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Das Werk 1/32 Ju-126 "Elli"/ Ju-127 "Walli"


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1/32 Ju EF-126 “Elli” / EF-127 “Walli” (3 in 1)

Das Werk

DW32001

Available from MBK for € 39,95

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Who are Das Werk?

Since this is the first 32nd scale aviation subject Das Werk has released, let me fill you in on who’s behind the design, brand, production and distribution. 

DAS WERK is a brand owned by MBK, namely represented by Harald Bauske. The idea of MBK as a breeding ground filled with modelling oriented people turned out to be a great environment for the development of new products. The idea of coming up with new plastic model kits is something that Harald played with for a long time. 

Soon Alex was assigned to design the face of the new company. After this had been done the team came to the idea to try something simple before starting with complex subject matters. 

Alex noticed that Marco Leibisch was playing with scratch build jack stands so he reached out to Marco and they discussed technical details and references. The relatively simple jack stands allowed them to test and try the entire process from CAD to final production.

With Pete Hamann responsible for the CAD, engineering and most of the research, a renowned model factory for the production of the molds and MBK for distribution… what could go wrong? This proved to be a success and the road was paved for bigger subjects. The Faun for example. A huge step up from the 48th scale jack stands that would not have been possible without the valuable input and work from Pete Hamann, who understands and knows it’s subjects and has the capability to transform this into 3d models. The subject range shows a preference for more exotic, late war and What If? subjects. Like the Kugelpanzer, 2cm Salvenmaschinenkanone and Borgward IV ‘Wanze’. Topics that have always been in high demand and are in line with recent releases of Amusing Hobby (a brand that Das Werk co-released the Borgward with), Bronco (Blohm und Voss BV P.178) and Miniart (Triebflugel).

But also Zoukei Mura with their Shinden, Ho229 and Ta152. Or Revell with their Haunebu flying saucer. It’s really not because there are no interesting subjects left to release, it’s simply because they are appealing subjects that give the modeler some room to fantasize. We can only hope that the road to success Das Werk is riding down is long and winding with many subjects we never thought would see the light of day on it’s path. I mean: who would have thought we would see a detailed 32nd scale model of a EF-126/EF127 to display next to your Me163, Ho229, He162 and Fi103 model?? 


The EF-126 “Elli” & EF-127 “Walli”
A lot has been written in reviews about the design and concept phase of this plane. Let me wrap it up quick in a summary. In 1944 a lot of materials were getting scarce in Germany and bombing raids were causing destruction over industrial areas. This caused for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) to call for several emergency programs. There was the Objektschutzjäger (Target Defense) and Verschleissjäger (Atrittion Fighter) program that was the basis for the EF-127 Walli, designed as a swift interceptor for Alied bombers. And there were programs like the Jägernotprogram (Emergency Fighter Program), and Miniaturjäger program that resulted in the EF-126 Elli. Both were designed at around the same time.

It is important not to mix up the EF-126 and EF-127. With the EF-126 designed as a ground attack aircraft it was to be armed with two MG-151/20 cannons and two AB250 bomb containers or 12 Panzerblitz rockets. Depending on how production was able to keep up, the EF-126 was to be powered by one or two Argus 014 engines. This was a pulse-jet engine, as used on the V1. Since the power of the Argus engine was probably not sufficient, alternative designs were made making use of the Walther 509C rocket engine and also 4 additional booster rockets, as used on the Bachem Natter. All in all the EF-126/EF-127 had to be cheap, use as much invaluable and light materials as possible, be able to be built with limited machines and resources and fast. A 1949 dated CIA document I stumbled upon describing the Soviet interest and continued research into this plane. After the war the Soviets simply continued where Junkers stopped. They valued the simply one piece monocoque fuselage. The fact that the EF-126 needed a winch for take-off was not seen as a disadvantage by the Soviets, because it meant that it could take off from a relatively short runway. All in all a lot of intel you will find will contradict. Size, powerplants, armament and history. Only a few photo’s are known of a finished EF-126 and a few windtunnel models. If you are wondering where the letters EF derive from, I can say that all experimental aircraft from Junkers had these prefexis. Short for: Entwurfsflugzeug (Experimental Aircraft).

Here all all the reference photo's I managed to find. As you can see the windtunnel model has a slightly different shape than the Soviet finished example.

juef126g.jpg

juef126f.jpg

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And these two photo's are all that can be found on the Soviet version. Note the transport dolly and puttied panel lines:

Ef126_1.jpg

ef126-01.jpg

If you do a little online digging, you'll also stumble on a CIA de-classified document on the EF-126. Here's the first page. Quite an interesting read and you can imagine the US interest in this cheap, fast and deadly design:

Schermafbeelding 2020-10-03 om 17.01.52.png

 

In total four prototypes were built, which is enough to render a 32nd scale model of it:

EF126 V-1
First prototype, towed into the air by a captured Junkers Ju 88G-6 in the post war period. Later, it crashed.

