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  1. 1:32 He-111 H-22 conversion with V-1 Profimodeller Kit No. P32314 Available from Profimodeller for €118,- Introduction What we have here is the set you need and want if you want to convert your He-111 H-6 kit into the H-22 version. This is the version that was designed to carry and launch a V1 in mid-air. Early in the war the V1’s were launched from the air, rather than from the ground. The strategy was to mount a V1 under the wing of a specially rigged He-111 and to fly at extreme low level towards the British coast. There the He-111 would quickly gain altitude to about 1.500 feet (450 meters) and launch the V1. The He-111 would then head for cloud cover to make it’s escape. The unit that operated these He-111 H-22’s was III/KG53, stationed in the Netherlands. About 100 of these H-22’s were built / modified and delivered to III/KG 53. In total over 400 V-1’s were launched this way... Most of them targeting London. Since the percentage of V-1’s actually hitting target was too low (about 20%) and about 80 of the 100 H-22’s were shot down by the RAF or AA, the way the V-1’s were launched changed from mid-air to ground installations. The kit Ok. This is a really detailed and delicate conversion / upgrade and needs some introduction. Profimodeller first released set P32297. This is the attachment for the V1 to the underside of the He-111 wing. When I first saw this up on their website I knew a V1 would follow soon, since there is no way in hell anyone would buy a detailed and accurate attachment for a V1, when there is no accurate 32nd scale V1 on the market! Don’t even try to mention the 35th scale Bronco offering. Let’s not go there… Indeed not much later Profimodeller released their V1 (P32279). A cool multi media kit with all the bells and whistles. I have reviewed this kit here. Not much later Profimodeller followed with a transport dolly and loader. A review of the loader (it’s called Anhanger, but it actually is a loader) can be found here (scroll down). At them moment I’m building the Profimodeller Schlepper, Loader and V1 and let me tell you: It will test you, but when you succeed you’ll feel like an actual modeller! Topic here. In addition Profimodeller also let’s you buy the He-111 H-22 conversion without the V1 attachment, here. Or the He-111 H-22 conversion, including the attachments AND the V1, here. So to be specific, if you want to go balls out, and make one impressive diorama: what you really want is this set, the loader, Schlepper, crew-set and the V1. This set alone will give you a He-111 H-22 with a lot of interior detail and V1 attachment points. I will now walk you through this set to show you exactly what you get. We have come accustomed to the small, cramped, top opening boxes from Profimodeller, but this one let’s you open the side, to make the contents slide out, protected by a cardboard sleeve. A big package of photo etch, bags of yellow and the famous Profimodeller black resin, a rubber hose, decals and instruction booklets appear. The biggest piece of resin in the box is the dorsal turret opening: Here's a look at the various bags containing resin, rubber, a vac form turret and lots of brass barrels. First bag of black resin. This stuff is easy to work with and really strong. Profimodeller really chooses where to use the more detailed yellow resin and where to use the strong black stuff: Nicely hollowed out and detailed flame dampers x 4, for the Jumo engines. REVI gunsight for the dorsal turret: The guns are nicely detailed as well. Open trigger guards of course: Chutes for the spent ammo: Crystal clear dorsal turret glass: The Zwilling guns: Included in this set is another small separate set. This contains flak helmets and oxygen apparatus for the crew. The helmet liners are offered in photo etch. This set also happens to be applicable to the Ju88. With this oxygen set comes a length of rubber hose you need to cut to length for the various oxygen masks: Here's the photo etch with the helmet liners and oxygen details: Now check this out. All the MG barrels are supplied in brass. Looks like Master models quality: Will you just look at all this photo etch... 3 giant sheets and two smaller. Lots of ammo bins... Bulkheads and lots of interior detail: See the radio's? Here we see the V1 attachment set. The separate instructions for this set were missing from my box, but they're also up on the Profimodeller site: The decals. Even though I love the way they go down, their colour and detail. I would suggest having masks cut for a bird this size: The colour schemes. And lots of them! 6 in total. The instruction booklet is clear but needs some practice and sometimes research to comprehend: A few more shots from the PM site. Verdict This set really blew me away. The amount of photo etch is staggering. The level of detail amazing. The only thing I missed in the box were the instructions for the V1 attachment, but these can also be found on the Profimodeller site. From experience I’ve learned that Profimodeller does not compromise on detail. And it’s exactly this trade of theirs that will cost you time and money, but trust me: in the end it’s worth it. VERY highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for this review sample. Jeroen Peters
