelmaking and I won't let it happen now.
drabslab
_VISITCOMMUNITY
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 1,982 posts
AeroScale: 1,516 posts
Posted: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 07:27 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

:| wow, sounds like a huge amount of work ahead.
I've built a few vacuforms myself and never found substantial dimensional problems like you describe. It is interesting that the posted customer comments on Sanger's website are all variants on 'have received the kit and it looks great in the box'. I wonder if anyone has successfully built on yet.

I know that Drabslab has one of these and plans to build it this winter for the upcoming Lost Art vac and resin campaign. I am sure he will be interested to read about your progress.



Indeed, I am interested altough it sounds like I really took of on a mission impossible

Headhunter506
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 01, 2007
KitMaker: 1,428 posts
AeroScale: 41 posts
Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 07:31 AM GMT+7
It's not as bad as I might have made it seem. The dents in my kit parts were due to low to non-existent reading comprehension on the part of USPS employees.