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"Balls Eight"


1/72 & 1/144



Cutting Edge Decals



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

CED4402 and CED72112

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 completes their X-planes theme with this sheet.  CED72112 provides markings for the other B-52 used by NASA to launch X-planes.  This time it is 52-0008, a Boeing NB-52B.  The markings on the sheet allow you to model the aircraft as it appeared at four different times during its life: 

October 31, 1959 - The aircraft was in overall natural metal finish with FS 28915 Dayglo Orange bands around the wing tips as well as upper nose.  The provided markings include: 

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

        A launch scoreboard of black silhouette X-15s.  This time the launch symbols are in a single row. 

        Nose art in the form of an eagle on a blue disc background with the words "The Challenger". 

        Black 20008 serial for the vertical stabilizer. 

        Air Force Flight Test Center shields for the nose. 

        Thin red boarders for the rear of the engine pods 

Between April 1962 and May 1963 

        A further set of Edwards Air Force Base shields for the nose this time without the chevrons.   

        A two-row launch scoreboard showing X-15 silhouettes. 

        An abbreviated 0008 serial for the nose. 

        Nose art in the form of an eagle on a blue circle background with the words "The Challenger".  Whilst similar to the above nose art, this time the eagle has been painted differently. 

October 3 1967 The aircraft is now in overall aluminium paint with FS 16473 Glossy Aircraft Grey engine pods.  The markings include: 

        Edwards Air Force Base shields for the nose 

        Nose art consisting of a cartoon style B-52 that standing on its horizontal stabilizers and throwing an X-15.  The nose art is painted on a light blue disc background.  A further blue disc background without the artwork is supplied as the aircraft flew in this form for awhile before the artwork was added. 

        A three-row launch scoreboard. 

        Black O - 20008 serial for the vertical stabilizer.  (The O stands for obsolete). 

        Black 008 serial for the nose. 

July 2001.  The aircraft is in the same scheme as above with basically the same markings except that the launch scoreboard has now assumed massive proportions, the vertical stabilizer bears a cord width yellow NASA band and the serial has been abbreviated to 0008.  Try as I might; I just could not find the NASA scripts or the thin black lines that form part of the NASA band on the decal sheet. 

A single set of national insignia and USAF titles are provided.  Two different sets of US AIR FORCE titles are included.  The right hand side larger AIR FORCE titles for the pre 1967 versions feature an extra modified 'F' to fit over the antenna fairing(?) on the fuselage. 

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



Decal placement is guided via the standard Cutting Edge A-4 sized sheet that show 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. 

As with the other Cutting Edge B-52 sheet you need to be aware that you cannot buy a kit of an NB-52B of the shelf.  To reproduce the aircraft on this sheet in model form you must first purchase a 1/72 Scale Monogram B-52D kit as well as the Cutting Edge resin conversion kit. 

Cutting Edge also produces this sheet and conversion kit (for the Crown/Minicraft kit) in 1/144 scale. 

Why was it called "Balls Eight"?   Again, my bet is that it was because of the three zeros before the eight in the serial number looked like balls. 

The same comments apply for this sheet as the "Balls Three" sheet - an unusual subject that will look great when finished. 


Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review samples.

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

Review Copyright 2004 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 12 January, 2004
Last updated 12 January, 2004

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