XB-35 Flying Wing

Published on
October 27, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Cyber-Hobby - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Several months ago, Cyber-Hobby came out with a kit of the Northrop YB-49 in 1/200 scale. They have now followed up on that with a new kit of the Northrop XB-35, again in 1/200 scale. With a wing span of 172 feet, this would be a very large model in 1/72 scale and still a good-sized one in 1/144 scale. With 1/200 scale, the XB-35's wing span is a manageable 10.32 inches in width. There are 70 parts with no flash in their usual light grey styrene and another 8 parts in clear. A few of these parts may or may not be used, depending on which propellers you use, or if you build a flying version or one on the ground. The two largest parts are the upper and lower wing halves, followed by the four propeller nacelles, but you are given a complete interior even if 90% of it will never be seen.

The first thing to do in step one is to assemble the eight-part main cockpit and the three-part rear gunner's quarters, glue them in place, and paint them. No color is called out, so I used interior green with different shades of green for the seats and other equipment. There are four propeller nacelles, two B-8 parts that are placed outboard and two B-7 parts that are placed inboard. In addition, there are four intakes that are mounted on top of the propeller nacelles with all four of them listed as B-2, but two have smaller shafts that fit into the inboard B-7 parts and two have larger shafts that fit into the outboard B-8 parts. Be careful and watch out for this. You're now ready to glue the upper and lower wings together.

In step two, you will decide if you want to go with the counter-rotating propellers (parts B-5/B-6) or with the four bladed propellers used by the first two flying wings later in their flight test program, or as the sole YB-35. The decals only provide the serial number for the first Flying Wing to fly, #42-13603. If you want to do the other two Flying Wings, you will have to make up your own numbers (A/C no.2 was 42-38323, A/C no. 3 was 42-102366) Personally, I always thought that the Northrop Flying Wing looked best in flight, and I don't like having static blades on a model that's suppose to be in flight. Therefore, I did not use the kit blades, but I want to point out that in removing the blades from the sprues one need to be very careful as the blades are delicate in this scale. What I did was cut out eight clear plastic discs and drill a center hole the diameter of the shafts on the plastic nacelles. Then, taking a sanding stick, I made some fine scratches to give the illusion of blurry motion. This was reinforced with adding some black using a fine tip felt pen and some yellow paint for the tip warning. If you look at the pictures of the model, you can see the results for yourself. Step two also would have you install the clear parts, but I decided to do that after painting, so I just masked over the holes and left off the propeller discs until after painting, as well.

Step three is all about putting the landing gear and doors in place. Since this model is in the flying mode, I just had to use the flying mode doors (parts C-21 and C-27), and they were a simple snap fit. You may have noticed that on the wing's underside there are holes in the exhaust covers. That's because Cyber-Hobby has failed to mention in the instruction sheet that parts B-1 go into these holes. Just make sure that the scoop faces aft, towards the trailing edge, and you will be fine. These scoops are visible on photos of the real XB-35; perhaps this was an oversight, as they would not have been used on the YB-49 model which came out first.

The painting and decal guide is on the box's bottom and you can paint the XB-35 anything you like as long as it’s aluminum. After priming, I used Alclad II Duraluminum for the main color and Alclad II Dark Aluminum and White Aluminum to make various panels stand out. If you go to the web, you can find images on the Northrop XB-35 that will show this feature. After the paint had dried and the masking was removed, I added the clear parts and the clear discs. The decals are by Cartograf and are excellent and very thin. In fact, for the long run on the leading and trailing edges I cut the decal into three parts to make it easier to lay it down and to fit around the propeller nacelles. If you take your time and are careful you will not have any problems. On a down side, Cyber-Hobby does not provide a stand for this model, so I used an old Tamiya clear stand I had and drilled a hole on the model bottom to accept the stand shaft and then used some 5 minute epoxy to attach the model and called it done.

This was a fun build of an interesting and historic aircraft and Cyber-Hobby has a growing line of 1/200 scale aircraft to tempt modelers with. I can highly recommend this model to anyone who wants an XB-35 model, but who never wanted to try to build one in 1/72 scale.

I want to thank IMPS/USA and Dragon Models/USA for the opportunity to review this model.


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