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 Revell 1/72: X-15

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Revell 1/72: X-15   Sun Feb 26 2017, 00:37

I have always been a great fan of the X-15 program which began in 1959 and ended in 1968. It was designed to test the limits of manned hypersonic flight and set many world records. In fact, it set the world's unofficial speed and altitude records, in 1967, of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) at 354,200 feet. That record still stands. 199 flights were made in the course of the program with one pilot losing his life during testing.

The Kit

This particular Revell kit is from 1987 and is in 1/72 scale. It allows you to be the model as an X-15A (with the black paint) or as an X-15A-2 (white paint). The kit is really geared for the all white -2 version of the model if built out-of-box. To make a correct version of the A model will require a little work.

The Build

I chose to do the X-15A as it is, to me at least, the most iconic version of the aircraft. As mentioned, the model is geared for the -2 version which has a shortened ventral stabilizer to accommodate testing of a scramjet engine mounted externally. I did nothing to fix that, but if you mount it wheels down with the external fuel tanks, you wouldn't really notice it. But you will see it on this build as I just couldn't come up with a way to hide it since I went wheels-up (technically, wheel and skids up). I should also mention that the model does not include skids, only a nose wheel, so it needs to rest on the included trolley.

I opted not to build the external tanks as they were rarely used. I think Revell made these really to hide the lack of skids and the shortened ventral stabilizer.

The cockpit canopy has one window blocked with the shade/visor used in testing the white ablative paint on the -2. I removed the plastic and cut a clear window from acetate plastic to correct that. The canopy is not hinged as it should be and lacks any supports for it so these would need to be scratch-built.

You would think an all black model would be easy to do, right? WRONG! It is quite difficult. To really do the X-15 justice requires some advanced modeling finesse as there were many different shades of black after a flight. I just say my model represents an X-15 right after release from its B-52 "mothership."

There were no real problems with the kit as such, but there were lots of shortcomings owing to lack of attention to detail. The stand does have a fit problem which will require a bit of work to make right.

Pros

1. Easy weekend build. Looks like an X-15 (A-2 anyway).
2. Excellent decals.

Cons

1. OOB model is not an accurate rendition of an X-15A and the kit does not allow for an "easy" modification / correction.
2. No landing skids.
3. No canopy hinge or ability to easily correct the visored window.
4. Decal placement instructions were poor in some instances - had to refer to actual pics of the aircraft.
5. Like #4 above, I had to use a lot of online pics of the actual aircraft for much of the paint work.

Overall, an OK model if you know what you are getting.

















Last edited by Propwash on Tue Mar 07 2017, 23:26; edited 1 time in total
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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Tue Mar 07 2017, 08:37

Looks awesome PW, and one of those kits that I keep thinking I should add to the stash but have never got around to it. Does it come with the giant fuel tanks shown on the box top?

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 Mike Grant | Calgary AB
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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Tue Mar 07 2017, 23:24

Migrant wrote:
Looks awesome PW, and one of those kits that I keep thinking I should add to the stash but have never got around to it. Does it come with the giant fuel tanks shown on the box top?

Yes it does. I chose not to add those as they were not used that often. But I have seen some awesome models done with the tanks in place. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Wed Mar 08 2017, 09:54

Propwash wrote:
Migrant wrote:
Looks awesome PW, and one of those kits that I keep thinking I should add to the stash but have never got around to it. Does it come with the giant fuel tanks shown on the box top?

Yes it does. I chose not to add those as they were not used that often. But I have seen some awesome models done with the tanks in place. Very Happy

OK, that's it, I NEED one of these in my collection.

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 Mike Grant | Calgary AB
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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Thu Mar 09 2017, 00:23

I will look forward to seeing your build! I assume it will be in 1/48?
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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Thu Mar 09 2017, 08:56

No, it'll be 1/72, and probably this same kit. (Special Hobby/MPM do the X-15 in 72/48/32 but by all accounts are a lot of work, although pretty accurate.) I'll definitely want the boosters on mine, in white and dayglo orange Very Happy

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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: Revell 1/72: X-15   Fri Mar 10 2017, 00:37

Please be sure to post the results of your build. I'd love to see it.
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