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Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 Convair CGM-16D Atlas D Build Review

By Michael Benolkin


Date of Review October 2006 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject Convair CGM-16D Atlas D Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2065 Primary Media Resin
Pros Very quick and easy project Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $64.00


After the ending of World War Two, the US Army wasted no time on the development of a family of ballistic missiles based upon the documents and scientists collected from Germany. In 1946, Convair submitted several designs for consideration and Convair was given a contract to join the research.

In 1949, the Soviet Union detonated their first atomic bomb, and the nuclear arms race shifted into a higher gear. The USAF directed Convair to focus their research on a missile that could loft an atomic weapon. Convair was ready to fly Atlas through a series of test vehicles. The X-11 (Atlas A), X-12 (Atlas B, which was redesignated XB-65 before receiving a new missile-standard designator of XSM-16).

The Atlas A had limited success, but the percentage of failures diminished with Atlas B, and Atlas D would go on to become a part of the nations defense under the Strategic Air Command.

As with many other vehicles that started life as a ballistic missile, Atlas would later serve as a launch vehicle to push the United States into space. It was an Atlas that put the first American into orbit - astronaut John Glenn aboard a Mercury spacecraft.

The Kit

For a look at the kit, check out our review here.

Getting Started

This is a simple kit. By any definition, this one was a no-brainer. I received this kit at the same time as the Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 YAH-63 helicopter and I was working through the build up of that while fiddling with these parts. I had no sooner did a little dry-fitting of the main tank than I had a bead of cyano running down the seams from the inside of the airframe. Not stopping there, I cleaned up and dry-fitted the engine housing at the base of the main tank and I saw no point of removing those parts either. The bloody thing was almost done before I gave it much thought.

A closer look at the instructions reveals that there are three variants of the Atlas presented here. I opted for the Atlas D which was the operational ballistic missile variant for the Strategic Air Command. I added the fairings and nose cone that were called out for Atlas D and I really was almost done.

I left off the engine bells, the turbo pump vent pipe, the external fuel line, and the upper stage payload, all to be painted separately.

One of the reasons this project interested me was that I had been wanting to try out the new line of primers from Aclad II. They've got three: Clear, Primer Gray, and Gloss Black. A quick call to Tony Hipp of Alclad II confirmed that the two I wanted to use for this project, gray and black, were going to work on the resin airframe. No problem.

I first applied an overall coat of primer gray and this was dry in literally minutes. I located and corrected a few flaws in the resin surface, then reapplied the primer to check again. Once I was happy with the results, I buffed the gray surface smooth with my Micro Mesh series of buffing pads. I managed to buff down to the resin surface in a few spots, but I decided to see what would happen if I shot the Gloss Black onto the bare resin as well as the primer.

Atlas Atlas Atlas Atlas Atlas

I applied a misty light coat of the gloss black primer and built up the thickness in layers. Once I had a good solid basecoat, I set the airframe aside to dry. While it was dry to the touch with minutes, I allowed a few hours just to make sure it was solidly cured.

A quick inspection of the airframe revealed no problems shooting either onto the primer or the bare resin. the results were glossy and nice. I hadn't masked the engine housing before painting the black, but I wasn't too worried as this will get a darker metalizer later.

I applied Alclad II Polished Steel to the main tank, once again starting in thin layers and building up coverage. There was absolutely no problems with getting Alclad on the model. Even more impressive (though I've done this before), I could mask the metalizer surface, hold it with my bare hands, and in either case, leave no scars or sight that anything had touched the metalizer surface.

I used Alclad II Duraluminum for the engine housing and I had no idea that this shade was that dark, but I was still pleased with the results and the color contrast. I removed the masking tape and admired the results.

The engine bells and external fuel pipe were sprayed with Vallejo Gun Metal and the upper stage was painted Tamiya Flat White. These were all installed on the airframe and the project is complete!


I am pleased with the way the Alclad II primers work on this kit. Spraying the polished steel Alclad to the gloss black primer really made the finish stand out. The kit itself is a very simple build and most of your time (which wasn't much) will be spent filling/filing/smoothing out any minor flaws in the surface of the missile body and restoring any lost panel lines.

My sincere thanks to the US importer, Nostalgic Plastic for this review sample!