Testors/Hawk 1/72 XF-92A

Kit Number 941:

Price: $5.00

Decals: One version (it's a prototype)

Date of Review: 17 December 1997

Review and Photos: Scott Van Aken

The XF-92A was a USAF experimental aircraft designed to test the usefulness of the delta planform as researched by Dr. Lippisch of Germany during the later days of WWII.  There was never any real intent to put the aircraft into production and it was unique in that the wings and tail were unmodified triangles.  The experiments were quite successful and led to a raft of delta-winged aircraft; not only in the US (with the F-102, F-106 and B-58), but also in France (with the highly successful Mirage III, IV and V) and to some extent in the Soviet Union with the wings of the Mig-21 series.

Testors owns the old Hawk molds and releases these kits from time to time.  Considering that they are 30 year old kits, the molds have held up rather well.  This particular kit is designed to be built as a stand model and comes with no landing gear at all.  Ditto for the cockpit, which has a 'pilot's head on a plate' as part of the fuselage halves.  The basic kit is simplicity itself totaling about a dozen parts.  All have the required rivets and mediocre fit.

Naturally, I could not leave well enough alone and had to build a cockpit and landing gear for it.  As a result, this became a multi-year build. After cutting out the gear doors and making new ones from card, I boxed in the area and dug through the spares box for suitable landing gear and wheels. I found a pretty decent match, although I have no idea of their origin.  The cockpit was similarly built using card and spare bits and pieces.  In today's modeling world with aftermarket this and that, it is still necessary to have a spares bin just for these projects.

The kit was painted gloss white with the bare metal parts coated with Bare Metal Foil.  The decals (by Vitachrome) were typically misaligned but since most of the needed decals are monochromatic, a simple replacement of insignia was all that was needed.  The result is a very nice representation of a rather unique experimental aircraft.  Those wishing a more detailed kit would be advised to get Airmodel's vacuform kit as it is complete with resin pieces for a more accurate cockpit and landing gear assembly.

The Testor's kit is a great place for youngsters to start building non-snap kits as it can easily be tossed together (in its original form) within a few hours.

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