MPM 1/72 XP-56 'Black Bullet'






Two aircraft


Allan Wanta


Short run kit


Finally! I 1/72nd scale kit of the most interesting aircraft design ever made during WW II. You may of course disagree but consider the many Firsts involved in this design. Number one, the use of magnesium in the entire airframe, and as machinists and welders know, this stuff is lightweight and very explosive. Number two, the first use of the welding technique called TIG welding. I guess there may be other firsts, but these come to mind right off hand. Sure the XP-55 and the XP-54 are interesting designs, but none more intriguing than the 'Black Bullet'.


The kit is done in the usual light gray plastic, standard in the MPM line. Scribing of the parts is light and will definitely disappear under a coat of primer. I see the upper 'tail fin' is a separate part and the instructions show the taller tail fin of the XP-55-II as parts not to be used. But in looking at the sprue, those parts have been purposely cut off making us have to buy another kit in order to make the second version, a more than typical practice but none the less irritating.

Also is the inclusion of some resin bits to help us in our assembling of an accurate kit, only three pieces this time. The canopy-mounted antenna and the leading edge air intakes, which would have certainly been a bear to fashion from scratch. Missing from this kit is the always-welcome photo etching. We're left to muddle through using the plastic control panel, which is horribly small and unbelievable, and other areas, which could have used them.

Also on the M.I.A. list are oleo scissors for the main and nose gear, shown in the box picture, but none the less missing from the parts? Although not a big deal to most, accuracy is important and lesser businesses have gone the way of the Dodo bird for even minor discrepancies.

Bravo MPM, not one, but TWO injected canopies! Perhaps the years of reviews asking for two canopies is finally paying off. Come to think of it, MPM has been doing some nice things their kits that we've always complained of, and I thank them for all of us.

I'm currently building this cutie, and will reveal all in that Build review, unless Scott builds it before I do. Well, it has been know to happen. (Not this time, Al, that glory is all yours) :O)

Decals are by Propagteam of course, crisp and clean. And yes it looks like another silver paint job, ugh. A big pat-on-the-back to MPM for making this dream a reality.

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