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  1. 1:48 Me 163B Komet Gaspatch Models Catalogue # 20-48236 Available from Gaspatch Models for €36,00 The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was a German interceptor aircraft designed for point-defence that is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational and the first piloted aircraft of any type to exceed 621 mph in level flight. Designed by Alexander Lippisch, its performance and aspects of its design were unprecedented. German test pilot Heini Dittmar in early July 1944 reached 700 mph, an unofficial flight airspeed record that was unmatched by turbojet-powered aircraft for almost a decade. Over 300 Komets were built, but the aircraft proved lacklustre in its dedicated role as an interceptor and destroyed between 9 and 18 Allied aircraft against 10 losses. Aside from combat losses, many pilots were killed during testing and training, at least in part due to the highly volatile and corrosive nature of the rocket propellant used in later models of the aircraft. This includes one pilot by the name of Oberleutnant Josef Pohs, who was dissolved by the rocket fuel following an incident that resulted in a ruptured fuel line. It has been claimed that at least 29 Komets were shipped out of Germany after the war and that of those at least 10 have been known to survive the war to be put on display in museums around the world. Most of the 10 surviving Me 163s were part of JG 400, and were captured by the British at Husum, the squadron's base at the time of Germany's surrender in 1945. According to the RAF museum, 48 aircraft were captured intact and 24 were shipped to the United Kingdom for evaluation, although only one, VF241, was test flown (unpowered). Adapted from Wikipedia The kit Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting a rocket-powered interceptor to be on Gaspatch’s release schedule but seeing as it’s been over 30yrs since the last 1:48 Komet graced shop shelves with the Dragon/Trimaster (and oft-released by other companies since), I certainly won’t complain. A few years ago, I built the 1:32 Meng kit and found it fiddly, ill-fitting and not a wonderful experience to build. Gaspatch already have a reputation for wonderfully designed kits, so a Komet was an exciting prospect. The kit itself comes in a box which I would say was perhaps a little too big for such a diminutive aircraft, but one which suited their previous kit releases. A nice, simple Komet artwork adorns the box lid, with the SIX schemes available shown along the box edges. With the tabbed lid opened up, the kit’s FOUR grey styrene sprues and ONE clear sprue are seen, packaged into a single, re-sealable sleeve (with the clear sprue in another smaller sleeve to protect it). Gaspatch are known for their 3D-printed guns, so they’ve used their technology to create some 3D-prrinted resin parts for this release too, namely a couple of assembly jigs and a bracket (plus spare) that sits in front of the armoured inner windscreen. Masks are also supplied, as well as two decal sheets, a PE fret, and a colour-printed, 24-page instruction manual. Work begins in the cockpit, and it’s clear from the outset that Gaspatch have seen how fiddly the Meng kit was and decided to better it. The rear cockpit bulkhead is moulded in clear plastic. This is so you can use the supplied masks on the quarterlight windows and then simply paint the rest in RLM66…no glue anywhere near those small window areas! The cockpit itself is a multimedia affair of both styrene and PE. PE is used for the pilot seat rails which must first fit to the clear bulkhead, and with the two-part seat installed, PE seatbelts are then added. With the main tub connected to the bulkhead, the two pipes from the console fuel tanks can be installed. Between the tub and bulkhead. These were omitted from the Meng kit. The console looks perfect too, and the securing straps are also nicely represented. Rudder pedals are separate to the bar, and straps are supplied in PE. Cockpit sidewall detail really is exquisite, with a combination of plastic and PE parts, moulded with details that wouldn’t look amiss on a larger scale kit. The kit doesn’t come with a Walther rocket engine, but the spine of the model is represented by detail below those panels, including the ammunition saddle and feed, and filler cap. The quarterlight window ledges are also fitted to the interior