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CMK 1/72 XP-72

by Mike Taylor

 

The XP-72 (Super Thunderbolt) proposal was Kartveli's Republic Aviation fighter team's attempt to meet the need for an aircraft to counter Germany's V-1 "Buzz Bombs". It was able to reach an altitude of 20,000 feet in just under 5 minutes. Its Pratt and Whitney R-4360-13 Wasp Major was the most powerful piston engine produced during WW-II.

The CMK kit represents the second prototype (43-6599) with its six-bladed counter-rotating props. The aircraft was involved in a crash during an early test flight and was lost. Eventually, interceptors like the XP-72 were deemed unnecessary as priorities changed to long range escorts and the program was dropped.

If you've read Chris' "first look" at this kit you know it consists of very few parts - 29 in all. The mold quality leaves something to be desired even by East European standards with heavy incomplete panel lines, large overpour points, and just plain blemishes. The interior is comprised of a rectangle for the floor, a simple seat, stick, and instrument panel. When I learned I was going to review this kit I immediately ordered True Details P-47 cockpit set. The True Details set is complete and well detailed. With a little recontouring I was able to fit it in the CMK fuselage. I'd recommend it for any 1/72 P-47.

I began by sanding the fuselage halves' joining surfaces till a good match was achieved. Then, having pre-assembled the True Details interior, I taped the fuselage halves together and did the "dry fit/sand/dry fit again thing" till the cockpit fit. The kit lacks any screening for the turbo intake so this will need to be added before the fuselage halves are joined. The fuselage was assembled and the seams filled with Zap-A-Gap. The wings suffer from large over pour points on the tips and trailing edges and needed more than normal cleanup. As molded there is no dihedral so I sanded in the recommended 4 degrees at the root. I also drilled out three holes in the leading edges to accommodate the .50 cal. machine gun barrels. The horizontal tailplanes fit well but the vertical tailplane/rudder required some sanding and filling. The wing/fuselage joint was fairly good but the seam runs through the undetailed wheel wells and should be cleaned up and perhaps hidden with some added detail.

After filling and sanding were completed I gave the kit three coats of Future floor polish to smooth everything out and sprayed the model two light coats of Model Master non-buffing aluminum overall (then buffed anyway - it does enhance the shine. National insignia decals were added, then a topcoat of Future. I then masked and painted the anti glare panel matte black, and while I had that color loaded I sprayed the prop hub and blades. Small dimples in the hub are all you have for locating the blades so I suggest you drill them out a little for a more secure fit.

This kit, if built from the box, would be a good first resin kit as it would give the beginning resin builder an idea of dealing with overpours and fit challenges. For the more experienced builder that just must have an XP-72 this kit forms a good base to start from although at times I found myself wondering if it wouldn't have been better to just attempt to use the resin fuselage from the nose to the canopy and the underside and try to mate it to an injection molded kit. Die-hard fans of 1/72 scale P-47's will welcome this kit to their collection, but it does need more than a little work to make a truly accurate replica.

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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM
87199-0933
USA
(505) 881-9621

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