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1/72 B-52D with Big Belly Mod, Operation Arc Light

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  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
1/72 B-52D with Big Belly Mod, Operation Arc Light
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 2:55 PM

Hello, All,

This project is a 1/72 scale diorama of a B52D bomber  being armed and readied for an Arc Light mission over Viet Nam. I included a full revetment, ground service equipment, three big belly bomb clips loaded with 500 lb bombs, a bomb lift trailer and a flat-bed semitrailer with 750 lb bombs for the pylons. In addition to the bomb loading activity, I also added maintenance scenes for the nav antenna, left inboard engine, ECM chaff loading and tail gun turret maintenance.

The model I built is Monogram's 1/72 B-52D, kit #5709.

My early progress on this diorama is contained in other builds as listed below:  

First Annual Berny Memorial Group Build -

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/29/t/145416.aspx?page=31

1/72 B-52D "Big Belly" Racks

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/57110.aspx

Superdetailing the 1/72 B-52D Cockpit

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/147660.asp

Below is the setup I wanted to capture:

And below is the finished diorama:

  

NOTICE:

I've decided not to continue with my current image hosting site, or any site for that matter, only to have something happen again to block my photos or make them inaccessible. So after 19 May, these pictures will likely disappear.

I would like to thank all of you who have viewed this build and especially those of you who have taken your valuable time to provide comments, critiques and encouragement.

Cheers,

Russ

B-52 bomber tail number 64-0612, stationed with the 70th Bomb Wing at Clinton-Sherman AFB, Oklahoma in 1968, is pictured below on the ramp in SEA. The bomber is fully fueled and waiting for arming and some final maintenance tasks.

The green glare shield over the main instrument panel (IP) can be seen through the front windows.

In the scene below, munitions troops unload 750lb bombs from a bomb truck for loading onto the pylons while behind them, ECM technicians unload chaff magazines from their van.

Munitions personnel below are moving a transporter with a loaded bomb clip into the MHU-7 (munitions handling unit).

The technician below on the tilt & roll stand is hurrying to repair a bad feedhorn on the navigation radar antenna.

Engine maintenance personnel have halted work and are waiting off to the side until bomb loading is complete. This kit display engine was later replaced with two more detailed scratch built engines.

Munitions maintenance technicians have completed loading ammunition into the tail guns. One technician is inspecting the slides while the other technician is positioning a B-4 stand under the gunner's hatch in preparation for testing the operation of the turret.

Below is a photo of the two fully loaded bomb clips mounted in the bomb bay. The third clip has not yet been uploaded.

Another photo of the bomb bay showing the upper doors raised into the load position. The upper doors are only opened during loading operations and are locked into position before flight.

Below is a fully loaded bomb clip.  The electrical cables are connected to cables in the top of the bomb bay which run all the way to the Electronics Warefare Officer (EWO) station in the front of the aircraft.

The photo below shows how the bomb fins are arranged in the clip.

Below, a fully loaded bomb clip is mounted on a transporter unit. The loaded bomb clips and trailers weighs over 8 tons each and have to be towed individually to the aircraft.

Below is one of three empty bomb clips I built. The bomb release hardware can be seen in the middle slot of each panel. At the end of the bomb loading sequence, there were three transporters with empty clips and a transporter with only a cradle. The three transporters with the empty clips were light enough now to be connected together and towed back to the bomb loading "hard stand."

Below is my scratch built model of the MHU-7 weapons loading trailer. The wheels are from a Hasegawa weapons loading kit. On the actual loaders, the wheels could be swiveled up to 90 degrees for positioning a load under the bomb bay, or set front to rear for towing. The unit could be raised or lowered as needed.

Below are two MJ-1 "jammers" with extender tables that were used to lift bombs up to the pylons, or for loading bombs directly onto empey clips inside the bomb bay. They were also used to load bombs onto the bomb clip panels at the hard stand.

  

The picture below shows the ECM "antenna farm" located just behind the rear main gear well. You can also see the chaff ports just above the "paddle" jamming antennas.

I rebuilt the gunner's compartment window frames out of PETG because my kit windows developed fine fracture lines. The windows are Micro-Glaze. I built the turret with the cover removed and detailed the insides. I also scratch built the drag chute tray.

Originally, I built a shorter bomb truck trailer, but it just didn't look right so recently I built a model of an actual trailer (shown below), which was at least twice as long. I used the tractor from the first bomb truck.

As each bomb was roled to the end of the trailer, a shackle was attached to the two rings on the bomb. Then the bomb was lifted by the jammer and taken to be hung on a one of the two pylons.

