Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 Northrop YA-9A
Review by Steve
The Northrop YA-9A is one of two aircraft developed in the late '60s and early '70's to answer the need for an aircraft that could survive and fight in the projected FEBA (Forward Edge of Battle Area) of a war in Europe between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces. The other aircraft, which went on to win the fly off competition was the venerable A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Always something of the "red-headed step child", the US Air Force never really wanted these aircraft, and many times during the development program, and eventually the final aircraft the A-10, would come close to being canceled and forced into early retirement. This was before the emphasis of "Jointness" was observed in anything other than the breach. Moving mud was the last thing the USAF wanted to do.
However, as is sometimes the case, through the efforts of die-hard officers and far-sighted lawmakers, the Air Force held a fly off between the YA-9 and the YA-10. After the 1972 fly-off, the Fairchild YA-10 was selected. Both aircraft were equally capable of heavy load carry and accuracy of delivery. Both were seen as equally survivable. If I recall correctly, I believe the YA-10 won on ease of maintenance and repair factors.
Anigrand Craftswork seems to be carving a niche market by supplying the hard to find, experimental or one-off aircraft that other manufactures have passed over due to the prospects of light demand. But for those of us who want "something different", Anigrand supplies that in spades. This is the second kit of theirs that I've reviewed, and the forth or fifth one I've looked at closely. I previously reviewed and purchased for my own build the A-12 Avenger II, Navy stealth attack jet that never even made it past the mock-up stage. What I said in that review holds true here too. The parts lay out and build seems reasonable, but there are serious questions concerning their quality control. Many of the smooth surfaces (or at least ought to be smooth) show strange surface defects. Not that these are as bad as some of the short-shot parts I had in the A-12, and are in this case easily fixed with putty and an application of Mr. Surfacer, one still gets the idea of a nonexistent post pour and removal part inspection. For an example of the surface blemishes on this kit, observe the top surface of the bottom wing shown below. All the detail is nicely recessed.
The decals are simple, and look to be in register, but also look to be thick. This might be misleading as the 1/24th scale Trumpeter Spitfire decals also struck me like that before their application, but turned out quite nicely. These kits come from Hong Kong, so maybe this is a Chinese supplier or technique that is new to me. Results really are all that matter.
As you can see below, the building instructions are all included on one exploded diagram. Nothing special, but about all one needs really. This kit, being resin and with many small parts is not for the beginner, or one new to resin. Not shown below, but included is one vac-formed canopy. The back page of the instructions included the painting directions and decal placement for the all grey test bird.
In conclusion, this is a model a couple of steps above a vacuform, and will require only a little less effort than a vac kit. However, if you like the one off aircraft of history, and kits seldom modeled by others, the Anigrand YA-9A will be right up your alley!
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