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Old 10-17-2012, 07:33 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build

This will be a build of the General Dynamics RB/WB-57F, also sometimes called the "Longwing", "Droopy" or "Intruder".

The kit is by OddBall productions, Aaron Murphy, and is available with the USAF and early NASA liveries. The kit is released in 1:48 scale , with 14 pages of parts with an instruction, and cover sheet for a total of 16 sheets.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-gd-martin-rb-57f-cover-reduced.jpg

I was asked by Aaron to do a test build of the USAF and NASA versions earlier this year. There were some minor design and graphic changes made prior to release. Both models are available through as downloadable PDF files.

The kit markings represent USAF s/n 63-13502, it was the subject of several USAF and General Dynamics official Photo Ops.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-13502-usaf-photo-600.jpg

Adobe Illustrator was used to alter the kit markings to represent USAF 63-13296 because I saw and photographing this particular ac while it was stationed at Kirtland AFB in the late '60s early '70's. I wanted my model to represent this specific aircraft. I also made several minor alterations specific to this aircraft as some excellent reference photos are available from government and private sources.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-wb-57f-peter-de-groot.jpg
Used with permission of photographer Peter de Groot/

Both 13502 and 13296 spent their last days at AMARC-'The Boneyard' and were scrapped in the mid '70's.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-amarc-boneyard-wb-57f-area.jpg

In 1955, the Martin Aircraft Co., using the British designed, B-57 Canberra bomber, developed a high-altitude version of the B-57 attack bomber. RB-57Ds were used for high-altitude and electronic reconnaissance until being grounded in 1963. An advanced high-altitude version, the RB-57F, was then developed. General Dynamics modified 21 B-57 A's B's, and D's from 1964-66. On June 18, 1964, the first RB/WB-57F was delivered. The original designation, RB (reconnaissance/Spy version) was changed sometime in the late '60's to WB (Weather version), roughly when the plane was being transferred to the 58th Weather Reccon Squadron, Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM.

When the 58th WRS was disbanded in 1975 the remaining WB-57F's were sent to long-term storage at Davis-Monthan AFB (AMARC) near Tuscon, AZ. NASA acquired several, as many as 3, at one point in time and has used them on a regular basis for all kinds of projects around the world. As of this writing, two are still flying with rumors of another being removed from Tuscon and being refurbished, somewhere in the Boulder-Denver area, for NASA use...anyone know anything more about this?

Personal Note: I lived in Albuquerque from 1951-1974, and my dad was an equipment/sensor designer at Sandia Labs at that time. He designed several of the sensors that were flown in the WB-57F's. It was because of his work on these planes that I was able to get an occasional close peek at the aircraft and their cockpits. I also got to know some of the ground-crew and pilots....well enough to ask for literature or photos related to these aircraft to be sent my way if possible.

My begging paid off later, when the 58th WRS was disbanded and I got several copies of flight manuals, pictures and patches that were headed to the trash dumpsters...

Now to the build. (I hope to post at least one comment each day with photos)


Last edited by Swampfox; 10-17-2012 at 07:38 AM. Reason: missed last sentence in original
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:00 AM
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Leif Ohlsson Leif Ohlsson is offline
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Watching. - L.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:37 AM
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Nik0lai Nik0lai is offline
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same here! and good luck sir!
I am a: ROOKIE modeller! XD
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:38 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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What Metallic paper to use?

I generally try to gather as much info about the aircraft I'm going to build. Photos are most important, articles in magazines, papers, and now the internet. I also try to study an example of the actual aircraft if possible, and talk with former or present crew members....although this is mostly fun and in general doesn't really do much for creating a better looking model.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-some-my-wb-57f-reference-collection-600.jpg
This is a small example of my collection (~30%) of reference material that I have on the R/W B-57F. I've been gathering and collection these items since ~1968.

I had to make a decision about how I wanted to represent this aircraft. Since I'd decided to do the USAF variant that meant doing a natural metal finish aircraft, since all the U.S. Air Force planes were some variation of fairly bright, unpainted, varying amounts of shininess from one ac to the next, I had to find/use a metal finish, shiny metallic paper for this project.

I'd learned enough on these forums that metallic paper could be difficult to handle and a pain to print on....

My brother has worked for Xerox for nearly 30 years and I got some advice from him....That for the most part, NO printer made for home use was going to work as well as I'd hope and I'd probably have to deal with the big box print shops. He did advise me as to a brand of metallic paper that he suggests to his's available at Office Max stores, for in store use or they will sell you as many sheets as you can afford to buy at 0.17 cents(US) each.

It's Wausau Creative Collection 65# Royal Metallics Card stock and comes in a brushed, silver, gold and copper. It does not have the super shiny finish that I've seen used on some card models.

