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XF6D-1 Missileer Kit

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 XF6D-1 Missileer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2007 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject Douglas XF6D-1 Missileer Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2075 Primary Media Resin
Pros Beautiful casting, nice test-fit, even nicer detail Cons Resin landing struts may be too fragile for the weight
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $65.00

First Look

XF6D-1 Missileer Kit
XF6D-1 Missileer Kit

Following on the success of the F3D Skyknight, the Navy wanted an updated platform to house a more powerful intercept radar and carry a new generation of radar-guided air-to-air missiles. As Douglas was the designer of the F3D, their design for the XF6D Missileer was adopted to fulfill this mission. The straight wing provided an optimum (at the time) capbility to loft the weight of the avionics and missiles off the catapult and bring it back aboard the carrier at a reasonable approach speed.

By 1960 however, the Defense Department started having concerns about program costs and that infamous move was made by then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to combine the Navy and USAF requirements for a new aircraft into a common solution that became the F-111. While the USAF made the F-111 a success, the Navy's F-111B was too big and too heavy. The XF6D had been cancelled to make way for the F-111B, and the subsequent cancellation of that aircraft forced the Navy to live with Sparrow-equipped Phantoms for fleet defense until the F-111B's successor was ready for prime time - the F-14 Tomcat.

One of the innovative features of the Missileer was its missile - the AAM-N-10 Eagle. This was a long range missile that was designed to work with the AN/APQ-81 radar that would track-while-scan and engage up to six targets simultaneously. The F-111B and the F-14 had similar capabilities in fleet defense. In fact, the Bendix missile technology was rolled into the subsequent AIM-54 Phoenix missile program.

Anigrand Craftswork has produced another interesting prototype from the footnotes of aviation history, this time the Douglas XF6D Missileer. As the description above says, this is a follow-on to the Skynight, but when you look at the parts, you almost think you're looking at the A-6 Intruder from Grumman too. Interesting how mission requirements will result in similar design features.

As usual, the kit is packaged in their robust compartmented bags that keep parts from floating around during shipment and getting damaged in the process. The clear resin canopy is separately packaged.

The fuselage is hollow-cast and sectioned left-right. Add the engine fairings to the fuselage sides, and the shoulder-mounted wings to the fairings, and you've got the subassembly that just needs any seamlines worked out. Insert the engine compressor faces down the intakes and the exhaust ducts to the other end of the fairings, and you've got power. Add the vertical and horizontal stabs (and these too are pin-located for ease of mounting) and you've got the basic airframe completed. Just add the cockpit details, landing gear, and of course those nicely cast missile with pylons already cast into position, and you're ready for the paint rack.

This set of decals are typical generic markings sized for use on this kit.

If you are a collector of prototype combat aircraft, especially those that never made it beyond concept or early prototype, the XF6D-1 Missileer will be another nice addition to your scale flightline.

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