The Me-163 was the first (and only) rocket powered fighter used in combat. It was also the first aircraft to ever fly at 700 mph, in 1944. As an interceptor, the 163 was less than outstanding, with only about a dozen Allied aircraft shot down, for a loss of 9 Komets.
The rocket engine used “C-Stoff”, hydrazine hydrate and methanol and “T-Stoff”, hydrogen peroxide. These were interesting to me because they are “hypergolic”. This means that they need no ignition source. Just mix the two chemicals in the combustion chamber and they burn. This proved very interesting when there was a hard landing and fuel lines leaked. There were also incidents when a fueled Komet would blow up just sitting on the tarmac waiting for the pilot to arrive.
This is a double kit, containing two of everything in one plastic zip lock bag. The decal sheet has enough markings for three aircraft. Only one set of instructions, but that’s enough.
All of the parts are injected plastic, no resin, no PE. Brengun may bring out a PE set for this kit, but I’m kind of doubting it, because it’s so complete as it is now. There aren’t a lot of parts, which makes assembly pretty easy.
Assembly begins with the painting and installation of the cockpit interior. I’m quite happy with the interior, except I really needed to check the fit of the canopy before installing the seat back. As it turns out, I couldn’t cut the top of the seat back enough to make the canopy fit, and wound up pulling the seat back out and shortening it at the bottom, where it doesn’t show.
The only other problem I had with assembly and fit was the wings. The fuselage has two small recesses for the two small dimples at each wing root. Unfortunately the recesses are smaller than the dimples. A couple of minutes with a drill fixed this, and then everything fit just fine. I did use a bit of filler on the wings, but not a lot. But then you NEVER use a lot in 1/144, do you?
Once the entire aircraft was assembled, I painted it. I masked the cockpit, then I used RLM 76 overall on the fuselage and the bottom of the wings. I then made a mask for the camouflage spots on the fuselage. I made the mask from a small sheet of paper and punched tiny little holes with the point of my decal scissors in a random pattern. I then sprayed RLM 75 through the mask, holding it about ¼ inch off the surface, giving me a series of small spots with soft edges. I changed the orientation of the mask when I moved it to prevent repeating the pattern of spots.
After the 75/76 dried, I put on a mask on the top of the fuselage and painted the wings RLM 81 and 82 in the splinter pattern shown on the box back. Then an application of Future, and it was ready for decals. I also painted the canopy 76 at this time, since I had the paint out.
These decals were wonderful. I cut out each decal I was going to use and put it in the water. I then cut the next decal, and by that time the first one was ready to install. I put a bit of white glue and water to make it easier to work the decal, and they went where I wanted them to, and I could move them to get them aligned. Then a touch with a tissue to remove excess water, and they stayed right where I put them. I did cheat and used Swastikas from a 1/144 Bf-109 instead of the “two halves” that Brengun provides.
After the decals, I painted the nose tip yellow and added the little knob that goes there. I painted and installed the wheels and axle assembly. I put on a coat of clear flat to protect the decals and paint, then I installed the canopy.
And it was done.
Highly Recommended. This is a tiny kit, but it’s really well done. The interior is very good, and the kit goes together very well. Many thanks to Brengun for this excellent kit, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to build it.