Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Fi 103-A1/Re-4 "Reichenberg"

by Bryan "Tuck" Tucker


Fi 103

MPM's 1/48 scale Fi 103-A1/Re-4 "Reichenberg" is available online from Squadron




The Fi 103 piloted V-1 Buzz Bomb was yet another desperate attempt of the Third Reich to stop the overwhelming advance of the Allies. The theory was that brave “volunteers” would sacrifice themselves to take out key pinpoint targets in an effort to save the Reich.

Kit Summary
Kit Fiesler Fi 103 (piloted V-1)
Scale 1/48
Manufacturer MPM
Additional Parts Used  Tamiya V-1 Cart and FW 190 pilot

Although there were fanatics that volunteered, the RLM never officially embraced the idea of a suicide weapon. The RLM instead focused on the weapons use as a guided missile where the pilot would bail out at the last possible moment (a doubtful proposition at best).

One successful piloted flight is documented, and was performed by Hanna Reitsch.



MPM's 1/48 Scale Fi 103


The Kit

The MPM Fi 103 is an entirely injected molded kit (including the canopy) that fills an important niche in 1/48 scale. The moldings are crisp, and details of the vane structure of the pulsejet are well detailed. Ejector pin marks are inside and are prominent, but are only a problem with the upper and lower main wing halves. These need to be shaved and sanded to get the wing halves together.



The very basic (three instruments) instrument panel is provided as well as the control column. The parts breakdown is sensible and well thought out.

The only decals provided are the various stencils found on the bomb.

The instructions are basic, but since this kit is pretty basic they are more than adequate. The painting instructions are very detailed and informative.



When I bought this kit, I thought it would take only an hour to build, as there were so few parts. I was wrong! MPM has come a long way, but fit problems still haunt them. All of the interior parts for the pulsejet and cockpit fit fine, but the fit of the fuselage halves to one another left 1mm gaps in places. Putty fixed these.

The upper and lower wing halves also gave me fits. Even after sanding the mating surfaces of each, there were still gaps that had to be filled in the leading edges. The ailerons (quite well molded and fragile) will hide any gaps on the trailing edge side. I was left with the impression that the wings were too thick in cross section after I was done, but I lived with it. I also found out that MPM has the wings mounted about 4-5mm to far back on the fuselage, so I filled the kit holes and drilled new ones and mounted the wings.



I added a pilot figure left over from the Tamiya Fw 190 D-9 in the limited confines of the cockpit. The horizontal stabilizer went on without incident.

I assembled the Tamiya V-1 cart to display the Fi 103 on (surprisingly, it fits into the cart very well).



Painting and Markings


All paints were Model Master Acrylics.

I painted the entire airframe RLM 76 and then masked off the warhead and parts of the pulsejet and wings per the instructions and painted them RLM 83. I then freehanded RLM 71 squiggles over the rest of the airframe.

I masked the canopy with Ambroid Liquid Mask and hand painted it. Model Master Gloss was applied and the decals put on. Since all I had to apply was stencils, I had the bright idea to dip the whole sheet in water with the idea that I could then apply all the decals without cutting so many small areas. Big mistake! All of the decals and their reference numbers immediately jumbled up to where I had no idea which was which.



The Monogram V-Missiles of the Third Reich book came to the rescue. It had a full schematic of what stencils went where (thankfully), and I applied them as such. A shot of Testor's Dullcote and I was done!





MPM’s kit is a great representation of the flying bomb, but is a little tricky to assemble (as are most MPM kits). However, the fit problems would not prevent me from recommending it to all who have a few kits under their belts. It makes a nice addition to my Luftwaffe collection, and I love telling people that this one is not a Luft ’46 design! It actually flew!


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Bryan "Tuck" Tucker
Page Created 06 February, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page