|KIT:||Anigrand 1/72 Convair XA-41|
|PRICE:||$54.00 from www.NostalgicPlastic.com (Free US shipping)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
In 1942, USAAF requested for a single-seat dive bomber design that powered by the new Pratt & Whitney XR4360 engine. The Vultee proposed their Model 90, and was awarded a contract for two prototypes, designated XA-41. After a mockup inspected in March 1943, the USAAF decided that it no longer needed dive bombers and changed the contract for a low-level ground attack aircraft instead. By this time, Vultee had merged with Consolidated to form Convair. Another change of plan occurred in September 1943, the USAAF concluded that it no longer needed a low-level ground attack aircraft, since the P-47 was proved capable of performing this role. The USAAF decided to keep XA-41 project as a flight testbed for the new R-4360 engine. It made its maiden flight in 1944. It was proved to have a high performance, and the low-altitude maneuverability was better than that of the P-51B but USAAF preferred twin-engine designs for its attack aircraft as the A-26 Invader, and no further consideration was given of any production of the XA-41. The plane was sold to Pratt & Whitney for tests of a variable-speed supercharger, and was eventually scrapped at in 1950.
This is a typical Anigrand kit. You get engraved detailing, a minimalist cockpit, wheel well detailing that is believeable but is probably speculative, and a few mold faults such as pin holes on the edges of a few parts. Now this kit looks a lot cleaner in that regard from previous releases. In reality, none of these are really of much concern to the person who likes to build kits like this. The worst fault is a huge air cavity at the base of the rudder that will probably be filled with styrene rod and sanded to shape. I've done kits that are far, far worse in terms of how they are molded and that includes a number of injected styrene kits. The photo of the kit parts is one I cribbed from the Anigrand web site and shows pristine and clean parts. Yours will have sprue stubs and a bit of flash/air pockets.
The kits from the last few years are uniformly well engineered in terms of having alignment pegs and holes for various bits, and when one is molded with a four piece fuselage, as is this one, the tabs/holes are well done and after the usual cleanup, will produce a join that is just about invisible to the uninitiated. All of the flight surfaces are a single casting so no worries about cementing an upper and lower half together. Something that Anigrand is doing more and more is including a clear resin canopy. This is great as it has well defined frame lines (to help with masking), something their vac bits did not have. The resin is fairly clear and a treatment with Future will undoubtedly make it even clearer.
Instructions have thankfully gone away from the photo-realistic ones which I found very hard to use, to a nice, clear pair of drawings showing where all the bits are attached. On the other side is a two view that will help with some pieces as well (such as where to cut the single piece gear doors and where the pieces are attached). The lone decal sheet is the same one used on the XP-81. This aircraft has but stars and serial on its unpainted metal surface with only an OD anti-glare panel to break up all that aluminum.
This does sound like a bit of a broken record when it comes to Anigrand kits, but it is yet another fascinating subject that we have come to expect from Anigrand. This one appears to be one of the more simple kits as there are no racks or pods or other fiddly bits to have to worry about. Simply clean up the parts, fix the few mold errors and start gluing. In all, a perfect kit for those who have wanted to try a resin kit, but were somewhat put off by all the fuss and fiddle of many of those on the market.
My thanks to www.NostalgicPlastic.com for providing the review kit. Buy yours on-line from the link to the left and pay no shipping in the US and Canada.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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