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AJ-2 Savage Kit

Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 AJ-2 Savage Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2009 Manufacturer Anigrand Craftswork
Subject AJ-2 Savage Scale 1/72
Kit Number 2089 Primary Media Resin, White Metal
Pros Beautiful casting, nice test-fit, white metal landing gear Cons No fuselage jet intake
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $106.00

First Look

AJ-2 Savage Kit
AJ-2 Savage Kit
AJ-2 Savage Kit
AJ-2 Savage Kit

The North American AJ Savage was a carrier-based bomber that started development during World War 2. The Savage featured supercharged R2800 radial engines that were rated at 2500 horsepower apiece. With the availability of turbine power, a single Allison J33 was mounted in the rear fuselage to provide augmented power for take-off and high-speed dashes into the target.

The Savage was the first carrier-based nuclear bomber and was also the first (and perhaps only) three-engined bomber to operate from an aircraft carrier. The size and payload of the Savage makes the mere fact that this aircraft routinely flew from straight deck Essex-class carriers quite impressive. Three main variants of the Savage entered service - the AJ-1 which were all converted to aerial tankers; AJ-2 which were the tactical bombers; and the AJ-2P photo-reconnaissance variant.

The first prototype Savage flew in 1948 and entered service in 1949. While the Savage was a unique solution to a unique problem - delivery of early nuclear weapons from the aircraft carrier - it still needed more power/thrust. North American attempted a turbo-prop powered A2J Super Savage, but ultimately the Douglas A3D Skywarrior would assume the nuclear delivery mission eventually. The Savage remained in Navy service until the early 1960s in the photo reconnaissance role.

Anigrand Craftswork has returned with a new-tool rendition of the North American AJ-2 Savage. Previous attempts at producing the Savage have been less than successful and Anigrand stepped up with this new design. Let's take a look.

Cast in tan resin, the Savage kit is laid out in standard Anigrand fashion with hollow-cast fuselage halves, plug-in wing halves and tail, hollow-cast engine nacelles, and white metal landing gear.

The cockpit has detailing cast into the interior side walls and a nice flight deck to install inside. This is one project where you'll want to detail out the cockpit because the clear resin canopy is nicely done and will reveal all of your work.

Speaking of nicely done, the Nostalgic Plastic version of this kit comes with a CD-ROM with LOTS of references and photos to help you build and accurately detail out this model. There are several good articles that are well-illustrated to walk you through the cockpit and external details. There are two folders of images, one containing period photos of the Savage, the other being a photo walk-around of the Savage on display in Pensacola.

Did I mention white metal landing gear? Kudos to Nostalgic Plastic and Anigrand for designing this kit with metal gear to make the final model more durable!

I had Fotios Rouch look over the images of the kit as he is a big fan of the aircraft and the only glitch he could find is the absence of the distinctive fuselage air intake for the jet engine, but this is remedied easily enough. This kit lacks the shape problems and other issues that plagued previous attempts at a 1/72 AJ Savage kit.

Markings are provided for a gray over white AJ-2.

Anigrand continues to turn out some interesting subjects to fill in the gaps of aviation history for those aircraft that didn't get past flight test. Congratulations on this nice Savage kit!

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