by: Matthew Robeson [ ]
Originally published on:
Hello everyone. At a recent model meeting, I was approached about doing some more reviews for Aeroscale, so I jumped on board with it, and was given a stack of the new generation of Cyber-Hobby/DML small scale kits, all 1/144 and down. Usually, my scale is 1/48-1/32, but these looked like some great projects. The first one here is for the Northrop XB-35 Flying Wing, a project that sadly never came to fruition, but would help the US gain insight when eventually the B-2 Spirit came around.
The XB-35 was envisioned by Jack Northrop as a new generation of bomber in the early 1940s. The Army Air Force liked the idea quite a bit, so had a test plane built up. The plane performed very admirably, to the point that it was eventually fitted up with jet engines and became the YB-49. Sadly though, one of the YB-49s crashed on landing, where the nose gear strut collapsed, rupturing the fuel tanks and leading to a massive fire. After this, the YB-35/49 project was cancelled, and the B-36 Peacemaker entered with the new US Air Force.
First thing that strikes you is that the box art is great, showing an XB-35 glistening in the sun over the Mojave Desert.
The first sprues you come across after opening the side-opening box, which I'm personally not a fan of, is the huge fuselage halves. For 1/200 scale, this is still a very wide aircraft. Each half comes on its own sprue, and the attachment points look pretty good, if not a bit large. The panel lines are a bit deep, but if they had them perfectly in scale, they would be pretty much invisible.
Digging through the box, you'll eventually come across the cockpit assembly. I know it's normally vogue for small scale kits to skimp completely, and sometimes not even include an interior, but Cyber-Hobby went above and beyond this time. The cockpit itself is made up of 8 pieces, and the consoles even have detail on them. Of course, you will have to add your own seatbelts if you're that crazy, but with the tiny canopy on, there is no way to see inside. I've included a scan of the instruction guide for that step, to show how much goes into the cockpit. Test fitting shows that it should all click together, and then glue into place in the lower fuselage half.
One of the nice features of this kit is the ability to build it in flight or on the ground, without having to cut anything out. Cyber-Hobby includes options for both tastes, and both are very well designed. To stop you from going crazy trying to align all of the gear doors, the bay and door assembly are one piece. Now, it's a blank landing gear bay, but most of the doors are closed, so no big worries there.
You'll find two sprues doubled in the bottom of the box, and this is mostly what differentiates this from the XB-49 kit they have also released. This contains the one-piece engine cowling assemblies, which is great, and the propellors. You are given a couple of extra propellor assemblies, since they are tiny, and could break easily, so handle with care. The cowlings just slot straight into place on the top fuselage, and then the contra-rotating propellors are added on from there.
Luckily, the wheels included in this kit are all one-piece, so no trying to sand seam lines in that small of a scale.
Last thing in the box are the very nice clear parts, although the fish-bowl main canopy will probably distort things a bit just because of its shape.
There is a tiny decal sheet, but since this plane only existed as a prototype, it's fine. The one scheme included in the box is a NMF plane, so dust off the Alclad or whatever you like to use. The decals should work well, but getting the individual wing-walk lines perfect could take some patience and work. But if you are so inclined, you cand do a what-if version of the Flying Wing, in late war Allied camo, or even SEA to really throw someone for a loop.