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1:32 Me 163B interior and masks

James H

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1:32 Me 163B interior and masks
Catalogue # See article for code and price
Available from Eduard





Do you ever build a model as soon as it's released, and then just wish you'd waited a little while to see what aftermarket sets would be released. You knew there would be some, but impatience takes over. That's exactly how I felt when I recently built the Komet for Tamiya Model Magazine International (to be published March 2014), especially considering that the base kit lacks in detail in a good number of areas. Eduard to the rescue with these new sets that have been sent for review. The exterior set will follow in our next samples package. Now, I'm pleased I have another Komet in stash...


The sets that Eduard have sent to us are:

  • #32802, Me 163B interior, 22,95 €
  • #33130, Me 163B interior ZOOM, 18,75 €
  • #JX161, Me 163B masks, 9,95 €

Essentially, the Zoom set is a cut down, and cut price version of the full detail set, but tackling on certain, key elements of the main set. We'll come to that in a moment. All of these sets are packaged into the standard Eduard re-sealable thin sleeve.


#32802, Me 163B interior



Meng's Komet cockpit is pretty deficient in many key areas of detail. There was simply no excuse in missing out the amount of key detail that can be seen in just about every photograph and drawing you see on Google. When I built mine, I had to address a number of basic omissions in the kit, but thankfully Eduard have tackled every single one of those, plus the things which I simply hadn't got the time or inclination to sort myself.




The rear cockpit bulkhead is pretty bad in terms of accuracy or scale, and it will take a lot of determination to put this right without an aftermarket set. Thankfully, this set doesn't shy away from fixing this poor area of the kit. You'll need to do some major surgery to remove the moulded plastic structures first though. With the plastic gone, you can now install an entirely new seat framework, complete with the various fine girder sections and seat installation rails. Of course, a seat is also included, produced in two parts, and including a set of belts to replace the poor ones supplied in the kit. Bulkhead detail also includes the rather obvious control surface linkages that protrude from this area and into the wing roots.




If you thought the bulkhead needed work, then the same can certainly be said of the cockpit floor and side consoles. An entire photo etch floor is supplied to fit over the plastic one which is pretty much devoid of detail. Another strange anomaly in the kit, but thankfully corrected here are the side console straps. The consoles were actually fuel tanks, and they they were secured with fabric straps; 2 vertically and 1 horizontally. Strangely enough, Meng didn't include the horizontal on in their moulded detail, so Eduard have included entirely new sets for here. You will of course have to remove the moulded detail for the ones they did include though. There is also extra detail to add to the console avionics units, by means of coloured photo etch, and other parts. This level of detail also spills onto the separate inner cockpit sidewalls whose detail is more or less replaced with PE alternative parts. Having built this kit, I can say that this new detail is 100% worth the effort it will take in removing original detail and fitting this.




Other internal cockpit detail includes the rudder pedals, control column wiring, gun sight and mounting deck, and the small canopy opening handle. Eduard are well known for their instrument panel parts too, and the same is included here. The kit dies actually give the option for either a moulded plastic IP, or a simple plastic base with PE parts, but of course, these aren't coloured, unlike these from Eduard. When it comes to making my next Komet, I'll use this version as it's a massive improvement over what is offered in the kit. The IP is produced from a layer with printed instruments which is overlaid with the instrument panel fascia. The effect does look very good.




Oddly enough, there is no detail for the engine in this set, so assume it might be in the exterior set, but there are two more parts included here in colour PE, or should I more correctly say 'two alternatives of two coloured parts'? These related to the ammunition saddle, and are an indication of the ammunition used in this, dependent on whether you use the MK108's or MG 151 option.


#33130, Me 163B interior ZOOM



As mentioned, this is a cut down version of the previous set, with only the colour fret included. It is worth mentioning here that the colour frets in both this and the set above are SELF-ADHESIVE too.


#JX161, Me 163B masks



Another set I wish I'd had when I built my first Komet. This includes masks for the main canopy, rear external windows, and also the internal, armoured quarter-light windows which sit in the pilot's rear bulkhead. The main canopy mask is provided as an external outline only, with the suggestion you use masking fluid to fill in the centre. DON'T do this if you use Klear or similar for your canopies, as they WILL fog in reaction to the latex/ammonia. Instead, use scrap pieces of mask sheet to infill.




All three sets have clear and concise instructions, with any surgery required, readily illustrated and easy to follow.






Eduard have done as good a job with this as they did with their set for the old Hasegawa kit, but of course the base Meng kit is infinitely superior to the Hasegawa one, so this set can onl go a long way to produce the very best Me 132 in 1:32 scale. Some scraping and hacking will be needed in that cockpit, so I wouldn't recommend this for an absolute beginner. Detail levels supplied are perfect in order to fix what Meng decided, in their wisdom, to leave out. The only things not included are two fuel lines running from the consoles to the rear bulkhead. Just get some lead wire out, and the job's a good 'un, as we say in this part of the UK.


Very highly recommended


James H


Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. Consider joining Eduard's Bunny Fighter Club programme for extra discounts on your purchases.






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