Special Hobby 1/72 P.211 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||August 2008||Manufacturer||Special Hobby|
|Subject||Blohm & Voss P.211||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||72003||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||Neat kit of conceptual German aircraft||Cons||Few, and shallow panel lines may become obscured by coat of paint|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Second World War gave a sense of great urgency to the development of jet and rocket propelled aircraft and the imagination of the German designers seems to have been given free rein. Five of such aircraft were actually delivered to Luftwaffe units. Half a dozen or so were in the progress of being built when the war ended. while some two dozen others had achieved an advanced stage of design before they were abandoned or overtaken by events. Nevertheless, these projects are examples of the extraordinary creativity and ingenuity of Germany’s aircraft designers.
Five companies competed in a contest for a People’s Fighter competition. The requirements of which were issued on September 8, 1944 by the RLM. The P.211 had an unswept should-mounted wing, pod and boom fuselage, with the BMW 003 engine, exhausting before the tail, and a retractable tricycle undercarriage. The main materials for construction should be 58% steel , 23% wood, 13% duralumin and 6% other materials.
A nose-mounted armament of two MG151/20 or Mk 108 cannon was proposed in the original drawings, dated September 15, 1944. Heinkel’s He 162 ultimately won the contract and the P.211 was abandoned.
Special Hobby is a model company based in Prague, Czech Republic. It is part of a chain of model companies owned by MPM. Special Hobby, when they first appeared on the marketing scene, concentrated on a lot of conceptual aircraft subjects. These were all short-run kits, molded in limited numbers.
The kit comes in an end-opening type box.
The boxart shows a BV P.211 attacking a formation of B-17’s above a heavy cloud cover. It is camouflaged in a base color of a light gray (RLM 76) underneath that extends halfway up the sides of the fuselage. At the top of this gray, on the fuselage sides, there is a mottling of light green spots (RLM 83). The top of the fuselage spine and the wings is in a splinter pattern of the light green and brown violet (RLM 81). It carries the number 9 underneath the cockpit that is yellow with a white border. There is a yellow fuselage band just in front of the tail. There are no fuselage crosses. The wing crosses, top and bottom, are of the white skeletal type on top of the wings and black skeletal type underneath. The usual swastika is on the rudder sides. However, on the boxart, this is shown as a black square, instead of a swastika. That is to get around the prohibition of displaying this symbol in Germany where the kit is also sold.
I would have thought that the underside of the aircraft should be hellblau (light blue) instead of the light gray suggested?
This is the only marking provided in the kit. Since the aircraft never flew, the scheme is purely speculative and modeler’s can alter it any way they choose really.
Inside the box is one medium gray tree of parts in a sealed cello bag with a single part that appears to be the cockpit floor, a postage stamp sized fret of brass PE parts in a sealed cello bag with it’s own instruction sheet and the decal sheet in a third sealed cello bag along with a vacuformed canopy part.
These parts are, for all intents and purposes, with few and shallow panel lines. These are so lightly engraved that a coating of paint may obscure them all together, and those of us with AMS might want to scribe these in heavier for better detail.
The control surfaces are molded solid also. Although very thin and clear, the cockpit canopy part is solid and would take some surgery to pose it open.
The instructions complete the kit’s contents. These consist of a single sheet that is folded over in the center in the center. On one side is a color listing calling out the colors in RLM numbers and Tamiya, Molak, Agama and Humbrol brand paint lines. I have never heard of Molak or Agama before. Next to this is part trees illustrations, above a 4 view of the only painting and marking scheme offered in the kit (already described above). To the left of these is the history of the Blohm & Voss P.211 in Czech, English and German.
The reverse side of the sheet has a total of 6 assembly step drawings and some “precautions” in the same 3 languages. Weight for the nose, to keep the model on it’s tricycle gear, is recommended. Colors to paint certain parts are called out in each step.
The medium gray parts tree holds: the fuselage halves, the wing halves, the horizontal tail surfaces, the nose air intake cone, the landing gear and wheels, the dashboard, pilot seat , landing gear doors etc.(31 parts). The final medium gray part is the cockpit floor.
The clear cockpit canopy is a vacuformed single part.
The small brass PE fret holds: radio and direction finding antennas, seat belts, foot pedals etc. (14 parts)
The decal sheet completes the kit’s contents (already described above). The swastikas that go on the tail are split in two diagonally and have to be assembled into a whole.
I have a thing for these “what if” conceptual kits (some call them Luftwaffe 1946). I was unfamiliar with the Special Hobby brand of kit’s, until I saw this one – and a few others that I bought at Rosemont Hobbies, in Allentown, Pennsylvania while on a trip there to see relatives in 2000. The kit is out of production and I found no vendors listed anywhere on the internet currently that has one for sale. Perhaps one may appear on eBay some day.
I recommend it to modelers that like these type of kits of aircraft that never got off the drawing board. It is an easy build and a limited run type kit.