I think this finish more closely represents what I recall the WB-57F's at Kirtland looking like. After a year or two in the New Mexico sun the bright, the factory finish of the new planes had started to become dull and faded.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-wausau-metallic-paper-cover.jpg
Cover sheet used on packages of the kind of metallic paper I ended up using..

I have an Epson 1400 Photo Stylus at home, and as nice a printer as it is, it would not put down a heavy enough layer of black toner to make black look black. So, I had Office Max print 2 complete sets of all the parts pages of the kit at $3.50/set.

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-printed-different-papers.jpg
I rarely print all the pages of a kit on one kind of paper, using white, colored plain bond and now metallic card stock for my kits.

I use thin bond paper for very small, delicate parts all the way to 110# or heavier for internal structures that hold most of the models stress and weight.

Hopefully will make another post this afternoon....
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:35 PM
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willygoat willygoat is offline
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I have that same metallic paper. I also got a pack of the pearl white. Great stuff!
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:39 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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Originally Posted by willygoat View Post
I have that same metallic paper. I also got a pack of the pearl white. Great stuff!
I also picked up several metallic colors but haven't used them yet...but I'm ready when the right time comes.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:50 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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Shaping/rolling fuselage sections

I don't know how detailed to get here. I'm including these steps to answer any basic questions about how I shape parts.

Sorry if it's too basic for you old timers, just hang in there for another posting or two and I'll get into the build.
I usually cut out all the Major pieces for the section I'm working on. In this case, the fuselage:
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-00all-fuselage-cutout.jpg
Ignore the nose cone for now, I'll get back to that in a little bit.

I use an old but clean mouse pad, several ~12" long wooden and/or similar length metal rods with different diameters.

Place the part with the printed side down (usually), holding one of the dowels/rods by each end with both hands...Lay it on one end of the card part that you want to roll and start with just a little pressure to get the part to start curling. Once your sure the curl is headed in the right direction you can carefully apply more pressure until the part is fairly close to what you need.
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-01-cutout-piece.jpg, WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-02-section-w-roller-bar.jpg, WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-03-contnue-rolling.jpg, WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-04-finish-rollout.jpg

At this point, I add just a little glue to the tab, hold it in place until it seems fairly dry and set it aside to dry for several more minutes.....
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-05-glue-tab-hold-place.jpg, WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-06-completed-section.jpg

Although the kit is not designed with any internal stiffiners I added several in the fuselage because I was concerned at about the stress caused by the wings of its 30"+ wingspan.
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-07-stiffiners-added.jpg

This is a LARGE model, bigger than anything I've ever built from paper, and I don't want to find out 6 months from now that I should had added some reinforcement(formers) to it.

I use this method for shaping nearly all the parts on this model.


For those that noticed the "WHITE" in the star and bar in this image,
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-01-cutout-piece.jpg, that's next.........
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:28 AM
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Isaac Isaac is offline
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Exclamation Not my favorite, but I got pictures

I got to see this beast in 2008 at Warner Robbins AFB in Georgia ( USA ) among many others. This is a true example of how not to design a proper purpose built aircraft. They took an elegant Canberra and just added things on it like a Cyborg from Star trek.

Here are some photos I took.
WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-dsc00315.jpgWB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-dsc00318.jpg

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-dsc00319.jpgWB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-dsc00322.jpg

WB-57F Oddball-1:48 build-dsc00324.jpg

My gallery []
Recent builds Mig-17 repaint, CRJ-200, Kugisho Keitin, He-280, Trident II, Su-15(1)
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:16 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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True/False/opinion and political ads


Thanks for there great pictures. I've never seen it in person, but I've seen similar, much smaller images posted on other web pages.

I had to laugh at myself earlier when I read your comments.. I started doing that True/False/opinion, thing that TV news stations are doing with all the political commercials being run on TV right now.....

You think the WB-57F was beaten with an ugly stick----while I think it's one of the prettiest aircraft I've ever seen;-)

On the other hand, I think that the early airframes, B-57A, B, C and some D's look like they were put together from leftovers of the Korean War!! While you find them attractive..

One thing that I liked like to mention.. Although the RB-57F was based on the overall layout of the Martin/Canberra variants,, not one single piece of either airplane will fit on the other!! How can anyone claim that they are related? The early aircraft are Martin, the F model is a General Dynamics design.

About the only thing these 2 aircraft have in common is that they fly!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this build and can find some technique that you'll be able to use in your own builds...

Thanks for looking,

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Old 10-19-2012, 11:20 AM
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gomidefilho gomidefilho is offline
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Awesome Swampfox. Thank's for share!
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