Al Superczynski's

Old Kit Corner

Aurora Douglas B-66, Kit #298-50

This tiny model was a reissue of the Comet kit in approximately 1/170 "box" scale. As I've mentioned before when discussing Aurora kits, the style of stand is a dead giveaway of the kit's origins as a Comet mold. Because of the wing tip pods included in the box this small-scale kit actually represents an RB-66C - the only version of the Destroyer to carry these pods, which contained radar systems for the aircraft's role as an all-weather electronic reconnaissance platform. An RB-66A or B-66B could be built from the kit very easily by omitting the pods and filling their locator slots under the wing tips.

The kit consists of 13 parts molded in medium gray plastic (mine is missing the horizontal stabilizer), two more for the stand, and a clear cockpit cover. Panel lines are recessed, a bit too heavily, including the outlines of the decal locations. There's no landing gear, the engine nacelles are completely hollow, and cockpit detail consists of a single pilot's head molded on to a shelf. Only one tail gun is provided, molded to the right fuselage half, despite the fact that actual armament was two 20mm cannon. All state of the art for a kit from the 1950s!

My example suffers from quite a bit of flash and some really bad sink marks on the wings, indicating that both Comet and Aurora got quite a bit of mileage out of this tooling before this kit's plastic was injected into the mold! The decal sheet is extremely basic, including national insignia that are both the wrong color and out of proportion, again not at all surprising for a model of this vintage. The instructions are adequate for a model this simple but lack any color call outs whatsoever other than a suggestion to use Aurora's own "Speed-Dry" enamels.

Another old kit probably best left to collectors. A good example of the type of models available in the infancy of plastic kits, it could certainly be built into a nice little desk model but unfortunately won't fit into any constant scale collection very well, being right in between 1/144 and 1/200 scale.

See you all again next month. Till then, model on and "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to."

Be sure to visit Al's Place while you're surfing the 'Net!

Al Superczynski


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