Fi 103-A1/Re-4 "Reichenberg"
Bryan "Tuck" Tucker
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.
Fiesler Fi 103 (piloted
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.
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
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
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
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
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
17 March, 2004
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