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Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon

 

Valom 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 720007 - Lockheed XFV-1
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 62 parts in light grey plastic on two sprues, one photo-etched fret, printed instruments on clear acetate; 2 vac-formed canopies, Decals for one aircraft and 2 double sided A4 sheets with history, parts plan, build instructions and colour and marking drawings.
Price: USD$32.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Fascinating subject, well moulded plastic parts; nicely detailed.
Disadvantages: Limited run nature will require experience and care
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


Valom's 1/72 scale Lockheed XFV-1 is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

Valom Aircraft Models is another new producer from the Czech Republic who specializes in producing limited-run mixed media kits of aircraft that are not likely to be produced by the mainstream kit manufacturers. 

Valom's latest offering is a 1/72 scale rendering of the Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon.  What was a XFV-1 and why was it produced?  Basically, the XFV-1 was an experimental vertical takeoff aircraft of the 1950s.  It was produced as a result of a proposal issued by the United States Navy in 1948 for an aircraft that was capable of vertical take off and landing from platforms mounted on the afterdecks of conventional ships.  In 1950 this requirement was revised to call for a research aircraft capable of eventually evolving into a vertical take off and landing ship-based convoy escort fighter.  Two prototypes were ordered from Lockheed under the designation XFO-1. Lockheed's company designation was Model 081-40-01.  Aircraft serials were Bureau Number 138657 (the subject of this kit) and 138658. 

The kit comprises 62 plastic pieces produced using the "limited run" process, a photo-etch brass sheet that carries an instrument panel and smaller detail parts for the cockpit including the seat harness, a printed acetate sheet (instrument panel) and two vacform canopies. 

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Given that the kit has been produced using the "limited run" process, the parts are commendably thin and carry a fair amount of detail.  Whilst the outer surfaces of the parts are reasonably smooth, they will not be smooth enough for the natural metal finish that the one-to-one-scale version wore so you will need to spend some time with the sandpaper here.  A saving grace here is that the plastic that Valom have used works easily. 

Surface detail is of the scribed line variety, and this too will need some attention with your favourite scriber to even them all out as straight out of the box, they are a little inconsistent in depth and run a little "outside the lines" in some areas.  There is some flash present, but not a great deal and what there is will easily be removed with sandpaper and a sharp knife. 

As mentioned previously, the canopy is vacformed.  Whilst they are clear and without distortion, frame detail is a little soft and it would help if you were to outline them in tape before attempting to remove them from the carrier.  I say them, as whilst you only need one, two are provided in case you goof.  To make the removal task easier, I have always found that it helps to fill the canopy with plaster of paris first as once this has hardened, you have something hard to cut against. 

The instrument panel is of the sandwich type with the instrument dials being provided on the printed acetate sheet which you place between the plastic and brass instrument panels simple but very effective. 

The instructions are a large folded single-page that show "exploded views" and provide simple yet effective guidance in the construction and detail painting of your model as well as a "parts map" and a thumbnail history of the XFV-1. 

Decals have been printed by Aviprint who seem to print the majority of decals for these Czech based companies.  What there is of them are sharp clear and in register and they appear to be correct when compared to photographs of the one-to-one-scale 138657. 

The main sprue there is only one is packed in a plastic bag and the decals, photo-etch fret and acetate instruments are packed in a smaller zip-loc bag that also contains a piece of stiff cardboard to help keep them all flat.  These are in turn placed into a cardboard tray type box with a reinforced bottom.  Our fearless editor mailed this kit to me in a plastic overnight bag and it made its way from one side of our vast continent to the other with minimal crushing to the box and only the nose cone separating from the sprue (sorry Rodger - I'll use more bubblewrap next time! - ed).  One of bulkheads was also a little bent but was easily repaired using hot water. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a nice kit but make no mistake, it is not for the inexperienced nor the feint of heart as it is by nature a limited run kit that is devoid of alignment pins.  Being in natural metal finish too will mean you will have to spend a lot of time on careful construction. 

Recommended to experienced modellers.


Footnote 

If you want to see what the finished model looks like, head on over to Modelling Madness at http://modelingmadness.com/scotts/korean/us/xfv1.htm where Scott Van Aken provides a blow by blow description of the construction of this kit and some great photos.

Thanks to Valom for this review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 13 June, 2005
Last updated 13 June, 2005

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