A very rare subject matter in any scale, Anigrand Models produced this all resin kit in 1/144 scale. It is not for the amateur builder, but it is not so difficult to prevent a knowledgable builder who has scratch building ability and patience from producing a truly stunning airplane.
The kit includes clear parts for the cockpit and navigatorís position as well as a very rudimentary cockpit with four seats and bulkhead, but I chose to paint the windows black. This was to conform to the round fuselage windows which were molded into the kit. I also added nose weights to ensure the aircraft sat on its nose wheel. Each of the propellers is separate from the spinners, and there are 32 of them to paint and mount. The fuselage is long and to facilitate a smaller box, it is split behind the trailing edge of the wings. Each of the wings are molded in two sections: upper and lower halves, with the outer wing section molded on to the lower. The landing gear housing is also molded separately.
A word of advice here; CA, CA accelerator and a table vice are highly recommended. Also, I made some jigs from balsa wood for alignment of parts to make sure the wings and horizontal stabilizers were aligned properly. The instruction sheet is very basic so some research materials will be necessary to verify the wing dihedral and landing gear position.
Like all resin kits, putty will be needed to fill in the seams. The fuselage went together nicely, but be cautious when attaching the aft fuselage section. There is the real possibility of misaligning the horizontal stabs if the aft section is off the slightest bit. I noticed mine when I was dry fitting the stabs and found it was misaligned with the wings by about 2 degrees. I remedied this problem by removing and reattaching the aft fuselage section slightly off centerline with the main fuselage-i.e. the seams were off about 1/8 of an inch, but with sanding and putty, it looks perfect and the wings and stabs line up.
The wings showed very little warpage, but the trailing edge of the starboard wing was short shot, so use of some sheet styrene and putty fixed this problem. The outer section of the AN-22 is supposed to have a "droop," but to achieve the look, I removed the outer third from the lower and reattached it at the correct angle. A large gap needs to be filled with a bit of styrene from the cut on top. Also, the anhedral of the kit wings is too much. The AN-22 wings were predominately straight until reaching the outer third where the "droop" comes in. A shim was used in the lower gap to give the wings the more correct angle.
The landing gear housings are separate from the fuselage and because of the density of the parts, some excess "curling" or warpage may be encountered. Too much sanding to fit would have caused the gear fairings to be misshapen, so I opted to clamp the parts to the fuselage with a desk vise and seal the gap with CA to help strengthen the bond.
The landing gear and struts are nice and sturdy and will more than support the modelís weight. The challenge is making sure the tires all touch the ground. Also, the nose gear door is wrong. The nose gear extended aft with the gear doors being forward of the strut. The kit depicts the strut in the middle of the wheel well. This is an easy fix as the gear doors on the AN-22 were closed on the ground. I drilled out a hole in the door, attached the strut, reattached the door and puttied the seam. Once the putty was dry, I scribed the correct gear door lines. The main gear doors need to be cut open if the kit is built wheels down.
The engines are molded in two halves each as are the spinners. Also included are separate exhaust pipes. The engines in my kit were a bit misshapen, and in one instance, short shot. I could have written Anigrand and they would have been more than happy to replace it, but I decided to use styrene and putty to fix the error. Once fixed, I described the panel lines. Another area of concern with the engines is the alignment on the wings and the angle at which they sit. They were good and snug against the wing, but they all pointed upward too much instead of being in line with the fuselage. Again, instead of sanding I chose to shim and putty.
The horizontal stabilizers and vertical stabilizers are molded in four pieces total with very little clean up required. The usual filling (did you mean filling, or filing here?) and aligning are in order here. As with the wings, I used a balsa wood jig to align the horizontal and vertical stabs with the wings and fuselage.
Painting and Decals
After complete assembly of the aircraft, I primed with Tamiya gray primer. Testors Model Masters paints were used and gloss coat was applied before applying the decals. Markings were provided for two aircraft and there are enough stripes to more than make up for any mistakes. The decal quality is very good and takes Micro Sol and Set without any problems.
Overall, the Anigrand kit is very nice with little if no pitting in the resin. There are some areas which can easily be corrected with putty and styrene, but this kit is not recommended for the novice builder. I put in a total of approximately 60 hours, which includes the extra time to repair the plane after I dropped it after the initial painting! I think the final product is a truly stunning example of a very rarely seen subject.
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Highs:Lows:Verdict: The Anigrand An-22 kit is very nice, but not recommended for the novice builder. I think the final product is a truly stunning example of a very rarely seen subject.