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Boeing XF8B-1

 

Valom 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 720005 - Boeing XF8B-1
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 30 parts in light grey plastic on two sprues, 9 parts in resin, 8 photo etched parts on one 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$30.46 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Fascinating subject, well moulded plastic parts; excellent use of multimedia (resin and photo-etch); nicely detailed; good representation of 3,000 hp Corncob engine with all 28 cylinders present!.
Disadvantages: A little flash to clean up on plastic parts; some tiny (and I mean tiny) pin holes in a few resin parts; some uneven panel lines; no sidewall detail in cockpit.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


Valom's 1/72 scale Boeing XF8B-1 is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

If good looks alone determined success, the XF8B should surely have reached production.

The XF8B-1 was a big aircraft, as dictated by its long-range mission, and its B-29-like fin branded it unmistakably as a product of Boeing. The long cowl housed the amazing 28 cylinder Pratt & Whitney XR-4360.10 "Corncob" powerplant, generating 3,000 hp and driving a six-bladed, contra-rotating propeller assembly. But 1945 saw the dawn of the jet age and the XF8B, along with its Corncob-powered counterparts including the F2G Corsair, was consigned to the trivia pages of history.

Fortunately, Valom of the Czech Republic is proving itself to be a devoted trivia fan. With previous releases including the Blackburn Firebrand TF..Mk.II, Polikarpov TIS and Sukhoi Su-6, Valom has now added two 1/72 scale Boeing XF8B-1 kits to its range of esoteric yet somehow compelling subjects.

Valom offers a Navy and a USAAF version of the XF8B. This review examines the Army Air Force version.

Valom's 1/72 scale XF8B-1 comprises 30 parts in light grey plastic, nine parts in resin, eight photo etched parts on one fret, printed instruments on clear acetate and a vacuum formed canopy with a spare. Packaging is excellent. All the parts are packed into a re-sealable zip-lock bag, with the decals and photo-etched parts in a smaller zip-lock bag and resin parts in two more bags with divided compartments.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The plastic parts are well moulded, with generally crisp panel lines. There are a few spots where the lines are a little uneven in depth, but a few minutes with a scriber or the back of a hobby knife, followed by sanding and polishing of the plastic, will address this minor issue. My sample also has sink marks on the lower rear fuselage and wing root of one fuselage half. These appear to be the result of raised detail on the inside of the part. Once again, they will easily be fixed with some putty and sanding.

The Corncob powerplant is worthy of mention. All 28 cylinders - four rows of seven - are represented in styrene. No short-cuts with unconvincing engine faces here.

The two rows of propeller blades are moulded separately, with the props and spinner of each row being supplied as one piece each.

In common with Valom's earlier releases, the plastic parts do not have locating pins, so take your time aligning the parts and test-fitting before assembly. A few minutes preparation before glue can save hours of filling and sanding after!

Resin parts include the long, hollow-cast cowl, two optional drop tanks with separate sway braces and two sets of delicate exhaust ejectors. All these parts are beautifully presented, but one of my exhaust stacks and one drop tank have some tiny pin holes that will need filling before assembly.

 

 

The canopy is supplied as a vacform part. This is very clear and features sharp raised frames. A spare is included in case of a mishap with the hobby knife.

The instrument panel, seat harness, rudder pedals, oleo scissors and radiator grille are all supplied on a small photo-etched fret. The instrument panel is supplemented with dials printed on a clear acetate sheet. The rear bulkhead, floor and seat are plastic parts - nicely done too. However, there is no sidewall detail whatsoever, nor is there a forward firewall. Good luck finding reference photos! A few strips of styrene for sidewall structure and some general shapes for the throttle quadrant, oxygen regulator, map case, radio etc. will probably be your best bet.

Decals comprise national markings only.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Move over Luft '46 - here come the Allies!

Valom's 1/72 scale XF8B-1 is a well detailed kit of an unusual but very interesting subject. The model could be built as the prototype, but imagine the possibilities for creating an F8B-1 ground-pounder in US Air Force service over Korea!

As with most limited run kits, a bit of extra preparation will be required, but Valom's XF8B-1 should be within the capabilities of most modellers. Take your time cleaning up the parts and aligning the assemblies before committing to glue, and Valom's XF8B-1 should deliver a rewarding modelling experience.

Recommended.           


Thanks to Squadron.com for this review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 23 December, 2004
Last updated 23 December, 2004

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