spine unit which can be painted first before fitting the fuselage. The spine panels can be positioned either opened or closed. I admit I also prefer how Gaspatch has approached the landing skid assembly on this model. The details look far more refined than the larger Meng kit, with an option to pose the skid in both extended or retracted position. Parts detail really is excellent throughout, including the actuating mechanism. With the fuselage closed up, the Komet’s MK108 cannon can be fitted. Here’s where the 3D printed jigs are used. These are sat around each gun, holding it in the correct position on the exposed wing root, until the glue is set. Electrical firing boxes and ammunition belts then connect up to the cannon on what is already a beautifully detailed internal wing root area. Lots of lessons seemingly learned from the fussiness of the recent, larger scale kit of this aircraft. PE control surface linkages are also included, which are of course seen when the gun bay panels are open. The fuselage is moulded with separate nose cone and rudder, and the rudder has a very subtle fabric finish. Amazing that an aircraft like this even used fabric to cover control surfaces! Wing construction is quite traditional with both being separate and consisting of upper and lower panels. These trap the control surfaces in place when glued together. On the underside, the air brake panels are supplied as PE parts. For the undercarriage, a choice of faired and un-faired tail wheel is supplied, and of course, the main gear dolly is present. Both weighted and unweighted tyres are supplied, with separate hubs. The clear sprue is quite small but the canopy is nicely thin and everything has excellent clarity, including that armoured windscreen. Overall, the finish of the parts is of the highest quality, with nice surface textures where appropriate, including ports, panel lines etc. PE is also extremely high quality with good detail and narrow connection gates. Decals One main sheet of decals is included, and a smaller one which just contains the swastikas as halves. All decals are printed by Cartograf, and are nice and thin, with good, solid colour and minimal carrier film. Everything is in perfect register too. Instrument and stencil decals are also included. The SIX schemes are: Me 163B, W/Nr:191916, JG400, Brandis, April 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:191659, JG400, 1945 Me 163B, White 14, JG400, Brandis, February 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:191477, EJG2, Spring 1945 Me 163B, W/Nr:130061, Air Ministry 203 Me 163B, VF241, captured UK, post-war Instructions These are provided as a 24-page colour affair, with the first pages having a parts map and a colour guide. That guide is referenced throughout the build, so you’ll always have the part colour info at hand. Colour photos and illustrations also depict painting. The Komet itself is split over 14 constructional sequences in CAD/shaded style images, with PE etc. being easy to denote. The last pages show each scheme in full colour. Conclusion Simply a great little kit of a gorgeous little and ballsy combat aircraft. Quite small in 1:48, but with no less detail in than something you’d expect from a larger scale kit. The addition of the jigs for mounting the guns is a great idea, and the inclusion of masks for both the interior and exterior of the canopy is something I wish we’d see more of as standard. Now, I do know what Gaspatch are doing next, and it will be amazing, and this little model has really set the bar to a new level. Just a great kit! My sincere thanks to Gaspatch Models for the kit reviewed here. To buy directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  2. Hi all, I know I shouldn't start yet another build, but after opening the box on this kit, it got the better of me. I rummaged through old spares boxes I found some PK Tinyland Luftwaffe hatches, CMK cockpit, Eduard exterior and interior, Master Barrels, Aeromaster decals and MDC mk108's. It's not that this kit needs much, BUT with all this stuff lying around AND me never touching the Hasegawa kits in the stash anymore, I thought I'd see what can be used. I haven't decided on a scheme yet, other than that it will not be the red Wolfgang Späte plane. I made a small start by cutting out some access hatches in the fuselage. Added a PE flange in the opening. The doors will be suspended by a chord from the opening.
