Thanks once again to Brengun for providing a copy of one of their sets for IPMS USA to review;
Brengun continue to address projects which we never thought would be handled in a lifetime; in this case, it’s the venerable AMT/Italeri XB-70. Thanks to Dick “Monty” Montgomery for hand-carrying the set to the nationals for me as well.
OK, how many of you have seen one of these built? Next question: How many actually BUILT the kit? I was commissioned back in 1995 by Harters Hobby house to build one for the shop in Belleville, IL. In payment I got my own copy of the kit to build. Don’t know if the place is still there, but I know it was an interesting build.
Interesting in, Like, I hated the kit. Fit was awful; warped parts, and I had to use Green stuff (remember that?) to fill the myriad seams. I lost that deal on time, but Mr. Harter was pleased with the end product. I built mine about a year later when I moved to Fairchild AFB, and gave it afterwards to one of my troops for a job well done. The kit wasn’t any better, as it was the same plastic with a rolled up box art litho and a gold-metallic plastic name plate.
SO, here I am building the beast again, because I need to round out my SAC lineup. This one is getting the build treatment, with the Brengun review bits, (subject of this tome) and a SAC gear set sent to me by Ross,(Already have that one in work) and some other things. I’ll submit a second completed review later, as this is only about the Brengun set.
My recommendation: Buy it if you want the kit upgraded. The landing gear additions and antiskid system lines work great, fit well, and add greatly to the finished look of the gear. I used the SAC gear here, because it’s an improvement on the plastic parts from the kit and will take the abuse and weight. It’s a big, spindly model after all..
The other items in the bag include detail for the afterburners flameholder grids and augmentor nozzles, and frame detail around the engine section in the form of MICROSCOPIC perforated holes in sheet metal to bring it up to speed. This all reminds me of the 1/350 scale Hasegawa Akagi ship structural girder sections; shudder added here. It’s worthy detail as it’s very busy.
I used a #11 x-acto handle to hold the center round section of the flameholder grid down while I bent the long stanchions up, and a small sharpie pen barrel end to hold the larger of the two grid sections to do the same. This was very simple… but you have to be careful and patient when installing or you may bugger it up. Once installed it adds depth to this interesting section of the jet.
The landing gear follow up and main doors are a total improvement on the it items as well, including rivet detail and other “stuff. This part makes the set worthy of a second look for the skeptics… And I consider these worth the cost of admission.
The gear wheels are improved by brake covers and center outer disks with cooling holes, and really up the game for them as well.
The final improvement are various external vents and duct bleed doors, which require one to carve off the kit blocks which serve to represent the duct doors on the kit; more little but important details.
End of game: I heartily give it a max 10 score. The value for money, to quote my friends from the mother Country, is extreme, as for just over $25 bucks you get four brass sheets of enjoyable, slightly challenging modeling. Thanks again Brengun; now where’s a set for the XB-49?!!!!