  2. 1:32 Transport Trolley for Fieseler FI-103 (V1) Profimodeller Catalogue # 32280 Available from Profimodeller for $36,60 Introduction Recently I reviewed the full V1 kit by Profimodeller. A sweet, well researched multimedia (resin and photo-etc) kit for the price of 55 euros. Today I’m taking a look at the complimentary trolley. Profimodeller calls it a transport trolley on the box and in a sense it is, but the more appropriate name is loading trolley. The germans called it ‘Zubringerwagen’, which means something along those lines. It was quite a challenge to find good reference on this trolley, because not a lot are left (or maybe none at all!). The Transport or Loading trolley was a two-stage construction that transports the V1 to the launching site and then delivers the V1 to the launching ramp via the smaller upper cart that sits as a leech on the trolley. See the two schematic drawings below for clarification (somewhat And here are some photo's of the real thing: I’ve found a scan of the V1 instruction manual which has one chapter dedicated to the transport and loading of the V1. The drawings of these steps are shown here. The quality of the scan is a bit shady, but it gives an idea of the complicated details the upper cart had. This lead me to a 3D model on Shapeways in 1/16th scale that is actually quite nicely done. It does appear to be s lightly different version of the trolley than the Profimodeller one, since the Profimodeller version does not feature the loading winches and the push beams for the ground crew. The 3D version on Shapeways: As I’ve found several photo’s showing differences in almost every single one of them, it seems as if there was no definite standard, OR changes were made so fast for improvement that it’s hard to say what’s right or wrong. We’ve seen Tamiya offer one of these in simplified shape in 48th scale (see photo below). And we’ve seen a transport cart (that looks like the upper part of the transport trolley) done by Bronco in 35th scale. But if you look at the photo references I’ve been able to find, you’ll see that the construction is actually quite intricate. Springs, couplings and cross bracings. Much like the towing cart Profimodeller also offers. A review of that super detailed and model engineering marvel can be found here (scroll down). The very much simplified Tamiya version: The kit The materials Profimodeller uses for their sets are not always the most obvious and can certainly surprise. As does this kit. When opening the box three bags show different materials. One bag of your standard yellow resin. One bag filled with metal springs. And one bag filled with some sort of black resin that I have only seen in their arsenal. It’s a stiff, crisp and shape steady material that is often used by Profimodeller for important parts that need to carry a bit of weight. The parts that are cast in this material are the main frames, main wheels, several cross beams and hand holds for the ground crew. Another smaller bag inside the bag with black resin, holds a handful of small eye-lets from the same material. It’s difficult to guess what their use is. To tie down tarps? To attach extra pulling ropes? Lord knows. Black resin (?): Main frame: One of the main wheels: Wheels of the small cart: The yellow resin provides the U-shaped beams (which are all straight thank god), the body for the smaller cart, winch installations, parts for the chassis and the two long pulling handles on either side of the trolley. Yellow resin: The body of the small cart: One of the 18 U-beams: Pulling bar: The metal springs that are in bag #3 can be seen in the drawing and are pushed down by the upper loading cart. When we take a look at the instructions, it becomes clear the this kit calls for: • a clean bench! • a steady hand • a ruler • and patience The instructions: We start with the main body which looks pretty straightforward. At step 2 the instructions call for cutting the U-beams to length. At step 4 the instructions show the jig that holds the main wheels being connected to the main body. Looking at the engineering I would recommend a strong 2 component glue that doesn’t have the risk of becoming brittle like many super-glues. The same goes for the 4 guiding beams on which the ground crew handling holds are connected. These can be pretty fragile if the wrong choice of glue is used. All in all it looks like the build can be pretty straightforward if care is taken and alignment is properly measured. Verdict This set is what the lovely V1 kit deserves. Lots of detail and the first well researched transport trolley on the market in any scale. It will make the otherwise blunt V1 with not a lot of visual interest sit proud on it’s base. Very much recommended and a necessity if you already have the V1 kit. Keep an eye out for my imminent build of this kit. My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for providing the review sample. To buy your trolley, click here. Kind regards, Jeroen Peters
  3. 1:32 Fieseler FI-103 (V1) Profimodeller Catalogue # 32279 Available from Profimodeller for € 55,- First some history The V1 (or Vergeltungswaffen 1 > Retribution weapon 1) was the first ever unmanned jetplane that flew. It’s nicked Buzz-bomb because of the buzzing sound the pulse jet engine made. The official name however is Fi-103 as it was built by the Fieseler factory. Yes, the same factory that built the Fieseler 156 Storch! Another, less known name for the V1 was FZG-76. Meaning Flakzielgerät 76 and hinting at use as an anti aircraft missile. This was the official program name and used to mislead allied intelligence. Other nicknames used by the germans were Krähe (crow) and Maikäfer (May bug) on Hitler’s orders. The latter alike to yet another nickname used by the allies: Doodlebug, after the distinctive popping sound the engine made. The V1 was powered by the As014 Argus Pulsejet and drank 75 Octane gasoline. The starting procedure was quite the ritual and involved electric starters, airhoses and a powered ramp with a steam powered piston. The V1 reached a speed of 580 km per hour as it left the ramp! The V1 called for high speeds as the V1 was prone to stalling due to the small wings. Cruising speed was about 640 km per hour (400mph) and the reach was about 250 km. A relative small distance, which required take-off from Holland, Belgium and France in order to reach Great Britain. Remains of these take-off ramps can still be found in these countries. The ramp actually fired a plunger with a hook that pulled the V1. This plunger would land a considerable distance further in the fields. Take-off was also done from the wing of a bomber. A risky procedure where 77 bombers were lost during the launch procedure, take-off or mission. Here's a look at a V1 mounted on a ramp in France: And here's a look at the plunger that pushed the V1 along the ramp: You can see the tube the plunger travelled through and the opening on the top for the hook on the plunger: The culprits... So, the V1 is not a rocket (as it is sometimes called) but rather a plane, since