  3. Hi all, Here's my finished Me163B-1a in RAF colors. Based on these references: http://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/me163/vf241.htm In reality this particular captured example had it's MK108 cannons removed and also it's rocket engine. However: at what point this happened isn't to be found. This plane was being towed and tested as a glider. I used the Hasegawa Eduard PE set to spice things up. As all these parts seem to fit this kit really well, I can really recommend it. Also used the Master models pitot tube and added some missing details. All can be found here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1510-132-rocket-science-me-163-meng/ Here are the pics:
  4. Last Hope of the Luftwaffe Me 163, He 162, Me 262 (Painting Schemes and Decals) Jacek Pasieczny, Simon Schatz, Arkadiusz Wróbel Kagero Books (Topcolors series #37 / 15037) Available from Kagero for €12,50 Lets take a look at one of the latest releases of Kagero books featuring profiles and decals for three Last Hope weapons of the Luftwaffe. This book marks the 37th release in their amazing Topcolors series. For only €12,50 you not only get the book with profiles, but also a quality sheet of decals to build them. Not only in our glorious 1/32 scale, but also in 1/48 and 1/72. Earlier volumes in these series feature both armour and planes. Sometimes linked by topic, like Panzerwaffe 1941-1943 or Fighters over Japan. Sometimes by particular subject, like the P-38 Lightning or Pz.Kpfw III. What amazes me is the €12,50 is a fair price for a sheet of Cartograf decals. Right? But with these series you get the book as a nice bonus. Or you get the decals as a bonus with the book. Depends on how you look at it. In this case we get 10 beautiful color profiles of the Me 163 (Super Timing!!), He 162 and the Me 262. The book is size A4 and counts 18 pages. The language is featured in both Polish and English. The first 3 profiles feature: << Needless to say, but the next three profiles could not have come on a better time. The new Meng kit will be a perfect platform to try one out on. Click here to read James Hatch' review. >> • Me 163 B V53; W.Nr. 16310062, 'White 9'. Flown by Uffz. Kurt Schiebeler of 1./JG 400, Brandis Germany, Early August 1944. This plane really did see a lot of action and held a score of downing 6 bombers at the end of the war. • Me 163 B; 'White 10'. Flown by Lt. Hans-Ludwig Löscher of 1./JG 400, Brandis, Germany, Late February 1945. This plane has some mystery clouding it's Werknummer, so a good subject to sink you teeth in. What strikes is the interesting presence of a DF loop antenna on the spine. • Me 163 B V52; W.Nr. 16310061, 'Yellow 1', flown by Lt. Reinhard Opitz, Kapitän of 7./JG400, Nordholz, Germany, April 1945. If you can't decide between normal camo and mottling, then this is the profile for you! • Heinkel He 162 A-1; W.Nr. 310003, 'Yellow 5' of 3./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. This plane has three nice small badges on the left side of the fuselage, of: 1./JG 1, 3./JG and JG 1. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120067, 'White 4' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. The wingtips show the thin green flowery lines. Difficult to get right with free hand airbrushing, but an interesting feature. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120028, 'White 3' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. An early production aircraft with lots of RLM 76 on the fuselage. A nice break from the more seen later schemes. • Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120231, 'White 6' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945. Yes! This is my favorite. Not just because I dove into this scheme quite deep and used it for my own build, but mainly because of the un-painted fuselage and filler lines. The are quite a lot of different interpretations of this plane, but I do believe this profile knocks it out of the park. • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-2a, W.Nr. 110613, '9K+DK', flown by Ofw. Hermann Wieczorek of 2./KG 51, Rheine-Hopsten, Germany, 25th February 1945. You better set your airbrush to 'fine' for this snaky mottling. Very interesting scheme. Especially with the white outlined swastika on the tail, which is not common for this production batch. • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'Yellow 2' of 3./KG(J) 54, Prague-Ruzyně, Czechoslovakia, May 1945. Very interesting scheme with a blue/white checkered band on the fuselage and thin RLM 81/82 lines between the camp patches. A small unit badge with a Totenkopf tops it all of. And last but certainly not least: • Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'White 34' of III./EJG 2, Brunnthal, Germany, May 1945. The next 262 I'll build will most definitely be in this scheme. Unpainted wings. Filler over panel lines. Natural metal. Primes. A nose donated from a different plane, as well as the left wing tip. This has Frankenstein written all over it. I'm sold. Every profile has a short description of the plane and it's most noticeable features. The decals themselves are printed the way we can expect from Cartograf. Perfect in register and true of color. Conclusion Basically the most comprehensive set of decals to be found. And with the new Meng Me 163 this set could not have come at a better time! Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
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