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Atlas Kit

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 Convair X-11/X-12/XB-65/SM-65/CGM-16 Atlas Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2006 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject Convair X-11/ X-12/ XB-65/ SM-65/ CGM-16/ Atlas Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2065 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) $64.00

First Look

Atlas Kit
Atlas Kit

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 man into orbit - astronaut John Glenn aboard a Mercury spacecraft.

Anigrand Craftswork of Hong Kong has been turning out a wide variety of subjects types in 1/72. If this is a sign of what they can do with spacecraft, please continue!

The kit is molded in hollow-cast resin and fits every bit as nice as their aircraft kits. Given the size and complexity of these castings, the airframe will require some patient trimming and filing to remove the casting blocks and just a bit of flash. The upper airframe halves fit almost perfectly out of the box. The cast-on detailing on the airframe surface is just amazing.

The lower airframe housing the engines and turbopumps literally assembles over the base of the upper airframe with keys molded into place to assure proper alignment.

The airframe is designed to accept any of the several fairings, ducts and nose cones to render any of the vehicles described above. The instructions clearly show which parts are needed to render each version.

The kit comes with a set of generic national markings.

This is a nice-looking kit and should be a quick build for the experienced resin modeler. I am quite happy to see the space side of the house covered with a kit of this detail! Since the model is not solid resin, it should sit more stable atop a mounting base of your design. In the meantime, you may just have to get three of these to show the Atlas at three key points in its career. It would be nice to see this kit with a Mercury atop it!

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

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