KIT: Testors/Italeri 1/72 YF-23
KIT #: 657
PRICE: $15.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Greg Ewald
NOTES: A great fitting kit.


  It was a sad day in my mind when the U.S. picked the YF-22 “raptor” over this beautiful jet.  The 23 outshone the competition in every way, except for the $, and with military budgets being whacked over and over, it is understandable to have signed with the less capable, yet still truly astounding F-22.  But, oh! The rebirth of the “Black Widow”, and the spectacular performance of the YF-23 would have made for a really fantastic combat fighter/interceptor.

    The teams at Northrop and McDonnell/Douglas really went out of their way on this bird, it has sleek lines that make the jet look like it is flying 24-7, at the same time reflecting and rebounding radar waves all over the place…creating a very, very stealthy aircraft.  Sigh.  It was truly a thing of loveliness…

     800 and 801 had different engine types, YF-119’s and YF-120 turbofans were tried out, and proved capable of pushing the sleek jet well into the mach numbers, as well as providing “supercruise” capability. Armament was of the missile only category at trials, the bays held  AIM-9’s and AIM-120’s, with no external hardpoints. It’s hard to speculate what might have happened if the plane went into production.

    Two prototype aircraft were built (unless you are a conspiracy buff, and then there might be an entire fleet based out of Groom Lake), and one is viewable at Edwards, the other at the Western Museum of Flight. Hey, how come California gets both?  Did Arnold have something to do with this?


   Molded in a dark grey styrene, the kit I received is flash free on all sprues, a truly amazing phenomena ! There are only 41 pieces to this kit, and each one dovetails rather nicely into the other.  The two piece canopy has no crazes to it at all, and though the clear plastic is rather brittle, it looks like a single dunk in Future will be all that is necessary.

   Detail is kept at a minimum, which you would expect for one of the world’s most perfect jets…nary a rivet or seam out of place! 


  For the money, it is a reasonable value. There really isn’t much too it, and with two extremely dull paintschemes, it isn’t likely to stand out in a crowd…but then again, that is what the thing was designed to do, right?


 Google, Jane’s, and a lot of shows on military trends.

 Review kit courtesy of : Woodburn Photography

May 2006

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page