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BV 138 Kit

Miniwings 1/144 BV 138C-1 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2009 Manufacturer Miniwings
Subject BV 138C-1 Scale 1/144
Kit Number 011 Primary Media Resin, Vac
Pros Nicely engineered, nice detailing Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $43.00

First Look

BV 138 Kit
BV 138 Kit

The Blohm and Voss BV 138 was a long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft that first flew in 1937. The aircraft was designed as a flying boat that was powered by a three engines in the 650-1000 horsepower range. The centerline engine turned a four-bladed propeller whilst the outboard engines turned three-bladed propellers. The aircraft had a crew of six and was armed with a variety of weapons depending on operating area and mission.

The BV 138C-1 entered service in early 1941 and could carry a variety of bombs or depth charges. These aircraft were usually equipped with the FuG 200 radar designed for the anti-shipping mission. A variant of the aircraft designated BV 138MS replaced all of its armament with a hoop the diameter of the fuselage that was used to degauss/disarm naval mines. With a range of over 3000 miles and the ability to operate off of the water, the BV 138 was an effective anti-shipping aircraft with nearly 300 examples built.

Miniwings is a kit line produced in the Czech Republic and imported into the US by Nostalgic Plastic. This line is currently all produced in 1/144 scale and cast in resin. Some of the subjects in their current line-up include the J35A Draken, SK-35C Draken, Ju 87A Stuka, Go 242A, Go 244B, Do 18G, CF-105, OV-10D Bronco, Sea Fury, Fi 103 (V-1), Super Mystere, BV 138C-1, and XF-10F Jaguar.

Here we have the BV 138C-1 and like the others, it is cast in tan resin and it looks to be pressure-cast as these castings are smooth and bubble-free. The detailing is scribed, though not over-done as any panel lines in this scale would be out of scale if you can see them. Nonetheless, the details presented are nice and crisp.

The fuselage halves are hollow-cast and provide for a nice flight deck. The transparencies are vacuformed, so you'll see the detail inside.

Assembly is straightforward with the fuselage halves going together, forward and rear gun turrets installed, mount the wing atop the fuselage, add the tail booms and centerline engine nacelle, build the props and add the wing floats. The model is laid out nicely to make fitting and assembly straightforward. As with any resin or limited production kit, the key to success is patience, dry-fitting, and careful trimming.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • BV 138, 1./KüFlGr 406, Norway, 1942
  • BV 138, 1./SAGr 130, Norway, 1944

This is a nice-looking kit and should be a quick build for the experienced resin modeler. You may want to build a cradle to display this aircraft so it won't have to rest on its hull and one of the wing floats.

My sincere thanks to the US importer, Nostalgic Plastic for this review sample!