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Northrop N-9MA





S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: SW 48001
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 51 "limited production" injection molded parts in grey plastic. 3 resin pieces, 1 Vacform canopy, 1 small sheet of decal markings, Instructions.
Price: USD$25.46 from www.squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Unusual subject matter. Nicely engraved panel detail.
Disadvantages: Quite large injection molding gates on parts with the resultant parts cleanup requirement.
Recommendation: Recommended for the intermediate and more experienced modeller.


Reviewed by Dale Smith

Sword's 1/48 scale N-9MA is available online from Squadron.com




The Northrop N-9M was a series of aerodynamic scale prototypes of a new and larger 'flying wing' bomber style of aircraft, to be designated the XB-35 that was put forward by Northrop to the originally proposed idea by General H. H. 'Hap' Arnold, chief of the Air Force, in the early 1940s.

The first prototype was known as the N-9M, the second the N-9M2 and the 3rd as the N-9MA.

In 1942 a fourth prototype was purchased to replace the first N-9M which was destroyed in an accident.

The first flight was in April, 1944 with the series of 50 test flights being completed in November 1944.





The 1/48 scale kit supplied by 'Sword' is of the N-9MA prototype.

The kit is supplied in a light grey limited production style of plastic that we have all become accustomed to from manufacturers in the Czech Republic such as Sword and MPM. The injection gates on the parts from the molding process are quite substantial, so careful separation and cleaning up of the parts will be required.

The surface detail on the main airframe parts is nicely restrained, however some of the smaller parts had large amounts of flash that will need to be cleaned up. All of the parts had formed well in the manufacturing process with only one of the mainwheels being slightly deformed, but could easily be corrected with some filler.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Three parts are supplied in resin. These are the middle section of the propeller spinners, and the rear wheel well. These parts had no air bubbles present and were nicely formed.

I test assembled some of the main airframe parts and they appeared to come together nicely and will probably only need the smallest amounts of filler on the main joints. Plenty of test fitting will be advisable when building to ensure a snug fit of the parts.

The decals that are supplied (there being only three) are very thin and in register. They appear to be of 'Swords' own manufacture. There is only one colour scheme applicable to this aircraft, and that is Trainer Yellow uppers with Trainer Blue lowers.




Sword's 1/48 scale N-9Ma will make a nice change of subject that would not look out of place in the display cabinet as a 'USAF 1946' contribution to add to all of those German project aircraft subjects.


Many thanks to Squadron Mail Order for supplying the review sample.


Review Copyright 2002 by Dale Smith
This Page Created on 21 February, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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