Sunday, June 1

Gustav’s Bazookas: Eduard Model Accessories WGr.21 rockets for the Bf 109G in Review

For the longest time the only way you could add a Wg.21 Rocket to your 32nd scale fighter was to painstakingly make one yourself from scratch. Well Eduard has seen the need for this bomber busting weapon on the new Bf-109 – and we thought it prudent to see how it fitted to the new Revell Bf-109 kit’s wing in our construction review.


WGr.21 rockets for the Bf 109G
Eduard Model Accessories
Kit No: 632034
Scale: 1/32
Available from Eduard Directly for $ 19,95 ($16,96 if you are a BFC club member)

Picture this: Late war in Europe, dwindling resources of man and machines for the beleaguered Luftwaffe saw handfuls of fighters being launched against 1000+ bombers of the USAAF and RAF. What the Germans needed was an equalizer. Ramming, heavy cannon and rockets mounted to fighters were used in an attempt to use firepower to break up the bomber formations and so attack the bombers out of their cone of mutual fire support.

Today we look at the third option – the rocket launchers that were adapted from the German army’s powerful 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 (21 cm Nb.Wf 42) is what we will look at in our review. This time made in the Brassin range from Eduard from the Czech Republic.

The CAD pictures from the Eduard Website show the rockets as they are to be assembled.
 The German army used these rockets on a tracked vehicle or a trailer with five barrels set up as a multiple rocket launcher configuration. The Luftwaffe awarded a contract to Rheinmetall-Borsig AG who designed and developed the 21 cm Werfergranate 42 as an air to air missile that was ready for introduction in mid-1943, much to the surprise of the bomber crews who faced them.
 
The rockets were mounted beneath the fuselage on Messerschmitt Me 262’s and Fw 190’s as well as under the wings of Messerschmitt Bf 109G (BR21 modification under wing mount with two rockets under each wing), Messerschmitt Bf 110, Messerschmitt Me 210, and Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (two under each wing). It was true that a few of these aircraft like the Hornisse proved unsuitable for the use of these cumbersome rockets that the pilots detested. They were heavy and acted like a large airbrake in the air. Fighters armed with these actually needed a fighter escort.

The same setup was used under twin engined fighters of the Luftwaffe so  - one more set= Zerstorer madness
The rockets were unguided and had a slow velocity. They were spun in flight to stabilize their track with 22 evenly spaced holes in the rear of the rocket at an angle of 16° from the axis of the rocket. This angle gives the rocket clockwise rotation in flight besides providing forward thrust. In the center of the nozzle there is an ignition hole which receives the electric squib. The spin-stabilised rocket was propelled by 18.4 kilograms (41 lb) Diethylene glycol solid fuel and the warhead was a destructive (especially to aircraft aluminium) 41 kg or 22.4 pounds of TNT.
Enough history – let’s look at the kit.


The kit is a mixed bag of the 3D designed cast grey resin and a small sheet of photo etch.

Instructions:
A lot clearer than you will get on the kit that they graft onto! The instructions are packed in as part of the box art and they. List both the contents, painting instructions…
…and construction phases. There is a lot more than these three steps t making these – and making them site absolutely correctly. The material is there, you just need to go about it the right way and take care every part of resin is the same size on the kit…more on that later..
The resin:
The resin is in a light and a dark grey. As with all of their Brassin gear it’s pretty amazingly detailed. This kit is exactly the same but sale up from their just released kit in 48th scale so this review serves that as well. The sixteen parts of grey resin come attached to small and not too difficult casting blocks. Eduard use darker resin for the smaller parts and a lighter resin for the large ones. This is a perfect casting method they use. There are no extra bits of flakes and excess so the only real clean up you need to do is to remove the casting blocks.

There are two rockets to me made in a “loaded” scenario. Two rocket points (remove the long tips)
….And two full length rockets outside their launchers. I suppose you could have these in a loading crate on a dio if you wanted to, it’s a nice addition for those with a little more imagination to use on their scene. 

These long stems are the rocket bracers. Take care to know that the R95 are slightly longer than the R95 bracers. Use the shorter struts on the front and the longer on the rear to give the pods the right upward inclination n the wings when in position.
Again remove the “nibs” on these otherwise it just confuses you. Have the four struts exactly the right length each before you commit to glue. R97 part is the final plug that joins the launcher to the aircraft via a PE hook…

…Photo Etch did you say? Yes there is no escaping it here – and for good reason the hooks and the other parts are rather small so you need THIN superglue (I only had thick)
1 rear rocket nozzles
2 hook clasp
3 electric firing wires to pods
4 ring around rear rocket to joint to firing wire
5 hooks to join to resin plug (nice to have 2 spares)
6 ring to fit into hook
7……..
Now number 7 is a large template. It fits onto the wing panel of the Revell kit of the Bf 109 and they are not to be secured to the wing. They are merely a template for you to place the plate rectangle panel (PE Pt. 2) of which the hook sits neatly inside that at a right angle.

Easy work to make a right angle with the RP Toolz PE bending tool and a razor blade.
Firstly the PE is folded so it sits at the right angle of the wing

 Glue the hook on and make the fresh panel holes where indicated on the PE template.
And there you go! – I made sure I took this one off as the thick glue I was using wasn’t that crash hot. Use thin super glue on this!
And now for the rockets…. Here is my kit – after following instructions carefully (I had not yet cut of the “nipple” on the end of the nose cone to come to a flat point), you can see the two rockets inside the tubes and the two unloaded versions.
The electric firing wire is seen creeping up the back leg and the loop to fit onto the hook is seen here on the stubby flat plug on the centreline. Notice the rocket nozzles on the rear of both the unloaded and loaded rockets.
After A LOT of wrangling. Having pinged off bracers (a few times) and a few cups of tea I got this rocket on the wing of the Bf-109 without too much collateral damage. (Notice the correct upward facing angle)
And there it is. Not an unchallenging fit because the angle of the legs and the thinness of the struts needing to be exactly right so you get the absolute correct position under the wing. The Eduard pictures in CAD and their large format instructions helped a lot with the right alignment.
The fact is this could be used for the Twin engine BF 110 type set ups as well. You just need another set.

Yes the connecting to the wing is a little tricky. The thing is there is really no better way to do it. There are sockets in the rocket pod for the resin struts to go into. One way I found after I did this as that you can get the pod into position and the hook on the wing minus the loop on the stub. Put some glue on the loop and hook it on the hook. Then you are not struggling against the hook whilst trying to glue down the struts ..if you get me.

Notwithstanding this is a very delicate but accurate kit that now allows you to make several Rammjager/bomber destroyers that otherwise you had to go to silly lengths to scratch build. And I have not seen a scratchbuilt version that looks better than these when in-situ. I can see a lot of these being used and converted to under-fuselage mounts for other Luftwaffe aircraft – if Eduard don’t do these themselves which I think they will.

A great set much needed in the Luftwaffe 32nd scale modelling world.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Eduard for sending this out to place on our Bf-109’s