Anigrand Craftworks 1/144 XB-59

KIT #: AA-4059
PRICE: $90.00 from 
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes X-15, XF-91 and T-28 kits


In May 1947, the U.S. War Department issued a requirement to the industries for a new jet-powered supersonic bomber that would be ready for service by the late 1950s. A number of contractors submitted bids. The USAF chose Convair XB-58 and Boeing XB-59 to proceed with a Phase-I study. The basic XB-59 was to be powered by four turbojet engines. The design called for four jets to be mounted inside the inboard wing -- two on each side. The landing gear was similar to the tandem main landing gear with wingtip outrigger design used on both the B-47 and B-52. The XB-59 contract was canceled in late 1952 after the USAF declared the Convair XB-58 the winner in the design competition. Neither the XB-58 or XB-59 were anywhere near the prototype construction phase, and the cancellation of the Boeing project was due in part to the expense of funding development of both projects through prototype flight testing and the growing belief by USAF senior staff officers that high-speed, high-altitude penetration was not going to be a viable offensive strategy during the projected initial operational capability in the early 1960s.


Molded in Anigrand's usual resin, this kit includes not only the XB-59, but also an X-15, T-28B/D and the XF-91 Thunderceptor. As you can see from the image of the cleaned up parts that I pinched from the Anigrand web site, the main subject has its fuselage in four sections with each side split in half. This is to allow for the molds to be made in a smaller chamber. The interlocking system between the front and rear fuselage halves has been used on several other kits and works quite well, making for a solid join. The wings are mostly one piece and like their Victor and Valiant, have the engine housings split into upper and lower sections at a natural join line. This is a bicycle landing gear plane like the B-47 and the B-52 so there are outriggers on the wing tips. One nice thing about this arrangement is that one doesn't usually have to be concerned about nose weight. Clear parts are in resin and while thick will be more than adequate for the scale. Frequently I'll paint the inside of the canopy with black or a blue and while all offer a seat shape, I'll often blow off any generic interior detail.

Markings are for what would have been the prototype and come on two identical decal sheets. Anigrand decals stick very well but aren't fond of compound curves. Setting solution helps some, but not as much as one would like.

The other three aircraft are what makes this a good deal. All three are as well molded as the main subject. The XF-91 and T-28 will be a trick to get on all three gear, so perhaps it will be best to do this one gear up on a stand unless you feel you can drill out enough space in the front for weight. Instructions are well done with two views of the XB-59 for parts placement and one each of the additional subjects. Really it is more than enough as these are simple kits. For color schemes, all but the black X-15 are in bare metal with black anti-glare panels. Of course, since the XB-59 never flew, one could paint it in the silver and white nuclear scheme or even the SIOP or later greys.  


Once again, Anigrand adds another interesting bomber kit to their growing list of prototype and still-borne projects. 1/144 is the perfect scale for these as they won't overwhelm your display shelves and are generally pretty straight-forward builds.

April 2011

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