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XR-1 Kit

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 Platt LePage XR-1/XR-1A Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2006 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject Platt LePage XR-1/XR-1A Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2062 Primary Media Resin
Pros Resin pieces fit together VERY nicely, closest thing to a resin snap-tite kit you'll find! Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $38.00

First Look

XR-1 Kit
XR-1 Kit

In 1937, two engineers, Laurence LePage and Haviland Platt, traveled to Germany to view the Focke Fa 61 tandem-rotor helicopter. There they obtained an option to build the Focke helicopter in U.S., but deteriorating conditions between two governments prevented the deal from going through.

After returning to the U.S., they formed Platt LePage Aircraft Co. and started to develop their own tandem-rotor design, the PL-1. This new aircraft interested in the USAAF, which advised Platt LaPage to enter a military helicopter competition. The PL-1 was redesigned to meet military needs and was given the new rotary wing category's first designation, XR-1.

The first flight of the XR-1 was made in 1941. Control system problems caused numerous delays. Modifications were made and a second prototype, the XR-1A, was constructed. Its performance proved to be far superior to the XR-1. However, in 1944, the Sikorsky XR-4 was named the winner of the USAAF helicopter competition. USAAF cancelled all contracts with Platt LePage, which resulted in the company's closing. Platt LePage subsequently sold their twin rotor design to McDonnell, resulting in the XHJD-1 Whirlaway.

Anigrand Craftswork of Hong Kong has been turning out a wide variety of aircraft types in 1/72. These are usually subjects that nobody would dream of doing in injection-molded plastic. This release is definitely no exception.

This unique aircraft is cast in tan resin and is laid out for simple construction. The fuselage halves are hollow-cast and dry-fit together nicely. The wings/rotor booms also fit nicely to the fuselage. There will be little filler required to assemble this aircraft.

Take note of the second photograph, the packaging of this kit is nicely done so that there is little chance of any parts getting loose or damage from parts moving around inside the box. Nice!

The cockpit floor is more like a cockpit frame, and this is goes together with the pilots seats and instrument panel, and mounts to the front of the fuselage. The greenhouse canopy, molded as vacuformed parts, enclose the cockpit and form the front-end of the aircraft.

The rotor heads accept three blades each, and as you can see in the photo, Anigrand sends along an extra pair of rotor blades to go with an extra set of canopies.

The kit comes with a set of generic national markings, two sets of serial numbers, and warning stencils depending on which aircraft you're modeling.

This is a nice-looking kit and should be a quick build for the experienced resin modeler.

This kit is definitely recommended for the modeler who is tired of the same old subjects getting released by the 'big guys' in the hobby industry!

For a look at the built-up model, check out our review here.

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