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Me 163 B Komet

GasPatch Models, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

GasPatch Models Kit No. 20-48236 - Me 163 B Komet

Contents and Media:

117 parts in medium grey coloured plastic; six clear plastic parts; 23 photo-etched parts on one fret; two resin parts; Two 3D printed gun jigs; self adhesive die-cut canopy mask; markings for six aircraft.

Price:

€36.00 plus shipping available online from GasPatch Models' website

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

High level of detail; subtly executed surface textures including crisply recessed panel lines, raised rivets and other structural details; clever engineering including resin jig for the cannon; optional position landing skid; includes handling dolly; high quality Cartograf decal sheet; well illustrated and logically laid out instruction booklet.

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Recommendation:

This is another beautiful package from GasPatch Models.Surface texture is excellent, as is the detail overall. The Cartograf-printed decal sheet offers six interesting marking options too.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Background

 

Germany produced a great number of designs that were stranger than fiction. A handful of these even made it into production.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 was a rocket powered interceptor that saw nearly a year of operational service before the end of the Second World War.

Designed by aerodynamics pioneer Alexander Lippisch and based around the Walter rocket motor, the Me 163 was a stocky little aircraft with swept wings and no horizontal tail planes. The Walter HWK 509 rocket motor weighed only 100 kg but generated 1,700 kg of thrust, resulting in staggering climb performance and a high top speed. 

The downside was that the C-Stoff and T-Stoff rocket fuel combination was highly explosive and corrosive, and the range of the little interceptor was short. 

 

 

Even so, the Messerschmitt Me 163 B entered Luftwaffe service with a dedicated rocket unit, JG 400, in May 1944, three years after the first flight of the prototype. 

Despite its inherent risks and limited endurance, the Me 163 was thrilling to fly thanks to its high speed, remarkable rate of climb and positive controls. Between 9 and 16 aerial victories were claimed for the loss of 10 Komets, but the aircraft’s short range and rocket fuel shortages limited its impact on the outcome of the war.

Around 370 Messerschmitt Me 163s were built in total.


 

Previous 1/48 scale Me 163 Releases

Hawk released a 1/48 scale Me 163 in 1960, the year that I was born. It was subsequently re-released by Testor.

Overall dimensions are not bad but detail is poor and there are a number of major errors and omissions. This kit is best consigned to the swap and sell table.

Three decades later, Trimaster from Japan released two brand new 1/48 scale Me 163 kits - a single seat Me 163 B and a two-seat unpowered Me 163 S trainer. The single seat version has since appeared in Dragon, Revell and Hasegawa boxings.

These were impressive kits upon their release in 1990 and they are still pretty nice today, although they are a bit lacking in cockpit detail and they have a well-deserved reputation, along with many other Dragon aircraft kits of this era, for being a fussy build.


 

GasPatch Models

GasPatch Models was established in 2011, initially producing high quality resin and photo-etched accessories, mainly for WWI aircraft but eventually expanding their field of interest to cover pre-war and WWII in 1/48, 1/32, 1/35, 1/24 and 1/16 as well.

In 2013, GasPatch released their first injection moulded model, a Salmson 2A2. This was a very impressive debut offering. A reboxed Japanese ILA Otsu 1 Salmson 2A2 followed in 2014. Rob Baumgartner reviewed this kit on HyperScale.

These were followed up with an exquisite family of 1/48 scale Henschel Hs 123 kits in 2017, reviewed by myself on HyperScale.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Another 30 years has passed and now we have the 21st century's first 1/48 scale Komet - a brand new Me 163 from GasPatch Models.

GasPatch Models' 1/48 scale Me 163 B comprises:

  • 117 parts in medium grey coloured plastic

  • six clear plastic parts

  • 23 photo-etched parts on one fret

  • Two 3D printed parts

  • Two 3D printed assembly jigs for the fuselage cannon

  • self adhesive die-cut canopy mask

  • markings for six aircraft.

The parts are packed into a stout all-colour box.

The plastic parts feature crisp surface textures made up from crisply recessed panel lines and raised rivets and panels on metal sections, and faint fabric texture on the rudder.

 

  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Gaspatch Models 1/48 Me 163 B Komet Review by Brett Green: Image
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All surface textures are beautifully executed.

Construction commences in the cockpit. This is very well detailed, with photo-etched harness straps and a plastic instrument panel with raised bezels and individual decals for dials.

 

 

Structural detail is moulded to the inside of the fuselage and photo-etched parts add detail to the front office.

 

 

The area behind the cockpit and the ammunition compartment are also very well detailed. The hatch covering the ammo feed is a separate part that may be posed open or closed.

The wing root mounted gun bays are also very impressive. Structural detail is moulded to the fuselage sides in the wing root area, and the 30mm cannon look great. Two 3D printed jigs are suppied to set the cannon in preciely the right position. Photo-etched actuator rods add further detail to this busy space.

 

 

The landing skid and the tail wheel assemblies may be depicted retracted or extended. Optional parts are also supplied for the tail wheel with or without fairings.

 

 

The flying surfaces are split into upper and lower halves for the port and starboard wings with separate flaps, ailerons and speed brakes.

The lower wing landing flaps are separate parts and they may be posed deployed or retracted. The flaps themsselves are photo-etched parts.

 

 

The ground handling dolly is made up from five parts - main wheels split into separate tyres and hubs and a single axle/mount. GasPatch has supplied two styles of tyres - one pair is weighted and the other set is not.

 

 

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion. The windscreen, pilot's armoured glass and opening canopy section are separate parts. Separate rear quarter windows are also included. GasPatch supplies self-adhesive masks for the clear parts.

Instructions are laid out over 14 steps in a 24 page booklet, which also includes four-view full-colour illustrations of the six marking options.

 

 

The instructions are clearly drawn and logically laid out. I particularly like the full colour illustrations of painted sub-assemblies.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for six late-war and post-war marking options.

 

 

The decals are well printed and in register with good colour saturation. They are glossy in finish and have been produced by Cartograf.

A small supplementary sheet supplies split swastikas to comply to legal restrictions in some countries.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is another beautiful package from GasPatch Models. Surface texture is excellent, as is the detail overall.

The Cartograf-printed decal sheet offers six interesting marking options too.

Thanks to GasPatch Models for the samples.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 24 May, 2021
Last updated 25 May, 2021

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