Anigrand 1/144 Martin XB-33A Super Marauder

KIT #: AA-4033
PRICE: $102.00 from Nostalgic Plastic. Includes US/Canadian shipping.
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes A-20, XP-71 and PV-1 kits as a bonus


In 1939, the USAAC issued a requirement for a new medium bomber which could operate at high-altitude to avoid attack from ground fire. Preliminary designs were submitted by Martin and North American. The Martin XB-33 was redesigned from the B-26 Marauder, and North American XB-28 was based from the B-25 Mitchell. In 1940, both designs were awarded prototype contracts. The full-scale development of the XB-33 was begun in late 1940, and as it progressed, the Martin engineers found that a two-engine aircraft would not be capable of achieving the performance required in the Army specification. It was decided to radically alter the original design by adding two more engines. The entire project was scaled up to the approximate size of the Boeing B-29. The Army was sufficiently impressed with the new design; the two prototypes were redesignated XB-33A and an order for 400 production B-33A Super Marauders was placed. In 1944, Martin was awarded a contract to assemble B-29s which were urgently needed to enter Pacific theater. As B-29s had top priority to use the inventory, the entire B-33A order was cancelled before the prototypes were completed.


It seems that unless I've hit the jackpot, there has been a major change in the way Anigrand is producing their kits. I've generally accepted that there will be a lot of molding glitches in their kits in the way of air pockets, pin holes and some general 'stuff' that will need to be cleaned off or filled and sanded, or ground away with a motor tool prior to construction. In some cases, this constitutes a considerable number of hours in prep. Well, this kit is a real change from that. I found no voids, no surface imperfections and only a very, very few pin holes on any of the essentially four kits that one gets in this set. To say that I'm pleased would be a gross understatement and I hope this is trend continues.

Anyway. The set comes in two segmented polybags with the clear resin parts themselves in a separate zip bag. Each of the smaller kits is packaged all in one segment with the XB-33A in three with the smaller bits in one section. In order to provide depth and mounting for the main gear wells, the wing  has the underside inner half molded separately. The builder is going to have to pack everything forward of the main gear with weight to keep this one from tail sitting. Conversely, one could build it wheels up as the gear doors are molded shut. The kit also provides separate engine fronts to stick in the nacelles. The props are each five pieces with a spinner and individual prop blades.

There are three additional kits included. First is the XP-71, a paper project twin engine pusher fighter that never reached prototype stage. This will also need a lot of nose weight. Next is an A-20B that can be built as a P-70A if one wishes as it is provided with the solid nose and under-fuselage gun pack. The third additional kit is a PV-1 Ventura. This can be constructed as a B-34 (an aircraft that was used a great deal for bomber crew training) as there is a plug for the upper turret and a 'glass' nose provided for this variant.

Instructions are nicely done with a short history and color markings guide on one side and CAD style parts placement images on the other. Though it seems like there are a lot of parts, many of them are the same and construction is not as complex as one might think. The decals are nicely done and you get two identical sheets to cover all the markings options. The illustration of the parts layout was pinched from the Anigrand web site so has the parts cleaned up of the small attaching resin pour stubs, but is exactly what you get in the kit set.


Overall, this is a kit set that I know you will enjoy. I'm looking forward to starting on this one once I get a project or two completed


Anigrand web site

June 2009

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