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Cold War Peacemaker
The Story of Cowtown and the Convair B-36

by Don Pyeatt and Dennis R. Jenkins

Speciality Press

 S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Cold War Peacemaker by Don Pyeatt and Dennis R. Jenkins


Hard Cover, 240 pages




US$32.95 available online from Specialty Press

Review Type:

First Read


Not only a detailed look at the development of the B-36 but also the story of aerospace manufacturing at Fort Worth 


Lack of detail photographs and plans, more than made up for by great coverage of the subject


More suited to the aviation historian and enthusiast, but still a useful reference if you wish to break out a Monogram Peacemaker.


Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com




When Monogram released their 1/72 RB-36H Peacemaker kit in 1980 it was claimed to be the largest plastic kit ever, dwarfing even their earlier B-52D. Whilst this is now a somewhat debatable claim with some of the newer kits from China and elsewhere, or even Monograms own 1/48 B-1B it remains an impressive piece of model engineering. Having taken the time to acquire an example, many modellers will want to know more about the subject and this is where this new book from Specialty Press in the United States will come in handy. While not intended specifically as a modelling reference and lacking detailed close up walkarounds or scale plans, the book is covers the subject in more than sufficient detail to answer most questions on configuration and other issues, especially if the modeller plans to convert the late production RB-36H to an earlier generation bomber.

It is however more than just a history of the B-36. After eight pages of rare and very well reproduced colour photos of the aircraft, the authors open Chapter One with a history of how aviation came to Fort Worth, a town better known as Cowtown and the gateway to the West. Following this interesting social history Chapter Two covers the development and production of the B-36, whilst Chapter Three looks at the “bleeding edge” of technology at the time, covering everything from defensive armament, ECM equipment, bombs both conventional and atomic and even the use of magnesium as a skin material, whilst noting that despite this use of cutting edge materials, control surfaces in the early aircraft were still the tried and true doped fabric. The final chapter then covers the use of the Peacemaker by Strategic Air Command, and addresses the naming of the aircraft, attributed to the Colt Peacemaker of Wild West times and nothing at all to do with bringing peace in the Cold War.

Appendices take the reader off the beaten track and into the wilder variations on the theme, including the XC-99 transport, YB-60 jet bomber backup for the B-52 program, the airborne reactor test bed, stand-off missiles and finally the various parasite fighter experiments. Whilst this book is clearly not intended for modelers, it covers some interesting ground from social, political and technological perspectives. As many modelers are also indeed aviation enthusiasts, it would not be far wrong to say that anyone with a passing interest in the history of USAF bombers and the Cold War would get something of interest out of this book.

The book may be ordered calling Speciality Press at 1-800-895-4585 or at their website Speciality Press

Thanks to Speciality Press for the review sample

Review Copyright 2010 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 2 June, 2010
Last updatd 2 June, 2010

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