Sunday, April 26, 2020

Bombs, missiles, and pods oh my!

There’s something about the size of a man’s stash, right? We like to talk about our model collections, whether they’re enormous or modest. I remember a modeler 30 years ago who bought one of every new 1/72 aircraft model as they were released, not unreasonable at the time when there were just six or seven major manufacturers rather than the 25 or more that we have today. If I recall correctly, he had several thousand kits in this stash.

Despite all our talk about kits, what about the other items that take up room in our closets? I’ve seen talk about photoetch and books, but over the last few years I’ve found myself building another stash — resin bombs, missiles, and pods.

There was a time when I didn’t add ordnance to my models. When I got to the final stages of completing a model the thought of spending even a few more hours on the the kit was not appealing; I found the task tedious and time-consuming.

Not anymore! These days I’m intrigued by the wide variety of armament you can hang under an airplane. Ordnance has become compelling. It gives an airplane its character.

The scale modeling aftermarket industry has caught on. Although Hasegawa’s weapons were first released 30 years ago, newcomers have capitalized on the desire of modelers to add weapons to their models. Here are a few manufacturers that are producing some really cool products.


Eduard is at the top of the game with their expansive line of Brassin weapons. Like everything that Eduard produces, these bombs and missiles are perfectly manufactured and feature outstanding detail. I think they’ve released pretty much every significant piece of ordnance by now in all three major scales.

Master Model

Master Model has released a huge variety of gun barrels for all of the most popular aircraft. (And pitot tubes, too.) They’re beautifully turned in brass and are much more realistic than the plastic parts found in model kits.

Advanced Modeling

Russian company Advanced Modeling has given us a huge variety of Russian bombs and pods. And dang, some of these weapons are pretty gruesome looking, like the KAB-1500Kr laser-guided bomb. AM’s quality is excellent, and you should consider them when you’re building Soviet or Russian aircraft.


ResKit ordnance is on par with Advanced Modeling. Their line isn’t as extensive, but the quality is excellent. They produce quite a few other resin accessories that you should seek out as well.

Other noteworthy manufacturers are Armory, Air Graphics, Black Dog, L’Arsenal, and RV Aircraft. When you’re browsing the vendors room at contests, look for older manufacturers such as Belcher Bits, Paragon, PP Aeroparts, Dr. Pepper Resin, and Spectre Resins. If I forgot any of your favorites, be sure to add them in the comments below.

A few ideas

Before signing off, I’d like to offer a few suggestions that might help you better manager your stash of ordnance.

Kudos to Eduard for their excellent packaging of their Brassin range of ordnance. The thermoformed package prevents any damage to the delicate resin parts. Unfortunately, they take up a ton of space if you store them as-is. After I buy mine, I remove the resin parts, photoetch, decals, and decals and put them into a small zip bag for storage with other items in a plastic storage container. Yes, you’ll have to be careful when handling the bags, but we modelers know a thing or two about handling delicate items.

Here are photos of the Brassin 1/72 GBU-11 as packaged and after transfer to a plastic bag.

You don’t always have to buy resin ordnance. Many of today’s kits come with ordnance that’s really nice on its own. (Of course some don’t — I’m looking at you, Hasegawa.) Be sure to save these bombs and such for future use, packaging them just as you would any aftermarket alternatives.

Finally, be sure to keep a list of the ordnance you buy. Buying duplicates, because you forgot what you already have, isn't the worse thing with ordnance, but like any stash, knowing what you have is (in my experience) very important to not wasting your money.

And don't forget, it’s ordnance, not ordinance.