Zoukei Mura’s Horten Ho 229
Plastic Model Kit (No P/E or resin parts)
19 sprues of grey and clear plastic
Decals for two versions with many numbers.
This kit is now on sale at Volks directly at this link or their distributors worldwide.
Where to start indeed? The real concern I had when setting out how I wanted to build this kit was to expose every part I could to you the reader as I went through. So that meant skipping nothing and talking it step by step. I was very much wanting to go step by step as I was a little worried about getting ahead of myself.
The Junkers Jumo 004 jet engine was advanced in it’s day and although flawed in it’s delivery of power it was a step beyond anything a piston aircraft could deliver at that time.
Luckily the kit itself is bunched up tightly into a single or a few sprues for each part of the build. There are 19 clear and plastic sprues in this big box and I am so glad that Zoukei-Mura placed everything in a place easy to find without rooting through the box to find a tiny part far away from it’s counterparts. This makes the build a lot more enjoyable.
This is the engine we think that Zoukei-Mura studied in close attention – notice the colours and the trolley? hmmm
As do the instructions which really do take you through the build. Explaining what the parts are you are putting together and how they relate. This as well as the SWS build philosophy is explained further on every page. The earnestness of the model makers to please the modeller really stands out here.
OK enough chit chat – on with the build.
I do not know why – but in the instructions we start at 3-1? Anyway steps 3-1A through 3-1E all deal with putting this replica of the Junker Jumo 004B engine together. And when we say a full engine that is what we mean. It only is missing a little detail in the rear of the exhaust chamber to make it in all but mechanical a true replica.
3-1A: The pipe cleaner looking compressor rotor blade which goes right through the kit is made up of a series of fans glued around the shaft. They only fit one way and there is a good indication of how they go on the instructions. A big hint is the teardrop shape that the compressor makes as it encases the shaft.
Once it the shaft can actually spin! But it will be sealed up. You can leave this section completely open to show inside but we didn’t want to do this.
3-1C: The long housing of the intake is next to be made – it joins onto a fan gate and all of this is encased by the two leading edges of the outside intake of the Jumo engine
Now the intake spike parts are no problem but the casing around may need some juggling to get together – putting the spike into it may push too hard and leave a crack in the casing front if you are not careful – so before you paint this make sure it fits and then you have my permission to paint it.
3-1D: The rear turbine nozzle is next. Five simple parts that go together without issue. All these parts fit together no problem.
I actually left part A-41 the nozzle spike off and painted the burnt iron colour in the pipe after sealing the external casing of the exhaust then placed the spike in with super glue. This solves you pry around the tight spaces of the nozzle when painting it with an airbrush!
The turbine nozzle that spits out fire is seen on museum engines are nicely cleaned and sometimes a little too much a clean silver colour – take it from me it would be a burnt iron colour – like it says in the instructions.
3-1E: This is where the main part of the engine goes together`. The combustion chamber parts are joined. This is a good time to paint these parts in their different colours as the natural seams solves any overspray. Take care especially on the front intakes and the rear exhaust nozzles to remove any seams on the silver paint as these will be very visible at the end of this build.
The usual suspects before the assembly
As a quick aside I made the two engine stands for this engine at this point. Stowed away as a little surprise on the sprues these square parts act as a part of the sprue frame and when sipped clear act as two great frames.
They fit the engine perfectly and so you have the option to uses these as a display if you want to leave one or both engines out of the kit. I really liked this gesture by the designers.
**Slacker's tip** You could skip some of these steps if you wanted a quick build. You could forgo - 3-1A and simply glue the two halves of the shroud of the compressor housing without the semi-circle guards. So if you like things simple and external only this is a tip for you. I’ll give you more tips like this as we go through.
The paint I used for this was a mixture of primer from Mr Finishing Surfacer in black, Mr Color 60 RLM 02 and the White Aluminium from Alclad. Although the Alclad was not the best metalizer out there it was a base that I would build shades onto later.
It all looks a little simple now – I would dirty it up (and heat it up) later
3-1F: All of the piping went on next. I used a silver pen to paint the pipes. IT was not so durable to touch so later when the engine was in-situ I touched it up with a Metalizer paint (Chrome Plate from Model master) which gave the right shine. I would go through all of these parts and what the pipes did but it would be pretty dull so I’ll leave that part out. The look after this all went onto the shaft was nice but ohh-too-clean for me still. I needed a used engine not a factory fresh type as this was going to be portrayed as an in-service kite.
I wanted to try to add hints of hue to the used jet engine so I opted for an experiment with Metal Polishing powders from Ushi van der Rosten. I used the lighter Chrome type on the intake, the Steel type on the middle section of the engine just behind that and the darker Iron type on the exhaust section and rubbed a little on the black section as well to liven it up a little and expose a few details there. The Iron especially I rubbed on a fair bit even after this and it got even darker and gave a mottled effect which I liked so much I kept.
I was not sure exactly how to seal this so it did not rub against everything so I settles on a simple light coat of future to seal it in. Parts I found heard to get to I used a pointy cotton bud (q-tip) to get in there. I liked the look I got and I’ll use these again.
3-1K: Lastly I got the two halves of the heat shroud for the exhaust nozzle together. This is made from two parts split down the middle and they are in straight clear plastic – why I don’t know because you are to paint them black once they are together. I suppose just as another option to see the engine if you were to leave it unpainted. This was a thin joint and it broke on me a few times so I just glued it and left a seam of super glue down the inside of the joint to seal it.
Roughly sanded clear shroud on the left - polished on the right.
The joint polishes up nicely to almost invisible with a nail sanding block with different gradients so this part can be rendered clear if you like..
Here they both are – paint chipped, and weathered with a light wash of AK Interactive Turbine Engine wash to darken things up a little.
They look pretty cool on the frames don't they?
...And to step ahead a little here they are inside the frame of the Horten Ho 229. You can see here I have touched up the silver pipes and corrected a few bits of rough work. I think it looks great and very convincing.
And the dirty exhaust with the dappling heat stress on the exhaust..
Well that was a part that I was a little concerned about over and done with in an 8 hour day. It took some care to get it all to be constructed in the right order with all the fan blades and housings but nothing really stressful.
I really liked experimenting with the powders and colours of the engine and I am glad you will get to see some of it when finished. I am glad to have this out of the way and I was really looking forward to the next step the fuselage frame.
Keep tuning in all this week of the whole build of this kit as we take you through the whole thing.
This kit is now on sale at Volks directly at this link – Also check out “ZM’s Old Man Blog” for more details on the company's musings as well!