|KIT:||Anigrand Craftworks 1/72 XC-142|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short Run Resin kit with vac canopy|
To quote from the instructions:
"In 1950's, many V/STOL aircrafts were built and evaluated by the U.S. military services. Few of the concepts were deemed to have the operational capabilities. Base on these prototypes experiences, the new V/STOL assault transport program was announced. In 1961, a request for proposal of the large cargo airplane was released by Tri-services. Ling-Temco-Vought was awarded, with Hiller and Ryan serving as subcontractors, a contract for five XC-142. It was powered by four turbo-shaft engines. The wing could tilt through 100 degrees. The fuselage was designed to carry 32 troops or 4 tons cargo. It made first flight in 1964, followed by trails of cargo flights, paratrooper drops, desert/mountain rescue and carrier operations. The five XC-142 were flown a total 420 hours. Performance was not as good as expected. Four of them were damaged in hard landings. The program was ended in 1966, one XC-142 was turned over to NASA for research tests until 1970."
I should mention that there is a surviving example in the collection of the USAF Museum.
This has to be one of the largest kits ever done by Anigrand in terms of bulk and the amount of resin that one gets in the kit. Two very large fuselage halves are what immediately grab your attention. The molding on the parts in this kit is really quite good with only an air bubble or two near the ends of the fuselage and on the tips of the wing. The wing is divided into three parts and while there is detail in the fuselage cavity under the wings, there are no actuating pistons or other detail provided. It seems as if the kit is designed to be built with the wings level. However, the forward and aft wing gates are separate pieces so that will make it easier to do a tilted wing version.
Just from looking at things, it would be a good idea to add nose weight, which raises the question of the resin landing gear's ability to hold all that up without sagging. Fortunately, the gear is rather straight-forward so replacing the main legs with metal tubing should be a pretty simple affair.
There is a full cockpit with floor, seats, sticks and instrument panel though no instruments are provided. The props are a rather complex affair with a separate hub and props. With no spinner to cover the hub, it will be imperative that a good job be done on these as they will be quite visible. Same goes for the small tail rotor. Fortunately, Anigrand has molded these so that prop shafts will fit into receptacles in the hub. I also noted that the quality on the moldings for the smaller parts was quite good as well, with no real visible molding glitches. There is a clear canopy and small windows provided. Once again, the molding on the canopy is good, but the framework is rather indistinct. One way to get around that is to use strips of decal to build up a bit of a raised surface where the frames go. Only one canopy is provided. Again, I'll mention that for the price, I feel that Anigrand should supply two of them.
Instructions are a single sheet of paper with a history and exploded diagram on one side, and a well done three view for painting and decal placement on the other. Markings for one aircraft are provided and Anigrand does provide decals for the fuselage walk areas. The wing walk sections will have to be painted on. The overall scheme is light gull grey and white with 'mid-grey' wings. Large sections are painted in what is listed as Signal Red, though it looks to be as if that should be Day-Glo red. I suggest doing additional research on the colors as the photo on the box top seems to show an aluminum painted lower fuselage and wing. Decals are a bit thick but well printed and should work with no problems.
Once again, Anigrand has supplied us with a most interesting kit. I'm personally pretty jazzed about this one as I really like VTO prototypes (and there have been a lot of them). What is coming from Anigrand in the next couple of months should also please most of you as well. Check the link below for more info.
Many thanks to DMC Models for the review kit. UPDATE: Nostalgic Plastic is now the US Importer for Anigrand. Please contact them for more information.
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