Monogram 5709 1989 Big, Bad & Beautiful B-52 Superfortress 1/72
The B-52 Stratofortress is an eight-engined strategic bomber that was designed to replace the B-36 Peacemaker. Where the B-36 was a compound aircraft powered by six huge piston engines (and later with an additional four jet engines), the B-52 was a pure jet aircraft. Where the B-36 was not air refuelable, the B-52 can air refuel. Where the B-36 was designed as a long-range conventional bomber that was adapted to the nuclear deterrence mission, the B-52 was designed for the nuclear deterrence mission and was adapted to the conventional bombing mission.
Over Vietnam, the B-52 could carry up to 105 500lb and 750lb bombs and deliver them anywhere in the world. If you look in the dictionary under 'carpet bombing', you'll see a picture of the B-52.
Nicknamed the BUFF (for Big Ugly Fat 'Fellow'), the B-52 was first flown in 1952, with the last B-52 coming off the production line by 1962. The XB-70 that was to become the high-speed replacement for the B-52 was cancelled. The Mach 2 B-1A Lancer was also cancelled. The Mach 1+ B-1B Lancer did eventually enter production, but not in sufficient quantities to replace the B-52. The stealth B-2 Spiirit also entered production, but again in small quantities, leaving the B-52 to soldier on.
I happened to spot this kit on eBay and thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this classic kit. I remember the 'Big, Bad & Beautiful' campaign from Monogram, but I was a little perplexed to realize from the Copyright date that this was from 1989 - twenty years ago! Ouch!! What's more, the kit was originally released in 1968, so you're looking at molds that are almost as old as the B-52.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on nine parts trees, plus separately provided fuselage halves and upper wing surfaces. In 1/72 scale, this kit is huge, but not as large as their 1/72 B-36. The kit is rounded out by a single tree of clear parts. As with Monogram kits of this vintage, the details are all raised, but they are finely molded.
You might be initially intimidated by the instructions as these pre-dated the universal graphics approach to assembly (though the assembly graphics are well done). You'll see lots of verbiage printed on the instructions, but on closer examination, you'll see that only 1/7 of the text applies to you, the instructions are provided in seven languages.
The cockpit is rather simple, though the completed flight deck doesn't look bad. The instrument panel is represented by decal as are the side consoles. Don't waste your time dressing up the flight deck as you really won't see much detail once the fuselage halves are assembled and the windscreen is installed. Crew figures are provided for the pilot and copilot as well as the rear tailgunner (the tail gunner was moved from the rear of the aircraft to the front compartment starting with the B-52G).