Below is my upgraded and detailed J-57-P-19W engine. I built two additional engines and added a detailed firewall between them to replace the kit display engine assembly. I moved the new display engines to the left outboard position, away from the bomb loading activity.

Below is my scratchbuilt firewall. Both engines can be mounted to it, one on either side,.

And below is the rebuilt nacelle with both engines installed.

The picture below shows an engine technician doing maintenance on one of the engines.

This picture shows my mirror cart which can be positioned under the aircraft to view belly detail. The cart is a modified weapons cart from a Hasegawa kit with a small mirror mounted on top.

When not in use, the mirror is covered by a plate on which the chin radome is mounted. The trailer is then positioned off to the side of the revetment.

The pictures below show my detailing of the cockpit. I replaced the IP and added the glare shield. I modified the side consoles because they were too high and too narrow. I also added the seat tubs and edging along the backs, plus the ejections rails and some plumbing details. The headrests are from the original configuration.

I also detailed the gunner's compartment. We had waveguides that passed through here up to the horn antennas, and also we had a RHAW scope mounted on the radar panel, so I spent a good deal of time in here.

Below is a section of the revetment I scratch built. Each section locks together and there are 10 sections total. They are glued together into three assemblies: left, right and rear.

Above and below is one of four B-4 stands I scratch built. These were our main work stands for accessing hatches and replacing external equipment.

Each of the three B-4 stands were built with the platforms at slightly different heights. In addition to the three B-4 stands, I also built a B-5 stand, which is the tall stand shown below.

Our power source for the aircraft when it was parked was the MD-3 power unit. The picture below shows the one I built. Lying open on the top (where it almost always was) is a 781 book with the maintenance writeups. This book was made for me by Jim Williams (Bufrin). At 1/72 scale, the book is extremely small and beautifully done.

Always present in case of a dreaded fire were two fire extinguishers, positioned one on either side of the aircraft. The cabinet mounted on the front of each extinguisher contains a rolled up hose.

For some reason, I decided to build a B-2 stand (shown below). This was one of the largest stands used on the B-52 but ECM troops had no need for it unless there was no B-5 stand available. I plan to use it on a future diorama.

Below are two of my maintenance vans. These two are assigned to the AMS squadron (Avionics Maintenance Squadron).

These two tractors are modified Ford tractors from the Hasegawa weapons loading set. The tractors we had at that time had two doors, one on either side and no door at the rear. I had to close up the kit rear door and cut out the side doors, plus add some other modifications. These side doors were better for the drivers who had to constantly get in and out to hitch up or disconnect trailers and stands.

To support my engine changing scenario, I needed a crane truck. There were no kits available so I modified an Academy 1/72 M-35 cargo truck into an M-246 wrecker. All the structure and detail except the frame, wheels and cab are scratchbuilt.

Thanks for looking!

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Friday, August 31, 2012 3:36 PM

Great work so far Russ. The first photo is exactly the image i have had in my head for years of how i wanted my B-52 dio. The flatbed and the revetment are two things i wasn't sure how i would reproduce. I may have to steel a few more of your ideas from this.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 3:42 PM

Bish

Great work so far Russ. The first photo is exactly the image i have had in my head for years of how i wanted my B-52 dio. The flatbed and the revetment are two things i wasn't sure how i would reproduce. I may have to steel a few more of your ideas from this.

No problem, Bish. You're welcome to anything you can use Smile

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 3:46 PM

NOTE: Information in brackets [ ] has been copied from a previous thread into this post without responses and comments, so some disconnects in the dialog may be apparent.

I've been reviewing my pictures of bomb loading and I've decided my diorama isn't going to look complete without a bomb lift trailer, so I'm taking a stab at building one. Below is what the bomb lift trailer looked like and my version of the control end. I figured I'd tackle the easy part first. The wheels are from that HO scale semitrailer that I used for the bomb truck. They're a bit too large but they're the only ones I could find in this format that are close to actual size.

Russ

Picture courtesy http://www.defensemedianetwork.com

[

Son Of Medicine Man

Bockscar
 

 

Thanks Russ,

 

by the way, saw the B-52 bomb clip, what, with 28 loaded. Didn't catch the Mk or weight of those, I was thinking about 750 lbs each? Two clips per bay? -thanks

Dom

 

Hey Dom,

One thing that Russ is putting together is instructions on how to put together the bomb clips that go into the B-52.  It is pretty cool.

