|KIT:||Anigrand Craftworks 1/72 Hughes XF-11|
|PRICE:||$58.00 from Nostalgic Plastic|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin kit with vac canopy|
"In 1939, Hughes Aircraft used a special wooden structure which strength comparable to steel for a proposal of bomber design, the model D-2. The project interested USAAF because metal material was becoming a scare by the war. In 1942, the D-2 was ordered under an attack aircraft designation XA-37. Later it was considered as a night fighter XP-73. In 1943, the wooden D-2 prototype was lost to a fire accident in Hughes' facility before it was inspected by USAAF. Based on its high speed and light weight records, USAAF purchased another metal structure version as a reconnaissance aircraft, the XF-11. Due to the engines delay, Hughes could not complete the aircraft until after the war was over. USAAF decided to cancel the project but still paid for two prototypes. In 1946, with Howard Hughes himself at the control, the first XF-11 made its first flight but was destroyed by crash. The second XF-11 was modified and completed in 1947, and it was flight tested during 1948. Afterwards, Hughes created aerospace and helicopter divisions, and never built other airplane."
Molded in Anigrand's usual tan resin, this kit is similar to previous releases with engraved panel lines that are a bit on the deep side, but look fine on the completed model. A good inspection of the kit showed a minimum of air bubbles, though I did find a few and aside from those in the wheel wells, they will be easy enough to repair. I was quite pleased to see that Anigrand molded each of the engine booms as a complete half as I wasn't looking forward to mating a four piece boom. As usual, the major sprue stubs are removed, leaving only a small amount of clean up for the builder. I would suggest drilling out the wings on this one and inserting a short spar as the resin wings are pretty long and heavy.
The smaller bits are of the norm for Anigrand and will need some clean-up. I didn't see any major problems with the smaller bits, but did leave them in their sealed bag so as not to lose anything. The spinners appeared to be properly round and unlike the XP-58, are drilled for four blades. In fact, there are a lot of blades for this kit as each engine had counter-rotating props. My experience with the XP-58 showed me that even a bunch of nose weight is not enough for these boom aircraft so I'd recommend not even trying to get this one to sit on its nose gear. Just make a prop of some sort for the tail and all will be fine. One set of transparencies are provided and they are of the usual Anigrand quality.
In concert with other Anigrand kits, the instructions are on a single sheet of folded paper with a painting and markings three view on one side; history, photo of the aircraft, parts listing and exploded view on the other. For these types of kits, this is more than adequate as they are not really that fiddly to do. There are markings for one aircraft, and there is a serial number for either a second plane or an upcoming kit, as Anigrand likes to make some of their sheets dual use. Those needing another decal sheet or set of transparencies can get them from Nostalgic plastic rather than have to order them from Hong Kong.
To me, the Hughes XF-11 has always been a beautiful aircraft. Its clean lines just scream 'speed' and I'm quite pleased that Anigrand has decided to do this for one of its kit subjects. Thanks to the recent movie on Howard Hughes, I'm sure that this one will sell quite well and it is on my 'to do' listing!
Many thanks to for Nostalgic Plastic the review sample. Get yours direct.
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