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Italeri's 1/72 B-58 Hustler and some weird bombs

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  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Italeri's 1/72 B-58 Hustler and some weird bombs
Posted by Brhino on Friday, July 22, 2022 7:29 PM

Next up on the bench is the 1/72 B-58 Hustler from Italeri.  This kit's got some well known accuracy issues, but it's also the only game in town on this scale, so away we go.

 

The B-58 is known for its unusual payload configuration. It carried a single giant pod under the fuselage that contained both fuel tanks and a nuclear bomb. At some point, the ability to carry four nuclear bombs on two external pylons was added. References say these could be B43 or B61 weapons. I have found very few references actually showing bombs carried in this way but it does seem to have been a possibility.

Italeri has given us the option to include these external bombs, although as for the bombs themselves... they're a bit of a mystery.

This bombs are certainly distinctive.  Both the raised ring around the nose and the long tapered rear extending well behind the fins are notable and look nothing like any picture of a B43 or B61 I've seen. In fact, I have yet to find any nuclear air-dropped bombs in the US arsenal that look anything like them.

So... what the heck are they? Did Italeri ask a modeler to model a nuclear bomb without any reference material to work off of? Or is there an obscure weapon that I haven't seen that does in fact look like these?

 

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 22, 2022 11:28 PM

With some filing and sanding it could look like a B43...

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, July 23, 2022 8:05 AM

Hmmm;

    If I could put a V-8 in there and twin Turbos plus four wheels(Land Speed Record Maybe?).

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, July 23, 2022 10:22 AM

The B-58 was designed to carry either a B-43 bomb (with nose ring) or a B-61 bomb (without nose ring).

I built a 1/48 Monogram Hustler a few years ago.

The bombs that came with the kit had a ring at the nose of the bomb. This represents a B-43 bomb.

I didn't like the kit's bombs because the seams required a lot of filler work. I purchased some aftermarket resin bombs which did not have a ring at the nose of the bomb. This represents a B-61 bomb.

The bomb in your kit is a B-43 bomb.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Saturday, July 23, 2022 11:10 AM

JohnnyK
The B-58 was designed to carry either a B-43 bomb (with nose ring) or a B-61 bomb (without nose ring).

The bomb in your kit is a B-43 bomb.

 

 
Were there multiple configurations for the B43? Because when I look into it I see pictures like this:
And I can't link it directly, but someone's taken a nice clear photo of one at the National Museum of the Air Force here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rocbolt/8181163645
 
In both of these examples, there's no raised ring in the noise, and the body has a flat rear end that stops just past the tail fins.  
 
So either the nose ring and pointed rear featured in some versions of the B43 and I'm just not find photos of those, or the Italeri bombs are way off.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, July 23, 2022 2:17 PM

Maybe the B43 came in two versions, one version with a nose ring and the other version without a nose ring. Beats me. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 2:53 PM

It looks like Eduard has both the -0 and -1 versions of the B43 in 1/72 scale, along with B61s.  Might be a good way to skip the Italeri bombs.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Saturday, July 23, 2022 4:55 PM

Eaglecash867

It looks like Eduard has both the -0 and -1 versions of the B43 in 1/72 scale, along with B61s.  Might be a good way to skip the Italeri bombs.

 

 
That might be the best option if I decide I want to go with the external bombs. I generally like demonstrating the full capacity of the aircraft I build, although it seems to have been such a seldom-used option that I'm not sure yet.
 
I've also seen some disagreement on whether the B-58 could carry the primary pod and the four external bombs, or if it was one or the other. Some sources claim both, some claim one or the other.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 5:39 PM

Heh...just to add to the confusion...here's an in-flight photo I just found of a B-58, and its carrying 4 B43s externally and the center-line pod.  Looks like the B43s on it have the elongated tail cone on them.  Not sure why, but if I had to guess, whether or not the B43 had a long tailcone probably depended on what aircraft was carrying it, and if it was configured for internal or external carriage.  That's what they did with AGM-69s on SAC aircraft...it just depended on the aircraft carrying it and if it was internal or external...some had the cone, some didn't.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jHRsY7kf6LQ/T94A6VpMfSI/AAAAAAAAB3M/S8r1xh__myY/s1600/6907343675_a40bddb408_o.jpg

 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, July 23, 2022 6:02 PM

IIRC, there were two versions of the B-58 centerline tank. One was strictly all fuel, and one was combined fuel and a bomb in one unit.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Saturday, July 23, 2022 6:15 PM

