Academy issued a new 1/72 Komet model in February 2000. Below are links to built models, including my own 'straight from the box' build report:
|My own 'White 14'||Christian Meyerhoff's PK+QL||Christian Meyerhoff's Me 163S||Clarence Wentzel's 'White 14'||Jimmy Währens' Me 163D|
|Michael O'Sullivan's 'White 11'||Stephane Colin's 'White 14'||Erwin Macalalad's Me 163B||Craig Sargent's PK+QL||Jim Gordon's 'White 17'|
The following sites also feature reviews and construction reports:
The pictures on the side of the box show the main features of the kit, which allows construction of the single of dual seat versions:
After eagerly waiting for this new kit, I got my example as a present from Eric Verschuur. Thanks again Eric! The kit contains four sprues, two for the aircraft, one with the clear parts and on sprue for the Scheuchschlepper. The detailing is executed very nicely, on par with the best current Hasegawa kits . The first picture shows the sprue for the Komet's fuselage. Of note is the complicated break-up of the fuselage in four parts. This is identical to that of the larger 1/48 model by Trimaster (later issued by Dragon, then Revell of Germany). A comparison shows that the Academy kit is very much inspired by its larger cousin. Apart from the fuselage parts, this sprue also contains the dolly wheels, two seats, two instrument panels and two versions of the tail wheel.
The second sprue contains the wing parts, cockpit parts for both single and two seat versions, landing skid and dolly axle.
The third sprue contains the clear parts. Notable is the middle part on the right; this a clear fuselage parts that includes the rear-view windows. The Trimaster kit also uses this solution.
The fourth and last sprue contains all the parts for the Scheuch-Schlepper. This appears to be partly inspired by the Heller 1/72 Scheuchschlepper. The faceted engine compartment is represented more accurately than on the Heller model, but the lower side of the front angles back far too much. The main wheels appear to be some 10-20% too small. The rear end of the tractor is incorrectly modeled, but that is not surprising considering that this area is not visible in wartime photos. Only from the photos of two surviving Scheuch-Schleppers, that surfaced in 2003 and 2005, we now know how that part of the Schlepper looked.
As far as I can tell, the model looks very much like the real thing. Compared to the Heller model, the biggest shape difference is the wider fuselage spine, that even appears to be too flat if you are used to the Heller kit. But I believe Academy shaped it completely correctly. Haseagawa 1/32 kit shows the same spine shape. About the only parts that I did not like were the wheels (they don't look like the real thing), and the hinges of the skid.
Once assembled, the wing span measures 127.7 mm, the equivalent of 9.19 meters, the real wing span being 9.30 meters. In other words the wing span lacks 1.5 mm, or you could say the model scales 1/72.8 in span. The fuselage including the generator prop measures 79.9 mm, the equivalent of of 5.75 meters. The most likely length of the real aircraft is 5.92 meters, and thus 2.3 mm are missing, or the scale is 1/74.1 in length. This makes the kit a little underscale, but you won't see me cutting up this kit for that! Even if you would like to try it, it won't be easy, because the fuselage is highly curved, and a simple plug won't do. Using Stephen Enderby's reference data for Me 163B CAD model, I also checked the diameter of several fuselage frames, and they are very accurate, although the exhaust opening is slightly too large. Fit of the kit is very good, except for part D4 that has to be sanded down.
The kit includes three decal options:
The decal sheet is complete with stenciling, but lacks swastikas. Unfortunately my exampe was badly registered, with the black shifted, and other modelers reported similar problems. Academy kindly added a series of extra white numbers.
My conclusion: this is an excellent kit, quite easy to build, and a great basis for an super detailed model. It is by far the best available in this scale, and a welcome replacement for the 23 year old Heller and Airfix models. Well done Academy!
Don't forget to check out the 'straight from the box' build report, which contains many tips about how to improve your Academy Komet.