Anigrand 1/72 YA-9A

KIT #

AA-2021

PRICE:

$58.00 MSRP

DECALS:

one option

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Short run resin kit with vac canopy

BACKGROUND

 

Please visit the preview for a look at what comes in the box and a brief history of the YA-9A.

CONSTRUCTION

Step one with resin kits to clean them up. Doesn't matter how well they are molded, they will all have some mold seam lines and some flash to deal with and this kit is no exception. Rather than do a mass clean-up as I usually do, I decided to concentrate on doing the big bits and then clean the small ones as I needed them. First I tackled the fuselage halves. There was some flash in the cockpit area that needs to be removed prior to use and that was quickly done with a hobby knife. Thankfully, the resin isn't super hard so that makes it a lot easier to handle. I then removed and cleaned up the cockpit bits; seat, tub, control stick and instrument panel. These were all glued together and I installed the tub in a fuselage half while putting in the instrument panel as it has to mate up with the combing inside. It was during this that I found that the front and back walls of the cockpit were not exactly the same on both sides so some additional sanding and scraping will be needed to match them up. The other large bits to do were the wings, tail planes and the engine pods. These last items were pretty rough on the edges and took extra time. I also had to clean out the panel lines as there was some build-up in them that required removal. I used a very thin saw blade to do this.

Back at the fuselage, I filled up the nose with weights in hopes that it would be sufficient to keep it from tail-sitting. Then I taped all the large bits in place to see if it was enough. It was boarder-line so I put more weight under the cockpit and that seems to be enough to take care of things. (Barely, as it turned out. Add more weight!) With the interior bits dry and the weights in place, the cockpit area and parts was then painted Dark Gull Grey. When dry, the belts were painted white, the consoles and instrument panel black and it was then installed in the fuselage. With it nice and dry, the two fuselage halves were mated together. As I feared, the panel lines did not end up matching across the halves. Though not off by much, it is noticeable. Also noticeable to me was the size of the seam and the fact that the fin did not mate into its other half quite as well as I would have liked. Nothing irreparable, just something that will take more filler and sanding. As usual, I did the first filling with superglue which was sanded as soon as the accelerator was applied and washed off. Also as usual, several other applications of filler were needed to ensure things were properly smoothed down.

While that was going on, I decided to do the wings and engine pods. The wings were cleaned up as were the bits for the engines. I had to do a lot of trimming to get the exhaust pods to fit as the attachment points on the inside of the pods were not complete and partially filled with resin. After the usual rounds of filing and fitting, the exhaust pods were glued in place. The compressor intake pieces also needed some work, though not as much as the exhaust. Thinking back, it might have been better to just trim all the attachment points off the exhaust, install some plastic card where the exhaust go, and glue in the exhaust at the end of the build.

Once the pods were done, it was time to glue them to the wings and fuselage. I did both those gluing steps at the same time to be sure that all fit well. The superglue I used has a bit of 'fudge' time built in so I could move things around. On one side, it went rather smoothly, but on the other I ran into problems so had to use superglue remover to take the wing and engine pod assembly apart, clean off the old glue and reattach. There are guidance lines on the wing to help with placing the pods, but they should just be used for an approximate location as neither of my pods lined up with these marks. I should also mention that before attaching the wings and pods, there are two large splitter plates that need to go on first. I aligned them with the guide grooves on the fuselage side and that seemed to work well.  Once all was in place and dry, I began the normal round of fillers and sanding, several applications being needed to get things in place.

It was after all was glued in that I noticed that the fin wasn't straight. In fact, it is rather badly warped. Too late at this stage to do anything about it, but I can state with certainty that with it straightened out, there will be even more of a gap in the fin area than that which was already there. Again, nothing that filler and sanding won't fix, but you really need to be sure that all the parts are perfectly straight before assembling. I didn't and will pay the price.

