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Vultee XP-54 
"Swoose Goose"

 

 

Planet Models

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: PD072 - Swoose Goose
Scale: 1/72
Price: USD$37.96 from Squadron.com
Contents and Media: 52 parts in pale cream-coloured resin and one vac form canopy
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Crisp surface detail; interesting subject; well cast; considerate engineering (complex dihedral/anhedral cast into wing parts); good fit of potentially tricky parts.
Disadvantages: Poorly rendered propeller blades
Recommendation: Recommended 

 

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

 

Introduction

 

Planet Models is a company based in the Czech Republic that specializes in the production of short-run resin 1/72 and 1/48 scale aircraft and armour as well as 1/200 scale submarines. The majority of their aircraft renditions favour the fans of Luftwaffe '46, with the occasional venture into experimental and obscure aircraft of other nations. Take a tour of their web-site at and you will see what I mean: http://www.luft46.com/Planet/catalog.html

The Vultee XP-54 "Swoose Goose" fits in well Planet Models' usual subject theme. The XP-54 was an experimental single-engined pusher-type, twin boomed all metal, gull-winged monoplane designed to be employed by the USAAF as a fast interceptor using an experimental Pratt & WhitneyX-1800-4AG engine.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Planet Models 1/72 scale rendition of the "Swoose Goose" comprises 52 resin parts and one vac formed canopy.

The resin parts are all crisply cast with the panel lines and other surface detail represented by petite, sharp scribing that is on a par with mainstream manufacturers. The vac formed canopy is sharp and clear. The moulding pips associated with the vacform process are thoughtfully located on top of the frame lines so that they can be easily removed without marring the clear portions.

There were only five pinholes in my sample, which I thought was pretty good in a kit comprising of 52 resin parts! I wasn't too perturbed about these pinholes though as they were all located in areas that can be easily filled and sanded without destroying the surrounding detail.

 

 

The resin parts consist of two fuselage halves with associated detail parts; the nose wheel interior tub, cockpit side consoles, instrument panel (devoid of any detail unfortunately) pilot's seat, rear bulkhead, turtledeck, spectacle-shaped control wheel, four propeller blades, a mounting block for the spinner, spinner back plate and the spinner itself. The majority of these parts are excellent with the tiny control wheel standing out as a triumph in the art of resin casting. 

The same however cannot be said of the propeller blades. Each of the four blades is of a different chord, length and shape. Given the quality of the other parts of this kit and the attention to detail by the folks at Planet Models I am surprised at this shortcoming.

The wings are supplied in three separate pieces. The gull-wing shape is set as part of the one-piece lower wing. The upper wings are cast as two pieces, which also incorporate the required anhedral/dihedral. The detail parts include the wheel well bays with pre-drilled locating holes for the undercarriage legs, and the forward facing radiator faces.

The rear fuselage/flying surfaces consist of four separate pieces to make the booms, which incorporate built-in fairings for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, the vertical stabilizers themselves and a single piece horizontal stabilizer. When I first saw the pieces for the booms I feared that they would not align with the moulded-in fairings on the trailing edges of the wings. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and the whole assembly simply slotted together perfectly. I would however recommended that short lengths of brass tubing be first glued into the rear of the wings and that the completed booms be slid onto these tubes so as to aid the alignment and to add rigidity to this assembly.

Click the thumbnails to view the instructions full-sized

    

The remaining pieces include the landing gear legs with separate torque links, wheels, wheel well doors, a petite pitot tube and a blade antenna.

The instruction sheet consists of four A-4 sized pages with clear drawings illustrating the construction sequence. A painting guide for the minor details is included in both Czechoslovakian and English throughout the construction phase with a full-page being devoted to the painting/decal placement guide for aircraft's external finish.

Decals are by Propagteam and provide for both the first and second prototypes and include options so that the modeller can depict either of the two aircraft at any time during their development.

The kit comes packed in a thin cardboard box with the resin pieces packed into a continuous plastic bag that has been heat crimped into separate compartments to prevent the parts moving and rubbing against each other, simple but effective.

 

 

Conclusion

 

All up, a very nice kit. Sure, you have to use your modelling skills to complete this kit but there is nothing too difficult here. Well and truly worth the effort which will result in a unique model of a unique aircraft.

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.



Planet Models' 1/72 scale "Swoose Goose" is available online from Squadron.com


Review Copyright 2000 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 27 April, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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