GBU-12

Published: August 5th, 2018     
Product Image
Package
Reviewed by: 
Paul R. Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $9.95
Product / Stock #: 672 166

The GBU-12 is an American laser guided bomb consisting of a 500 lb. Mk. 82 bomb combined with a laser tracker and fins for guidance. First entering service in 1976, it was used extensively in Operation Desert Storm by US F-111's, F-15E's and A-6E's. F-111's used it to great effect in hunting down and destroying Iraqi armor (tank plinking). After Desert Storm it has been used extensively in Afghanistan and other conflicts.

The set consists of four resin bomb bodies with the tail fins and nose guidance sections molded as single pieces except for the seeker head and photo-etch nose and aft guidance fins. Two options are provided for the seeker head, one with the seeker head exposed and the other with the plastic ground cover in place. I choice to use the heads with the cover installed as I plan on displaying the bombs on a parked, but armed aircraft.

The PE fins are well made and very thin, so care must be taken in removing them from the fret and trimming up the attachment points. The aft fins are extremely small and are attached by a simple butt joint at the end of each tail fin. Care must be taken when handling the etched parts as they are very small and difficult to see if dropped, even more so once painted Olive Drab. Fortunately Eduard provides a full set of extra fins for both the nose and tails fins in case you misplace or lose one. The forward fins fit tightly into slots in the nose guidance section, so be careful not to put too much paint or superglue on them.

The instructions show just one scheme, overall Olive Drab with a brown nose guidance section. As the forward guidance fins are olive drab and slot into the brown guidance section, I left them off until after painting. I painted the bombs Tamiya Olive Drab first, then used Tamiya tape to mask off the brown guidance section and painted it brown. I then sealed both colors with Future and attached the nose guidance fins, which I followed with another coat of Future to prepare for decaling.

As with Eduard's other weapons sets, the set includes a comprehensive decal sheet with a fair amount of little stencils to apply to each bomb. I discovered that the numbers on the instructions are reversed for decals 1 and 3. #3 is the large data stencil on the body and #1 is a small stencil toward the aft end of the bomb body. The instructions show using one of decal #5 on each weapon, but the set provides you with ten of them, so I assumed the instructions were incorrect and put two #5's on each weapon, 180 degrees out from each other. Decals 5 and 6 are very similar in color to olive drab, so they tend to disappear at first when applied, so take care to get them placed correctly to start with.

This is another great set from Eduard and a nice expansion of weapons choices for modern aircraft. My only gripe is that I wish they had included other color combinations as in looking online, since this is a modular system, there are lots of photographs of multicolored combinations with grey bombs and olive drab guidance sections or vice versa. It would have been nice to have decals that catered to these combinations as well.

Thank you to Eduard and IPMS-USA for the review sample.

  • Instructions 1
    Instructions 1
  • Instructions 2
    Instructions 2
  • Parts 1
    Parts 1
  • Parts 2
    Parts 2
  • Finished
    Finished

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