EF 126V-2
Second prototype, also constructed but never completed.

EF 126V-3/V-5
Complete prototype with Argus pulse jet.

EF 126V-4
Completed and tested by the Russians in 1947, with a running engine.

Let me share this completed model from Tom Grigat to get you in the mood:

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The Model
With four prototypes built and no production examples having seen war, you will have to turn to your imagination for schemes and lay-outs. As said many different lay-outs have been drawn up in 1944 by means of powerplants, take off & landing configuration and armament. Das Werk has helped out by providing 7 different schemes and configurations, dating from 1945 to 1947. The first 5 EF-126 schemes show the installation of two Argus pulse-jet engines. The 6thscheme offers you the possibility to build the Soviet EF-126 test unit with one Jumo pulse-jet and the 7th scheme depicts the EF-127 with two 509C Walther engines. Since the wings were made of wood, the first scheme without paint will give you the challenge to practice your wood painting techniques with oils. OR you can get the specially designed wood pattern decal set for this kit. More on that later. What I do really like is that the Aluminum (Duraluminum) factory stamps are included on the decal sheet provided in the kit. 

version.png

But how do we determine if this kit is accurate, when all we have a couple of rough outlines, photos of windtunnel mockups and two photo’s of the Soviet test unit? By looking at what we DO know. We do know the exact shape and dimensions of the Argus, Jumo and Walther engines. We do know the same on the MG-151/20. We do know the cockpit-layout of the He-162, which was quite similar in design. And we know that the monocoque fuselage was roughly the same size of that of the V1 and Reichenberg. It is believed that the Russians captured all German documents and even used German personnel to finish their version.

Wikipedia states that the length of the EF-126 was 8,46 meters. This translates to 26,4cm in 32nd scale. The model measures 26,4. That’s nice. In Dan Sharp’s books I find that the EF-127 measured 8 meters in length (25cm in 32nd scale). The model measures 23cm. Since the EF-127 was never really built, there is no sensible thing to say about this. The wingspan of the EF-126 was 6,65 meters according to several sources (20,8cm in 32nd scale). This matches the model quite nice, again. If I compare the width of the forward fuselage to the He-162 and Reichenberg, it might be a little wide, but again, there is no way of comparing this to anything. Another thing to look at is surface detail. First of all I love the smooth finish. For some reason we see a lot of models with a grainy texture. Revell for example loves adding this to their surfaces, which is by no means realistic. There are no rivets on the model, which is accurate, since we can see in the only available photo’s that the panel lines and rivets were smoothed out by putty to enhance the streamline. To be quite honest the panel lines themselves would not be very visible either, but that's up to you. I’m having a hard time matching the panel lines on the model with the puttied out panel lines on the photo, so I might add and delete one or two lines myself. Some rivets are present (like on the vertical stabilizer) and they are raised. Another plus. As said the wings were wooden (like on the He-162), but you can add a lot of interesting eye candy by getting the special decal sheet which is available (like for the Ho-229). If this is the road you want to take I can recommend getting the Meng Air Modeller issue 91. 

The box-art says this is a 3 in 1 kit. This refers to the three different engine set-ups (double Argus, Jumo and Walther). But in reality there are so many combinations to build from this kit, that I think it’s doing itself short. There is a factory stand, trolley and skid. You can build this kit without wings (which I always love) in it’s factory cradle or with it’s skid deployed after landing on the field. The possibilities are endless.

We especially love the very clear instruction booklet. Printed on quality paper. Calling out colour codes for a wide range of paint brands. I really think that Wingnut Wings (God rest their soul) raised the bar for instruction booklets, and I’m glad the market (Zoukei Mura, Das Werk) is following foot. Revell take note!

ef126_36.jpg

As you can see you'll have two different ways to cradle your subject. Factory stand or transport dolly:

ef126_37.jpg 

ef126_38.jpg

ef126_39.jpg

Lovely four side views of the different colour options with colour codes for RAL, Tamiya, Mr Hobby, AMMO, Vallejo, Humbrol (do people still use this??) and Mission Models. Thank you very much!

ef126_40.jpg

 

Sprue A

ef126_7.jpg

Forward fuselage halves. Clever way of segmenting this plane, since the Walther powered version has a different rear section:

ef126_8.jpg

ef126_9.jpg

ef126_10.jpg

ef126_11.jpg

As with the V1, you can see the control linkage through the green circled hole. I love that the thinning of the plastic is something that has already been done for you:

ef126_12.jpg

Smooth wing surface. No rivets or panel lines needed since these were wooden. Note the raised rivets on the wingtips.

ef126_13.jpg

 

Sprue B

ef126_14.jpg

Is this oil canning we see on the rear section?

ef126_23.jpg

Argus engine halves. The distinctive raised lines are weld lines. I think I'll disturb mine some:

ef126_16.jpg

Iside of the Argus engines. The frame/membrame that disperses the fuel. A sprak plug would light the fumes at a regular rhythm, creating the typical humming noise:

ef126_15.jpg

ef126_21.jpg

Note fabric control surfaces:

ef126_22.jpg


Sprue C

ef126_25.jpg

The main wheels. Making the hub painting a breeze! I might make the tyre bands a little more subtle:

ef126_decals4.jpg

The instrument panel is nice if you like pronounced detail here. No decal are provided for the instruments. In my opinion you'll have a few choices. Source instrument decals from the stash. Get hem from Airscale. Paint the panel. Or replace it with a Yahu panel. The typical Luftwaffe blind flying panel is standard, so I'm sure there is a Yahu or Eduard panel that can fit and be used.

ef126_26.jpg

Side consoles:

ef126_27.jpg

The seat. No seatbelts are included. I will definitely get some HGW seatbelts in here! They make all the difference.

ef126_28.jpg

Cute rudder pedals, but these also will be quickly replace by Eduard photo etch:

ef126_29.jpg

Revi gunsight. Again you'll have a few options. Cut off the glass and replace this with clear plastic from packaging material. The same part is also provided on the clear sprue, you you'll only have to paint the RLM66 part. Or you could replace the whole Revi gunsight with Quickboost Revi gunsights. 

ef126_30.jpg

The underside of the transport dolly is hollow, but won't be visible as long as you don't play with your models. 

ef126_31.jpg

The rockets. Lovely stuff with enough detail and only minimal cleanup is needed.

ef126_32.jpg

I have to share this Uschi pic of the completed rocket platform, which indeed was wooden.

84833397_2751504234930872_7350721396210663424_o.jpg

To show that a decent pit can be made from the box, here's Uschi's:

84544752_2729706273777335_1309729871525576704_n.jpg

Sprue D

The photo's speak for themselves:

ef126_34.jpg

ef126_33.jpg

The decals are complete, detailed, sharp and register nicely. As you can see these were drawn up by Pete Hamann. I especially love the Duraluminum stamps. If you choose to not use them in this build you can also use them in a He-162 open engine, Me-262 or FW-190D:

ef126_decals1.jpg

ef126_decals2.jpg

ef126_decals3.jpg

For this kit a special Wood texture decal set has been developed by Uschi van der Rosten. Same as was done for the 1/32 Ho229 kit. A very easy and effective way to render wood texture on the wings. You might want to have a universal wood texture decal sheet at handy to eliminate possible seams. I guess this will be needed at the trailing edges. Please note: this decal set is not included in the kit, but can be bought here for €12,90.

ef126_3.jpg

ef126_1.jpg

If you zoom in close enough you'll see a printing raster, but that's something that's inherent of CMYK printing:

ef126_2.jpg

This is how the decals settle down on the tail planes. The colour of the base coat is important because it will affect the final colour and shade:

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Schemes
You get to cheese from 7 schemes:

Unknown Unit,
Leck, Germany
Late 1946

1.jpg

 

Underground Production Facility
Dessau, Germany
Late 1945

2.jpg


Jagdgeschwader (JG 1)
Marienehe Airfield, Germany
February 1946

3.jpg


Unknown Unit,
Leck, Germany
Late 1946

4.jpg


Unknown Test Unit,
Leck, Germany
Late 1946

5.jpg


Ef-126 prior to installation of Jumo pulse-jet,
Soviet Test Unit
Dassau, Germany
Early 1947

6.jpg


Walther 509C powered Ef-127 „Walli“
Jagdgeschwader (JG 1)
Marienehe Airfield, Germany
October 1945

7.jpg

 

Conclusion
This is a sweet, crisp, very affordable little kit, which gives you lots of options and detail straight from the box. The part count is not needlessly high, which can turn this into a pretty quick build as well. The engineering is clever and the fit is great. Ejector marks are in convenient places or almost non existent. As with a lot of projects Alexander Glass is involved in, the artwork, instructions and marketing is done with love and passion. The first pages of the instruction booklet tell a fictional story about a mission flown in a EF-126. This is maybe very typical for this subject, since imagination is what you need to fully appreciate this model.

A special shout out to Pete Hamann for his work on this kit. He was responsible for the 3D design, design for manufacturing and production design, the instructions, profiles and decal design. Thank you sir! Only the box art was not from his hands and should be credited to Felipe Rodna.

Thank you to Das Werk for the review sample, which soon will be built on this forum.

To purchase this kit for €39,95, go to MBK.

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