MPM 1/48 He 178V-1 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||MPM|
|Kit Number||48002||Primary Media||Styrene, Vac, Resin, PE|
|Pros||Nicely detailed model of Germany’s first turbo-jet powered aircraft||Cons||Control surfaces and canopy molded solid. Light panel lines may need re-scribing. No decal for word HEINKEL|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Varies|
The events which led to the world’s first flight by an aircraft powered solely by a turbojet began when Ernst Heinkel employed Dr. Hans J. Pabst von Ohain and his assistant Max Hahn in March 1936. By September 1937, the first demonstration turbojet, the He S1 (Heinkel Strahltriebwerk or jet engine No. 1) was bench-running. Despite being fueled on hydrogen and possessing no throttle control, the unit was able to develop 250 kg of thrust.
Following the success of the He S1, von Ohain began work on a more powerful unit, the He S3b which ran on gasoline and was fitted with a proper throttle control. Work began on an airframe designed from the onset to utilize the power of one jet engine. The He 178V-1 was to have flush-riveted, metal, monocoque fuselage, wooden wings and retractable undercarriage, but for all the tests with the He 178V-1 the undercarriage was fixed down and the wheel wells covered over.
Taxi trials with the prototype, fitted with an He S3b began on August 24, 1939 and on August 27 the aircraft made it’s first genuine flight from Marienehe. The He 178V-1 made then about twelve flights in all, these being carried out by Flugkapitan Erich Warsitz. The He 178V-1 was finally dispatched to the Berlin Air Museum where it was destroyed, along with the He 176 in a 1943 Allied bombing raid.
MPM/Condor is a model company based in Prague, Czech Republic. This kit comes in an end-opening type box. The box art shows the Heinkel He 178V-1 prototype overflying a Luftwaffe airfield. It is in bare metal with some panels RLM 02 grey. The word HEINKEL is in black letters below the cockpit.
A side panel lists the kits contents and mentions that the kit is for modelers 9 years of age and older. This is told in Czech, English and German, marked with the flags of these countries.
Inside the box is one gray parts tree and a single clear cockpit part in a sealed cello bag. A staple sealed small cello bag holds a fret of brass PE and a photo negative of the cockpit instrument dial faces. The instructions complete the kits contents.
The instructions consist of a single sheet that is folded in the center to create 4 pages in 5 ¾” x 8 ¼” format.
Page one gives the history of the He 178V-1 in the same 3 languages as the box side panel. Below this is MPM/Condor’s address.
Pages two and three have 2 assembly step exploded drawings. The cockpit interior is called out to be painted RLM 66 black grey. To the right of these is a side and top view of He 178V-1 prototype aircraft as on the box art, described above.
Page four begins with general instructions, in the 3 languages, followed by the parts tree and PE fret illustrations. Below these is a listing of 4 paint colors, called out in RLM numbers, FS numbers and Molak, Humbrol, Tamiya and Agama brands of hobby paints.
There is a copyright date at the bottom of the page for 1995.
This is a neat kit of the first turbojet aircraft created in Germany. The PE fret gives it some very nice detail for the cockpit interior. However, the clear canopy is one piece and quite thick. Better replaced with a vacuformed one that is open. Control surfaces are solid also, and would take some surgery to re-position. The few panel lines on the model are of the engraved type, but very shallow and just might disappear under a coat of paint. Deeper re-scribing of them may be in order.
Although the box art shows the word HEINKEL below the cockpit, and the instructions give instructions for applying a decal – NONE was in the kit. From what I have determined by inquiries on the internet, the kit never had a decal sheet. This word will have to be composed from individual letters off a sheet of dry transfer letters sold in the model railroad section of most hobby shops then.
It looks to be an easy build. Experience working with PE parts is recommended though.