I know that I’ve mentioned that my own personal model inspiration can come from a lot of different directions, but there are some models that, when completed, you can’t really remember why you wanted to build one in the first place.
For me, the B-57B is one of those. I think that, in a physical sense, I first dug the Italeri kit out of the stash when I completed the new-tool Airfix Canberra PR9. I can vaguely remember some plans to work my way through the Canberra variants: the PR9, the B-57B, maybe an older Airfix bomber canopy variant if they didn’t update it (and they haven’t yet), and even – God help me – the Mach 2 big-wing/big-engined version. There are a number of conversions produced by the Brit aftermarket for other variants as well.
Then it stalled after I got the cockpit together. It wasn’t on the Shelf of Shame, exactly, but it was under the workbench in a state of neglect. Finally, when I decided on an all-black paint scheme, and seeing that I had three black Hawks approaching the need for paint, I decided that I would go ahead and get the kit together. Being an older Italeri kit, there were some fit issues (mostly wings-to-fuselage joint and the bomb bay doors) and the raised lines had to be sanded down.
The painting coincided with the airbrush throughput problem, so it took more than one session to get full coverage. It probably wasn’t going to be one of my better efforts, so I pushed forward to at least get it finished. The paint scheme came from Xtradecal 72103. This one is from the 71st Bomb Group, 38th Bomb Wing, from Laon AB in France, approximately 1957 (meaning I was one year old at the time). The decals, as always, performed without problem, and I even remembered to include the wingtip tanks, which is important since they have some squadron-specific art on them. But despite putting the usual fishing weight in the nose, it was not enough to keep it from tail-sitting. So just ignore the giant roll of yellow tape.
Again, not one to set up a press conference for, but good enough to lurk in the rear of the case with the Airfix PR9 (and the others as I get around to them).
This is completed model #427 (#8 for the year), finished in April of 2013.