Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

TU-4 (B-29) Kong Jiang-1 Chinese AWACS

1/48 Conversion for Monogram
1/72 Conversion for Academy


Cutting Edge Modelworks

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description & Price Cutting Edge Modelworks
CEC48469 - TU-4 (B-29) Kong Jiang-1 Chinese AWACS - USD$69.99
CEC72032 - TU-4 (B-29) Kong Jiang-1 Chinese AWACS - USD$42.99

both available online from Meteor Productions
Scale: 1/72 & 1/48
Contents and Media: See details and images in text below
Review Type: FirstLook and FirstBuild
Advantages: Major "WOW" factor; very unusual subject matter; large, comprehensive conversion covering all exterior requirements; beautifully cast resin parts; excellent colour instructions; reference photos and high-quality markings are included
Disadvantages: Modelling skills required for extensive surgery, parts preparation and alignment
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Mick Evans

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




Cutting Edge has added to its kit conversion line, this time with another interesting conversion based on the Chinese AWACS aircraft developed using the Boeing B-29 fuselage known as the Soviet build Tupolev TU-4 Bull.

The TU-4 Bull was fitted with Shanghai WJ-6 turboprop engines a Chinese copy of the Soviet Ivchenko AI-20K turboprop engines, a large rotating airborne surveillance radome, and various other lumps and bumps around the fuselage. The horizontal tail surfaces have been redesigned with square tips and fins added to the tips. This presumably adds more lateral stability to counter the large radome.

The aircraft is devoid of any armament, no turrets are fitted and the rear tail guns are removed although the position is retained.

Cutting Edge's conversion is available in both 1/48 and 1/72 scales. The 1/48 scale conversion is designed for the classic Monogram kit, while the 1/72 scale set will fit the more recent Academy B-29. The photos and comments in this review refer to the 1/48 scale offering, but the parts breakdown and conversion requirements are the same for both scales.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

This is by no means a simple conversion. Major surgery is required to remove the lower wing engine nacelles. These are then replaced with the resin conversion adaptor fittings on to which the engine nacelles are fitted. The weight of the resin engines will require considerable support to hold them onto the wing. It is worth considering two-part epoxy glue for this job.

The removal and blanking off of the gun turrets is the other major task and the instructions provide a simple solution - purchase the Cutting Edge conversion CEC 48478 B-29 Turretless Conversion set. Alternatively, blanks can be scratch built from plastic card.

Fitting the support mounts for the revolving radome will require some careful marking and drilling of the fuselage. Accuracy here will make the installation quite straight forward.

The horizontal stabilisers are easily converted by cutting the rounded tips off and gluing the square extensions on. The remaining lumps and bumps are installed as per the instructions and most are simply glued into place.

The remainder of the kit is constructed per Monogram’s instruction sheet, but one major thing to bear in mind is the centre of gravity.

While the weight of the engines is significant the Monogram B-29 required a lot of weight to prevent the model being a tail sitter. The weight of the engines is a great help here until you add the weight of the radome to the rear fuselage, so be prepared to add more weight - and do some upper-body building to be able to lift the model when you have finished!

Cutting Edge has included some photographs of the aircraft preserved at the PLAAF museum at Datangshan AB , north of Beijing.

Decals are provided for the Chinese markings and these are to Cutting Edge’s usual high standard. They are in perfect register and have good colour saturation. The decals are on thin carrier film and should snuggle down nicely into the detail.


Highly recommended for builders of unusual conversions.

Thanks to Cutting Edge Modelworks for the samples

Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals,
can be viewed at Meteor Productions website

Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Mick Evans
This Page Created on 16 August, 2006
Last updated 15 August, 2006

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page