M 117 Bomb with Airbrake

Published: May 5th, 2016     
Product Image
Product packaging
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $12.95
Product / Stock #: 672 059
Product provided by: Eduard

The M117 is a general purpose 750 lb. (unguided) bomb used by the United States military starting in the 1950s and continuing up through Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. It was used extensively in the Vietnam War being carried by everything from F-100s, to F-111s, to B-52s. The bomb consists of a bomb body containing the explosives, one of several different tail assemblies and fuses.

Eduard has issued three different M117 sets. This set represents the M117 with the high-drag tail assembly primarily for use in low altitude deliveries. The tail assembly has four large plates that open up when the bomb is dropped, greatly increasing the drag on the bomb, slowing its descent so as to allow the delivery aircraft an opportunity to get clear before the bomb impacts and explodes.

The set consists of six bomb bodies, six tail assemblies and three different types of fuses. As is standard with Eduard's US bomb sets, there are six standard nose fuses, six fuse extenders and six conical nose caps. As with all resin sets, the first step is washing the resin to remove any residual mold release, followed by cutting the bomb bodies and tail assemblies away from the pour stubs. Care needs to be taken in doing this as a crooked cut on either a tail assembly or a bomb body means sanding later on to straighten out the cut face of the part and in some cases even a little filling and sanding to get things lined up and gaps taken care of. I initially sued my thinnest razor saw, but once I discovered it had a tendency to wander or distort slightly when cutting through the thicker pour stubs, I reverted to my trusty old Xacto razor saw with the reinforced rear edge as it does not bend or flex, hence giving a much straighter cut.

Once the parts are separated, you will need to carefully check the cut edges to ensure they are flat and then join six bomb bodies to six tail assemblies taking care to ensure that the bombs are straight and that the tail assemblies are mounted in an "x" configuration when compared to the mounting lugs. As I had several crooked cuts, I ended up filling some of the resulting gaps with either superglue or putty and then sanding to eliminate any gaps. Double check your alignment before the superglue sets or else you will end up with a very non-aerodynamic weapon as I did!

As with most US bombs, painting is simple - overall Olive Drab. After a quick coat of gloss, the decals were applied, three per bomb! I like the curved decals that are provided to make the yellow nose band, denoting this to be a live weapon, but care needs to be taken in aligning the nose band so that the ends of the decal meet without much overlap as the decals are very thin and in some cases translucent. Once decaling is done, a quick shot of flat and then the desired nose fuse can be installed. I used the standard fuse as I have thoughts of mounting all six weapons on the centerline MER on an F-105D heading up North.

Once again, Eduard has released a very nice set of weapons that allows the modeler to portray different weapons than are included in the normal kit. Highly recommended.

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

  • Top view
    Top view
  • Side view
    Side view
  • Set
    Set
  • Crooked bomb
    Crooked bomb
  • Complete set
    Complete set

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