Eaglecash867

Heh...just to add to the confusion...here's an in-flight photo I just found of a B-58, and its carrying 4 B43s externally and the center-line pod.  Looks like the B43s on it have the elongated tail cone on them.  Not sure why, but if I had to guess, whether or not the B43 had a long tailcone probably depended on what aircraft was carrying it, and if it was configured for internal or external carriage.  That's what they did with AGM-69s on SAC aircraft...it just depended on the aircraft carrying it and if it was internal or external...some had the cone, some didn't.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jHRsY7kf6LQ/T94A6VpMfSI/AAAAAAAAB3M/S8r1xh__myY/s1600/6907343675_a40bddb408_o.jpg

 

Very similar to this photo which was about the only other one I'd seen thus far with the external bombs even referenced:

So here we see the pointed tails again. A streamlined tailcone for improved air resistance does make sense, so that explains that part. Still a bit dodgy on the nose ring though... if they are there in either of the photos, they're at least a lot more subtle than what's on the sprues.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 7:12 PM

Brhino
Still a bit dodgy on the nose ring though... if they are there in either of the photos, they're at least a lot more subtle than what's on the sprues.

The pic of it that you posted in your second post looks like maybe there is some sort of protective cover on the nose.  Maybe the ring on the Italeri bombs is just an over-sized misinterpretation of a grainy photo.  Heh...I sure can't tell for sure what that is on the nose in the photo.  Probably safe to delete the ring if you decide to use them.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Saturday, July 23, 2022 7:35 PM

stikpusher

IIRC, there were two versions of the B-58 centerline tank. One was strictly all fuel, and one was combined fuel and a bomb in one unit.

 

 
From what I've read, the pod was originally fuel and the bomb combined.  That had problems though (including fuel leaks) so they went to a new design, in which there was actually an outer pod (with just fuel, to be dropped when depleted) and a smaller inner pod (the bomb). In the photo I posted above, you can see the outer and inner pods.
 
Both the single-pod and pod-within-a-pod approach used the same outer dimensions, so for the modeler there's not going to be any difference. Italeri has included both inner and outer pods, so if you wanted to depict a B-58 mid-mission with the outer pod already dropped, you could do that.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 9:31 PM

When I was at Little Rock we had a old B-58 in the scrap yard near the S.A.C. area.  It was being held down with a large concrete ring and a heavy cable so it would sit on its gear.  It did have the pylons for the external weapons still attached.  I think I saw somewhere that the large center tank could be used for a combination of fuel and either a weapon or extra electronic equipment.  I had heard that at least one of their aircraft had crashed in the short time they were used and I'm not sure what the story was with this one.

We also had the nose section of a B-47 and later the wreckage of the C-130 my wife had at one time worked on was brought back to base after it cartwheeled donw a mountain during a night trail formation training flight.  I went to that one to help with security of the site.  It was a big mess with the tail siting along side a road and the cargo floor intact but twisted.

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Sunday, July 24, 2022 10:53 AM

ikar01

When I was at Little Rock we had a old B-58 in the scrap yard near the S.A.C. area.  It was being held down with a large concrete ring and a heavy cable so it would sit on its gear.  It did have the pylons for the external weapons still attached. 

Wonder what happened to it.  Looks like Little Rock has a TB-58 in its museum currently but I don't know if it would be the same one or not.

Another interesting note on these bombs - the instructions call for them to be painted overall gloss white, with a black nose and red fins.  From what I can tell the black nose may or may not be right depending on configuration, but the red fins would only be for a high-vis option for testing.  I think maybe Italeri found the pictures posted above or something very similar and used them as a reference for both shape and painting guide.

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Sunday, July 24, 2022 1:02 PM

The best reference I have on the B-58 is Aerograph No. 4 by Jay Miller.  Lots of detail on all the pods and the Mk 43's.  Here's one page on the Mk 43.

 

Many of the items on the top left drawing are prefight and remove before flight items.  I believe that ring around the front of the Mk 43 is part of the radome cover and would be removed prior to flight.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Sunday, July 24, 2022 3:42 PM

jeaton01

The best reference I have on the B-58 is Aerograph No. 4 by Jay Miller.  Lots of detail on all the pods and the Mk 43's.  Here's one page on the Mk 43.

