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XB-35 Flying Wing

DML 1/200 XB-35 Flying Wing Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject XB-35 Flying Wing Scale 1/200
Kit Number 2017 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look


Aviation pioneer Jack Northrop had a vision - to create aircraft that were simply flying wings, eliminating the fuselage and tail. Inspired by the research of the Horten brothers in Germany before the US entered World War Two, Northrop designed and flew the N-1M.

After the US entered the war, military planners were concerned that they would lose the forward operating bases in the UK should Britain fall to the Germans. Contracts were let to Consolidated for the B-36, and extended to Northrop for the B-35. Both bombers were to have a 10,000 mile range to allow for strategic bombing missions to be flown from the US. Before Northrop could proceed with the B-35, he built and flew the N-9M scale prototype to prove that the flying wing concept was feasible.

When the B-35 did fly, it was plagued with a number of technical problems not the least of which were the aircraft's inability to meet the airspeed and range requirements. Furthermore, the counter-rotating propellers were causing vibration problems and the complex exhaust plumbing was even more troublesome. With the approaching jet age nearly upon them, the B-35 program was cancelled, but the concept was recycled into the B-49.

Here is a nice kit from DML producing the XB-35 Flying Wing in 1/200 scale. Many will remember how huge this model was when AMT released this subject in 1/72 scale, so here is a nice alternative that still provides some nice details without using much shelf or display case space. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts.

As with other kits in this series, assembly is quick and simple (three assembly steps) but you'll still have lots of details to see. The nice thing about this series as opposed to the Anigrand resin kits is that the propellers are all molded with propeller blades on the hubs as you'll see in these images. The Anigrand kits provide the blades and hubs as separate parts, so you'll lose your will to live while trying to assemble these in 1/144 or 1/200 scale.

Amazingly enough, the kit has the same starship-like cockpit tub as the larger versions of this subject complete with all of the stations circled around the pilot and copilot. The kit provides options for raised or extended landing gear.

Markings are provided for aircraft 42-13603 along with the upper wing walkways, fuel filler markings and national markings.

I had no idea that you could get so much detail into such a small-scale kit. This kit will make a nice platform for showing off your Alclad II skills (or developing your skills), though you could have a little Luft '46 fun and paint this aircraft up in camouflage for the long haul from the US to Berlin and back.

My sincere thanks to DML for this review sample!