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B-52H "Cajun Fear"

by Adrian Davies


B-52H "Cajun Fear"


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For the 2002 IPMS (UK) National Championships at Telford, the USAF SIG decided to celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of the first flight of the B-52 and its subsequent long service. To do this we would build a collection that represented as many variants and colour schemes as possible.

My contribution would be a model to represent the Buff in an as up to date configuration as possible. I intended to use the AMT kit which I had in my collection, and to build it as “out of the box”. This would soon prove to be impossible due to the crude nature of the kit and my own inability to just build anything O.O.B. The photos below illustrate how I tackled a few areas of this project.

The airframe I chose to model was B-52H 60-0062 Cajun Fear, with the 2nd Bomb Wing based at Barksdale in Louisiana. The period I wanted to represent was when this particular aircraft was stationed at RAF Fairford for Operation Allied Force. I was lucky to find the excellent Sharpshooters website with two photos of my particular subject (references listed below).





I didn’t bother to measure the kit so I don’t know how dimensionally accurate it is. (I don’t care that much either-it looks like a Buff and it’s big!)

The AMT kit’s shortfalls are well documented. My main concerns were the soft detail and the lack of droop on the wings.



The latter was fixed using a technique suggested by Haydn Hughes of the USAF SIG. He recommended that I glue the wings together, cut three slots using a razor saw at 50mm intervals along the top of the wings, and insert 0.75mm styrene into the slots to spread them and induce the right droop, then fill the gaps with Cyno and Accelerator, sand, finish and you’re done. The other details I added to the wings were navigation lights to the wingtips, landing lights to the leading edges, and new doors to the outrigger wheels (the kit doors are far too thick).



For me the biggest challenge was the detail, both the lack of it and the softness of what was provided by AMT. The front fuselage was one case in point. The B52 carries a lot of electronic equipment, which needs a lot of cooling, and so the fuselage is covered with intakes and exhaust vents. For the NACA style intakes, I decided to scratch-build them as separate items, then cut a hole in the fuselage and mount them in the hole, fill and sand. For the exhausts I scribed some styrene with parallel lines; using a punch and die set, I made some disks out of the material and set them into corresponding holes drilled into the fuselage. Luckily, both these processes are, easy as there are quite a few of both intakes and exhausts all over the aircraft. It took a couple of evenings to do the entire aircraft.

Also scratch-built are all the lumps and bumps on the aircraft, which include hatches on the top and bottom of the fuselage, ECM bulges below the cockpit canopies, lightning conductors on the nose cone, windscreen wipers, and crew entrance hatch (the latter was the first thing I built of the entire project).

One of the most striking features of the B-52, and one that is rarely represented in models, is the wrinkles in the fuselage, both forward of the wingroot and aft of the trailing edge. It is easy to show these, I simply scraped them in using a curved scalpel blade, and then sanded the “troughs” to smooth them, the soft-nature of the kit’s plastic makes this a very simple operation (from start to finish, it took me 15 minutes).

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The problems with a big aircraft model is that you have to include little areas of detail all over the aircraft to make it as interesting as possible. One such detail I added was the drag chute door which is often shown open on the ground. I also updated the ECM antennas to how they would look today.

One of the recent modifications is the deletion of the rear gun, and the plating over the resulting hole. This was a simple modification to make, to represent the tiny holes in the plate that equalise air pressure, I used a decal of black dots, which to my eye is a lot neater than trying to drill all those tiny holes.

Another improvement to an otherwise grey mass is the use of MV lenses for the navigation lights.

The Buff’s role as a bomb truck is well known as is its stand off cruise missile launcher. A newer capability is the ability to use AGM 142 Have Naps. One of the photos I found of Cajun Fear show it armed with these new missiles.



The easy part are the missiles and data link pod (AN/ASW 55). Ron’s Resins make excellent little kits of them, so I ordered 3 missiles and one pod. The trickier part were the pylons to carry them. Luckily Don Logan’s superb ACC Bomber Triad carries a scale drawing of the pylon, so I was able to scratch-build them with little hassle, (I say that, though each pylon has over 230 individual parts!!!! With all the bomb shackles it soon adds up).

Another way of adding colour to the model was building the FOD guards for the engines. For this I made a master and cast several, painted them and just attached them during final assembly.



Painting and Finishing


My preferred paint for aircraft is Extracolor . Surprisingly it took only three tinlets of their Gunship Grey to cover the model, and a further tin lightened with white to weather it.



The kit-supplied decals were frankly disappointing. But using my references I was able to draw up a complete set of decals for the model, and was fortunate to have Mike Grant print them for me. I was amazed at both the quality of service and printing that Mike produces. He printed two sets not only of the nose art, wing badges, ACC crests , but also all the stencilling. They went on with no problem.



With the decals complete, a final coat of Aeromaster matte varnish is applied, the masking removed and final assembly complete. On the day I finished the model the FSM with Paul Boyer’s article on how to build the AMT B52 landed on my doorstep. Spooky.




All that was left to do was pack it and take it to the UK. (The sharp eyed amongst you will notice that the wings are removable. One day I hope to permanently fix them and fill the gap, but until then it lives in a closet), I carried it as hand luggage and had no problems with security.

This is the first model I’ve built in nearly five years, and I enjoyed it immensely. But during the building I made a solemn vow that the next plane I build will have a wingspan less than the span of the tail plane.

I must thanks to all of the members of the USAF SIG, especially Haydn Hughes and Alex Hunger, also thanks to Mike Grant, Andrew Hill and finally to my wife Julie for putting up with such a large model.

Thank you all.





  • D. Logan ACC Bomber Triad Schiffer Publishing

  • A. Thornborough B-52H Aero Guide 28 Linewrights

  • D. Jenkins & B. Rogers B52 G/H Aerofax

  • L. Drendel B52 Walkaround Squadron Publishing

  • A. T. lloyd B52 Stratofortress Detail and Scale

  • R. F. Dorr Big Bombers Airlife

  • Combat Aircraft Feb 2000 (Vol 2 No 7)

  • World Air Power Journal Vol. 39

  • World Air Power Journal Vol. 27

The Sharpshooters website is at: http://www.sbas.ndirect.co.uk/html/profil05.htm



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Adrian Davies
Page Created 06 March, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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