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Reviews : German Last Updated: Aug 21st, 2020 - 13:06:35

Me-163B Komet. Academy. 1/72nd
By Clarence Wentzel. IPMS USA
Apr 15, 2006, 17:20

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When I first saw Academy’s kit of the Me-163 B Komet, I quickly bought one. I have always been impressed with the Komet ever since reading Mano Ziegler’s book (My copy was published in 1963). The Academy kit offered all the latest kit quality features and would give me a chance to retire my old Lindberg model.

I built the kit pretty much out of the box. I used the Aero Detail book on the Me-163 and He-162 for reference purposes. Using the drawings, I found that the interior was basically accurate including the instrument panel. The canopy lock handle was even molded into the left fuselage side as it should be, however the plans don’t mention it and it could easily be trimmed off as excess flash. I added rudder pedals and seat belts to complete the interior and two thin braces to the armored windscreen. The only other addition to the kit was in the area behind the cockpit. The kit uses a transparent part to provide molded-in side windows but the fuselage is too “see through” in this area. To fix this, I added two thin sheets of plastic with proper perforations to represent the panels behind the pilot’s seat. One area to be careful is the mounting of the mast antenna. It glues to the transparent part that makes up the side windows. I initially used white glue but found that I lost the antenna the first time I took the model outside. I used super glue for the hand made replacement part. The model went together easily needing only a minimum of filler. You have to be careful in gluing the side window transparent part but this is about the only tricky area.

One area that I would correct if I built the kit again is the area where the pitot tube attaches to the wing. The kit has this area too bulky. I would slim this area down with a second chance. I also used a brass wire to replace the kit pitot. It was thinner and more realistic.

I like the “Flying Flea” insignia of 2/JG 400 and planned to paint my model in those markings. I was not able to find any good photos or drawings from that gruppe so I used the kit decals and painting recommendations. I used Aeromaster paints in the colors RLM 76, 81 and 82. I chose the violet version of the two Aeromaster versions of RLM 81 because some of the illustrations in the Aero Detail book also used that color. I added swastikas from my decal stocks.

The Scheuchschlepper is basic but appears to be generally accurate. In checking available photos from the Zeigler book and from Profile 225, the only modification that I made was to add what appear to be hydraulic pipes on each side of the lift arms. Also, I added two lengths of tubing to support the arms without having to glue them in place. I reasoned that there had to be some hydraulic cylinders in that area. The other modification that I made was to add a control lever to operate the machine. I used the pump lever from the two-seat version for this. A red 4 was added to the left fender of the scheuchschlepper to give it some color and as shown on the Profile. I used an old HisAirDec sheet for this marking.

I was pleased with the final result. This model captures the look of the Komet and the dainty Scheuchschlepper allows a good presentation without detracting from the model. Recommended.

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