With apologies to Ernest Hemingway...
“The ‘Lune’ Also Rises”
Anigrand Lun' Ekranoplan, 1/144 scale
u m m a r y
||Anigrand Kit No. AA-4014 - Lun’ Ekranoplan,
|Contents and Media:
|| USD $118 plus $22 shipping
||Excellent casting; fine, crisp
recessed surface features; three bonus kits included.
||Limited run nature of the kit means
that modelling skills will be required; no beaching trolley
Reviewed by "Bondo" Phil Brandt
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Leave it to the engineers of the ol’ Evil Empire to come up with some of the most unusual aeronautical vehicles ever seen. That said, it would be hard to come up with a weirdness factor greater than that of the Ekranoplan “ground effect” heavy haulers that were developed during the Sixties and Seventies for operation over the Black and Caspian Seas. The concept was that the speed drawbacks of ships and the lift limitations of air cushion vehicles could be overcome in one giant, and I do mean giant, step: the development of huge “aircraft” that flew exclusively within the ground effect created between the large stub wings and the surface, whether solid or liquid. The program was successful within the limitations of underlying surface discontinuities; seas or variations in land elevation needed to be generally less than thirteen feet. When that criteria was met, these airframes, weighing up to 400 tons (!) could lug people or cargo at a maximum speed approaching 350 knots.
Bondo Industries Weirdness Works Division employees were overcome with joy that Anigrand has elected to model in resin what is perhaps the most unusual Ekranoplan configuration of all, the “Lun’”, or “Lune”, an eight jet-engined military vehicle armed with six large SS-N-22 “Sunburn” anti-shipping cruise missile tubes elevated above the aft fuselage spine.
Note: Not all kit components are shown in the accompanying parts layout; there are simply too many very small parts to efficiently arrange.
Molding is typically Anigrand. That is, semi-smooth surface texture (as if the master has been glass beaded), sharp details, clean, restrained engraving, and little, if any, warpage or bubbles. Some pieces do need moderate cleanup (flash and tiny casting spigots) but to modelers who work in resin, that’s just another day at the office.
Each fuselage half is in two pieces which are joined in usual Anigrand style, that is with locating holes and lugs. I’ve always found that the holes need to be slightly enlarged to provide wiggle room for the most accurate alignment; I use fifteen-minute epoxy and lay the forward and aft sections of each half on a 1/4" aluminum sheet so they’ll be true when the epoxy cures.
Fit seems good, at least with the stub wings, tail and fuselage pieces.
In this scale not much detailing is really necessary. The cockpit is minimally furnished (seats, instrument panel), but that’s no big deal since the windscreen is relatively small, and you’re not going to be able to see much. Engine compressor faces are decent, and exhaust turbines and cans look good. I wish Anigrand would have engineered the four-engine pods differently (eg. forward and aft halves vs. upper and lower ones) so that after they’re joined there would be no unsightly seams in each engine inlet to sand; because of the curvature of the inlet profile, it’s practically impossible to get into the area with sanding media.
I also wish Anigrand would include (for this not-small price) some sort of beaching trolley or a fuselage-mounted hydro-ski that could be posed down to provide an anchoring point for those modelers wishing to display the model in takeoff configuration just above a simulated water base. Some pix of the real deal show just such a hydro-ski deployed on takeoff.
Cast resin; clear and certainly acceptable, especially in this scale.
Two small sheets with the obligatory Soviet red stars–remember, these were being operated back in the Evil Empire--and red, white and blue Russian flags with the red hammer and sickle on the white portion.
A simple sheet with the front side showing a shaded three-view of the bird (color callouts) and the back showing various sub-assemblies, using B&W pix with callouts. Bonus aircraft assemblies (see below) also shown.
As with some of their other recent offerings, Anigrand includes three relatively rare Soviet aircraft, also in 1/144. In this case they are three STOLS: Yak-36, Yak-38, and the sleek Yak-41. Molding looks quite decent, and the clear parts are in resin. Decals for all three are printed on the Ekranoplan sheet.
Anigrand’s esoteric lineup of subjects is most welcome to us modelers who take the road less traveled. If they keep making, this curmudgeon’ll keep buying! My kit was purchased online direct from Anigrand in Hong Kong (mail took about two weeks), but, of course, Good Guy Chris Mikesh (Nostalgic Plastic) is also distributing ‘em in the U.S.
Sample purchased by reviewer
Review Text Copyright © 2008 by "Bondo" Phil Brandt
Page Created 27 April, 2008
27 April, 2008
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