Hasegawa's 1/72 scale
by Roland Sachsenhofer
Hobby Boss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop is available online from Squadron
Speed, extreme angle of attack and outstanding manoeuvrability - that's what you'd expect from negatively arrowed wings. Since the early days of arrow-wing research, the promises of this design have haunted the minds of engineers; a fascination that was to manifest itself in the German Junkers Ju 287, for example.
Despite all its advantages, this technology also entails the risk of uncontrollable critical flight conditions, so that implementation had to be postponed until those days in which computer systems could assist the control of the machine.
At the end of the 1980s, the first tests with computer-aided aircraft took place in both East and West. The Grumman X-29 made its maiden flight in December 1984. In the flight tests carried out with a total of two prototypes, supersonic flights as well as extreme angles of attack of 66 degrees were successfully tested. The then spectacular performance of the electronics used, which could measure and correct the flight condition up to forty times per second, is well known.
In 1992, however, the entire test program was discontinued due to lack of interest on the part of the Pentagon. The negative wing sweep was not directly reflected in the construction of future fighter aircraft, but the figuration with the canards can be found in contemporary aircraft design.
Construction, Painting and Decals
The kit of this interesting aircraft has all the advantages you would expect from a Hasegawa kit. There is nothing to criticize about the accuracy of fit and the coherence, nor about the sharpness of the parts. For example, the edges of the surfaces and the fin are "razor-sharp", which naturally benefits the sleek appearance of the X-29.
On the other hand, the details in the cockpit as well as in the undercarriage area are kept quite simple; completely according to the line one is used to from this manufacturer. Here I couldn't avoid a little reworking: the spare parts box gave some etched parts, which bring some life to these well visible areas on the side consoles as well as on the cockpit floor. On the other hand, the instrument panel was again designed with the kit's own decal, which also leads to a nice result here.
Some time was invested in the design of the cockpit hood. Here, too, the spare parts box and decals from the fundus were used to breathe life into the whole thing. Especially the two rear-view mirrors were important to me, as they have a significant influence on the appearance of the open canopy.
I was eagerly awaiting the application of the decals for two reasons: on the one hand they consist of long, continuous sections, which would be difficult to apply, on the other hand I had read building reports, which do not give good testimony to the adhesive strength and the firmness of these decals. So warned and called for special care, this challenge was quite easy to overcome.
Despite its age, I give the kit top marks. In addition to the high quality workmanship, I can also praise the courage to choose such an unusual and interesting type!
Also as a model the X-29 makes an excellent figure and does not only bring variety into the showcase because of the negative arrows of its surfaces!
If you are interested in the building process, please have a look here on Scalemates:
As ever, remarks will be appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2019 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 18 June, 2019
18 June, 2019
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