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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Brassin GBU-11/B -- 1:32 Scale

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The early days of operational laser-guided bombs during the late Vietnam War era saw a number of new and innovative munitions, but none of them packed the punch of the GBU-11/B.  This weapon started out life as a standard 3,000-pound M118E1 iron bomb body that was then fitted with a gimballed seeker head, a Computer Control Group (CCG) assembly aft of the seeker head, and a set of airfoils (moveable nose canards on the CCG along with fixed cruciform tailfins [also referred to as wings]).  This heavyweight LGB was well suited to taking out bridges and other targets of similar mass and significance.  As a member of the Paveway I series of ordnance, they were carried by USAF F-4 Phantoms and guided to targets illuminated by the AN/AVQ-10 Pave Knife designator pod.  In 1972, the GBU-11/B made its combat debut and was employed against notorious and seemingly indestructible targets such as the Paul Doumer and Thanh Hoa bridges – accomplishing what years of conventional bombing could not, and knocked them out in a single sortie.  The GBU-11/B was relatively quickly phased out in the latter portion of the decade as the next generation of Paveways came into service.  

Eduard’s Brassin line has produced a 1:72 scale and 1:48 scale GBU-11/B, and now their GBU-11/B comes in 1:32 scale as well.  This set contains parts for two GBU-11/Bs.  It is comprised of 16 cast resin parts and one decal sheet.  The bomb body and seeker head assembly are cast as an integral piece.  In other words, they are hefty pieces of resin weighing in at about an ounce each.  Likewise, the wing (tail fin) assembly is cast as a single piece, and each of the four fins are already attached.  The nose fins are all separate pieces, and you get two styles of laser seeker heads.  The casting of these parts is flawless, though the tailfins are very, very thin.  That means they are brittle.  Be careful when handling and removing these from the casting blocks.  Surface details look great and match up with quite a degree of accuracy with my GBU-11/B references.  I think all you can add is the arming guide wire that ran from the safety cotter on the aft section of the CCG assembly to the forward suspension lug.  The decal sheet is a mixed bag.  On one hand, it provides stenciling and curved stripes that nicely travel around the continuous compound curve of the bomb body itself.  On the other hand, the data and stenciling decals that are applied to a few places on the bombs are not legible, and they probably should be in 1:32 scale.  Instead of letters and words, they look more like blobs of white text.

Overall, this is a great Brassin set and would go great on a late-war F-4D, for example.  Distinctive not only for its sheer size, the GBU-11/B helped take the first steps towards today’s world of precision guided munitions.  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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