Jump to content

1:48 Me 163B Komet


Jim H
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Administrators

1:48 Me 163B Komet
Gaspatch Models

Catalogue # 20-48236
Available from Gaspatch Models for €36,00

box.jpg

 

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.

DSC02219.jpg

DSC02220.jpg

DSC02221.jpg

DSC02225.jpg

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.

DSC02222.jpg

DSC02223.jpg

DSC02224.jpg

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.

DSC02226.jpg

DSC02227.jpg

DSC02228.jpg

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. 

DSC02230.jpg

DSC02231.jpg

DSC02232.jpg

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.

DSC02233.jpg

DSC02234.jpg

DSC02235.jpg

DSC02236.jpg

DSC02237.jpg

DSC02238.jpg

DSC02239.jpg

DSC02241.jpg

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. 

DSC02242.jpg

DSC02243.jpg

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.

DSC02244.jpg

DSC02245.jpg

DSC02246.jpg

DSC02247.jpg

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. 

DSC02248.jpg

DSC02249.jpg

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. 

DSC02250.jpg

The clear sprue is quite small but the canopy is nicely thin and everything has excellent clarity, including that armoured windscreen. 

DSC02251.jpg

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

DSC02252.jpg 

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 

Manual_Page19__68037.1618587798.jpg

Manual_Page20__24905.1618587806.jpg

Manual_Page21__76349.1618587814.jpg

Manual_Page22__20887.1618587821.jpg

Manual_Page23__49205.1618587829.jpg

Manual_Page24__02751.1618587838.jpg

 

Instructions

DSC02253.jpg

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.

Manual_Page3__02353.1618587277.jpg

Manual_Page4__20288.1618587278.jpg

Manual_Page11__04834.1618587724.jpg

Manual_Page13__50531.1618587744.jpg

Manual_Page16__88984.1618587774.jpg

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.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...