The next bits to attach were the tail planes. Thanks to the warped fin, the angles of attachment to each fin side is different as I went and aligned them with the wings. The photographs won't show much of a problem as I deliberately did not take any head-on images that will emphasize the glitch! A touch of filler was needed and then I went to the canopy. This was trimmed with some difficulty due to the faint frame lines and glued in place. It is actually larger than the cockpit area, but looks OK when on. Much rather have it a bit bigger than too small. Once in place, I let it dry, noticed that it had fogged on the inside (RATS!), and then applied filler to the front of it to smooth it in a bit. Then I masked it as best I could and proceeded to add some more bits. I drilled a hole in the nose and fit in the instrument probe. Then there were the myriad bomb racks. These each needed cleaning and I left on the little stubs on the bottom. This was mainly for attaching ordnance. It would be easy to drill holes in the ordnance and then simply plug them into the stubs. Fit of the racks was good and I left off the outboard ones as it appears that decals need to go on first. I also added on the outboard flap tracks. Fit here was fair and filler was needed. The inboard ones I left off as the instructions showed these to be the same as the outboard ones and clearly they are not.  They were also quite vague as to exactly where they fit. I needed more information. Rather than hold things up scrounging for a reference, I  headed for the paint shop.

CAMOUFLAGE & MARKINGS

This is really the easy part. Overall gloss ADC Grey, FS 16473 using Testors Model Master enamels. And I mean everything got this color. I had some problem with fish eyes due to oils on the resin. I thought I got all that off, but didn't, it seems. It could also be due to applying the paint too thickly at first. I find it best to mist on the initial coat so that the rest of the paint has paint to stick to. I also painted the outside of the gear doors. Gear struts and wheels were done in aluminum. It looks from the preserved one that the nose wheel is black, but I'm not really sure and I don't think it really matters. They could have been white for all I know. Once all the overall color had dried, I masked off the very tip of the nose and painted it white. The museum bird has the nose in ADC grey and that is not the proper color. It should be white. The anti-glare panel was then masked and painted matte black. Using the tail decal as a guide, I masked off the fin area and used some medium blue for the tail band.

With all that stuff done, I then attached the additional flap guides and painted them and some surrounding areas that looked a bit thin. Next, I masked around the wheel wells and painted the wells and insides of the gear doors with Floquil reefer white. With that done, I returned to the workbench to get this beast on its wheels.

The gear themselves required the usual mass of clean-up. The areas where the wheels were to fit were short shot on my kit so I drilled out the lower gear. Then I drilled out the back of each wheel and inserted a piece of paper clip. When dry, it was trimmed to the proper length and then glued into the gear. The nose gear was drilled out on the top and a section of paper clip also inserted. Then the attachment hole was deepened and the nose gear glued it. The plane barely sat on the nose gear so I guess I needed more weight!

It was then time for the decals. These are well printed, glossy and pretty thick. None of my setting solutions had any effect on them whatsoever. They also didn't want to handle any wrapping around. The tail bands were too long so needed to be trimmed. The rest went on OK, mostly thanks to the fuselage being devoid of any really tricky curvatures they'd have to handle.

I decided to use the kit bombs since they were provided. The moldings are poor to say the least. Some of the bomb fins  are no longer cruciform the molds slipped so much. All the bombs are oval in cross section after removing the huge mold seams. They were painted blue to resemble practice weapons. Then the holes in the top, which were mostly filled in, were drilled out so they'd fit on the stubs on the bottom of the racks. After they were glued in place, the outer racks were glued in place, and the nose gear door attached. The main gear doors were cut and glued in. Then the outer bomb racks, which I'd left off until now, were glued in place.

I then took the model back to the painting area to have a coat of gloss clear added to it. About this time, I found an article on the YA-9A and so heisted this photo from it. As you can see, I've put the serial number a bit too far forward though it is correct IAW the kit instructions. The insignia may be a tad too small and there are other differences. For one, I misplaced the inner flap track housings and the engine exhaust area is much longer than what is supplied in the kit. While a tad disappointing, it is not a huge problem as few people will know anything at all about the aircraft.  Anyway, I pulled the masking of the fogged canopy and proceeded to photograph it before something broke. Unfortunately, the butt join main gear was unable to handle the sliding around on the photo table and one broke loose. Just a tad more superglue put the errant part in its place. I should have used paper clips bits for a more positive fit!

CONCLUSIONS

Well, I now have another modern-ish prototype to add to my growing collection of the weird and wonderful. Was this kit an easy build. No, but I didn't expect it to be. Short run kits, regardless of if they are injected plastic, resin, or vacuformed require more work than your average kit. The box says for experienced modelers only and this one certainly was an experience. I can recommend this kit because those who buy it will know exactly what they are getting and revel in the joy of actually doing some modeling in order to get the desired result.

July 2004
# 1322 in a series.

Many thanks to DMC Models  for the review kit.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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