Ken

 

Hi Dom, Ken,

They were 500-lb MK-82 GP bombs. There were also clips for 750-lb M-117 GP bombs. The same dimensions for the clip should work as with the MK-82 clip, just with one less panel and different spacing for the bombs. The chafing curtain between the center bomb rows could be added if the total width of the clip isn't too critical. It must have been pretty narrow - only a couple of feet wide, since it doesn't show up in any of the angle shots. You can see it clearly from a front or rear view. Below are a few pictures of the 750-lb bomb clip. Each plane could hold three of either size bomb clip.

BTW, it appears there were small pins on the cradle that fit into the bottom of the clip panels to keep them from shifting around during transportation.

Ken, many thanks for converting the first version to pdf. If I'm not imposing, I sent you an updated version and would appreciate it if you can convert it as well. Then I can send it out to anyone that wants it. Again, thanks for your help on this, bud.

Russ

  ]

 

  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Friday, August 31, 2012 6:37 PM

Russ:

VERY COOL!!!

Dom

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 7:09 PM

Thanks, Dom  Smile

Looks a little clunky close up but the pieces are really small and I kept getting in my way...

Russ

 

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Guam
Posted by sub revolution on Friday, August 31, 2012 7:26 PM

Awesome project! Here on Guam at the AFB there is a B-52 on display as an Arc Light memorial. Can't wait to see yours finished!

NEW SIG

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 7:54 PM

Hello, Sub, and thanks!  You in the military there? I was TDY on Okinawa but flew in and out of Guam several times. I've seen pictures of the memorial there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Russ

 

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Guam
Posted by sub revolution on Friday, August 31, 2012 8:08 PM

Yup. I'm navy, on the submarine tender out here.

NEW SIG

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, August 31, 2012 8:44 PM

Cool! Big Smile. I was Air Force, 20 years. What's life like on a sub tender? Do you stay out for long periods?

 

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Guam
Posted by sub revolution on Saturday, September 01, 2012 4:22 AM

Normally no, but we were just stateside for several months in the shipyard. What did you do?

NEW SIG

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Saturday, September 01, 2012 8:57 AM

NOTE: Information in brackets [ ] has been copied from a previous thread into this post without responses and comments, so some disconnects in the dialog may be apparent.

I was an ECM technician.

[NOTE: I have sandwiched in at this point a description of my detailing of the cockpit:

~ I decided to build the crew cabin as a removable module to make it easier to build and detail. Once it's complete, I'll cement it into the model.

The cocpit is almost completely rebuilt. I had to remove the center console and reposition it. The left and right consoles were also too high and too narrow. I still have some detail to add such as the steering columns, throttle cluster and another box that sits in front of the console but wasn't modeled. I think it's part of the autopilot system. The ejection seats had to be scratchbuilt as they were hopelessly inacurate. The only thing I kept of the original was the back plate with the headrest.

NOTE: The ejection seat cushions were actually the seat pack for the crew parachutes, and were normally removed for inspection and storage unless the aircraft was scheduled to fly. For that reason, the seats are shown empty with raised edges that held the parachutes in place.

Here's the finished cockpit suite. I've decided not to attempt to model the bomb-nav and ecm stations - just too much work and I don't really want to cut out a section of the fuselage to be able to see it. I still plan to detail the upper deck behind the cockpit and add internal lighting.

 

 ]

 

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Guam
Posted by sub revolution on Monday, September 03, 2012 5:51 AM

Not to steal your thread, but today we were up near the AFB so I stopped in to grab some photos for you.

DSC01871

DSC01875

DSC01876

DSC01877

DSC01881

DSC01883

DSC01889

NEW SIG

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, September 03, 2012 5:58 AM

Now thats a memorial.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Monday, September 03, 2012 9:21 AM

sub revolution

Not to steal your thread, but today we were up near the AFB so I stopped in to grab some photos for you.

No problem, Sub. Great pictures! Thanks!

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, September 06, 2012 4:24 PM

NOTE: Information in brackets [ ] has been copied from a previous thread into this post without responses and comments, so some disconnects in the dialog may be apparent.

[I finally got everything together for my bomb trailer. The HO scale Great Dane trailer I started with turned out to be too small overall. So I replaced the bed with a wider one and replaced the wheel assemblies with the bogies from an Academy 1/72 M35 2.5 ton tractor. I replaced the differentials with axels and brake assemblies made from sprue. The bomb runners are made of basswood . Waiting on another tractor to finally complete the assembly.

