1/32 Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet

Hasegawa 1/32 Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet + Eduard PE sets

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The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet (Comet) was a single-seat interceptor that operated from 1944 to 1945. It was also the fastest and one of the most radical airplanes of the war. In 1938 Professor Alex Lippisch headed a project that produced the DFS 194 rocket test aircraft, which became the predecessor of Me 163. Lippisch was transferred to Messerschmitt in 1939 and the project transformed into one for a combat aircraft. In August 1943 a prototype Komet was finished, powered by the 1,705kg thrust of a Walter HWK 109-509 rocket. The Me 163B was a small tailless aircraft that took off from a trolley and landrf on a sprung skid. Sitting in a pressurized cockpit in the nose, the pilot could fire two 30mm MK 208 cannon in the wing roots. Later in the war the Me 163B's were equipped with 24 R4/M rockets which could shoot down a B-17 Flying Fortress with a single hit.
The Me 163 was a delightful combination of beautiful handling and unprecedented performance. In just over 2.5 minutes the Komet could climb steeply to 9,144m and then either intercept the bombers or glide for long periods to wait for the bomber formations. It was elusive and extremely difficult to catch; casualties usually resulted not from hostile actions but explosions and collisions on landing, when the two volatile and highly reactive rocket fuels were mixed together as the skid sustained the plane's weight during landing. Late models were equipped with a pressure cabin, a small auxiliary rocket for cruising, extra fuel tanks and a bubble canopy for all-round vision.


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Looking into my stock , sometimes I found some forgotten but still interesting kits , coming from the past.Those are called  “all time classics” and the most are insuperable,whether ancestors of current or latest , modern releases of the same theme.

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One of them , is a 24 years old release (from 1987) of one of the most unusual fighter plane of WWII , and for my opinion , of all the air war history ‘till now : the rocket powered Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet!

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This kit is a typical good kit from this era,when Hasegawa had begun to show the way , how the models will build to the future : clean casting,accurate dimensions,nice detailing,clever/friendly engineering,raised lines (for a short time yet),few parts.A model for all !

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Many years after,the same kit reissued with some updates,but not so many to be able to give to the old model their lost glory,and Eduard come to give it.

32058

First of all,the “big” #32058 set,includes many p.e. parts (about 76 in metal + 5 in clear film),enough to take off the small “Bug”.
The recipe follows the classic way : Full cockpit upgrade,with new seat and pilots belts,support frame for the seat,new cockpit side walls,rudder pedals,switch panels and consoles,levels,trim wheel,floor parts AND a 3D instrument panel !
Wanna more ?OK,take a “full metal jacket” landing ski,a total rebuilded landig wheel,small details into the cockpit’s side windows,armored glass supports behind the instrument panel,canopy details and some small parts for the upper and lower fuselage and for the wings.
Finally,some bites for  the take off trolley,including instructions for modifications on this.
Not bad at all !

33014

Second set,is the #33014 dashboard ,and as you easy understand,it includes just the main instrument panel.
Not less than 39 (!) p.e. parts for the dashboard are here,painted in the right color,with the main panel in two levels for really 3D effect,with separate instruments frames,levels,boutons and a panels support bracket,in case of you like to expose the panel alone.
This set also includes a nice embossed plate with the “Me 163B Komet” on,as a  exhibition label.

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And last but not least,painting masks.
The flexible,modelers “close support”.It includes the necessary masks for the canopy and for all the wheels of the kit -two for the trolley and one for the small landing wheel.


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As usual I start from the cockpit area,but before the painting.
I add a base for the main fuel tank behind the cockpit wall,and starts building the left cannon’s bay.

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Then put the p.e. parts,including some scratch parts from plastic tubes and copper wire.

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Everything takes a shot with gloss black and then with Gunze RLM02.Some details had painted with black,white,yellow,blue and red and takes some “scratches” with silver.

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Finally a wash with black/dark brown and thinner finishes the cockpit area.

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Here,I made a cheat,using the flexible seat belts from RB Productions -sorry Eduard !

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I leave the cockpit on the side and then start to delete everything from the models surfaces,because I am planning to scribe them.

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Following some plans from my reference books,I did’it and continues with the construction of the fuel tank.

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After this,I start cutting the control surfaces from wings,including airbrakes from the lower surfaces.
Those,have done from aluminum sheet .At the end,I cut two panels from the upper fuselage and all the wing root from the left wing,for exposing the fuel tank,the left cannon and the ammo boxes.

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The landing ski is prepared,the engine too and some parts come to the Revi shooting system for extra detail.

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The cannon bay is all scratched from plastic sheet and the cannon is coming from an old Me 262 that was used as part giver.Everything paints with RLM02 and become a little dirty with a lot of thinner with some drops of black & brown and then dry brushing with white artistic oil colour.The gun painted with matt black and then rubbed with dust from a pencil’s nose.Fuel tank is airbrushed with tire black from Gunze .The cockpit goes easy into the front fuselage together with the fuell tank in one piece followed by the wings,engine and back fuselage.Some putty needs between the fuselage parts and fuselage to wings,on the areas I cut for the “flaps”.The canopy takes a carefully masking and painted with RLM66 on the inner side of the frame and “light” glued in position as a mask for the cockpit.Undersurfaces airbrushed with RLM76 and the main camo on the uppersurfaces with RLM81 & 82 , an area of the tail with RLM”99” , the rudder with RLM76 and takes (the tail) many blotches of RLM80-81Finally,many places like canopy frame,access panels,trailing egdes,some points on the tail,all the landing wheel struts and all the bolts on the belly of the airplane , paints with scarlet red, a representation of the primer that appears in many photos for this airplane.

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