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1:32 Scheuch-Schlepper and Pressluftballonanhänger Profimodeller Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from Profimodeller When it came to creating a problem and then implementing a solution, the Germans certainly were very adept. Nazi Germany was certainly the first, and only country to actively employ a rocket-powered interceptor, in Messerschmitt’s Me 163 Komet design, despite just how dangerous this aircraft was to use (for its crews!). This aircraft no taxiing capability, and once spent of fuel and landed, it needed to be recovered and brought back to the airfield for refuelling and re-arming. This brought a number of challenges with it, but a simple piece of agricultural machinery was adapted to do that very job. The Scheuch-Schlepper was designed as a simple tractor, by Rudolf and Eugen Scheuch, and was adapted for war use as a bomb cart tractor. A second steering wheel was also fitted, allowing a walking crewman to help manoeuvre the Schlepper if it was operating under an aircraft. This versatile little machine was seized upon for a role in collecting the landed Me 163 aircraft, but of course, like any good piece of farm equipment, it needed a little help. A custom designed ‘Y’ framework was developed for the Schlepper to tow. This wide-mouthed frame carried inflation bags on each arm that supported the aircraft under its wings, for transport back to its base. A simple yet effective solution. Meng’s Me 163B Komet has been out a little while now, but if you wanted to display this in a recovery dio, there really weren’t any options for you, until now. Profimodeller has released not one, but TWO multimedia kits for this very purpose. The Scheuch-Schlepper and Pressluftballonanhänger are separate releases, but of course are really needed as a single entity for displaying with your Komet. You could of course show an un-hitched Pressluftballonanhänger being positioned under your Me 163, but it would only really make sense if the diminutive little tractor accompanied it. The two kits we have here are: 32245, Scheuch-Schlepper, 1,990 CZK 32246, Pressluftballonanhänger (for Scheuch-Schlepper), 1490 CZK Both of these releases are supplied in small and rigid corrugated cardboard boxes, with their own specific product label affixed to the lid. Scheuch-Schlepper Despite this box being the lighter of the two, by far, it is the more expensive of the two sets. When you see the contents though, the reason is pretty clear. This set has far more parts, and they are also vastly intricate in comparison to the Pressluftballonanhänger. It appears at first glimpse that this isn’t a set for the faint-hearted or impatient builder. Inside the box, there are two small white boxes containing resin parts, a single PE fret, a bag of wires, rod and chain, and of course, the instruction sheet. Inside one of the small inner boxes, you’ll find the large resin body of this vehicle, cast in black resin. A zip-lock back contains all of the other resin components, except for the wheels…..and there are a LOT of resin parts here too, with some of them being fairly small. The tractor body resembles an earth digger bucket, or a small skip, and has some very nice external detail. There is some underside detail to be fitted, but this will be minimal. Internally, the bin is empty, as all internal detail is provided with both resin and PE parts. There are around another 90 parts included in the small bag, all cast superbly, with no flaws, and with excellent detail. These are probably the best castings I’ve yet seen from Profimodeller. In all, a very impressive set of parts, including the small VW engine, transmission, fuel tank, battery and tray etc. This particular machine was fitted with a single wheel adaptation to the rear, making the tractor a ‘tricycle’ vehicle. This rear wheel is supported on a framework that is bolted to the flange at the rear of the Schlepper. All associated parts really are very good, and the wheel itself has beautiful tread too. There are a couple of tiny divots on it, presumably where the overcast spouts were removed, but this is mo problem. Connection to the casting block is around the portion of the wheel that you should perhaps use as the area closest to the floor. There will be just a little work required here to make that look ok. The second small box contains seven parts, cast in a light cream-coloured resin. Four of these parts are the main Schlepper wheels with their heavy, agricultural tread, and also the ‘Continental’ logo on the side. Detail is sharp, but the edges of the wheels are quite square, so I think a quick lick with a sanding stick, just to remove the extreme sharpness of the edge, will make it look a world better. There are no casting blocks there, and very little clean-up is required. Wheel hubs are superbly detailed and separately cast here, as are the bucket seat, main engine upper cowl, and the steering wheel block. Again, I have to say it; the detail really is excellent, and there is very little clean-up to perform on the parts themselves. A couple of parts had broken from their casting blocks, but were undamaged themselves. The bright brass PE fret must contain around another 100 parts. I really haven’t counted these, but I would say I’m not too far from the mark. Here are various plates, brackets, grilles, frameworks, drive and control mechanisms/linkages etc, and also the driver’s foot board. This is etched with a little faux-wood grain, and really wasn’t necessary if you choose to replicate that with oil paint, or the excellent Uschi van der Rosten wood grain decal. I will choose the latter option. Lastly, another bag contains a cast resin towing bar, length of aluminium rod for axles etc. resin bolts for the wheel hubs (Masterclub?), copper wire, chain and turned brass parts for the control levers. Instructions are simple, clear and easy to understand, with illustration being in line drawing format, with simple colour call-outs being supplied. Pressluftballonanhänger Inside this box, there are three smaller white boxes, another bag of resin parts, a bag of springs, ferrules, white and rod, two PE frets and the instruction sheet. The first box contains a bag of the numerous wheels employed by the Y frame. These are cast in pale creak resin, with nice hubs and subtle tread detail. Thankfully, the casting blocks are slightly offset onto the wheel face, meaning they don’t interfere with the tread pattern. Another bag of black resin parts include the gas inflation tanks, tank valves, and frame parts for the ‘Y’ section and also the wheel area, tank supports and hitching mechanism. This bag itself has a total of around 45 parts. The next two small boxes contain the parts that make this set a heavy one; the inflation bags. The breakdown of these is also to be noted. Two large inflation bags are supplied, complete with the heavy sealing and stitching detail at either side, and you will notice that the upper mid-section of each is missing. Those areas are provided as inserts, simply because you can choose to model the Pressluftballonanhänger without the weight of the Me 163 pressing down, or using the indented tanks, it can be displayed under the Komet. A quick test of these inserts showed that you need to adjust these to fit the bag recesses. There is also another bag of wheels included here, identical to the packet in the previous box, providing 4 wheels per side. A bag that sits in the bottom of the main box, contains two black resin parts, forming the main arms of the ‘Y’ frame, and will be added onto with numerous parts in the first box that we looked at. I have to say that these parts, as well as most of the rein in this set, are superbly cast. Only a rough casting block edge on those flotation bags, needs to be cleaned and smoothed, but that can be done at the same time that you remove the seams from the upper inserts. TWO photo-etch frets are included. These contain the various footplates, straps, tank and bag supports and parts for the compressed gas tank valves. Instructions for this set are also clear to understand, and follow the same format as those in the Schlepper kit. Basic colour call-outs are given, and the builder should experience no problems. Conclusion Until now, it’s seemed like Komet modellers in smaller scales have been better catered for than those of us who indulge in large scale pleasures. Hearing that Profimodeller were going to release these pair of kits, really was a pleasure for many of us. Of course, we had to bring it here to show you as soon as we could. Both kits are superbly designed, contain excellent detail, and the quality of the parts is as good as you could want. These won’t be easy kits to build, but the effort will certainly pay off when you mount that 1:32 Komet on that Pressluftballonanhänger!! I’ve got to say that I’m pretty impressed with both of these. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article. James H