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Tamiya 1/72 Bell X-1 Mach Buster


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I examined my logs - and 99% of my builds so far were non-jet. The single jet in the list was built as a present to my Dad, so I have no jet on any of my shelves.


What better choice for a first jet built for my shelf then the iconic X-1.

I picked this one a while a go, and while I have the Eduard 1/48 kit as well, this one grabbed my attentions due to its clear parts and internal structure.


So here it is:


KhVk02Zm.jpg?2 QnX8LAbm.jpg?1


wkA5vdVm.jpg ZSpeuhBm.jpg


Very very simple, not to many parts and they are soooo small (I promised myself to never build another 1/72 without a VERY good reason)


Clear parts were dipped in Future. The fuselage parts were a challenge as I dip into the bottle itself.



First plastic cut and glued:



The balance weight ball is a nice touch:





It's too late for airbrushing tonight - so this will be it for today.


Comments are welcomed as always






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Hate to be the bearer of bad news but you still don't have any jets for your collection.  😉



The XLR11, company designation RMI 6000C4, was the first liquid-propellant rocket engine developed in the United States for use in aircraft.


Enough pedantry, can't wait to see how she shakes out.  The Hobbycraft X-1 in the proper scale has ugly trenches where panel lines should go. 


What shade of orange does Tamiya recommend?

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  • 3 months later...

It's hard to imagine but the ICM Spitfire gave me a hard case of Post-AMS lack of mojo. It's been almost 3 month since the last time I sat down at the bench.

It was not just PAMS - my airbrush got clogged big way and I spend hours trying to get it back to action. I bought a new one (Badger Renegade Krome) which I had to fight customs to get and a lot of other stuff on the home front.


But this afternoon I kicked on the compressor and started back at this kit.

Its a simple kit and what drew me to a 1/72, which I vowed I will never do again, is the transparent fuselage. 


Right when I sat down - I lost one wheel to the carpet monster. We will have to see about that later on (@#$@#$@#$ HELP).


So far it's been straight forward. 


I did change the cockpit color to XF-85 Dark Green instead of the XF-20 Medium Gray the instructions calls for - following some search for ref. pictures of the cockpit.

I added some small touches to the cockpit as well








That's it for tonight. 






Edited by Ran
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I feel your pain regarding the lost wheel! IIRC, the Tamiya X-1 kit is not an original Tamiya mold, but a kit done by a company called Hobbyspot that was either reboxed or cloned by Tamiya; I have the Hobbyspot and Hobbycraft X-1's, and the Hobbyspot kit has the same clear fuselage halves and both styles of canopies that are shown on the sprues that you have posted from the Tamiya X-1.


As for the wheel you need- I checked my spare wheels  bin, and  the main wheels of the 1/72 Hasegawa F9F-2 and the 1/72 Monogram P-51B and F8F-1 kits have the same diameter and spoke pattern as the X-1 wheels. The only thing lacking being  the disc brake calipers on the backside f the wheel, but they aren't really very prominent and can be made out of some small discs punched out of plasticard. See if either you or a modeling buddy have a set of wheels from one of the three kits they could spare if not, pm me.


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Thanks for the info. I actually contacted two Tamiya sites and your info tells me the answer I will get from the 2nd one will be identical.

1/72 is not really my thing - too small for my eyes and clumsy hands 🤭

I've checked my stash for 1/72 kits (Scalemates allows for a quick sort/filter) and all of what I have is either choppers or bombers 🙁 and the only wheels are for B-17.

So I will update my 'call for wheel help' - thanks




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Quick update,


Started to install the internal structure - and got hit by mild AMS again.


It started simple enough:



Then I found this:



so I had to do that:




And also that:



Then I found those:




So its clear I just can't close the fuselage yet. 🤔


That's it for tonight




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  • 2 weeks later...

After finding these cut-away diagrams I had to add some more detail.

Gas reservoirs were made from nail polish steering balls I use for the paints. Fuel/Oxidizers lines were made out of lead wire.






Masking the canopy was ruled out after I examined the structure and size. This is way too small for me nowadays. After checking several ideas I opted to just paint the canopy railing with a black marker.




Then it was finally time to close the fuselage. A tricky stage with the half clear part.




After some thinking and research I decided on the structure of the clear "window" I will leave in the painting. Tamyia Masking Tape for Curves was used.







I also did attend to some gaps and some steps (but not to all as I will find out after first layer of paint)


0wKKw2Cm.jpg fT9gRGDm.jpg


And it was time for paint.

Instructions calls for a 8:1 Orange: Clear Red. I had X-6 Orange but did not have Tamyia Clear Red. I tried mixing some ModelMaster Clear Red.

This is what happened:



So I switched  to X-6 Orange and X-7 Red both Tamiya.

This was the first time I used my new Badger Renegade Krome - and it was a real joy.

I like the orange I got. I liked less the huge gaps I was too lazy to find or primer  first.




Another problem arising from skipping the primer phase - the transparent plastic is a lousy back drop. Note the vertical stabilizer.



I sprayed some of the gray XF-20 on these parts to enhance and even out the contrast 




When the last (or so I though) layer was done - I found this:




which I should have expected as its a known problem with that Tamiya tape.


Next on the list was attaching the wings. Not a trivial task as the engineering (tab size and location) are just lousy.




And that was it for two sittings in a row.


Comments are welcomed












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  • 3 weeks later...


Its been a while since the last update so here's a quick one.


Following the wings and stabilizers gluing it was time to remove the masking, add the wheels and some doors and apply the decals:


Here goes:










That's it for the time being - I'm waiting for the wheels to come by mail. I've lost the kit's ones and being saved by @72modeler's gracious help.

The kits goes on the shelf for a while.







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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

Looking at the latest update in this build log, it's hard to believe almost a YEAR has passed.

@72modeler came to the rescue after the carpet monster ate one of the MLG wheels. Can't thank you enough @72modeler🙏


It's been a heck of a year, with many challenges at work and home, but all these are not the reason it took me a year to sit down for about 15mintues and finish the X-1.

Modeling wise, its been a good year, and most of the reasons why I did not get back to the X-1 were rushing into a new build.

Since the X-1 halted to wait for its replacement wheel, I added, or on the way to add, all of these to the shelves: Stuka, Rufe, VAL, A-90 Ekranoplan Orlyonok,  Tigercat, Mosquito and 2 X P-400

IMHO, not bad for a novice modeler in a challenging year.


Back to the X-1.

The wheels were unpacked, painted and installed together with the last fielding bits.

The MLG pose is not 100% good, and the kit, while not a tail sitter, is somewhat low on the rear side :). This cannot be changed at this stage and will have to do.


So, thanks again @72modeler.

Here are some photos as a teaser for the RFI.










That's it for the X-1. Case closed.


Some firsts for this build:

1. Transparent fuselage and painting 'cut away' scheme by masking.

2. Oxygen line in the cockpit

3. Instrument panel wiring in 1/72

4. Canopy rails were painted by hand with a marker.

5. Bright glossy orange paint.


Comments are welcomed as always.



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So glad you were able to use the wheels and finish your X-1! I was happy to help- especially as I can now see the result! Nice model, Ran!


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Posted (edited)

Well @Eric Mc you are TECHNICALLY correct.

But it's not a prop either and you can argue that the pilot IS air breathing :)




Edited by Ran
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Never mix up your propulsive methods.


Bell did look at using jet power but decided that gas turbine technology wouldn't be advanced enough to push their aircraft through Mach 1.

Miles, on the other hand, were happy to go ahead with a jet engined design - fitted with what would have been the first afterburning jet engine.


Douglas used both jet and rocket power in their 558 II Skyrocket.

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