|KIT:||Anigrand 1/72 XB-43 JetMaster|
|PRICE:||$48.00 from Anigrand|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin kit with vacuform canopy|
In 1944, as successes of the Reich's jet fighter and bomber projects became known, the U.S.A.A.F. defined a requirement for the first American jet bomber, whose development was seen as being quite urgent. Douglas proposed to modify an XB-42 airframe, then replace the piston engines with a pair of turbojets, thus saving time and cost. The contract for two prototypes, designated XB-43 was signed, 50 production aircraft planned in the same year. But thanks to engineering problems, the jet engines were not shipped from GE to Douglas until July 1945.
The end of war caused a slowdown of the jet bomber's development, along with just about every other military project. The first XB-43 finally made its first flight on May 1946. Performance was satisfactory but the U.S.A.A.F. had moved ahead with the new four-engines bombers, the North American B-45 and the Convair XB-46. The production plan was cancelled but the test program was still continued until 1951 when the first XB-43 was damaged in an accident. In late 1953, the second prototype was also retired. To this author's knowledge, the XB-43 did not survive to be shown in a museum.
You would think that with the XB-42 kit on the shelves that much of it would have made it to the XB-43. However, the fuselage is quite different and the wings are such that they appear to be new molds as well, since there is no need for leading edge intakes or the wing guns. The rear prop is replaced by twin jet exhaust and the lower stabilizing fin is also gone. For the 'fiddly bits' the landing gear and the canopies are the same in this kit as the XB-42. Much to my delight, a set of spare clear bits was included in my kit, though the quality is unchanged over earlier issues. I also found this kit to be relatively free from any glitches aside from a few air bubbles. Gone was the rather large distortion of the left fuselage. Thanks to the lack of a prop, there are actually fewer parts on this one so construction should be much quicker.
The instructions are unchanged in that it is a folded sheet of paper on which one side has a decal and painting guild, while the other has a history of the type and an exploded diagram of the kit parts. More than adequate for a kit like this. The decal sheet is the same as the XB-42 as it contains the insignia and the serial needed for the XB-43. The aircraft is mostly unpainted aluminum, though the forward section of the fuselage and flight surfaces is painted a light grey. I thought it was a photo glitch, but here is a color picture to show this is not the case. Looks like the wheels and landing gear may also have been painted in this color.
All in all it looks like a relatively easy kit to build, and as such, would make a fairly good one for those who want to try something a little bit more difficult in terms of doing short run resin kits.
Thanks to Anigrand Craftworks for the review kit. You can get yours direct or from Nostalgic Plastic, the US Distributor.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has around 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page