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"Balls Three"

The High and Mighty One

1/72 & 1/144



Cutting Edge Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

CED4401 and CED72111

Scale: 1/144 and 1/72
Contents and Media: Double-sided full colour letter-sized instructions plus notes sheet; 1 x full-size decal sheet.
Price: 1/144 Scale USD$7.00
1/72 Scale USD$10.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Impressive subject; decals in perfect register; national markings supplied; two different sets of markings for different times included.
Disadvantages: No 1/72 scale conversion available - yet!
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




Cutting Edge continues their theme of X-planes with the issue of sheet number CED72111.  This time however the subject of the sheet is not a experimental subject itself, instead it is one that carried and launched the X-15. 



This sheet provides markings for a single aircraft "The High and Mighty" - 52-0003, a Boeing NB-52A.  The markings on the sheet allow you to model the aircraft as it appeared at two different times in its life: 


October 31, 1959

The aircraft was in overall natural metal finish with FS 28915 Dayglo Orange vertical stabilizer, nose, wingtips and scalloped engine pods.  The provided markings include: 

        Thin yellow outlines for the nose radome. 

        Air Force Flight Test Center shields for the nose. 

        A 'Scoreboard' of black silhouette X-15s. 

        Black chevrons with Edwards Air Force Base shields for the vertical stabilizer. 

        Thin white borders for the engine pod Dayglo Orange scallops. 

        Thin red boarders for the rear of the engine pods 

        Nose art in the form of a climbing X-15 with the words "The High and Mighty" note that this marking had a life between July and December 1960. 

        Black 20003 serial for the vertical stabilizer.  


June 19, 1964

The aircraft is now in overall aluminium paint with Dayglo Orange bands around the nose rear fuselage and wings.  The engine pods are in FS 16473 Glossy Aircraft Grey.  The markings include: 

        Edwards Air Force Base shields for the nose 

        Nose art consisting of an eagle releasing an X-15 and the words "The High and Mighty One" in a different font from the above. 

        A much bigger scoreboard! 

        Black O - 20003 serial for the vertical stabilizer.  (The O stands for obsolete). 

        Black 003 for the nose. 

A single set of national insignia, USAF and US AIR FORCE titles are provided. 

The decals look like Microscale products, nice and thin and in perfect register. 

Decal placement is guided by an A-4 sized sheet that shows colour profiles of the aircraft as it appeared at the stated times with plan views of the wings.  A further smaller notes sheet is included and this sheet provides instructions on how to apply the decals as well as colour matches of model paints to the Dayglo Orange and Glossy Engine Grey.  The decals, placement and notes sheet all come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag. 

Be aware that you cannot buy a kit of an NB-52.  However, Cutting Edge will be producing a resin set to create an accurate NB-52 in 1/72 scale. The rare 1/72 scale NB-52 kit would seem to be the logical starting point, but it remains to be seen if that kit will be re-released, and whether it is an accurate replica of the real aircraft. The decision about whether the resin NB-52A will be a conversion (for the B-52 kt) or a correction (for the NB-52A kit) will be decided in the coming months.

If the thought of producing an NB-52A in 1/72 scale scares you then you will be happy to know that Cutting Edge also produce the decals and conversion kit (for the Crown/Minicraft kit) in 1/144 scale. 

Why was it called "Balls Three"?  My bet is that it was because of the three zeros before the three in the serial number looked like, well balls! 

An unusual subject for sure but heck won't it look great when finished! 



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

Review Copyright 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 19 August, 2003
Last updated 01 October, 2003

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