by: Chuck Shanley [ ]
Olimp has released and provided us with, a kit for the X plane enthusiast, a plane that has not gotten much attention over the years, the X-2 “Star Buster”. The X-2 was a partnership project between Bell and the US Air Force, in 1955, to explore the effects at Mach 3.
The parts are nicely modeled, by in large, not the same as long production kits but not bad. There are a couple of areas where the mark was missed completely; I’ll point those out as we go. The Model does have recessed panel lines, but I’m not sure why the detail in the “air brake” area on the aft of the fuselage is raised.
A decent attempt is made to show some detail features; however, the molding seems a bit soft or fuzzy. This is not a major defect factor, as far as the interior detail is concerned, as most if not all of it is not visible in the fully assembled model.
The instructions are a little vague as to the placement of the cockpit floor and the forward “wheel” well interior. I sort of guessed to achieve positions within the fuselage. I bit of careful trimming is required to get parts to fit, but here again not a major factor, as they can’t really be seen in the finished model.
Upon trying to fit the fuselage halves, I encountered a “thickness management” problem, in the area of the vertical stabilizer. This is not uncommon with “short run” kits, but it did require a good deal of thinning with a Dremal to facilitate the fit.
The wing sections look pretty good, but some may feel that the “wing inserts” (they are two part wings), may require some minor filling. You may have noticed the clamp in the photo of the wing sections. The clamp was required due to some minor warp in the one inner wing section.
The area of the rocket exhaust is rather poor; a lot of work will be required here, to make it look like anything but a melted piece of plastic. It is provided as a separate piece from the fuselage, and if it was not called out on the parts/sprue guide you might have trouble finding it.
The wing skids/outriggers though provided were not used in this build. These components appear to have been an evolutionary point in the experiment (based on my reference research). Another area that appears to have changed over the life of this Program is the configuration of the exhaust nozzle; some detail may be added by the modeler in this area to “personalize” the build.
Sufficient option parts are provide, so as to allow for construction of the in-flight or landing configuration.
The kit decals do appear a bit thick, but are of good registration and color saturation. The clear areas are a little yellow, but on anything but a white background they would probably be okay, unfortunately this aircraft is almost all white. The decals do remove nicely, with little effort, from the backing, and actually don’t appear as thick as first mentioned, once on the model.
I have seen mention elsewhere that the Olimp and Mach 2 kits are from the same tooling. The answer to this rumor is a resounding NO. They are quite different.