AMT 1/72 X/YB-35A

Kit Number: 8615

Price: $34.00 (it's a guess)

Media: injected plastic

Decals : for two versions, one the X and the other the Y

Accuracy: good

Overall: see review

Comments: I couldn't believe it when I heard AMT was going to release the XB-35. This is the last kit I thought would never be released in injected plastic. I figured the A-3 Skywarrior would be done before the 35. Naturally, I waited anxiously for it to arrive and when Wal-Mart got some in, I bought two, one being immediately started.

The first thing that strikes you is the size of the box. I guess AMT is big into large planes as the B-52s and the 135's come in these huge boxes. The kit really has few parts for its size. The biggest concern is to ensure that all the parts are not warped and if so to be careful when assembling. The outer wing panels need to be carefully built. Kudos to AMT for providing built-in minispars to help with wing alignment. Thanks to these, I had no alignment problems. The interior is a real jewel, providing seats and consoles for all the crew members. Don't waste a lot of time detailing as little can be seen on the completed model. I was going to put Reheat's 1/72 instrument decals on the engineers panel, but that would have taken at least a hundred decals!! I painted the holes white and still can't see it.

The only problem I had was with the intakes on the leading edge. They are just too small for the openings. I tried shimming them, but still fell a bit short. It is noticeable on the finished aircraft so one must get this near perfect. The kit comes with `weighted' tires. Actually, they are not bulged at all, but just flattened. One does need to put weight in the leading edge of the wing near the cockpit, but it isn't a problem as there is lots of room. The only true option is to use the contra-rotating props of the X or the single props of the Y. I chose the single props as the Y came with a nice buzz number. I pretended it was in service by painting the spinners bright green. The decals worked OK, but are not the best around. Better be good at multi-hued metal finished as this one needs it to look good.

The finished kit is wide, but can be fit on a relatively narrow shelf. It truly is a monster, and I ended up hanging mine on the wall to conserve shelf space. It was a lot of fun to build and I already have my order in on the jet powered version, the YB-49. (very late note: of course, I've not yet built it and have had it for decades....)

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