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HpH Berg D.I "engine Section"


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            Pretty much, as a general rule, I eagerly await any new release from HpH models. I’ve been on a bit of a WWI kick for a while, and I am a true sucker for “mechanical” models that show internal detail.

            Quite a while ago, HpH announced an upcoming Aviatic Berg D.I, and an accompanying “Power Unit” in 1/18 scale.  I knew I’d be getting both, and it is the power unit that is the subject of this in box review. The parts are packaged in the usual sturdy cardboard box, and everything is well protected by either being rolled up in sheets of bubble wrap, or held stationary by rolls of the same.

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            HpH is known for being the kings of multimedia kits, and this little gem takes it one step further. Not only is there the usual smorgasbord of resin and brass but they have also included 2 large sheets of 1 and .5mm plywood for the sides of the fuselage, and the upper wing structure, as well stick material for  various fuselage and wing structural members.

 

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        The engine bearers are also wood, but unfortunately, my kit is missing both of these. I expect HpH will get this minor issue sorted with their usual lightning fast efficiency. There is also a small decal sheet that includes the 2 instrument faces as well as numeric markings for the inter-plane struts.***After a bit of a misstep in which I was sent the wrong part 28, as soon as the gang at HpH got back from the US IPMS Nationals, I had the correct parts in hand soonest. Thanks as always, HPH!***

         In a huge departure from what was traditional, HpH has left behind the usual CD containing the instructions, and has instead, included a small printed manual. This is A4 sheets folded in half. The printed images are crisp, and illustrate well the parts placement. The finish is smooth, and somewhat glossy. For those familiar, the printed directions are no different in layout from the old CD directions. In another small departure though, there are 4 images of The Real Deal, which are at the start of the assembly instructions. The parts callout is illustrated with photos that are annotated with the part numbers. The chocolate morsel is still included, but that lasted about 20 seconds after opening the box.imagepub8.jpg

            Assembly begins with construction of the engine, which is well detailed, however, there are no directions at all for wiring, in any form whatsoever. You’ll need to do a bit of research on your own to get these in place. This would be an absolute must, as 1/18 is pretty much ‘In Yo FACE!” with detail and the absence will be noted by even the most uneducated viewer. The engine construction carries through step 10. the engine parts are well cast, with just a bit of very thin flash, as you can see.

 

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            Step 11 is where I start to get all warm and fuzzy: WOOD! The upper wing section is first, and is pretty straight forward. I would definitely recommend a building board of some sort to hold everything square. (Remember balsa airplane models? Same deal.) One note: all the wood is laser cut, and there is an exceptionally heavy char on the cut edges. A woodworking trick I have used for decades on burn marks is to give the parts a wipe with Acetone. (it needs to be acetone. Other high solvents do not work, for whatever reason) This breaks down the carbon, and allows sanding that is much faster, and does not remove much material at all. The ribs are found on the sheet of 1mm ply.

            The next several steps deal with the construction of the fuselage section. This results in an absolutely lovely assembly. The paint callout is simply “wood stain” but Tamiya Clear Orange will provide a very convincing of Orange Shellac. Various detail parts are added, in both resin, and PE brass.

            Final assembly comprises the last 6 steps, with these being very busy. The guns are installed, and their unjacketed barrels being called out as “needles” which are not provided. The one major disappointment of the kit is the belt ammunition. This is represented by flat PE, and in 1/18 will be as convincing as, hell, I don’t know. It’s bad though. I suspect that the 1/16 flexible ammunition belts available through AFV Modeler will work admirably as a replacement. I have a set someplace, but they aren’t coming to hand right now. I will provide a side by side comparison as soon as I find the damn things.

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            The final touch is a HUGE, flawlessly cast resin propeller. This will spin nicely on a shaft with the mating sleeve being glued into the engine. Painting this convincingly with the laminations will be a bit of a challenge!

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            Overall, this will build up to be a fantastic skeleton model of a visually interesting area of the aircraft. It is also the perfect companion piece to the 1/32 kit of the entire aircraft. The kit is let down only by the PE “shells” but as mentioned, I think this is an easily replaced and sourced niggle.

 

The below are pics of the various detail parts, including the rudder bar, instruments, propeller boss and engine bits.

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