Revell 1-48 Rockwell B-1B Lancer Platinum Edition Review
Prototype: The Rockwell B-1 Lancer, also known as the Boeing B-1 since Rockwell International was taken over by Boeing, is a supersonic, strategic long-range bomber that has been used by the United States Air Force since 1986. Development of the aircraft began in the mid-1960s, but the B-1A was never put into service and the project was halted in 1977. It was not until 1981 that the old plans were taken up again and modified into today’s B-1B Lancer. The first machines were taken over in 1986 and flew missions over Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. (from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1)
Kit: The kit of the B-1B has been around since 1983. It is and remains one of the largest plastic injection-molded kits available in terms of dimensions. In this new edition, Revell has included two sets of etched parts by Eduard under the title “Platinum Edition“.
But first to the plastic. The huge box is well filled. The huge upper and lower halves of the fuselage molded in one piece are impressive. The injection-molded parts are obviously even larger when they are produced and have been cut up in order to even fit into the box. They are packed in bags, and that’s a good thing because the sheer size of the components tends to cause them to detach from the casting branch and go on their own journey.
The age of the kit also means that Revell put the B-1B at a very early stage. In particular, the engines, especially the thrusters, do not correspond to the current aircraft. If that’s important to you, there are a number of resin alternatives from suitable manufacturers such as Metallic Details.
The shapes have remained unchanged since the beginning. This means recessed engravings, which turn out to be quite large. With a model of this size, this is probably not noticeable in the end. Otherwise, the kit has held up well, there is fish skin in a few places, but nothing critical. Every now and then there are sink marks where the plastic has shrunk when it cools down. The hull surface is a bit rough in some places – the model would benefit from a pass with sandpaper before painting.
The landing gear can be shown retracted or extended, for the latter variant, there are black plastic tires on board. The entry ladder can also be extended and installed. So that the model does not end up sitting on his buttocks, 70 (in words: seventy) grams of weight have to be packed into the nose. What a beast!
The supplied armament is, unfortunately, a bit one-sided and heavy with the Cold War: 16 AGM-69 SRAM guided weapons with nuclear warheads are available to equip the three openly displayable weapon bays. The shafts are fairly detailed and also contain the rotary magazine for holding the missiles. Conventional ammunition, as e.g. was used in the Gulf War is not included.
The transparent parts are colored smoke gray, which looks realistic, but further reduces the view of the interior, which is not particularly easily accessible due to the design. There are also masks for this, which I, unfortunately, didn’t have.
As a bonus, Revell has included the etched parts sets 48857 and 49737 from Eduard. They contain details for the cockpit, entry ladder, bomb bays, engines and fuselage and visibly enhance the somewhat rough model due to its size alone. There are details about them
Building instructions/painting: The building instructions are well designed and clearly laid out. As with all Revell kits, the colors of the parts are already specified in the construction stages. With the enclosed decals two machines can be represented:
9 Bomb Squadron, 7 Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas, October 1995,
116th Bomb Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, Robins AFB, Georgia, July 2000.
Conclusion: The most important thing you need for this kit is space – both for the box and for the finished model. The kit has been around for a couple of years, but it can still be turned into an impressive model. Eduard’s etched parts do their part. But all of this is not necessarily for beginners – you should have a few kits of experience for this monster!
This kit is available from well-stocked specialist shops or directly from HobbyZero.