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  1. 1:48 Heinkel He 177A undercarriage set CMK Catalogue # 4176 Available from CMK for €31,80 It's taken me a little time to fathom out this specific detail set. We recently reviewed the He 177 engine set, and of course, this protrudes into the wheel well area of this behemoth. Now we have the undercarriage set itself, with a significant area of overlap. What we'll try to do here is to explain to you this set from two standpoints. The first will be fitting this set without the engine detail set, and then we'll look at what you'll need to do if you wish to install both of these into your MPM 1:48 He 177. As with the engine set we've just looked at, this set in packaged within the same style yellow and black trademark box that we are used to seeing with many of the more intense CMK resin detail sets. This sturdy little box has a top opening flap, and within, there are TWO bags of resin parts, and a single A4 instruction sheet, folded into an A4 size mini booklet. Opening the first, smaller bag, I'm getting a sense of Déjà vu. A quick glance at the instruction booklet does nothing to destroy that impression. The construction of this set starts in the very same way as that of the engine detail set, i.e. in the forward spar area which of course doubles up as the bulkhead section for the engines, but of course.....there are no engines in this set (or so you might think!). Does this make sense so far? The construction of that spar area is about 90% identical to that of the engine set, so you will already appreciate that if you wish to install both sets, you will have a significant number of spare, duplicate parts left over from the first stages of construction. Onto the spare are fitted many of the same parts as the previous sets, including the inner ribs, but now we see a change. Instead of fitting the plastic, outboard ribs that are supplied with the kit, instead a resin rib with an integral gear well roof, is now installed, creating a unit that has both an enclosed inboard and outboard section. Normally, the engines would fit into the centre area. It's at this juncture where you can of course go down two different paths. If you wish to install the engines, then you would fit the engine module to the spar in the same way that you did with the parts in the engine set. However, if you don't want to use the engine set, then the undercarriage set comes complete with a module which represents the rear detail of the engine. It is cheating, but of course, you do need to still see this detail in the wheel well. Unlike the engine set though, no resin exhausts are included here. There is another, larger bag of resin here, and with the exception of a few parts which are used for the 'common' assembly and dummy engine block, the rest are very specific to the undercarriage area itself. The most obvious parts are the replacement wheels. These are 'weighted' and treadles, therefore look correct in that aspect. The hub detail, including the hydraulic line, is perhaps a little rudimentary, but are certainly good enough for this set. I would maybe replace that line with a short length of wire. Replacement undercarriage doors are also included here too, which are thinly cast, with some very nice internal detail. The one issue I have with all of these particular parts is that the casting block connection protrudes onto the exterior face. On the larger door, the inner recess makes the wall so thin that you will need to pay particular care in removing the parts and cleaning them up. Building the kit out of box, the outboard gear doors are moulded closed. Of course, with this set, you can now pose them open, revealing those wheel bays. Parts are also included here for the hot air ducting that fits in these outboard wells. As with the previous set, resin casting is excellent, with everything manufactured in creamy, yellow resin, with the exception of the wheels which are a little darker. Some casting blocks will need careful removal, so take your time. Again, instructions are printed on a single A4 sheet, folded into an A5 booklet. A parts map and colour reference chart (Humbrol), are supplied, and all illustration is given as simple line drawings that are easy to follow. Conclusion With the amount of visual detail generated in the actual wheel bays, I would say that this set is really aimed at those who want to super-detail their model, as the main, outboard gear doors were commonly closed anyway, with the aircraft on the ground. Maybe this set is more applicable if you want to produce a maintenance diorama etc, or if you like to pose your models on mirrors so you can see the detail underneath. The inclusion of the rear engine module is a nice touch though, and the gear doors and wheels to offer something over the standard kit parts. For me, this is still a nice set, and it does make sense for me to add it simply because I'm also going to display the engines. Apart from that, it is a reasonable extra cost to a model that will already cost you €100. If you like the whole enchilada, then go for it! Recommended My sincere thanks to CMK for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  2. 