 

Many of the items on the top left drawing are prefight and remove before flight items.  I believe that ring around the front of the Mk 43 is part of the radome cover and would be removed prior to flight.

 

Great reference! Thanks!

So the ring in the front was covering a nose cone but probably removed prior to flight - so given that I intend to depict my B-58 in-flight, I should trim it off. The pointed tail cone was probably for in-flight aerodynamics and should remain.  

 

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Sunday, July 24, 2022 8:21 PM

That's what I would think.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, July 24, 2022 10:10 PM

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by Brhino on Thursday, August 11, 2022 11:17 PM

One more update to this thread. The kit's coming along but today I was doing some fit checking and I found that the fins on the pod were interfering with the rail for the B43s.  Something's wrong, and after going over the references again I think I've figured it out.

This resource covers the options for pods and bombs under a B-58 in good detail: https://b-58.com/history_offensive.php

The first pod made for the B-58 was the MB-1C.  Description from the above source:

The pod was 75 feet long with a diameter of about 5 feet. The pod was attached to the aircraft by three hooks. The pod had an equipment bay, a forward fuel tank, a bay for the thermonuclear weapon, an aft fuel tank, a tail cone and fins, plus an attachment pylon. The four fins were mounted at 45 degrees from the horizontal centerline and were slightly offset to give the pod a slow spin during free-fall.

So, one single full sized pod with four fins each 45 degrees from horizontal. The Italeri kit definitely gives you a MB-1C pod, and it's those fins that are giving me trouble.

Later, the TCP was developed:

The Two-Component Pod (or TCP) had the same overall profile as the older MB-1 and used the same attachment points. However, it was built in two separate sections. The TCP was actually two pods, an upper BLU 2/B-1 bomb pod and a lower BLU 2/B-2 fuel pod. The warhead unit could be retained while discarding the lower fuel pod.

The 35-foot long upper component contained two fuel tanks, separated by a warhead cavity. Maximum diameter was 3.5 feet. A pylon and three fins were fitted...

The lower component was also divided into two tanks separated by a common bulkhead. It was supported underneath the upper pod by one forward and one aft releaser. There were no fins, but a pivot strut was mounted on the aft end of the pod to facilitate proper separation from the aircraft during release.

The kit also gives you a BLU2/B-1 smaller inner pod, so if you want to depict a B-58 mid mission that has already dropped the outer pod, you can. However, it does NOT provide a BLU2/B-2 outer pod. Note that it has mostly the same shape as the MB-1C but critically, it does not have fins except for the one vertical strut.

This explains why there is some confusion as to whether the B-58 could carry external bombs and the pod or not. It could carry external bombs and a TCP, but not external bombs and a MB-1C.

Older versions of the instructions for this kit suggest using either one pod or the other pod or the external bombs, but that section seems to be omitted in the current version, hence my confusion.

I've spent so much time figuring out the right color and shape for the bombs so I don't want to give up on them, but nor do I want to forgo the shape of the full-size outer pod. So my plan is to take the provided MB-1C pod, remove the 4 fins, create the vertical strut by cutting down one of those fins to the proper shape, and then attach the fins intended for the BLU2/B-1 pod to where they would be on the full TCP assembly.  It should be a relatively straightforward task, even given my fairly limited abilities.

 

 

Who keeps stepping on wings?  Someone won't stay off the wings and now I have to apply all these tiny "NO STEP" decals.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 6:35 AM

Wow this has turned into a great resource thread as well as a build thread! Some great reading here. Tons of knowledge and resources in this group!

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list, we're down to that Tamiya P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo! And I just got a Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F!

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: The NYC.
Posted by Ish47guy on Saturday, August 20, 2022 1:34 AM

This topic came up a few decades ago on another popular modeling website when Monogram reissued their 1/48th kit.

  • Member since
    November 2022
Posted by justmestevieb on Sunday, November 13, 2022 11:31 AM

I just posted 1/72 airplane kits for sale... made around 1980 to 1990? Call me if you mite be interested in buying some I have dozens to sell ... Steve 972-463-6955

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, November 14, 2022 8:53 PM

justmestevieb

I just posted 1/72 airplane kits for sale... made around 1980 to 1990? Call me if you mite be interested in buying some I have dozens to sell ... Steve 972-463-6955

 

 

you PUTZ! Don't hijack people's threads with your sales BS. We'll ignore you for sure.

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list, we're down to that Tamiya P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo! And I just got a Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F!

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