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Rick Wilkes
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Anigrand resin 1/72d North American AJ-2 Savage

July 28, 2013 · in Aviation · · 12 · 4.6K

Another recent escapee from my "shelf of doom" is this 1/72d scale AJ-2 .

I picked up this kit at the last IPMS/USA National in Columbus Ohio and worked on it off and on till last month when I decided to finish it up. There were no major problems encountered in construction other than the usual pin holes, etc associated with resin kits. The canopy is clear resin and has been dipped multiple times in Future but there were some embedded impurities that I couldn't fix. The kit also included metal landing gear which given the amount of weight it took to balance it on the nose wheel is a very good thing.

The subject; "Cho Cho" of VC-6 was lost in August 1954 when the tail hook broke while landing on the USS Yorktown (CV-10). From the pictures on the reference CD provided with the kit, it appears that "Cho Cho" was factory fresh without any chipping or even exhaust stains, hence the "pristine" look of my build. I noted that no corroguard was applied to the leading edges of the wings etc. so that was a bonus as well keeping things simple. I did cheat on the nav lights on the wing tips, as I didn't graft in clear domes on the outboard sides of the tip tanks, my fun meter was already pegged at that point.

The main markings are from two extra AJ-2 decal sheets done for Nostalgic Plastic which I got at the same time as the kit. They laid down nicely over Testors Gloss Sea Blue and any silvering was cured with an dose of Solvaset. The stencils are from a Verlinden 1/72d dry transfer set and other than the "No Step" markings around the wing walks are my approximations of the stencils seen in photographs to add some interest to an otherwise monotone finish. The final finish is a coat of Alclad light sheen clear coat. This was a big airplane, almost as big as the A3D Skywarrior that replaced it. I included a photo with a 1/72d F-4 Phantom II for scale and also a photo including a 1/72d scale Mk 6 shape. It's worth noting that the smallest USAF aircraft that could carry the Mk 6 was the B-29.

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Great job on an rarely seen aircraft (at least I don't recall seeing one). I especially liked your "fun meter" being pegged comment - 🙂

  2. A good save from "The Shelf of Doom"
    I still don't understand how the bomb goes inside it.

  3. Looks great ! Reminds me of the Neptune.

  4. Rick,
    Very, very nicely done. You did. Great job on a great looking airplane.

  5. Rick, this is a nice looking model of an unusual prototype, your notes are good too!

  6. You must have had an entire different kit from an entire different company if you had "no major problems," Rick. I did one of these for a customer about 10 years ago, and I would guess it was 15% putty by weight when it was finally ready to paint. It became my first and last Mach 2 kit.

    You've really created an excellent result with this pig of a kit. All congratulations to you.

  7. Very nice build, Rick To me, this was even more interesting because I know little about this aircraft, having only seen a few pics & references to this one before now.

    • Thanks Jeffry, it is an interesting aircraft. Besides being most the Navy's nuclear strike force, from very early on they could be configured as a tanker using a removable self contained fuel tank, hose reel and drogue system that fit into the bomb bay.

      Overall I find '50's Navy jets and the transition from propeller driven aircraft operating off of "straight decks" to "angled deck" carriers operating jets with performance comparable to anything in the USAF. Fortunately the Royal Navy pioneered most of the architecture nesscary to safely operate jets onboard ship. Much like the main guns on our tanks, the 105 from the Brits and the 120 from the Germans.

  8. Awesome build of a very cool airplane, Rick. The Savage has been on my 1/48th injection plastic must-have list for years. I know Anigrand kits can be a challenge, but despite that you did a superb job. Very nice.



    • Hi Scott, thanks for the kind words. I’ve built several Anigrand kits and haven’t found them particularly difficult. Definitely not for the novice resin kit builder, but not requiring master class skills either. The only 1/48 scale Savage I know of is the long out of production Collect-Air kit which seems to be worth it’s weight in gold if you can find one.

      If you want a Savage I’d recommend you go with the Anigrand kit, and hope the perhaps Kitty Hawk, given its current ‘50’s NavAir bent, will produce an AJ-2. Hopefully if they do, they put their A Team on the tooling.

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