Anigrand 1/72 X-20 'Dynasoar'

KIT: Anigrand 1/72 X-20 'Dynasoar'
KIT #: AA-2077
PRICE: $41.00 from
DECALS: One Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Not exactly a brand new kit


The X-20 Dyna-Soar ("Dynamic Soarer") was a United States Air Force (USAF) program to develop a spaceplane that could be used for a variety of military missions, including reconnaissance, bombing, space rescue, satellite maintenance, and sabotage of enemy satellites. The program ran from 24 October 195710 December 1963, cost US$660 million, and was canceled just after spacecraft construction had begun.

Other spacecraft under development at the time, such as Mercury or Vostok, were based on space capsules which returned on ballistic re-entry profiles. Dyna-Soar was much more like the much later Space Shuttle: it could not only be boosted and travel to distant targets at the speed of an intercontinental ballistic missile, but it was designed to glide to earth like an airplane under the control of the pilot. It could land at an airfield, rather than simply falling to earth and landing with a parachute. Dyna-Soar could also reach earth orbit, like the Mercury or Gemini.

This made Dyna-Soar far more advanced in concept than the other human spaceflight missions of the period. It had military missions other than simply placing one or two men into space. It is one of the great "what if" projects of early spaceflight. Data collected during the X-20 program would prove useful in designing the Space Shuttle. The much larger Shuttle would also be boosted into orbit by large rockets for launch, and the final design would also pick delta wings for controlled landings, but it (and a similar Soviet design, Buran) would not fly until decades after the X-20 cancellation.


This Anigrand kit of the X-20 is one of the more simple that they have done. This makes it perfect for the beginner to the hobby. You have basically a fuselage upper section, a lower section that includes the wings and the tip fins. Other bits are for the landing skids, interior and the exhaust nozzle. You can build this gear up as it would have been in launch position. There are three clear resin windows to install in the upper fuselage section. The interior is seat, stick and instrument panel section. Not sure how much if any of that will be seen through the tiny windows so you may wish to relegate these bits to the spares box and just paint the interior matte black along with the rest of the airframe.

The molding on this one is quite good, but as happens, my kit had some mold faults. The nose on both the lower and upper fuselage have minor problems. The lower section is slightly short shot while the upper one looks like someone took a small hammer to the nose while the resin was still soft. It is distinctly chisel-nosed and so will have to be sanded down and built back up using epoxy filler. The rest of the moldings are in good shape aside from the bell of the rocket nozzle, which has a chunk missing from it.

The decal sheet is well printed and should be opaque enough for the black undersurface. It includes insignia and little US Air Force logos. Oddly, it gives three insignia which is normal (two for the fuselage and one for the upper wing) but two USAF markings. Only need one for the upper wing as the underside would have the ablative material that would burn off on re-entry. Unlike the image shown here, which I pinched from the Anigrand web site, my decal sheet also includes a long, black 'U.S. Air Force, that would undoubtedly fit along the side of the Titan booster that was going to be the main motivator for getting the X-20 into space.


Another fine X plane from the Anigrand folks. I have another 1/72 X-20 I bought many years ago, but it is so crude that I never got around to building it. I notice that Anigrand has a Titan on the way and I'm hoping it will include the adapter section so that the X-20 can be built atop it.


January 2008

My thanks for this review kit. You can get yours today and pay no shipping in the US or Canada.

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