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Profimodeller Fieseler Fi103 V1


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1:32 Fieseler FI-103 (V1)


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.

















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.























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

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Jup, the one with the blue band (see what I did there ;) ) is the one I would build. Very cool subject to build and the possibilities are endless. I would love to build one under a He111 but that's something of a long term project...

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