it has wings and a jet engine propulsion (and not a rocket). This would make an interesting model. The He111 with a V1 slung under it's wing: At the peak of it’s use more than 100 V-1’s were fired at England, with a total of almost 16.000 produced of which 2400 ‘landed’ on London (fired from France) and 2400 hit Antwerp (fired from Holland). The rest didn’t make it to their launch. No wonder that many V-1’s survived and found their way to museums worldwide. Some completely original, some part replica and some restored from collected parts. The 2 spherical pressure tanks, wound by pianowire. The small propellor at the tip of the nose that measured the travelled distance. The fuel injection frame at the front of the pulse jet. All very recognizable parts when looking at dug up remains of a V1. The V1 in 1/32 The V1 is a subject that somehow eluded the 1/32 modelling scene through the years. Yes we have the 1/35 Bronco offering (which is not very detailed nor accurate) but that’s about it! If you want to mate the V1 with the wing of a He-111 or combine it with another 1/32 subject the scale difference between 1/35 and 1/32 will become evident. Having built the 1/32 HPH Reichenberg (basically manned V1) and both the 1/35 Bronco Reichenberg I was shocked to see how much these differed in size. Talking of the HPH Reichenberg and looking at the first photo’s I saw of this kit, I suspected most parts to be a copy (or perhaps shared moulds) from the HPH offering. Having inspected the resin parts at hand, I can tell you that they are not. Timeline-wise it’s interesting that Profimodeller first released two different transport trolley’s for the V1 before they released the V1 itself. Two very comprehensive and well researched kits with insane detail: • The transport trolley (kit P32280) • The V1 Anhänger (kit P32247) >> Review here (scroll down). This kit is in fact one of the first real standalone kits Profimodeller releases. If you don’t count the above carts… it actually is, so it is interesting to look at the whole package in this review: Decals, part break down, engineering, schemes and instructions. The Model So let’s take a closer look at this very first kit Profimodeller produces! A rather small box opening at the top, containing three bags. Two with resin parts (big > fuselage and wings) and small (engine, rudder, nose cone, etc..) and one bag with the decals and photoetch. The first thing I looked at was the surface structure on the wings and fuselage. Pretty delicate rivets and fine panel lines is what you find. Also the overlapping panels and fuselage strengtheners are well done. When you look at the inside of the fuselage you’ll find locating holes for small rods that serve as locating pins. Same technique you’ll find on HPH and Silverwings kits. The most challenging bit is trying to mate the fuselage halves, removing the seam and restoring small rivets and panel lines that you will loose when sanding. A dry-fit tells me that this will be minimal with this kit. The forward fuselage is moulded separately. Perhaps to avoid the risk of warping or breaking, or just to make them easier to cast. The lip that is made along the vertical seam will help you to make a strong joint. Fuselage parts and wings: Just like the real thing, the fuselage has two holes in the sides to accommodate the tubular beam that supports the wings. The beam is included, but I would suggest to replace this with proper brass tube! Much stronger. And when posing the V1 with the wings off (like I will) a brass tube will look more convincing too. The wings differ from the Reichenberg wings in the sense that the V1 was steered by a gyroscopic device from the tail planes and rudder. The Reichenberg also had ailerons on the main wings. Nosecone: Tail: Engine: The smaller resin details contain the engine that are cast almost solid. HPH offers a 2 piece resin front of the engine (intake and body) and metal tube for the rear. I added my own weld line along this metal tube (since this is a prominent feature on the V1 engine). Profimodeller takes a different route and offers the engine in 3 resin parts with cast on weld line. Pretty slick. Other parts cover the tail which is very nicely done with almost all the details. The only thing I’m missing is a small inspection hole in the tailpiece that shows the rudder control mechanism. As on the HPH kit, I will add this detail myself. The photoetch is nicely done and contains the rudder control, fuselage strengtheners, the Argus fuel injection frame and an extra cool feature that I will definitely include: a transport nose protector that protected the small nose propeller during transport. What’s also included are the details on the wingroots that will be visible in transport configuration. Another detail I had to scratch on my HPH Reichenberg. Another great detail this kit captures nicely is the inside of the intake. The intake starts round and then goes to a square shape further in. I love this attention for the real thing. The schemes 6 of them. And as I mentioned before… diverse! The only thing I’m missing is background information on the different schemes. Especially when doing a diorama it would be important to know what scheme suits what situation. I guess you’ll have to do your own homework here! The scheme with the blue broad band around the fuselage kind of speaks to me, and I’ll try to figure out where and when it was used. Part of the fun I guess. The decals are actually all stenciling for the ground crew as no unit badges or crosses were applied on the V1. Verdict Dare I compare this kit to the HPH Ohka and Reichenberg? Yes! Since they are the only game in town to compare this kit to! We all know HPH has raised the bar when it comes to resin kits with smart engineering and superb detail. Well… It looks like we have another company that wants to play along. This kit is complete. Well engineered (just look at the fuselage break down), well researched and nicely cast. The casting blocks and flash are easy to remove. The schemes that are included are diverse and many. What else can you wish for? A solid 9 out of 10. Keep an eye out for my imminent build of this kit, together with it’s transport trolley. My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for providing the review sample. Get your copy right here. Kind regards, Jeroen Peters
  4. 1:32 Messerschmitt Me 163 Anhänger Profimodeller Catalogue # 32248 Available from Profimodeller for 1,749Kč We recently took a look at the new Scheuch-Schlepper and Pressluftballonhänger from Profimodeller. Read the historical noted there for an insight into the release of this new set. The balloon cradle lifter, whilst I talked about this in conjunction with the Me 163B, was possibly more akin to the recovery of the earlier Me 163A, although possibly not exclusively. However, it is certain that the tracked recovery cradle was the type that was generally in use for the later service Komet aircraft. We’ve seen this in both 1:72 and 1:48 scales before, but this is the first time this has been released in 1:32, and suitable for the Meng and Hasegawa Komet kits. Of course, this was towed by the Scheuch Schlepper, and you really should look at both of these kits for your Komet diorama. This release is packed into a sturdy little corrugated box that has an attractive product label attached to the lid, depicting a clear line drawing of the Anhänger. Inside this box, there are two smaller boxes containing the resin parts and another that contains the photo-etch, and wire etc. No other loose parts are contained in the rest of the main box expanse. In total, there are around 118 resin parts that are cast in a combination of black and cream resin. There are also no shortage of metal parts, with a further thirty turned brass parts, plus wire, metal rod and TWO photo-etch frets. I think you can see that this is no weekend project! Instructions are supplied as a 14-page A6 booklet. First of all, let’s see what we have in each box, then a look at construction. Each of the resin boxes has a single bag, containing all the parts therein. Careful handling is a necessity, and in my sample, there don’t appear to be any broken parts. Contents Box 1 Contents Box 2 Contents Box 3 The breakdown of this is quite different from the Pressluftballonhänger in that each arm of the lifting cradle is constructed from a number of smaller components instead of being a single large casting. Of course, this means that you have a number of elements that need to be assembled so that they lie correctly, without any twist. Looking through this kit, I would advise either small quantities of epoxy or CA gel for adhesive, allowing some adjustment time. I would also advise that both left and right booms are assembled at the same time, and one at a time, per side, whilst ensuring both sides are balanced. Remember, there are tracked wheels on this, and they really should lie ‘on the flat’. Get it wrong, and these won’t lie equally flat. Construction starts with the bank of two hydraulic rams that I presume are for raising the rear arms of the lifting boom. As I have no reference of the Anhänger, I have to try to understand the mechanics of it. The Anhänger is quite unusual in that these boom extremities have their own articulation. I presume this is so that each can be raised in turn until the Komet is safely off the floor. If the ground is uneven, it could be another reason for needing to raise each arm at different levels. The body of the Anhänger is next to be built, and again, there is a lot of importance that I need to push here for ensuring that alignment is correct. A number of subassemblies are required to fit between the two main frame halves, including a complicated jack/ram system that is used to raise the whole main, rear boom. There is, of course, a third hydraulic cylinder, standing vertically, which would have been used to move this section. As a number of holes are required for line up, I would perhaps use some styrene/ABS rod to aid in this, whilst waiting for other sections to dry. I think it’s important to look a couple of stages ahead during all construction. Each beam has 3 x 3 sets of wheels, made from resin, and mounted upon turned brass axles/spigots. As this is probably one of the most important areas of construction, I’m pleased to see that metal parts are used instead of resin. To encompass these, TWENTY-SIX resin blocks are included, each with two resin track parts. Both parts are different as only alternative tracks are fitted with a running guide that slips in between the outer/inner wheels and the centre wheel. I’m afraid you will need to drill these out so that you can insert a wire link to hold the tracks together. I would suggest that you actually link the tracks together and drill them at the same time whilst dry fitted, or you may find that you can’t accurately pin them together. Of course, these wheels are fitted to fixed beams, with the actual lifting beam sitting above this. Please look at the images of the instructions, just to see the level of detail on this kit. All resin parts are superbly cast, with very little clean-up, except for casting block removal. My sample has no flawed or broken parts. Of course, these is a lot of block removal due to the high parts count. Connection points are designed to be easy to remove, and production is some of the best I’ve seen, outside of the big name companies in our hobby. The metal parts are also excellent. PE frets are beautifully made, with sharp detail, and are left in their bare brass finish. Turned metal parts are perfect, with no burrs or other issues. Instructions These are clear and concise, but with many constructional stages due to the nature of the model. Unfortunately, there is no painting guide, so you’ll have to either ‘wing it’ or see what the general consensus of opinion is over this item. Conclusion Profimodeller have improved in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years, with some of the best detail and improvement sets available, outside of the regular companies, such as Eduard etc. The set is well designed and thought out, and beautifully produced. I can’t vouch for accuracy, simply because I don’t have the prerequisite reference material, and of course, this sort of review is quite difficult to put together, and remain informative. Everything you need to build this model, should be included here, such as wire for linking the tracks etc. A very comprehensive kit, albeit not too cheap, but in my opinion, well worth the asking price (currently at around £48 equivalent). Along with the Scheuch Schlepper, you can guarantee that the actual Komet part of your model, will actually only account for around a quarter of the total parts that you assemble!!! HIGHLY recommended Is that it? Er no! We have ANOTHER set here designed to be hooked up to the Scheuch. If you’re actually able to source a 1:32 V1 flying bomb, then we now have a trolley designed to carry them around the launching site....... 1:32 V1 Anhänger Profimodeller Catalogue # 32247 Available from Profimodeller for 1,749CZK This cradle-like trolley was used to carry the partially disassembled V1 ‘Doodlebug’ or ‘Buzzbombs’ from their storage facility, out to the waiting launch aircraft, such as the Heinkel He 111P. Essentially, this consisted of a transporter frame that had a hydraulic crane that allowed the weapon to be loaded and unloaded. Like a lot of specific German technology, it was quite innovative and fulfilled its purpose precisely. The wings of the V1 were packed alongside the fuselage, and once the fuselage was located to the Heinkel, the wings would then be fitted. Again, packed into a rigid cardboard box with a line drawing product label, this particular set contains THREE small boxes and another beautifully drawn instruction sheet. One package contains two PE sheets, with some wire, metal rod and the Anhänger wheels that are supplied as rubber rings. Another box has the more fragile rods and support parts cast in black resin which I think is perhaps a little more resistant to breakage than normal resin, and the last box holds a number of cream coloured resin parts for the frame, chassis, turntable etc. There are a total of around SEVENTY resin parts, SIX rubber tyres, THIRTY metal parts, including rod and turned metal items, and a further EIGHTY pieces of photo-etch. Again, this last figure is an approximation. Resin parts are superbly cast, with casting blocks that will be simple to remove and clean up any remnants. No breakage or flaw can be seen on my example. Photo-etch parts are also extremely good, with small connecting tabs and some great detail, such as the tread plates. Turned brass parts are also cleanly produced, sharp and with no burrs or debris to remove. Wire is included for the various hydraulic lines. Contents Box 1 Contents Box 2 Contents Box 3 This is no simple to make model though, and you’ll need to really take your time in ensuring that all beams and frames are aligned, and I would advise some slow-cure CA for those final connections. Instructions look easy enough to follow, with the line drawing illustration being pretty clear. There is NO colour information at all, so you’ll need to get creative but sensible with this little model kit. I know you’re going to ask about a 1:32 V1, yes? The good news is that Profimodeller will be releasing one of these in a few short weeks, so get ready for that super He 111/V1 combo/dio you always wanted to build in 1:32! HIGHLY recommended! …… but it’s not over yet. There’s more… 1:32 Tipping body for Scheuch Profimodeller Catalogue # 32249 Available from Profimodeller for 499,00CZK Please remember that the Scheuch wasn’t actually designed for the Me 163 Komet. It was only the towed items that were for this purpose. The Scheuch was actually an agricultural machine, and as such, it could tow other things. This set depicts a simple tipping trailer that could also have been military in use, for carrying tools, equipment and building materials etc. This little kit is a much simply affair than the Anhänger we just looked at, and as a result, comes in a smaller box that contains all parts that are simply packed into zip-lock wallets. One wallet contains the creamy coloured resin parts, whilst the other holds the black resin, photo etch and metal rods. A little unusual to see PE in a bag with resin, but this fret is a heavier gauge than we normally see, so will come to no harm. BAG 1 This contains the cream coloured resin, with a total of four parts. Two of these are the wheels. These actually look very good, with nice hub and tread detail. My only reservation is that the casting block connecting point is a little too wide, obscuring more of that tread than I would have liked to see. The other two parts are the main tipper body and the flap door side. These are very thin indeed and require some care in handling. Again, detailing is excellent, with metal frame and bolt detail, and the body itself having a faux wood grain pattern which should look good with an oil grain application and wash. The casting blocks have been thoughtfully placed, and will be easy to remove. BAG 2 Another ten resin parts reside here, cast in black resin. These form the tippers chassis, and will connect directly to the ring attachment at the rear of the Scheuch. Essentially, these parts are blocks and rods, and you’ll need to follow the instructions carefully with regard to spacings and lengths of parts. Construction looks easy, it’s just that you’ll need to take constant care before you commit glue. All casting is first rate, with no flaw or defect to be seen in my sample. A single PE fret contains brackets, shrouds, latches and hinge plates. Production is excellent. Metal rod is included for axles etc. Instructions are quite a simple affair with line drawing imagery. A little colour notation is supplied, but you can pretty much paint this how you see fit, whether it be grey, green, yellow etc. Conclusion Profimodeller’s Scheuch family is building nicely, and this little kit will no doubt will a hole for a good number of modellers. All it really needs now are some figures, but where can we get them? Highly recommended 1:32 Scheuch German crew Profimodeller Catalogue # 32258 Available from Profimodeller for 249,00CZK The last of our current Scheuch review items is definitely most welcome. It contains crew figures in various poses, that would look great being seen adjusting the Komet or Anhänger, and of course, sat driving the Scheuch too. This