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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard GBU-38 Non-Thermally Protected JDAM
1:48 Scale

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Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) are now heavily used air-to-ground precision guided munitions on U.S. and allied jets.  Many different JDAM variants span 2,000-lb., 1,000-lb., 500-lb., and 275-lb. varieties.  The GBU-38 is based on the standard Mk. 82 bomb married to the JDAM tail steering kit and GPS satellite receiver.  Developed in the late 1990s, the first use of the GBU-38 came in 2004 when a pair of these bombs were dropped by Alabama ANG F-16s over central Iraq targeting a meeting of affiliates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  Two F-16 Fighting Falcons performed a simultaneous GBU-38 release on the same target in central Iraq.  Later that same year, F/A-18s of VFA-34 marked the first use of the GBU-38 by the Navy.  Since then, the GBU-38 has been cleared for use on virtually every air-to-ground capable combat aircraft in the inventory and has been sold to many U.S. allies. 

Eduard’s Brassin line now includes four sets representing the 500-lb. GBU-38 in 1:48 and 1:72 scale.  Here, we take a look at the 1:48 scale Non-Thermally Protected version corresponding to all non-U.S. Navy GBU-38 users (e.g., USAF).  This set contains parts for four bombs.  The set contains 36 flawlessly-cast resin parts along with eight small photoetched metal parts on one fret.  The bomb bodies and tailfin kits are single piece castings.  There are also three different styles of dielectric nosecones.  Two of the nosecone sets don’t get used here – one is for Navy GBU-38s and the other is specifically for the JDAMs carried aboard the B-2 stealth bomber.  Separate parts are provided for the bomb locking lugs as well.  The GPS antennas (at the aft-facing base of the tailfin guidance kits) are provided as small and very nicely detailed photoetched metal parts).   

This set also contains a small decal sheet printed in-house by Eduard for the bomb stenciling and a small pre-cut self-adhesive masking set to assist in the precise painting of the JDAM nose strakes fitted to the front of the Mk. 82 bomb body.  The instructions also feature a great painting and markings guide.  In this set, only follow the instructions for the USAF version and ignore the parts detailing the Navy and B-2 GBU-38s.  

Eduard has produced another accurate, very well detailed, and really useful weapons set here.  Eduard’s other GBU-38 sets include the thermally-protected versions used by the U.S. Navy in both 1:48 and 1:72 scales.  You can’t go wrong with these!

We extend our sincere thanks 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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