Rocket Punch: 1/48th Testors Me 163B Komet
The Testors example of the Me 163B is based on the old (1960) Hawk kit and is about as simple a kit as you can get. This kit was released in the early 1980s and there is only a couple of dozen parts to it.
Notable Kit Features:
Simple Out-of-Box build
Engraved panel lines on fuselage (raised lines on wing)
Nicely done slots in wing
I was just looking for a simple build and something a bit different in the high visibility scheme of an example provided in the kit. The red Komet of Major Wolfgang Spate EprobungsKommando 16 based out of Bad Zwischenahn in May 1944 is certainly a standout on the shelf for such a relatively small aircraft.
Above Photo: Me 163B (Werknummer 191914) on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in my nation's capital at Ottawa, Ontario.
There is NO Cockpit detail provided (You could fit the CMK pit)
Fit is OK but not good for how few parts there are here
Wing appears to be too large or bulky (heavy chord and too thick at the trailing edges - I believe the wing should taper more)
Kit is showing its age as plastic parts are heavy, lack detail and there are some sink marks in the plastic
The glass is very thick and the front canopy is not quite the right shape
Mk108 guns are not present on kit
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Fashioned a bit of cockpit detail however the kit glass is so thick you need not bother (or replace the glass as well)
I replaced the flaps with plastic card to reduce the thickness and improve the fit of these parts
Thinned the tiny propeller on nose (that operates as a ram air turbine providing electrical power to the aircraft)
Replaced the top antenna with plastic card (or you could just thin the kit part)
The paint job kept this kit a simple build for sure, as with a single shot of "Red Baron" red colour, you are all done :) The kit decals were applied using my standard technique coating the aircraft with Future / Pledge / Klear and then allowing this to dry for a day. During decal application I also use a bit of this product wet, under the decal, to help adhere it to the surface and then again on top of the decal to seal it in. After letting the decals dry for at least a day you can then apply whatever sheen you want on the aircraft.
The After-Build Report:
This Testors product can be a quick, inexpensive kit if you are just looking for a fun build, however since newer kits are on the market, I would suggest going with the Trimaster / Dragon (Hasegawa also used this mold) versions. Better yet the recent Gaspatch version which provides a high level of detail and a nice Cartograf decal sheet is probably the nicest. Either way you will get your Rocket for your model aircraft collection.
Completed build #135 - May 2011 using the 1/48th scale Testors #625 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers