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JeroenPeters

Customscale 1/35 Wasserfall C2 W10 with launch cradle

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1:35 Deutsche Flugabwehr Rakete
Wasserfall C2 W10
Mit Startrampe

Customscale

Catalogue # 35074

Available from Customscale for €54,95

To buy, click here.

 wasserfall1.jpg

 

Introduction
Customscale is making a name for itself by producing very well researched German late war efforts in 35thscale. Practically all releases are in resin medium, but recently their first plastic injection moulded kit was announced, in co-operation with Das Werk (Uschi). I really hope this becomes a fruitful partnership. 

 

The subjects Customscale is most known for (and sometimes even copied) are the German late war efforts in rocket design. Think of the Schmetterling, Rheintochter, Feuerlilie and now the Wasserfall. You can’t have missed the unpainted model built by Uschi (Alexander Glass) of the Rheintochter rocket, with woodgrain decals and bare metal finish. 

 

The Wasserfall
This rocket was specially designed to bring down high altitude bombers. Typically the B-17’s. This was in the years Germany called the Kolbenmotorkrise. In other words: the time where normal piston engines were not adequate enough to intercept the high altitude bombers. This called for a rocket program. Most known are ofcourse the Me163 Komet and Natter, but at the same time developments progressed on the unmanned guided rocket front. 

Design of the guided Wasserfall rocket started in 1941 and it’s sepcifications were established on November 2nd1942. The first test launches were only made in march 1943, followed by the first successful launch in march 1944. By the time Peenemunde was evacuated in February 1945, a total of 35 test launches were made. Head of design and engineering was Dr. Walther Thiel. No wonder development suffered a set back when he was killed during operation Hydra in august 1943.  

Technical drawing of the Wasserfall, showing the fuel tanks, warhead and rocket engine: 

WF_2big.jpg

Three major versions of the Wasserfall are known: The W1, W5 and the W10 (this version). Given the fact that this rocket only needed a small warhead to be able to bring down a bomber, the Wasserfall was significantly smaller than the most famous rocket: The V2. About a quarter the size of a V2. The W1 being the first test bed and the biggest. The W10 being smaller and with a sleeker upper canard wings. The ailerons at the bottom of the rocket were used to control the rocket during take off. The upper ailerons / wings were used to steer the rocket to it’s target at high speed (mach 2). The first tests used a 100kg warhead. But given the fact that it was quite difficult to steer the rocket to it’s target at night, this was replaced by a much bigger 306kg liquid emulsion. The idea was to fly the rocket in the midst of a bomber swarm and set it off…

An interesting scheme of the three types. Note the size difference:

WF_1.jpg 

This rocket was indeed (as was the V2) the start of rocket science in the US. A captured and surviving example can be found at the NASM museum in Washington, US. Sadly in storage though and not on display.

The survivor in storage at the NASM:

 071018-F-1234S-005.jpeg

Other versions of the Wasserfall are available from Customscale as well. The W1 (which is slightly larger and has larger upper fins) and the W5. 

 

The Kit
The box is small but sturdy and filled with Styrofoam to protect the resin parts. These are quite small in number which is not surprising with an object as ‘simple’ of shape as this. We find no photo etch or decals. The resin parts are divided over two zip lock bags and the main body wrapped in bubble wrap. Let’s start with the rocket body. This part is heavy and solid resin. Close inspection shows delicate panel lines and a few really small air bubles. These are easily filled with some putty. The only futher cleanup of the body is needed on the bottom. A thin casting residue of about 1mm needs to be sawn (or sanded) off. I would recommend using a thin saw. The next part is the bottom part of the body with the rocket nozzle. This needs little to no cleanup. It’s interesting to see that it has two locating pins, whereas there are no locating holes on the main body. Beware that the angle of construction of this part should line up with the fins! 

 Box contents:wasserfall2.jpg

Rocket main body:

wasserfall3.jpg

wasserfall4.jpg

wasserfall5.jpg

wasserfall6.jpg

The nozzle:

wasserfall12.jpg

wasserfall13.jpg

The fins are made quite delicately and are almost translucent when holding them against the light. They all have locating pins. If I where you I would cut these off. Drill holes in the fins and use copper rod to connect them to the body. A tedious and precise job, but it will make the construction so much stronger! I see some small imperfections on the edges of some fins. Close inspection shows that these are no air bubbles or brittle resin, but extra residue stat can easily be sanded off. When painting the model, beware that the bottom fins/rudders were made of graphite to resist the heat of the nozzle. A useful tip for weathering purposes. 

The fins and rudders:

 wasserfall7.jpg

wasserfall8.jpg

wasserfall9.jpg

wasserfall10.jpg

All other parts in this kit are intended for the launching trolley (Startrampe). This ramp has a large push handle to be handled by at least two ground crew members, four small metal wheels a cradle to properly deflect the rocket flames. This was quite critical, because an uneven cradle would cause the rocket to take off in the wrong curve. The resin for these parts need to be carefull cleaned up. I would recommend lining the four wheels up by sliding them on a rod. Tightly compress them to eachother and polish the edges smooth and round. The cradle could also do with some TLC, but only needs thin resin film to have removed. When the cradle is fully assembled make 100% certain is level. The rocket will rest with four corresponding holes to four pins that are in the cradle. If the cradle is only a little uneven, the rocket will not stand in a perfect 90 degree angle and that will be a sight no modeller can stand. I am already of thinking of a way to solve this. When I start my build of this kit I will share my solution here for you J. It will contain wire and a suspended rocket…

 The parts for the Startrampe:

wasserfall14.jpg

wasserfall15.jpg

wasserfall16.jpg

wasserfall17.jpg

wasserfall18.jpg

This is one of the four pins that connect with the rocket nozzle:

wasserfall19.jpg

wasserfall20.jpg

wasserfall21.jpg

The pushing handle for ground crew:

wasserfall22.jpg

wasserfall23.jpg

The instructions:

wasserfall24.jpg

wasserfall25.jpg

If you’re looking for a scheme to paint the Wasserfall I can steer you to the Customscale website, since the instructions don’t give you any clues. 

Basically you can go for the black and white checkered variant used for testing. An all light grey or all RLM02 version. Or you can go for an operational version with three tone camo.

 image.jpg

voorbeeld1.jpg

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Conclusion

All in all this is a pretty cool resin kit of a subject that would look great alongside a V1, V2, me163, me262, etc… It’s amazing that so many late war scientific German milestones are available in 1/35 - 1/32 scale. The research is as always well done and the model is as accurate as it can be. No real imperfections were found on my castings and the model needs only minimal cleanup. The only thing I would recommend is re-enforcing the connection of the fins to the main body. But that’s up to you. 

My sincere thanks to MBK distribution andAlexander Glassfor this review sample. 

Jeroen Peters

wasserfall11.jpg

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Very cool! I'd love to see more of these wacky weapons released. 

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That is fascinating to read and see...

Thank you...:book:

I think I saw a documentary about this way back when....

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