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Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale
B-57B Canberra

by Phil Hale


B-57B Canberra


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale B-57B Canberra is available online from Squadron



For a detailed examination of the contents of Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Canberra, see the in-box review elsewhere on HyperScale.

Man, I thought I would never see an injection molded 1/48th scale model of a B-57B in my life time. There was a nice vacuum form kit produced many years ago and the Italeri/Testors kits in 1/72 scale. Now, 1/48th scale jet modelers will be able to fill in the some of the holes in their collections.

Okay, lets get right down to brass tacks here. This is basically a new kit.

You get new front and rear fuselage halves and new wings as well. You also get a new armament tree that also has new parts for the canopy and the cockpit. You get a new canopy and windscreen as well. I advise extreme caution when working with the main portion of the new canopy. It is thick and looks sturdy but it cracked while I was polishing mine. If you have the capability, you might want to consider vacuum forming a replacement.



On the Canberra Mk2 and the T.17, the engine nacelle fronts were separate pieces and it took some time to test fit and blend them into the wings. You wonít have to worry about that part on the B-57B. Youíll still need to fill and sand the inside of the engine fronts to eliminate the seam but that wonít take long. The armament tree gives you four napalm tanks without fins and four Mk 117 750 lbs bombs.

You also get the wing pylons and sway braces. The wing tanks appear to be bigger and Iíve heard that this was a problem with the other Canberra kits.






I advise putting the forward and rear fuselage halves together first. Make sure that you get them lined up correctly otherwise you will have problems later. Youíll need to put plenty of weight in the nose for it to sit properly on the nose gear. The instruction sheet recommends 6 oz. Or 170 grams. When you think youíre got enough in, put some more in just be on the safe side.



I recommend putting the cockpit and the wheel well in place and then fill in around it with the weight. I glued the cockpit coaming in the right fuselage side first and let it dry good. Then when the cockpit was ready, I glued it to the underside of the coaming. When that was dry, I positioned the wheel well under the cockpit. Make sure that you line up the wheel well as this will adversely affect the alignment of the nose gear.

Youíll need to modify the nose gear as it sets too high. I took about an 1/8th of an inch off of mine and it still sits a little too high. The instructions say to cut the drag links off the nose gear and you will need to do this as well. I cut the retraction arm from my nose gear and cut an 1/8th of an inch from the attachment pin. I then drilled a hole in the nose gear and put a piece of brass rod for a new attachment pin.


I replaced parts 29 and 30 with longer pieces of plastic rod. I wanted to make sure that the wings had some extra support. Make sure you eliminate all of the ejector pins to make sure that the main wheel wells fit properly in the wings. My wings fit really well on the top but had a gap on the underside. This was easily filled with super glue. Youíll need to locate and drill out the inboard cannon ports. I super glued my wing tip lights in place and then sanded them into shape.



I did replace most of the antennas and the pitot tube with scratch built parts. I also replaced the windshield wiper. Youíll need to check you references for the antenna fit as it changed during the operational life.


The decals are some of the best on the market. You get four schemes: one Vietnam Camo, one natural metal, one gray and orange Air National Guard, and an overall gloss black scheme.



They are all colorful and you my have a hard time deciding which one to do.




In conclusion, this is a very good kit and with a little bit of time and patience can produce an outstanding model of a B-57B.

One thing, they are hard to come by so donít sit the fence on this one. They are going fast and may not return. I had a hard time getting my two so I would not wait too long.

Wait too long and you may have to get one on Ebay Ė and you know what that could mean.



Additional Images


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Model, Images & Text Copyright © 2007 by Phil Hale

Page Created 17 January, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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