release, packed into a relatively large box, contains not one, two or three, but FOUR figures. They appear to be dressed in Luftwaffe ground crew uniforms, as their hats and tunics sport the Eagle symbol. These guys were collectively known as ‘Black Men’ due to their uniform colours, yet these uniforms are depicted in a Grey-Green tone. My history and knowledge here isn’t good, so I’m probably wrong. Each figure is cast without arms, and with the exception of the kneeling figure (mechanic), also without hats. The three hatless characters have peaked caps, unlike the kneeling figure. The latter figure can be posed so that he’s adjusting the Scheuch or the Komet, as his arms have hands that mimic the handling of either a tool or piece of equipment. One figure is supplied as a Scheuch driver, and he stares intently forward with his hands on the wheel. This is only really any good if you don’t use the other guys, as he appears to be driving. A seated figure, looking over his shoulder with one hand on the wheel, would’ve been more appropriate for this set, or an option to pose as such. Two ‘helpers’ are provided too. As these are fully stood up, they would perhaps be batter placed around the Komet. One of them looks like he has his hand, chest height, resting on something, but his right arm is resting along a flat surface. I’m sure there is a role for him, it’s just that you’ll need to find what that is. All figures are superbly cast, with minimal clean up and easy casting block removal. A little flash can be found here and there, but it’s very fine. Left arms are identifiable due to numbered dimples signifying fit and position. Uniform detail is very good, with creases, folds, belt detail etc. being nicely rendered. My only reservation, not being good at figure painting, is that the various emblems aren’t supplied as decals. You’ll need a steady hand to paint the various insignia, epaulets etc. The instructions consist of a single sheet that shows each figure as a complete character, and printed in colour. A small colour chart denotes painting. Conclusion I do have a couple of reservations here, but that is probably because I’m no figure builder and painter. Detail on these figures is very good, and no doubt will look perfect in the capable hands of a good modeller. I just wish there was a driver option for a stationary Scheuch. Recommended My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for the review samples seen here. To purchase these, click the links in the article.
  5. Hi Guys, Found myself struggling to find some mojo when Jim urged me to finally finish this piece. Added the rudder control rods. Some washes. Scratches. Et voila! The railbed is from Trumpeter. Resin figure from Warriors. Cheers, Jeroen
  6. 1:32 Fi 103 Reichenberg Re 4a and Kugisho OHKA Model 11 HPH Catalogue # HPH32033R Available from HPH for €115 The subject(s): An unexpected release by HPH for sure. I for one didn’t see these coming. The Reichenberg has been released by Bronco some years ago. Both in 1 seater version as in the two seat trainer version. But! In scale 1/35. This is great when you’re an armour modeler that wants to incorporate the Reichenberg in a diorama, but not when you’re displaying it amongst other 1/32 aviation subjects. Having built this kit I can say it lacks some detail. Most apparent simplifications are the engine and cockpit. The Ohka on the other hand has not been produced in Injection Moulded version, but is available in resin by two brands. One by OzMolds and one by Lone Star Models. So… were these new HPH releases „needed’’? Yes, and trust me… they are in a whole different league. Here we go! History of the Reichenberg: With the hit and miss successes of the unmanned V1 the need to strike the allies in the heart was getting more and more apparent. While Hitler kept his hopes on the 3 x 1000 bomber project (a bomber that could basically bomb New York), some forces in the Luftwaffe placed their bets on Selbstopfer (suicide) concepts. The Me328 was offered as first candidate for this purpose. Famous Luftwaffe testpilot Hanna Reitsch was one of the leading authorities within this concept. As a matter of fact she was the one trying to sell the concept to Hitler. He however quickly dismissed the idea of german pilots plummeting to their deaths by calling it un-german. He stressed his firm belief in the 3 x 1000 bomber. Perhaps when the concept wasn’t named Selbstopfer, Hitler might have approved. After all, the pilot of these planes were never meant to stay in the cockpit until detonation. They were supposed to bail out after lining the plane up with the target. The project was however able to proceed under strict order by Hitler to not be deployed after his very own instruction to do so. He approved a special suicide unit to be formed under the name: Leonidas unit. Named after kind Leonidas who stood his ground against the Persians. How appropriate! This unit became part of unit II/KG200. A unit that was known for flying secret missions. Jamming radars. And dropping spies in enemy territory. A couple of factories produced the Reichenberg. Including one factory that was based inside a mountain, keeping it safe from allied bomb-runs. There’s even a movie (cinematic) on Youtube showing Hanna Reitsch taking the Reichenberg for a ‚test-drive’. In august 1944 the first Reichenberg Re-1 was ready for testing. It had no engine and was purely tested in gliding mode. These test proved successful. Reason for Hanna Reitsch to come over and watch some rocket powered tests with here own eyes. On this occasion the Reichenberg lost control and crashed. Another two tests resulted in crashes too. This didn’t stop the Germans from building 200 examples and erecting a squadron with 50 pilots undergoing instruction and training. Hanna Reitsch personally took partial responsibility for the training. Until the was injured during a bombing raid. Numerous ideas were exploited and research for possibilities with a manned V1. An armed interception version. A version with a 38cm grenade in the nose to penetrate a Ship deck. At the end of the war American soldiers stumbled on a factory with no less than 54 single seated Reichenbergs, a couple of two seat trainers and 700 unmanned V1’s… The last test flight of the Reichenberg took place on the 5th of March 1945 with a Re-3. After several fairly successful powered flights, this flight ended with the wings breaking from the plane, taking the pilot into a 90 degree dive into a lake. It proved very difficult for a pilot the exit the extremely fast flying projectile, and even if he managed, there was the risk of ending in the ram air intake of the engine. About 12 Reichenbergs were captured and saved from the scrapyard. A couple of them are on display today and some in storage. Here is a list of the ones’ on display: Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington Canadian War Museum, (under restoration 2009). Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, Headcorn, Kent La Coupole, Saint-Omer, France. Stinson Air Field, San Antonio, Tx, USA. It’s a misconception that existing V1’s were altered to manned Reichenbergs. About only 20% of the parts are the same as on the unmanned V1. In other words: Check your references based on manned V1’s History of the Ohka: Unlike the germans the japanese had a little bit less trouble with sacrificing life in order to protect their country. The word ‚Ohka’ meaning Cherry Blossom and ‚Kamikaze’ meaning Godly Wind shows they even romanticized the act. An honorly dead. The pilots of these planes were called Jinrai Butai, or Thunder God Corps. The americans dubbed this plane ‚Baka’, which means ‚Fool’ in japanese. Quite a different approach to the concept. The Ohka was meant to be carried the distance by a large bomber (like the Betty) and to be deployed when the target was in reach. Quite like the way the German Me328 was to be deployed by a He111. When the target was in reach the pilot would fire the three solid fuel rockets and…. aim. Unlike the German efforts made in testing and getting this plane in action, the japanese managed to inflict some serious damage to american ships. And this is exactly what this plane was designed for. Anti ship warfare. The USS Mannert L. Abele was the first Allied ship to be sunk by Ohka aircraft, near Okinawa on 12 April 1945. In the end three american ships were sunk and three badly damaged… The fact that the americans quickly realized a protective rind of defensive fire was the answer to these attacks and protect their carriers is reason the Ohka attacks had little or no real significance. The only operational model was the model 11. The model that is featured in this kit. In total 852 Ohka’s were built and like the Reichenberg roughly 12 examples survived. They are on display in the United States, UK, Japan and one in India, New Delhi. An interesting video of the capture of an Ohka can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR85s6pOMto In february 2014 the Fleet Air Arm Museum in the UK announced they will start restoration on their Ohka which has been hanging from their ceiling for 30 years. During this restoration the original paint and technical stenciling have been found under a thick layer of paint. The restoration is estimated to take over a year. A list of all the surviving examples can be seen here: http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=Yokosuka%20MXY-7%20Ohka&u=type A comparison between the two: Length: Reichenberg: 8 meters Ohka: 6,06 meters Wingspan: Reichenberg: 5,72 meters Ohka: 5,12 meters Weight: Reichenberg: 2250 kg Ohka: 1200 kg Speed: Reichenberg: 650 km/h (level) 800 km/h (dive) Ohka: 650km/h (level) 804 km/h (dive) Range: Reichenberg: 330 km Ohka: 37 km As you can see the two had quite similar performance, except for the range. The Ohka being a parasite type (leeching on the wing of a large bomber until within reach of the target) it did not need a large range. What’s in the box?: When you open the box the first thing I noticed is how tightly packed all the resin is. Well wrapped in plastic and air cushions and the resin divided by compartments. Transparant resin for the canopies. Traditional yellow resin for all the parts. HGW seat belts. (Coloured) photo etch. Metal nozzles / exhaust pipes. A CD rom containing the instructions. Canopy masks and decals. Very complete. All you need. The fuselage halves are hand coded with a number. A sign this is indeed a limited offering and kind of gives you the feeling you’ve got something special in your hands. The decals are minimal. Only a small piece of decal paper contain all the decals needed for both planes. The Reichenberg did not usually carry any unit markings and the Ohka only had minimal markings. A cherry blossom (after it’s name) and some stenciling. The HGW seat belts are of their late type. This means they are pre-cut and very detailed. Last but nog least, the kit contains the by now famous cookie HPH includes in all of their boxes. I guess that is to sweeten the deal. The instructions come on a CD-Rom in pdf format. Unlike the Me410 instructions with photographs of the parts during construction, these are drawn. In my opinion this makes for clearer instructions than photographs. Metal exhaust tubes and brass pitot tube. The famous HPH cookie! A small decal sheet. HGW seatbelts. Example page of the instructions. The Reichenberg kit: First of all. Let’s place the HPH 1/32 fuselage alongside the 1/35 Bronco model. The size difference is huge… Apparently the difference between 1/32 and 1/35 is not something to underestimate. Two full length fuselage halves make up the hull. Minimal cleanup here. The crispness of the surface detail is great and will have to be carefully re-sribed after glueing the fuselage halves and sanding away the seam. I reckon this will be the most tricky part of this build. The cockpit of the Reichenberg is a spartan one. A seat, simple instrument panel, basic control stock and limited sidewall details. Checking my reference every detail that needs to be there is there, down to the rivet. Even the exposed sidewall wiring is included in photo etch. The coloured Photo etch instrument panel and the HGW seat belts top it all of. I was not able to find colour indications for painting the cockpit in the instructions. My reference shows the cockpit (and inside