1/72 Hasegawa Grumman X-29

Forward Swept Wing Technology Demonstrator

by Gary Wickham

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Greetings all. Having recently re-discovered 1/72 scale, I was looking for a simple project with a subject that I had not seen modeled very often and I came across Hasegawa's X-29. When it comes to simple, I doubt you'll find a Hasegawa kit that's simpler than this. With two sprues (and even less when you intend to mount it on a pole its a quick build. Being an aircraft that I had not seem modeled extensively, it got the nod and made it onto the bench.

Some time back. I'd picked up a copy of the Aeroguide Special on the X-29 by Bill Gunston. Loads of pics and drawings, I used it to gauge the accuracy of Hasegawa's kit, and to my satisfaction, only found a couple of easily rectifiable problems with the model.

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As you can probably visualize, this a fairly small model. As such I wanted to do something to make it more impressive on display and to highlight the main unusual feature of this aircraft, its Forward Swept Wings (FSW). In a moment of inspiration (they happen every now and then), I decided that displaying it in an almost vertical climb would do the job nicely. Having by now built several models on stands, this was pretty easy to achieve.

The model went together perfectly. With the addition of a pilot figure (to simulate Chuck Sewell), she was ready for painting.
As the kit is moulded in white plastic, I decided to prime the entire surface with Alclad's Primer/MicroFiller. I've starting using this product all the time now for priming as it dries fast (25mins to sand), comes pre-thinned and is a perfect shade of neutral gray (as a primer should be.)

Painting proceeded using my trusty Humbrol enamels, with H130 Satin White, mixed 50:50 with Humbrol Glosscoat. Why not just use H22 Gloss White I hear you say ? Well, I find I can control the application from the airbrush of the satin:glosscoat blend much better than gloss white. Perhaps its just me, but ya gotta go with what works

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Small details like pitot, intake lips and exhaust where dealt with using Alclad colors.

Following a coat of Future, it was time to decal. This I was not looking forward too, as the kit I had was a 1999 boxing and the decals looked thick. My fears turned out to be well founded as the decals did not initially respond well to setting solution (turning up at the edges etc).

The model nearly went head first into the nearest wall a couple of times that night, but as I always do when these things happen, I put it down and walk away. Needless to say I persisted and figured out that the decals did not mind the MicroSet solution, but did not at all like the MicroSol (softening agent). To my surprise, the decals even though they where thick, did settle down nicely when dry without the need for much MicroSol after all. Still if you look closely, you can see areas where there are creases and deformations in the decals. I learned to live with them.

All that was left was to attach the various antennae and nav lights (fashioned from tinted plastic toothbrush off-cuts) in the correct positions offset from the fuselage centre-line, not on the centre-line as Hasegawa had molded them.

As you can tell I chose not to weather this model at all. The two real aircraft, always seem in immaculate condition. I did apply a very toned down panel wash to hopefully just accentuate the panel lines, without distracting from the white finish.

So there it is, another pole sitter. I think its turned what could be a fairly mundane model into something a little more eye catching.
Hope you like it.

Gary

If you are interested in my previous ARC submissions, please check out the links below

F-5E Tiger II VFC-13 A-4E VF-45 Blackbirds Rafale M - Aeronavale Flotille 12F
EF-2000 Eurofighter - DA2 F/A-18F Super Hornet VFA-102

or for a complete gallery of my models, visit my website www.scalespot.com

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Photos and text by Gary Wickham