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James H

1:48 Heinkel He 177A undercarriage set

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1:48 Heinkel He 177A undercarriage set

CMK
Catalogue # 4176
Available from CMK for €31,80

 

 

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It's taken me a little time to fathom out this specific detail set. We recently reviewed the He 177 engine set, and of course, this protrudes into the wheel well area of this behemoth. Now we have the undercarriage set itself, with a significant area of overlap. What we'll try to do here is to explain to you this set from two standpoints. The first will be fitting this set without the engine detail set, and then we'll look at what you'll need to do if you wish to install both of these into your MPM 1:48 He 177.

 

As with the engine set we've just looked at, this set in packaged within the same style yellow and black trademark box that we are used to seeing with many of the more intense CMK resin detail sets. This sturdy little box has a top opening flap, and within, there are TWO bags of resin parts, and a single A4 instruction sheet, folded into an A4 size mini booklet.

 

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Opening the first, smaller bag, I'm getting a sense of Déjà vu. A quick glance at the instruction booklet does nothing to destroy that impression. The construction of this set starts in the very same way as that of the engine detail set, i.e. in the forward spar area which of course doubles up as the bulkhead section for the engines, but of course.....there are no engines in this set (or so you might think!). Does this make sense so far?

 

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The construction of that spar area is about 90% identical to that of the engine set, so you will already appreciate that if you wish to install both sets, you will have a significant number of spare, duplicate parts left over from the first stages of construction. Onto the spare are fitted many of the same parts as the previous sets, including the inner ribs, but now we see a change. Instead of fitting the plastic, outboard ribs that are supplied with the kit, instead a resin rib with an integral gear well roof, is now installed, creating a unit that has both an enclosed inboard and outboard section. Normally, the engines would fit into the centre area.

 

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It's at this juncture where you can of course go down two different paths. If you wish to install the engines, then you would fit the engine module to the spar in the same way that you did with the parts in the engine set. However, if you don't want to use the engine set, then the undercarriage set comes complete with a module which represents the rear detail of the engine. It is cheating, but of course, you do need to still see this detail in the wheel well. Unlike the engine set though, no resin exhausts are included here.

 

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There is another, larger bag of resin here, and with the exception of a few parts which are used for the 'common' assembly and dummy engine block, the rest are very specific to the undercarriage area itself. The most obvious parts are the replacement wheels. These are 'weighted' and treadles, therefore look correct in that aspect. The hub detail, including the hydraulic line, is perhaps a little rudimentary, but are certainly good enough for this set. I would maybe replace that line with a short length of wire.

 

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Replacement undercarriage doors are also included here too, which are thinly cast, with some very nice internal detail. The one issue I have with all of these particular parts is that the casting block connection protrudes onto the exterior face. On the larger door, the inner recess makes the wall so thin that you will need to pay particular care in removing the parts and cleaning them up.

 

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Building the kit out of box, the outboard gear doors are moulded closed. Of course, with this set, you can now pose them open, revealing those wheel bays. Parts are also included here for the hot air ducting that fits in these outboard wells.

 

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As with the previous set, resin casting is excellent, with everything manufactured in creamy, yellow resin, with the exception of the wheels which are a little darker. Some casting blocks will need careful removal, so take your time.

 

Again, instructions are printed on a single A4 sheet, folded into an A5 booklet. A parts map and colour reference chart (Humbrol), are supplied, and all illustration is given as simple line drawings that are easy to follow.

 

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Conclusion
With the amount of visual detail generated in the actual wheel bays, I would say that this set is really aimed at those who want to super-detail their model, as the main, outboard gear doors were commonly closed anyway, with the aircraft on the ground. Maybe this set is more applicable if you want to produce a maintenance diorama etc, or if you like to pose your models on mirrors so you can see the detail underneath. The inclusion of the rear engine module is a nice touch though, and the gear doors and wheels to offer something over the standard kit parts. For me, this is still a nice set, and it does make sense for me to add it simply because I'm also going to display the engines. Apart from that, it is a reasonable extra cost to a model that will already cost you €100. If you like the whole enchilada, then go for it!

 

Recommended

 

My sincere thanks to CMK for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

James H

 

 

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