of the engine) to be brown / red primer coloured. This goes for the sidewalls and floor. The seat, mid console and instrument panel was mid grey. The other feature that really pleases me is the Ram air intake of the engine. The louvres in the rear of the engine and the honeycomb with fuel injection frame are all included. All of these details are not included in the Bronco kit. The rest of the construction is pretty much straight forward after having tackled the cockpit and engine. All the control surfaces are separate and have delicate photo etch hinges. Control rods are featured too. Again: all of these features are not present on the Bronco kit. I keep repeating the differences between the much cheaper 1/35 Bronco kit, in case you think: I’ll pay less and settle for less. This way you know exactly how much less, less is When looking at the way the resin is casted, I predict cleaning the parts will not prove a big challenge. The fuselage, wings and cockpit part are cleverly casted with as little as possible sanding needed in the most visible areas. The rear of the engine is made from a provided metal tube. I think this part would have been near impossible to make from resin. A feature i love in this resin kit are the locating rods you get for joining the two fuselage halves. Not often seen on resin kits, but very helpful to say the least. Cockpit left sidewall. A great source of reference for the Reichenberg is the magazine: FliegerRevue X (issue 40). It features a 30 page special on the subject, dealing with it’s background, design history and an extensive walk around of a couple of restored examples from Alexander Kuncze. He is known to be an authority on this subject. Actually this magazine is a must have when building this kit. Forward engine part. Main wing. A comparison between the Reichenberg and Ohka wings. Control surfaces. The only downside I can think of with this kit is the single available scheme that is provided. On the other hand, the decals provided of the stenciling can be combined with other colour schemes as well. The Reichenberg usually had no unit markings or swastika. The Ohka kit: As said, two resin offerings have been around for some time, one done by Lone Star models and one by OzMolds. I’ve followed a couple of these builds on forums and decided I’d wait for something better (or less challenging) to come around. To give you an idea: Here’s a link to a review of the OzMolds resin kit: http://www.hyperscale.com/2013/reviews/kits/ozmodsomkit3201reviewbg_1.htm Inside detail of the tail end. Like the Reichenberg the Ohka comes with HGW seat belts, metal exhausts, coloured PE and a great transparant resin canopy complete with masking. The only thing you’ll need to add to this plane is some lead / weights for the nose when placed on the trolley to prevent it from tipping on it’s tail. The instrument panel is made up in the same way as the one in the Reichenberg. This time in thicker resin to give it some more needed thickness in detail in combination with a colored photo etch backing. Add a few small drops of Micro Clear and you’ve got yourself one stunning instrument panel. Left cockpit side wall detail. Cockpit floor, seat, ip, nose cone and locating pins. Bulkheads and mixed Reichenberg / Ohka parts. The Ohka needs a bit more careful clean up than the Reichenberg. The bulkheads and cockpit floor are moulded flat to their casting block. Easy to remove with a micro saw though. The trolley cart (as with the Reichenberg trolley) is also casted in this way. No problem, just a bit more time consuming to clean up. The smaller details that make up the control rods, cockpit hinges, ‚bomb’ sight, etc.. is just amazing. You even get the parts needed for the control linkage arms that can be seen when looking in the rear end! Checking all the details that need to be inside and outside the Ohka, I can only conclude that again HPH have really done their homework. Same as with the Reichenberg I found no colour coding for the cockpit in the instructions. There is a nice walk around to be found here: http://www.largescaleplanes.com/walkaround/wk.php?wid=3 that shows the interior being green. Since this cockpit is missing the instrument panel, it’s hard to say to what extend it is completely authentic. There is also a walk around with the Ohka in orange colours which appears to have a light grey cockpit: http://www.j-aircraft.com/walk/rick_geithmann/mx.htm The trolley is a little different than the one under the Reichenberg. Again: careful cleaning of these parts is needed due to the way they are casted to their blocks. It’s a three wheeled short trolley that holds the Ohka in place with a belt. This is where I guess the needed added nose weight comes in play. If you don’t add this, the whole assembly will pivot on the two main wheels and become a tail sitter. Tail section and control surfaces. The trolleys: Conclusion: Overall I’m blown away (no pun intended) by the detail provided. When I built the Bronco Reichenberg I added a lot of cockpit and surface detail myself. This kit takes a few steps more and adds detail that I didn’t even spot before when going through my references. Both the Reichenberg and the Ohka are subjects that make you think about what humans are capable of. Both in technical sense as in in-humane sense. They were not desperately rushed in production, but tested, fine tuned and planned. A proper representation of the Reichenberg was pretty high on my list, and suddenly here it is, with an Ohka in it’s wake. I’ve started work on the Reichenberg and research on the subject. So far I haven’t been able to find anything to complain about. Except maybe for the fact that both planes only come with one marking option. But, as said, this is not a problem, since both almost only carried stenciling. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to HPH for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Please let these guys know where you saw this review. And my personal thanks to James Hatch for the superb photo's Jeroen Peters PS. Photographs of the photo etch will follow shortly as they are en route to LSM.
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