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Boeing YAL-1, the laser testbed, Anigrand 1:144


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The Boeing YAL-1 was converted from a freighter 747-400F and used to test laser weapons that could destroy incoming missiles. This was done in the years 2001 to 2012. The aircraft was scrapped after the end of the test flights.

 

I have built this model using the kit by Anigrand. They produce resin kits of very rare aircraft. The fuselage consists of two halfs and is hollow as it would be as a normal plastic kit. The engravings are very very sharp but way too deep. I have tried to fill most of them but it was very hard to achieve a nice result.

 

I have added the fuselage strengthening stripes around the rear freight door and used spare decals to show the door.

 

As the landing gear was not very convincing to me I decided to display the aircraft in flight. Meanwhile the model had got the nickname "Ed" for obvious reasons. Ed was put into storage in the basement and Joe, a friend and fellow modeller kept asking what had happened to Ed. So, Finally I found the motivation to finish him and display Ed in Telford next to the An-225.

 

Would I build another YAL-1 by Anigrand? No, it is very expensive and of course very big. But bext I would consider using only parts of the kit and parts from a Revell -400 and 747-8F. That would definitely make a better result. Again...very expensive and a lot of work. But it is unique...

 

Being a resin kit, it could be expected that at least one part would be warped. Here it is the left wing that points downward but should of course be bent upwards. A treatment with heat helped only for a short time. So this flaw has to be accepted. 

 

I hope you that you enjoy the fotos inspite of this flaw.

 

greetings from Germany and see you in Telford!

 

Norbert

 

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Edited by NorbertBu
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Beautiful work, I remember seeing the aircraft in Tucson the year it was retired, such a shame PIMA didn’t get to have it.

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Wow, what a beauty.. Very nice and impressive build, my compliments! I know what it is to build a Anigrand kit.. not for the faint of heart, the quality of the resin parts is always a surprise.

 

AIM Transport Wings once said that they would produce a YAL-1A conversion set for their 1:72 B747 kit, but that will never happen as they don’t produce kits anymore. Too bad, I would have given it a go..

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