by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The B43 was a United States air-dropped variable yield nuclear weapon used by a wide variety of fighter bomber and bomber aircraft. The B43 was developed from 1956 by Los Alamos National Laboratory, entering production in 1959. It entered service in April 1961. Total production was 2,000 weapons, ending in 1965. Some variants were parachute-retarded and featured a ribbon parachute.
The B43 was built in two variants, Mod 1 and Mod 2, each with five yield options. It could be delivered at altitudes as low as 300 ft (90 m), with fusing options for airburst, ground burst, free fall, contact, or laydown delivery. Explosive yield varied from 70 kilotons of TNT to 1 megaton of TNT.
The B43 used the Tsetse primary design for its fission stage, as did several mid- and late-1950s designs. The B43 was one of four thermonuclear gravity bombs carried by Canadian CF-104 jets while serving in Germany between June 1964 and 1972.
Carrier aircraft included most USAF, USN and USMC fighters, bombers and attack aircraft, including the A-3 Skywarrior, A-4 Skyhawk, A-5 Vigilante, A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair II, B-47 Stratojet, B-52 Stratofortress, B-58A Hustler, F-100 Super Sabre, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4 Phantom II, F-104 Starfighter, FB-111A strategic bomber variant, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Hornet. The B-1B Lancer was also intended to carry the B43, though it remains unclear whether this particular aircraft was ever type-approved to carry the B43 prior to the B-1's reassignment to conventional strike roles. The B43 was also supplied for delivery by Royal Air Force Canberra and Valiant aircraft assigned to NATO under the command of SACEUR.
648447 – B43.0 with SC43-4/-7 tail assembly
648448 – B43.1 with SC43-4/-7 tail assembly
The mixed media kit comes in a very sturdy box and the contents are sandwiched between two pieces of 10mm thick foam. Contents of each box include:
●4 x resin parts to make the bodies of the two bombs
●8 x resin stabilising fins
●8 x miscellaneous resin parts
●1 x small fret of non-painted photo etched parts
●1 x small sheet of decals
●1 x A5 double sided instruction sheet
The contents of the two packs are identical except the nose cone of the B43.1 is slightly longer than the B43.0
B43.0 and B43.1 Nuclear Weapons with SC43-4/-7 tail assembly
The body of each device comes in two resin parts. The casting blocks need to be removed before assembly. The stabilising fins also have moulding blocks, but they are attached by a number of thin stems and they are very easy to separate. The edges of the fins are realistically thin. Also contained are an additional eight small resin parts, four of which are attached to the body of the device. Evident on the resin parts are some fine raised and recessed detail and there is not a bubble to be seen. There are two photo etched straps to attach to the tail cone and the fins fit over these. It might be an idea to encourage the strips to form a hoop shape before attaching. Not quite sure why this could not have been represented in resin, though I’m sure Eduard had their reasons. There is also a PE etched disk to attach to the rear of the device. The bombs are painted white or light gull grey overall. There are a number of stencils to apply and these are provided as decals.
The small instruction sheet has a paint and decal placement guide. Gunze Sangyo paints are used as reference to colours.
If you are looking for something different to sling under a wing or in a bomb bay then B43-0 and B43-1 nuclear bombs might be the answer. The do look the part and the detail is excellent.