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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Brassin GBU-32 Thermally Protected
1:48 Scale

vol_2_image

Today, it has been argued that a few precision GPS-guided bombs can achieve a similar effectiveness to a formation of 1,000 B-17s.  While laser guided bombs demonstrated their potential in the latter days of the Vietnam War, their potency was demonstrated quite memorably in Operation DESERT STORM.  Around the same time, Global Positioning System data started to offer opportunities to provide for high precision attack and offered several additional advantages.  GPS-guided bombs did not require use of a laser designator.  They could be employed in all weather conditions in a fire-and-forget manner.  A GPS bomb can be released sometimes comfortably far from a target ensuring greater survivability for the attacking aircraft.

In the late 1990s, GPS-guided air-to-ground weapons came of age in the form of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and today represent a key tool used by everything from the F-16 to the B-2.  GPS weapons were also quite economical.  “Dumb” iron bombs, already in the inventory, could be converted into a JDAM by adding a set of strakes to the bomb body along with a modular guidance tail kit containing the GPS/INS gear.  The JDAM based on the Mk. 83 1,000-pound bomb is designated the GBU-32.  The USN/USMC GBU-32s are a distinct from the USAF versions as they are covered in a thick ablative fire-retardant coating.  It gives the bomb body a rough and textured appearance.  The ablative coating delays any potential accidental detonation of the bomb in the event of a fire onboard an aircraft carrier.     

In this Brassin set, Eduard provides parts for no less than eight 1:48 scale GBU-32s.  You get eight bomb bodies with separate tailfin kits, 32 parts for optional nosecone attachments, 58 photoetched metal parts on one fret, and decal sheet containing markings for the bomb stenciling.

Overall, this is a very impressive set.  The resin casting is great, and the subtle texture of the ablative coating is very nice done – not overdone at all.  The separate photoetched strakes are a great touch, making these parts easy to paint and install.  Other cast resin details are really nicely done, down to the conformal GPS antenna at the base of the tail kit.  The decals featuring the bomb stripes and other data/stencils look great.

Eduard gives you four different sets of dielectric nose cones, but for the standard Navy and Marine Corps GBU-32(V)2/B, I’d go with the simple rounded nose cone:  part R82. Check your references of course, but all of mine indicate this is the right part for this version of the bomb.

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany     

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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