PAVE Way I Mk. 83 Slow Speed LGB, Thermally Protected Bombs

Published: February 8th, 2020     
Product Image
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Reviewed by: Ben Morton - IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $14.95
Product / Stock #: 648480
Product provided by: Eduard

Note: Before you begin, click the link to the Tulsa, Oklahoma group The Gap Band. Their hit, "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" is the perfect listening accompaniment for this topic. The DIAZO effects used in the video are kinda cool, too!

With apologies to Wikipedia... "PAVE Way is a series of laser-guide bombs (L.G.B.). PAVE, or pave, is sometimes used as an acronym for Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment; literally, electronics for controlling the speed and direction of aircraft. Laser guidance is a form of PAVE.

The PAVE Way series of laser-guided bombs was developed by Texas Instruments starting in 1964. The program was conducted on a shoestring budget, but the resultant emphasis on simplicity and economical engineering proved to be a benefit, and a major advantage over other more complex guided weapons. The first test weapon, using a M117 bomb as the warhead, took place in April 1965. Prototype weapons were sent to Vietnam for combat testing starting in 1968.

The original PAVE Way series, retroactively named PAVE Way I, gave way in the early 1970s to the improved PAVE Way II, which had a simplified, more reliable seeker and pop-out rear wings to improve the weapon's glide performance. Both PAVE Way I and PAVE Way II use a simple 'bang-bang' control system (on-off system), where the CAS commands large canard deflections to make course corrections, resulting in a noticeable wobble. This had relatively little effect on accuracy, but expends energy quickly, limiting effective range. As a consequence, most users release PAVE Way I and II weapons in a ballistic trajectory, activating the laser designator only late in the weapon's flight to refine the impact point.

Thermally protected bombs were developed, principally, for use on aircraft carriers. The thermal protection aided with extending the cook-off time and decreased the reaction of bombs when engulfed in a fuel fire. Possibly a result of the fire ( aboard the USS Enterprise in 1969. (?)"

Now having read all that, on to the kit. Part of Eduard's Brassin accessory line these 1/48th scale PAVE Way bombs are exquisite. Molded in light gray resin all of the separate, control surfaces (fins) are appropriately thin and delicate. You will need to exercise due care when removing the excess resin from the parts. Not that that task is all that challenging but just as a precaution. No sense mucking up all that nice detail cast into the parts. Some of that nice cast detail is the well done texture (thermal protection) applied to the body of the bomb.

There are bits for two complete bombs and a decal sheet with all the appropriate markings (stripping, data, and warning placards) common to this weapon. Assembly is simplicity itself. The main body of the bomb is a two piece affair with the only other steps being the attachment of the four control vanes and laser seeker to the forward end on the LGB. The assembly instructions would have you drill out a mounting hole for the laser seeker and the hollowed out detail on the rear guide vane assembly. Getting those holes centered is really the most difficult part of assembling these PAVE Way bombs.

While on the ground, the laser seeker is often seen a bit askew (drooping) on the real bombs. So maybe getting that mounting hole dead solid perfect isn't that big a deal. (?) The hollowed out rear end on the guide vane unit is typical for under wing ordnance, I assume, as a weight saving measure.

Speaking of that laser seeker, Eduard provides two styles of seeker heads. Part number R112 appears to be the newer style laser guess what? Check your references for the one that will be most appropriate for your project. But the only person who might notice that difference is the more OCD challenged.

Painting these bombs are beyond easy. Just use whatever shade of olive drab that you wish. Some detail painting ( laser seeker head, mounting lugs, and a small portion of the rear, main body) is suggested in silver/aluminum.

There are markings (decals) options galore. Along with the data stencils ( six per bomb) there are individual decals for the the various markings on the rear guide vanes and canards. Eduard also includes the ubiquitous yellow banding (single and double styles) common to this type of ordnance. I had no trouble at all with applying them. Another plus.

These LGB's from Eduard are gonna look totally cool on your next project. I do have one caution, however. They are so nice that if you might be tempted to do a full load out for that 1/48th scale project your contemplating. Not that there would be anything wrong with that....

My thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy.

  • Instructions
  • Parts
  • Marking Guide
    Marking Guide
  • Decals
  • Finished 1
    Finished 1
  • Finished 2
    Finished 2
  • Finished 3
    Finished 3
  • Finished 4
    Finished 4
  • Diorama View 1
    Diorama View 1
  • Diorama View 2
    Diorama View 2
  • Diorama View 3
    Diorama View 3
  • Diorama View 4
    Diorama View 4

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