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XB-48 Kit

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 XB-48 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2008 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject XB-48 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2084 Primary Media Resin
Pros Beautiful casting, nice test-fit Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $136.00

First Look

XB-48 Kit
XB-48 Kit
XB-48 Kit
XB-48 Kit
XB-48 Kit

With some of the experience gained from the USAAF's first jet aircraft, the P-59 Airacomet, the requirement was developed for the first all-jet medium bomber. The North American XB-45, Convair XB-46, Boeing XB-47, and Martin XB-48 were the first all-jet bomber designs for the USAAF. Due to development problems with the XB-47 and XB-48, the USAAF awarded the first contract to North American for the B-45 Tornado, but continued to observe the development of the Boeing and Martin designs.

When the Boeing and Martin aircraft were available for evaluation, the new USAF found the XB-47 to be superior in performance as well as having potential for capability growth. Of the four designs, the Boeing was the only one with swept wings, though the XB-47 and XB-48 shared many similarities:

  • Bicycle main landing gear
  • Outrigger gear
  • Six engines
  • Fighter-style cockpit
  • Cylindrical fuselage with bombardier nose

Two XB-48 prototypes were built with the first flight taking place in mid-1947. The project was cancelled in 1948.

Anigrand Craftswork turns out some interesting subjects and this one is no exception. This is a detailed 1/72nd rendition of Martin's six-engined jet-powered B-26-inspired bomber. Since all of these candidate bombers were designed for a 20,000 pound bomb load (which is conveniently twice the load required to loft the first atomic bombs).

The kit is molded in tan resin and most of the kit is packaged in the standard safety packing that keeps all of the parts from being damaged before reaching you. Only the fuselage halves were outside of this packaging and their sheer size in the box kept them from shifting about.

The hollow-cast fuselage has cavities prepared for the cockpit, bombardier/navigator compartment. You'll have to install the cockpit and bomb/nav compartment details prior to closing up the fuselage halves as only the pilot's ejection seat will go in though the cockpit opening after assembly.

The wings are cast as solid parts and you plug those into the completed fuselage. You'll want to jig up the airframe to square the wings and add the right dihedral to the horizontal stabilizers.

The engine pods each contain three engines, and the cooling air ducts between the engines is nicely captured in these parts. Add the landing gear and transparencies, and you're ready for the paint shop.

Of course the full-scale aircraft was bare metal, so you can polish the surfaces, prime and metalize the airframe with your favorite metalizers.

The kit provides markings for the first prototype, aircraft 45-59585.

This is another interesting installment in Anigrand Craftswork's growing resume of prototype and concept aircraft that never made it to production. This will really look sharp in its bare metal shine or even in its later dull bare metal as it accumulated flight test hours. For those of you who want something different, you can also apply the USAAF '46 colors of the wartime Eighth Air Force as it continued its bombing campaign against the Luft '46 threat.

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