KIT: Anigrand 1/72 XA-38 "Grizzly"
KIT #: AA-2044
PRICE: $54.00 from Nostalgic Plastic (Includes free US s&h)
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run resin with vacuformed transparencies


In 1942, USAAF requested  a new heavily armored ground attack airplane as a replacement for the Douglas A-20 Havoc. Beech Aircraft Corp had already started work on the design of the Model 28 “Destroyer" which specification met to the requirement. So a contract was awarded to Beech for two prototypes that designated XA-38 and re-named "Grizzly". This aircraft was in competition with the Hughes XA-37 (an aircraft that later changed designation and mission to become the XF-11).

For ground attack duties, the aircraft had a 75mm cannon and two .50 calbre guns in the nose, as well as in two remote-controlled turrets on the fuselage. Two powerful Wright GR-3350 engines, the same as in the B-29 bomber, were chosen to drive this heavy machine. First flight was made in 1944. The aircraft proved satisfactory and better than expected. However, the B-29 had top priority to use these engines. Because of an insufficient number of these engine for other uses, it led to the eventual demise of the A-38. After the second prototype tested in September 1945, the USAAF lost interest in the attack bomber concept and the project was cancelled.


Anigrand's kit is quite typical of what they have been producing for several years. Well molded in tan resin with engraved panel lines that are a bit too deep for most tastes, the kit shows all the usual situations with air bubbles on the trailing edges of wings, tailplanes, prop tips and a few other spots in the kit. Nothing major and something most of us won't worry much about. We'll just fix the spots and carry on. Still only one set of vac bits in the kit and as usual, the frames are not well defined, making masking them a bit on the tricky side.

The gear doors are molded shut so will need to be cut apart to place in the open position. Unlike some other prototypes, these two were armed so gun barrels are given. There are also two rather generic engines provided; the first two rows being displayed in the cowling. A pair of bomb racks for each wing are also given. There is no indication of whether the props turn in the same direction or not, but the blades are numbered differently for the right and left side, so one will have to do some reading to see if this was the case.

Instructions are the usual with a short history (paraphrased above) and photo of the plane with an exploded diagram of the parts  on one side. The other contains the painting and decal guide. Decals are in their own little plastic bag and are basically the P-59 sheet (for the insignia) and two serial numbers for one of the two planes. From the pictures it appears that this aircraft was painted aluminum as I don't see the usual changes in hue that one associates with unpainted metal. Spinners are black and the modeler will have to paint on the walk areas on the wing.

Just for fun, I've shown the image of the parts provided on the Anigrand web site above and what you will actually get in the box (at least the major bits) to the right.


Once more, the opportunity to build something a bit off the beaten track presents itself thanks to Anigrand. These are nothing that should cause any problems to the intermediate modeler as all the fixes are simple and the construction quite straight-forward. A beginner to the genre may have to take it slow, but there is no reason that he/she can't make a very nice model for the collection from this one.

October 2005


As a bit of a postscript, Nostalgic Plastic (hyperlink below), now offers replacement canopies and decal sheets for Anigrand kits at $1 each. No more need to send off to Hong Kong if you make a goof and need a replacement bit.

Many thanks to for Nostalgic Plastic the review sample. Get yours direct.

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