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Special Hobby, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: SH32022 – X-15A-2
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 79 injection moulded styrene plastic parts, 70 cream colored cast resin parts, 23 etched steel parts, one photo film sheet with 2 instrument panel parts, 1 clear cast resin canopy, 1 vacformed canopy. 12 page instruction manual.
Price: around USD$60.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Nicely detailed surfaces with scribed panel lines and restrained rivet detail. A highly detailed 52 part cockpit, including etched metal seat belts and instrument panels. Optional open speed brakes. Beautifully cast rocket nozzle with drilled out vent system accessories. A crystal clear vacformed canopy.
Disadvantages: No external fuel tanks or ground handling dolly; cast clear resin canopy; a few incomplete and inconsistent panel lines; challenging assembly and fit place this firmly in the experienced modelers’ realm.
Recommendation: Recommended for experienced modelers

Reviewed by Kent Eckhart

 Special Hobby's 1/32 scale X-15A-2 will be available online from Squadron.com



North American’s X-15A-2 was the ultimate variant of this famous X-Plane. Rebuilt from the crashed remains of the second X-15, it was improved to explore the extreme end of the aircraft’s performance envelope, and to test scramjet engine technology. The X-15A-2 was designed to use two huge externally mounted propellant tanks and flew with these on November 18, 1966 when it set the absolute speed record for conventional winged aircraft reaching Mach 6.33, an incredible 4,250 miles per hour!

Special Hobby’s new 1/32 scale X-15A-2 includes 79 smoothly moulded plastic parts. Surface detail is a combination of restrained rivets and recessed panel lines. Nicely done corrugated surfaces are moulded along the aft fuselage.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


There are 20 detailed resin parts that make up the majority of the cockpit detail, speed brake hydraulics, propellant vent system, pitot tubes, and the superbly cast Thiokol rocket engine nozzle. I’ve done a bit of dry bush work to highlight the detail for the photo.

An added bonus is the resin eyelid windscreen heat shield fitted to the left hand windscreen during the ultra high Mach number flights. During these flights the aircraft was coated with an ablative coating to protect it from the high heat created as it roared through the air. The eyelid was opened during the landing phase of the flight.

The etched metal parts are very nicely detailed and include parts for the instrument panel, seat belts, and airframe detail.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The clear parts are a bit of a mixed bag, quality wise. There is one excellent vacformed part which will not be a problem for builders familiar with the work involved fitting it.

A clear cast resin part is also included that has many tiny air bubbles, a few of which are in the windscreen area of the part. It does fit well.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The excellent AviPrint decal sheet includes all the markings and stenciling needed for the single X-15A-2 now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton Ohio USA.


A fit test revealed a few challenges. The fuselage has been moulded in 4 parts including the upper and lower nose and aft sections. Surprisingly the joint between the forward and aft sections is quite nice. Care will be needed on the aft section as the corrugated surfaces will be easily damaged by the required finishing work. The builder is required to drill out the mounting holes for the horizontal stabilizers. Care is needed here to help set the correct anhedral on these parts. Wing fit is excellent.



The vertical stabilizer and lower ventral fin with their speed breaks are made up from multiple parts that will require careful assembly. The rocket nozzle and the fuselage end cap fit perfectly.





Special Hobby’s X-15A-2 is an exciting addition to the growing flood of 1/32 scale kits. It joins the Revell Bell X-1, and the Cutting Edge conversion for the X-1A, as the only large scale X-Planes available.

The model is very well detailed with just a few fit challenges. The missing external propellant tanks and ground handling dolly limit its display potential, but the 20 inch length will still be impressive on the table!


Review Text and Images Copyright © 2007 by Kent Eckhart
Page Created 03 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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