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1:32 Me 163B exterior


James H

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1:32 Me 163B exterior
Eduard
Catalogue # 32355
Available from Eduard for 22,45 €
Bunny Fighter Club price: 19,08 €

 

 

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We recently took a look at Eduard's other detail sets for the new Meng Me 163B Komet. Having built this kit, and knowing a little about how the Komet 'should' look, Meng pretty much got things right with regard to the exterior and shapes etc, but a number of anomalies existed, such as missing detail and also some areas which looked a little 'unfinished', such as the mating surfaces of the tail and fuselage. Some detail is incorrect and over-simplified too, so thankfully, it's Eduard to the rescue.

 

The recent 'interior set' dealt with the cockpit alone, but this new exterior set tackles the other areas on this kit which require some loving attention. That upgrade work doesn't just begin and end with the exterior, as the product title suggests, but also extend to a number of non-cockpit interior areas, such as the engine and weapons bays.

 

Packaged in Eduard's familiar letterbox format wallet, the Me 163B exterior set comprises of a single bare brass PE fret measuring around 145mm x 80mm, containing over SEVENTY individual parts. A good number of frame edges etc on this fret are extremely delicate, so Eduard have thankfully made their connection tabs super fine so you don't distort anything when you try to remove those parts.

 

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For the Walter rocket engine itself, only a couple of quick fixes are required, as Meng did a bang-up job in this area. The rocket exhaust needs to have its external fire ring removed and replaced with a rolled PE part which contains the exhaust gas holes around its circumference. This requires just a little surgery. A little more PE is added to the combustion chamber, with what appears to be an access port.

 

When you split the Komet in two, in order to display that engine, you'll see some of the sloppiness of Meng's design. Whilst there are a couple of inserts which fit into the wing root, allowing the sections to be fitted together, if you pose the model as sections, then the ugliness of the hollow wing root and the flat, featureless mating surfaces can be seen. You need to know here that adding a lot of the detail in this set will call for you displaying the model as separate parts permanently. You will NOT be able to unplug and plug the tail unit at will. This is no loss, as the tail section is a poor fit when you mate it to the fuselage.

 

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Those mating surfaces between the tail unit and fuselage are covered in circular and partially circular PE, with rivet detail added. This goes a way to hiding any joints in the plastic parts in this area. In some cases, a little surgery will be required to shave off a small amount of plastic detail. Those ugly open wing root areas on the tail section will also have a constructional plate glued over them, and internally, where an insert isn't a very good fit, a circular bulkhead, with rivet detail, will hide Meng's sloppiness.

 

Moving onto the spine of the Komet, and the detail that can be seen here. The underside of the removable hatches displays zero detail on the underside of those panels. Eduard have created a framework which you need to bend to the inside curvature of those parts, incorporating the rear detail for the latches also.

 

On the spine itself, missing detail from around the fuel filler point is now added, and the incorrect moulded detail on the ammunition saddle is forever banished with a photo etch fix.

 

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Meng did a pretty reasonable job within the weapons bay, but in reality, it isn't as accurate as it should be. You will need to remove the moulded detail on the wing root and replace some PE strips which need to be bent into the angles that these structural beams had. I do find it surprising that Eduard didn't also include the linkage detail for the rudder in this area too. I added this into my own Komet (published issue #222 Tamiya Model Magazine International). Other weapons bay detail includes the rib sections which sit either side of the electrical firing unit. Again, I'm also surprised that Eduard didn't elect to produce a wing rib to cover the horrible joint which results in the bay area when you glue the upper and lower panels together. You'll need to use plasticard to fix this rather sloppy area.

 

Finally, for the weapons bay, new external panels are included to replace the rather thick plastic ones which suffer from ejector pin marks on their reverse.

 

One thing I really like about the Meng kit, are the air brake panels on the wing underside. You can pose these in an open or closed position. Like the rest of the PE that Meng supplied, they are perhaps a tad thick. Eduard furnishes us with a new set of air brake panels, and also modifications to the rams which actuate them.

 

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Lastly, we turn out attention to the landing skid and wheel dolly. The skid itself benefits from a more accurate upper surface, with some missing detail from within the skid well, being added in there as riveted strips. In some areas, you will need to shave off moulded detail again. Meng's wheels also lack a little something too, so unless you decide to go with the new Barracuda resin replacements, then the parts on this set might just be enough for you, as they include new rims and axel plates.

 

The instructions for this set are typically 'Eduard' in style, with line drawings being used, and coloured ink to highlight areas of work and areas where detail needs to be removed.

 

Conclusion
Having already built a Meng Komet, I see this set, and the others we previously reviewed, as being pretty essential fodder for the modeller who wants to make a far more accurate job of their Me 163B than Meng allowed for. A little work is required in removing some plastic here and there, but nothing onerous. I mentioned a couple of things which I thought would have perhaps been included in this release, and for me, their omission is a little odd, but apart from that, this set really is a 'must have'.

 

Highly recommended

 

Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Consider joining Eduard's Bunny Fighter Club programme for extra discounts on Eduard products in their e-shop.

 

James H

 

 

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