1:48 Heinkel He 177A-5 engine set CMK Catalogue # 4174 Available from CMK for €31,80 This is hardly a new set, being almost 10 years old now, but when we get the opportunity to take a look at some of the relatively vintage kits and aftermarket products, then we don't shy away from it. That is certainly true when, a decade later, there is still no other kit or aftermarket solution from any other manufacturer. MPM's 1:48 Heinkel He 177 'Greif' is still the only game in town, and even in quarter-scale, cuts an imposing presence. Thankfully, SP&R have been sent not only the 'Hi-Tech' version of this kit (reviewed next week), but also two resin detail sets. Today, we look at the engine set. CMK's He 177 engine set is packed into one of their familiar top-flap opening cardboard boxes, attractively printed in their yellow and black trademark style, and sporting line drawings of the He 177 and a snapshot of the engine installation. Inside that box, we have a single zip-lock wallet containing over 40 pieces of pale, creamy yellow resin, and of course an instruction sheet. Firstly, you need to know that despite this set having two Daimler Benz DB605 engines, only one engine nacelle is catered for. Of course, the He 177 actually had four engines, but coupled in pairs. Two DB605 engines created a single unit designated as DB610. The two engines here are designed to be displayed in one of either wing, therefore there is no provision for having both engine nacelles opened up. The actual engine nacelle was partially buried within the wing of the He 177, with both coupled engines angled, reducing the overall depth of the nacelle so that if could fit within the wing structure without any deep bulges. Of course, this means that displaying the engines will naturally give away a little of the wing interior detail too, and this is of course included within this set. A certain amount of surgery is also required in order to fit this upgrade, but you'll be thankful to know that that aspect is very simple. Essentially, all you need to do is to cut away the two engine cowls from the plastic upper wing part. That's it! I would maybe consider just thinning the edge of the plastic at this point too, making look a little more scale in appearance. Construction centres around the main, forward spar. Depending on whether you wish to fit the engines into the port or starboard wing, spars are provided for both sides, as of course the shape of them is specific to each wing. Make your choice directly at the outset. Two sets of identical resin inner wing ribs are also included, despite only one set being used. This is puzzling, so perhaps you could display the remaining nacelle with the engines removed too? Onto the spar fits a couple of plastic ribs and gussets which are supplied within the kit. A little pipework finished the spar/engine bulkhead section. The spar itself is highly detailed, with much structural detail being exhibited, and of course some wiring and plumbing. CMK haven't supplied complete engines with this, as the forward hub won't be seen. The remainder of the engine actually looks pretty comprehensive, with excellent detail throughout, including the cylinder head blocks and fine ignition wiring. Fuel injectors can be seen underneath the engine, yet this detail won't easily be seen unless you plan to cutaway panels from the underside of the nacelle. Some detail will be seen though the wheel well, however. One side of each engine (opposites) has a block cast to it with two sockets. These sockets glue into a central former which angles the engines properly. This looks a little odd to be because I've seen one of these engines, and the coupling is direct, and not though a reasonably thick wall. I'm assuming that this is here simply to allow the assembly to fit into the host model. Once installed, you really shouldn't notice this at all. Each engine is cast with a supercharger which are fitted to the outside of the DB610 unit. Exhausts are also supplied for this set, and CMK give sets for both sides, so you can match the external detail. Having removed the engine cowl doors from the plastic, you'll need some resin replacements, and of course, they are supplied in this set. These are suitably thin, with internal structural detail. No detail is present externally, but this mirrors the model itself. All resin is superbly cast, with no visible flaws seen on my sample. Casting block connections are so designed for easy removal. One resin cowl door hinge is missing from my set, having been knocked off the casting block, but this is easily replaced with plasticard or PE. A single A4 instruction sheet is supplied, printed in black and white. This starts with a parts plan for identifying the components, and also information on what part of the kit's plastic needs removing. Construction is shown as a series of line drawings, which are all clear to see and should present no problem in following. Colour call-outs are supplied throughout construction, with Humbrol codes being supplied, and a simple colour description too. Conclusion If you like the detail side of building, then I presume that the Hi-Tech version of the He 177 would be the one you'd choose to buy. This set takes increases the detail levels even further, supplementing the resin already in the host kit, and taking your He 177 to another stage. Ideal for dioramas and of course those of us who have a voyeuristic nature when it comes to wanting to pose various cowls and panels in an open state. Everything here appears to be simple enough to build and implement, and well within the capability of most modellers. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to CMK for sending the review sample shown here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
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