Anigrand Craftswork 1/144 Daimler Benz Project B Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2007||Manufacturer||Anigrand Craftswork|
|Subject||Daimler Benz Project B||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||4001||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||There are TWELVE models in this kit!! Impressive engineering!||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$68.00|
If you look on the internet for background on this interesting subject, you'll see an wide array of descriptions and details on Project B and its sister projects. The good news is that the project never left the drawing board, but if it had, it would have put any Luftwaffe pilot assigned to the mission on a one-way ticket to their targets.
In the midst of World War II, German high command realized that their bomber force was limited to light and medium bombers. Junkers and Messerschmitt were starting development of the first long-range heavy bombers, but even these would not reach targets deep inside the Soviet Union or inside the US. Daimler Benz and Focke Wulf teamed up to develop concepts for long range strike aircraft. The solution was 'simple' but unorthodox. Use a reusable mothership to carry a variety of manned missiles or even a high-speed bomber to within striking distance, launch its aircraft, then return home.
In the case of the high speed bomber, the crew could dash to their target at high speed and altitude and drop a very large bomb load on its target. The bomber would likely be launched offshore, dash inland to its designated target, then dash out again. Unfortunately the bomber would not be able to rejoin the mothership and the crew would have to bail out and spend the rest of the war in hiding.
Another payload for the mothership was up to five manned missiles. The pilots would serve as the navigation system, the target acquisition system, and the missile aiming system. Once the high-speed missile was assured of hitting its target, the pilot could theoretically eject or bail out of the missile. In the unlikely event he survived the ejection, he'd be on the ground near the impact point. Not a good place to be.
Fortunately this concept didn't go beyond the concept stage. If it had, where the heck were the Germans going to find a runway hard enough, long enough, AND wide enough to get that fully fueled and loaded beast off the ground?
This kit is bloody deceptive. What you receive is a smallish box with the concept aircraft on the box art. When you open said box, stand back. There is some serious magic going on here as there are two good-sized packets of parts inside that box! And when you pull the larger parts out of their protective pouches, you suddenly realize just how large this 1/144 kit is going to be!
The kit is cast in Anigrand's usual tan resin and comes without the large pour stubs in place. A few of the parts have small pour channels that are snipped away as easily as removing a styrene part from a sprue tree. Just look at all of those parts! There are actually twelve complete models in this kit. Twelve.
The first kit is Project B, shown to the right (middle photo) is the mother ship. This will carry the heavy bomber shown in the bottom photo or five manned cruise missiles. The photo only shows the large parts, the wings, twin-boom tail, central fuselage, horizontal stab, and the two huge main landing gear struts.
The second kit, shown at the bottom, is the jet-powered high speed parasite bomber. The crew sits in the nose in a pressurized cockpit. The huge jet engine sits in a pod atop the fuselage. The tail (not shown) is a twin-tail like the Bf 110 to keep the vertical stab out of the jet engine exhaust. Look at those swept wings. It wasn't going to break the sound barrier, but it was definitely going to cruise at 0.9 Mach. This aircraft was lofted under the centerline of the Project B mothership.
The third aircraft, Project E (five of this type included in the kit), is a single place, jet powered cruise missile. Like the Divine Wind of the Japanese, this was a one-way mission. Worse yet, unless the Germans worked out some other logistics, the poor one-way pilots would probably be stuck in those cockpits all the way from home base until 'impact'. Definitely a poor career choice.
The fourth aircraft, Project F (five of this type included in the kit), is also a single place, jet powered cruise missile. Like Project E, this was a one-way mission.
The kit provides several sheets of decals to provide sufficient national markings for all seven aircraft in white and black.
When I first heard about this project, it didn't sound like an interesting subject. Even the box art does not do this model(s) justice. It isn't until you open this box that you realize just how interesting this subject really is and how well-engineered the casting had to be to render such an unusual set of shapes. You know, it is a shame they didn't get one of the motherships completed before war's end. Could you imagine this aircraft at Muroc (Edwards AFB)? It could have taken several of the X-planes AND the Douglas Skystreaks aloft - on the same flight!
My sincere thanks to the US importer, Nostalgic Plastic for this review sample!