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B-58 Nozzles

Aires, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number, Description and Price:

Aires - B-58 Exhaust Nozzles
available from £13.90 plus shipping online from Hannants

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Grey resin and photo-etched parts.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Breathtaking detail; excellent casting; simple preparation and installation
Disadvantages: Some details not correct
Conclusion: This set will make a big difference to the look of the exhaust nacelles on the big bomber kit.

Reviewed by David W. Aungst

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I n t r o d u c t i o n


This is still another of the update sets I bought while planning my Monogram B-58 project. The engines exhausts in the kit are not the most detailed pieces.



I decided to pick up this Aires set to see how it might dress up my kit. What I found was a mixed bag as far as the details and use of this set were concerned.



F i r s t L o o k


The Update Set Described

The set is typical Aires. I have no idea how they create such finely detailed masters, and then cast them, but I suspect they may use some form of voodoo magic. The pieces are bristling with details. I was taken back, as is usual, when I first opened the Aires package. The detailing is THAT good.

The set is comprised of four mini-sets, one for each engine. Each engine exhaust is made up of three resin pieces and one photo-etched piece. Once you remove the slag from the pieces (I used a saw bit on my motor tool), they fit together like a glove. I did not push the photo-etched flame holder pieces up into the afterburner tube, but there is a nicely molded lip inside the tube to give the photo-etched piece a positive location in the tube.

Exhaust Cone and Turbine Face

Afterburner Interior

This set is specifically mastered to fit the Monogram B-58 kit. The kit's engine nacelles are slightly oversized (too "fat") and thus will not accept any other after-market J79 engine exhausts you might want to use from something like an F-4E Phantom update set. If you try to fit an F-4 Phantom engine exhaust on one of the B-58 nacelles, it slides right into the nacelle without even touching the sides.

As beautiful as this set looks when you first open the package and start tinkering with it, there are a couple issues to consider.



The first issue is size. While the box states this set is sized specifically to fit the Monogram B-58, it is still not quite big enough. See for yourself...



These re-sized engine exhausts no longer slide completely into the engine nacelle, but they still leave a significant step all the way around them. There is no step on the real B-58. The step is over half the thickness of the plastic walls of the engine nacelle. A little sanding on the back of the nacelles to make them taper down to match the engine exhaust size will be required.



The second issue involves the molded details of the set. Pretty much what Aires did is simply recreate the F-4E engine exhaust in a slightly larger size. While they created magnificent details in these pieces, they are actually not entirely correct for the B-58. I have images here of the engine exhausts on both the B-58 and the F-4E. See for yourself...

B-58 Engine Exhaust

F-4E Engine Exhaust

B-58 Engine Exhaust

F-4E Engine Exhaust

The biggest thing to note here is the number of eyelid peddals. The B-58 has 24 eyelids. The F-4E only has 16. This difference alone dramatically changes the feel of the exhaust cones. The B-58 has a more smooth appearance to its engine exhausts. Also, there is no discernable reinforcing panel at the tip of each eyelid on the B-58. Aires did a wonderful job creating fully detailed engine exhausts, but their exhausts have 16 eyelids, not 24, and reinforcing panels. They recreated F-4E exhausts.

The next thing to note is on the inside of the exhausts. The F-4E exhaust has significant surface detailing inside the exhaust cone. Having more eyelid peddals, the B-58 is a much smoother interior. Also, the innermost eyelids are mostly hidden on the B-58, where they are exposed and more visible in the F-4E.



C o n c l u s i o n


Where does this leave us?

The set is amazingly detailed, but the details are not entirely correct for the B-58.

My feeling is to just go with it.

The rear portion of the nacelles can be sanded down to match the diameter of the Aires exhausts without too much difficulty. Also, the location of the exhausts on the completed B-58 model (hidden under "miles" of wing surfaces) is not that easy to see. Thus, having incorrect details on the exhausts will not be that noticeable.

Using Lone Star Models engine nacelle update is an alternative for getting B-58 engine exhausts, but that is not a perfect answer, either. See my review of the Lone Star Models engine nacelle update set for more discussion of how it captures that B-58 engine exhausts.

Purchsed by reviewer

Text and Images Copyright 2009 by David W Aungst
Page Created 8 December, 2009
Last updated 8 December, 2009

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