 

 

 

Finally got my bomb truck tractor finished. I had to modify an Academy 2.5 ton cargo truck (see below). Had to shorten the chassis and make my own fifth wheel but it doesn't look too bad - if you don't look too close Smile. If you're into scale model trucks, this kit is very nicely detailed for the price (around $15) but it's very delicate and difficult to build - at least for someone like me with 10 thumbs. I was glad to get it done.

Now if I can just force myself to finish painting and detailing 24 bombs...Ick!

 

 

~ I cut down the back of the chassis to the frame and shortened the frame about 1/2 inch - where the angle brace meets the frame (see the pictures below). Then I added a plate across the chassi frame at the back.  I didn't try to add a lot of detail at the back since it won't be seen anyway.

 
I found some pictures of "fifth wheel" trailer hitches on the internet and carved one out of layered plastic sheeting.
 
 
 
Oops - forget the mud flaps! They normally glue to the bottom of the cargo floor, but since it's not installed, I attached them to the frame using some thin scrap pieces as shown below.
 
 
]

 

Here's my finished bomb truck loaded with 750lb bombs - I plan to do the weathering later. The bomb on the end will be shown about to be lifted by a jammer. The "Explosives A" sign is held on with a single strand of my wife's lovely hair Big Smile.

Cheers,

Russ

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Friday, September 07, 2012 1:01 PM

This build just gets better. Sweet.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, September 07, 2012 2:52 PM

Bish

This build just gets better. Sweet.

Thanks, Bish Big Smile

 

  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • From: Ontario, Canada
Posted by Bockscar on Friday, September 07, 2012 3:19 PM

I agree with Bish. Sweet.

'Never seen so many crater-eggs on the back of a flat bed like that!Yes

Man, I can hear 'em hatching now!

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Friday, September 07, 2012 4:07 PM

Lol, thanks Dom Big Smile

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Saturday, September 08, 2012 2:37 PM

The previous wheel sets for the bomb lift trailer were just too big, even though they looked better.  I replaced them with wheels from a Hasegawa US Aircraft Weapon Loading set. The scale is closer now to the actual unit.

Tags: B-52D , bomb , lift , trailer

 

  • Member since
    November, 2010
  • From: Lafayette, Indiana
Posted by Son Of Medicine Man on Saturday, September 08, 2012 8:33 PM

Hi Russ,

Great job on your build!

Ken

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Saturday, September 08, 2012 8:44 PM

Hi, Ken.  Thanks! Smile

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Monday, September 10, 2012 6:29 PM

Here is the first set of bomb bay door locking assemblies. They're a little bright in color right now but I'll weather them when I do the fuselage.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Rowland Heights, California
Posted by Duke Maddog on Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:46 AM

Man this rocks! I'll be watching this with great interest since I always wanted to do something similar but haven't got the space!

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Thursday, September 13, 2012 8:03 AM

Thanks, Duke, and welcome! Frankly, I don't have the room either Big Smile

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Sunday, September 16, 2012 3:15 PM

The scribing is coming along (I spend more time repairing mistakes than scribing...). Below is a shot of the nose area. There is supposed to be a small antenna cover for the APX-26 IFF transponder just forward of the main hatch but the kit only represents this with a small blister of plastic. I ground it out and added a piece of shaped sprue. The area around the cover appears to be depressed slightly so that's the way I modelled it.

Also on top, the escape hatch for the EWO was outlined by two panel lines that looked more like the lines provided to indicate the walkway areas. I removed the inner line since the outer line is about the same size as the other hatches.

Also, the outline of the Doppler hight-finder radar antenna cover was left off. It should be between the bomb bay and the forward wheel wells, as shown below.

Cheers,

Russ

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:01 PM

Striker8241

~. There is supposed to be a small antenna cover for the APX-26 IFF transponder just forward of the main hatch but the kit only represents this with a small blister of plastic. I ground it out and added a piece of shaped sprue. The area around the cover appears to be depressed slightly so that's the way I modelled it.

Since I posted the above picture, I found two images (shown below) that indicate the "antenna" is more likely some type of optical sensor or the optical bombing camera lens with an offset cover housing. The first image shows the cover closed and the second shows it open. Further, there is no recessed area around the base as it appeared to be in the first photo.

I plan to correct the model to show the offset cover housing but with the lens cover closed, as it would be with the aircraft on the ground.

Cheers,

Russ

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 3:18 PM

Re scribeing an entire B-52. Now thats dedication. Great work Russ.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:21 PM

Thanks, Bish Smile  It's a real challenge but I'm almost finished with the fuselage. The area aft of the rear main gear wells to the turret has been the hardest to resolve.

Russ

 

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