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Andrew H
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Prototype: Curtiss XP-55 AscenderModelsvit 1/48

November 7, 2020 · in Aviation · · 34 · 2.3K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Prototype: Curtiss XP-55 Ascender - Modelsvit 1/48
  2. Prototype: Bell XP-77 - Czech Models 1/48

Another one completed for the shelf, this time another popular kit from , the . This plane is unique for a number of reasons, but most obvious is its swept wing profile and its rear facing pusher prop.

I can't say why I was drawn to this ungainly plane, but I just wanted to have it on the shelf, as a conversation piece, if nothing else. Fortunately for me, the Modelsvit kit really is a great kit with very few flaws. I enjoyed this build very much, in-fact, I had it built and ready for decals in about 3 days time before I stalled out. I was very happy with the cockpit details in this kit, as with my P-51H.

I got the main decals on, stalled out again... did the upper stencils... stalled again. With the lower stencils all that remained, I reckoned that not too many people would nit-pick me on that, and just left them off. After brief oil weathering and decal sealing sessions, then fitment of all the fiddly-bits, I was happy to have this one done... so much so that I allow myself to overlook the port wing-root and canopy seams. Truly though, I'm happy with the results.

As you can see, I opted to do #3 "278847", since our friends Tom C and Roland S have both shown us their examples of prototype #2. I kept the plane pretty clean as I imagine it would have been kept, but still wanted to give the OD character. Paints were Vallejo and MM as usual. Weathering was artist's oil wash. Antennae is Infini 1/72 rigging line.


In the meantime, I'm patiently waiting for Modelsvit's F-82, as well as some more XP planes!

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

34 responses

  1. That looks really nice. I was only aware of the Czech Model version until this moment

  2. I really like this a lot, @pb_legend - excellent work. It is a very nice kit and a good result is pretty much guaranteed for those who put in the work, as you did.

    Hate to tell you, but the wait for the F-82 will be longer than planned. Their original target date was this month, November, but according to Scott Zuieback (rebelalpha at eBay) it has been taken off Modelsvit's list for now.

    • I figured 2020 would strike again in this regard. It just figures. Not like there's a shortage of other great kits to build in the meantime. Thanks for the kind comments, the kit does indeed build up nice, and relatively easy.


      That was one kit I was really looking forward too.

  3. Very sharp work. I was looking at my kit just last night trying to figure out what my next project will be. Seeing yours sure ratchets up the urge to do this.

  4. Lovely work on a very cool retro futuristic looking craft. I believe it adorned the cover of one of my old 'weird and wonderful aircraft' books from many decades ago.

    • Very fitting, I can't help but feel it was ahead of its time, and only missing some advantages that research would provide in years to come, such as better propulsion and controls systems. Same could be said about Northrops flying wings.

  5. An exceptional model, Andrew.
    Details on the interiour are fantastic.
    Also your paint work is beautiful.

  6. An excellent model, Andrew!
    I also love a lot the looks of the Ascender lot!
    I will definitely build one sometime!

  7. Nicely done Andrew, and boy that's one nice looking cockpit.

  8. This plane has always looked really cool, Andrew (@pb_legend). The cockpit is a real standout, as is the rest of the build. Great job.

  9. Excellent build of an odd bird. I'm waiting for Modelsvit's XP-54 to show up.

  10. Andrew, your model plays the role of the XP-55 very well. I like the photos of the build up and the O.D. paint really adds to that look and feel of what the aircraft looked like in the 40's. Some strong work here.

    Two thumbs up.

  11. Great job Andrew and I am really impressed with the model.

    It inspires me to build my kit and I hope I can do nearly as good as a job as you did.

  12. Great job, Andrew. Really like the cockpit area and can only imagine what you went through to get that birdcage canopy just right. Liked.

    • Doug, thanks! The Modelsvit kit provides vinyl masks for inside and outside, which greatly improves the "frame effect" of canopies. Coinsidentially, I almost ruined it all by spraying my Matte varnish without foaming the interior, forgetting that I had already removed the interior masks. Fortunately I realized right away, and some Q-tips and airbrush cleaner saved the day. Whoops!

  13. All of the above , great job on a unique subject, It would make a great what ifer.

  14. Good job! I have seen 42-78846 at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo many times. You have captured the feel of the aircraft very well.

  15. That cockpit looks terrific Andrew and so does the rest of your Ascender. Modelsvit does it again and so did you.

  16. Great build - the paint work has nice character to it. I'm gonna have to pull mine out of the stash soon - such a cool plane.

  17. Rarely seen and nicely done. I like it !

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