Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Hasegawa
Kit ID JS23
Type Boeing RB-47H 53-4296
Unit 55 SRW, Forbes AFB Kansas
Date Circa 1961
Aftermarket parts used DB Productions (now Flightpath) DB2016 resin RB-47H Conversion
Eagles Talon resin Update ET602 (cockpit interior, main gearwells)
Pavla S72078 resin seats, V72102 vacuform canopy
Wolfpak decals
Other detail added See below
Model built by Chuck Holte
Date Completed April 2015


The RB-47H was a reconnaissance variant of the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) six-engine B-47 jet bomber. Loaded with advanced Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) collection equipment and antennas, a pressurized compartment in the bomb bay for three Electronic Warfare Officers, a.k.a. "Ravens", the Stratojet flew sensitive reconnaissance missions around the periphery of the Soviet Union. Thirty-five "H models" were built and delivered to SAC's 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) at Forbes AFB Kansas between August 1955 and January 1957. One aircraft (53-4281) was shot down by Soviet fighters over the Barents Sea on 1July 1960. For the story of the shoot down and the two survivors, see the book The Little Toy Dog, by William Lindsay White.

The aircraft I've modeled, RB-47H, 53-4296, the last SAC B-47, was flown to Davis Monthan AFB AZ for storage on 29 Dec 1967.

The build

The starting point for the RB-47H conversion is Hasegawa's venerable Boeing B-47E bomber kit. The DB Production (now Flightpath) RB-47H conversion includes a large resin plug for the Raven's pressurized compartment in the bomb bay, and all the antenna lumps and bumps except the large "Tell Two" ELINT pod hanging off the aft starboard fuselage, which I scratch built. The Eagles Talon resin Update ET602 provided a cockpit interior and main gear-well replacements. I also used Pavla's excellent resin ejection seats and their crystal clear vac-form canopy.

After sanding the fuselage and wings smooth, I lightly scribed the panel lines with the back of a #11EXato blade. The model was primed with Tamiya rattle-can Surface Primer. Tamiya rattle-can AS-12 Bare Metal Silver served as the color base coat with several flavors of Alclad 2 airbrushed to highlight different fuselage panels/sections. Wings were masked and painted with Model Master FS 16515 Canada Voodoo Gray enamel, a.k.a. Boeing Gray, for the wing walk areas. Decals were Wolfpac # 72-021 and 72-065, beautifully printed with the "painted on" look when finished. Top coat was Floquil flat.

Model and images by Chuck Holte