Dragon 1/144 Bell X-1 'Sonic Breaker'

KIT #: 4063
PRICE: $16.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Two complete kits with stand


The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army/US Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built over 1945, it eventually reached nearly 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and thus longer engine-burn time, exceeded 1,600 mph (2,574 km/h) in 1954. It was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in controlled, level flight, and was the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental aircraft designated for testing of new technologies and usually kept highly secret.


 I am delighted that Dragon has decided to continue offering interesting kits in 1/144 scale, and this new X-1 pair adds to it. As with most of their kits in this scale, you get two complete kits. Sort of the alpha and omega as you get markings for the same plane at the beginning and end of its active career.

Unusually, this one has a clear fuselage. Dragon's use of slide mold technology provides us with a fully hollow forward and aft fuselage section. This is to allow one to see all the inside bits as you also get an engine, fuel tanks and electronics package. One also gets a full cockpit and unusually, a separate clear windscreen. Now why this was not molded in with the forward fuselage is beyond me, but at least it means that those who do not mask canopies in this scale will not have to.

As with some of their 1/144 kits, this one comes with a display stand. This stand will hold both models so if so inclined, the builder can do them both gear up and in flight. Those who are really lazy (I see you raising your hand out there), can forego all the additional interior bits and go gear up, bypassing the need for most of the 90 parts in the kits.

Instructions are a single sheet of paper with parts on one side and five construction steps on the other. Normally, I would photograph the sprues, but since clear is such a pain to photograph properly, I used the parts diagram from the sheet. The nicely done decals give the markings for both aircraft. To me, the blue surround to the insignia looks too thin, but that is me.


 You need to buy this kit because it is neat and to encourage Dragon to do more X planes. It really is a neat kit and though the planes will measure out to under 3 inches with the nose probe length included, they will look great on your 1/144 shelf. Especially if you use the stand. 



November 2011

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or have them order one for you.

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