He-162B Salamander Armament and Details Set
This is the seventh item that I have reviewed from Master Model, a Polish company that specializes in brass detail parts, typically in the form of gun barrels, antennas, and pitot tubes. This new 72nd scale release is designed for the Heinkel He-162 Salamander, and replaces the kit supplied forward pitot tube and gun barrels, and also provides a nose gear position indicator. No kit is mentioned for installing these parts onto, but for comparison purposes, I have put a Dragon release to use. As with the other releases from Master Model, these parts will dramatically improve the appearance of your plane, plus provide the nose gear indicator that I have not seen on kits in this scale.
The Heinkel He-162 Salamander, also known as the Volksjager (or people’s fighter) was a late war “wonder weapon” of the German Luftwaffe that was mostly constructed of wood. It utilized a single BMW-003 jet engine (the same one being used in the four-engine version of the Arado Ar-234), and at 470 mph was the fastest jet to see service during the Second World War. The Heinkel-162 was armed with either a pair of MG 151 20mm guns, which is the basis for this detail set, or 30mm guns. Over three hundred of the jets were produced before the end of the war.
This new release from the Air Master line of Master Model detail sets comes with four pieces of brass consisting of two MG 151 20mm gun barrels, a pitot tube, and a nose gear indicator. The pitot tube and gun barrels will replace plastic kit parts, but I have not seen the nose gear indicator represented in this scale before. As with the previous Master Model items that I have reviewed, these are very impressive items, and their addition will make a 1/72 scale He-162 a truly impressive show piece. The detail is very crisp with the brass items, and the work required to install the gun barrels and nose gear indicator should be minimal, but will take more effort than the pitot tube. Directions are on a single sheet of folded paper, and they are relatively easy to follow. The exact position of the nose gear indicator is not entirely clear, so I would recommend referring to photographic evidence to assist with locating the part.
For my hits of this detail set, I again will mention that the parts show great detail for this scale, and that they are a nice upgrade to the plastic items provided in the kit, and provide an item typically overlooked in this scale. The pitot tube will be a one-for-one replacement, while at least on the Dragon kit, the existing gun barrels will need to be removed, and a simple hole will need to be drilled for the nose gear indicator. The Master Model directions mostly provide adequate detail to the builder, and this includes the drill bit sizes that are recommended.
The only miss that I would have for this kit would be in regards to the directions for installing the nose gear indicator. The drawing and comments emphasize drilling at the correct angle for the indicator, but are not entirely clear on exactly where the indicator sits. A single photograph showing the real plane from just forward of the windscreen will rectify the situation, though.
Overall, I would highly recommend this detail set to anyone wanting to improve his 1/72 scale Heinkel 162 Salamander. The only challenges that I could see in using this detail set would be the removal of the molded-in gun barrels, and properly locating the nose gear indicator. The nose gear indicator is a very small item, so think ahead when it comes to handling it, as it would be disappointing to lose the item after preparing the installation hole. Due to the work required to install the nose gear indicator as well as to clean up the molded-in gun barrels, I would recommend that a person have some previous experience with detail work to enjoy this set.
I would like to thank the folks at Master Model for providing this set to the IPMS/USA for review, to Steve Collins, who runs the review corps, for selecting me to assess this detail set, and to you for taking the time to read my comments.