1/48 Tamiya / Lone Star Models XP-72

Gallery Article by Mike Krahn on July 2 2019

 

      

This is a project I've wanted to do for many years. I have seen the Koster conversion kit for many years but am reticent about vacuform kits. I found that Lone Star Models has a 1/48 scale resin conversion kit for the XP-72 so I jumped on it. The conversion kit is designed for the Tamiya kit but can also be made to fit other kits. I was reluctant to use the Tamiya kit due to it's cost and the quality of kit as I didn't want to face the possibility of destroying the kit. Since this was a project I've wanted so long, I bit the bullet. The references for this aircraft are pretty limited, there being few pictures available online. I chose to do the aircraft with the contra-rotating propeller instead of the single propeller.

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Making that first cut into the kit was painful, but once that was done, I barreled forward. The conversion kit fit as well as could be expected with some problems, probably due to my own mistakes but it all went together. I made my own seat belts using wine bottle foil and small copper wire. I weathered the interior and wheel wells, painted a gray primer to able me to see any spots where I needed to do more sanding. Once I finished the sanding and rescribing the panel lines, I painted the model in gloss black to enable the foil to stick better. I spent the next couple of months applying kitchen foil using a foil adhesive. The foil has a grain to it so I switched directions of the grain and used the flat side of the foil to differentiate the different panels. I found the markings in my stack of spare decals.

This was a great project with it's usual minor disasters and pitfalls but I learned more lessons and now have a great aircraft in my collection.

Mike Krahn

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Photos and text by Mike Krahn