Special Hobbies 1/72 N1M






See review


Allan Wanta


Resin kit`


None provided.


As is typical with Planet models, the white open-ended box reveals a nicely cast rendition of the first N1-M, complete with drooping wing panels. The most difficult aspect of this or any resin kit is having the right reference material to complete an accurate model. For the most part building this kit straight from the box would be easy. But upon looking at close-up photos of the real thing you really see the inaccuracies and glossed over details that made this aircraft so interesting. It so happened that I purchased the Schiffer Military book on the 'Flying Wings of Jack Northrop' about three quarters the way through this build, and have been back-pedaling ever since. 


The body so-to-speak, is 4 parts. Two main wing parts, upper and lower and the two drooping wing tips are one part each. One needs to sand the wing tips so the cross section matches that of the main body/wing. Plus the correct angle of droop must be maintained and duplicated for both. Making a simple jig is recommended as having one wing droop more than the other is not allowed. Blending the joint left by the joining of these wings could be another lesson in proper puttying techniques.

Believe it or not, each split rudder elevon has three balance weights on it, something the kit instructions forget to show. These are simple bent wires at the hinge line pointing forward.

The interior is a simple affair, which I'm sure was made even simpler by Planet. Not a whole lot going on in the office today, so I thought I'd get in a few games of golf. That 'seat' looks awfully like a park bench. Luckily the cockpit opening is small so not a lot can be viewed and critiqued. All the interior was painted interior green except the instrument panel, which got the only black on the entire kit, save the tires. Which is another story.

The landing gear are pieces of a paper clip bent into a more realistic shape, those supplied in the kit are straight, thick, and not very round in cross section. The tires are passable and won't be easily seen as the entire structure sits really close to the ground.

Most notable are the six individual propellers, all which are scratch-built cause a couple got loose and ended up on the floor, never to be seen again. Actual pictures reveal a lot of detail on them. Metal leading edges, manufacturer logo, and a funky wood pattern topped off with painted tips. But as each blade was only 3/8th's of an inch long, not a lot of time is going to be spent here.


The overall painting is done with two shades of yellow, seems the joints which hide the mechanisms that variable position the wing tips are a lighter shade of yellow than the chrome yellow used for the overall structure. Some careful masking is needed to make that distinction. Decals are well done and do not show any hint of silvering, even under a heavy layer of Future wax. I made the mistake of applying the Northrop logo on the nose, it never appeared on this plane until the drooping wing tips were replaced with straight ones. All that's left is to give the entire wing a coat of semi-gloss Aeromaster clear and the canopy can be glued on.

As you can see by the finished model against the backdrop of the inches scale, it's not a very big kit but it took me quite awhile to finish it, it's one of those casualties of "lost interest in it" until recently.


The Retail price of this kit is/was around 28.00 USD, and as with most Planet kits, you get very good resin and generally well engineered construction. But as with most, you get simplified main structures and less than accurate small details. The kit ends up looking very bold, small, but bold. I for one think 'the wing is the thing', and with Swords' rendition of the N9-M one can make a complete set of the early Northrop designs. I rate this kit as a 6 out of 10 on the Cool-Meter; difficulty hangs around a 7 cause of the resin parts. Give this one a try if you can still find it, but expect to do a lot of extra detailing if you want an accurate N1-M.

Allan Wanta

Copyright ModelingMadness.com

  If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to Main Page

Back to Reviews Page2016