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Bell X-1E
"Last Model"

Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby Kit No. SH 72158 - Bell X-1E "Last Model"
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 46 parts in grey styrene; 11 parts in cream colored resin; injction moulded canopy; 21 photo-etched parts
Price: GBP10.64 available online from Hannants
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Good decals; clear canopy; crisp surface detail; faultless surface details
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Mick Evans


Special Hobby's 1/72 scale Bell X-1E will be available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

X-1E was an AAF/Bell project that continued on with the research work started by the Bell X-1.  The Bell X-1E set a top speed record of Mach 2.24 piloted by Joe Walker on its seventeenth flight.  The aircraft would have exceeded Mach 3 except for fuel tank breaches which forced the retirement of the aircraft.

This is the first 1/72 scale model kit from Special Hobby that I have seen and I am quite impressed, my previous benchmark being the beautifully detailed 1/48 scale X-15.

On opening the box we are presented with a very detailed multi media kit.  There are 46 finely engraved injection moulded plastic parts, 11 crisply cast resin parts, 21 photo etched parts and one clear injection moulded canopy.

 

  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bell X-1E Review by Mik Evans: Image
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For a limited run kit, the parts are attached by fine sprue gates and have no flash on any of the parts.  Having built many limited run kits over the years I have been impressed by the constant improvement in the detail and moulding that these manufacturers are applying to the mouldings.  The detail in this kit is nothing short of superb.  Every panel line is crisply replicated and every piece of surface detail is present.

Superb cockpit detail is provided by the way of 16 parts but unfortunately little of this detail will be visible through the canopy if it is modelled in the closed position so I would recommend leaving it open.  There is a cockpit floor, side consoles, rudder pedals, ejection seat, seat harness, instrument panel, control column, and rear bulkhead provided.

 

 

The exhaust nozzle area is very detailed and looks to be very accurate to the photographs that I have seen.  A good representation of the main landing gear bay is provided in resin along with a finely detailed main and nose landing gear and these require very little clean up and refinement.

The decals are crisp, accurate in colour and in register.

 

 

The kit is very detailed with a high number of parts and a trial fit of the major parts shows no real issues with fit.  I think that this will make into a very nice and accurate little kit and fills an important gap in the history of high speed flight research.

Highly Recommended to moderately experienced modellers.
 

Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the review sample


Review and Images Copyright 2008 by Mick Evans
Page Created 22 June, 2008
Last updated 22 June, 2008

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