Tuesday, June 21

In Boxed: Bronco's 72nd scale B&V BV P178 Bomber Interceptor Jet w/Mk-214 50mm Cannon

This “Luft 46” concept aircraft never saw the light of day, but Bronco models have effectively launched it into production! See what Bronco have added to the table with this 72nd Blohm & Voss P.178 Bomber Interceptor Jet w/MK-214 50mm Cannon in 72nd scale...
In Boxed:
Blohm & Voss BV P178 Bomber Interceptor Jet w/Mk-214 50mm Cannon   Manufacturer: Bronco Models      
Item No# GB7002
Scale: 1/72nd
5 decal options
Price: Circa $35USD
Bronco Models link

The P.178 was an asymmetrically designed fighter-bomber powered by a single starboard mounted Jumo 004B turbojet and the added thrust of two rocket pods stuck into the tail that either would assist with escaping the low-level flack after a dive attack or with extra thrust at take-off. Although there was an internal nose armament of 2 × 15 mm MG 151 cannons the aircraft was slated to carry either a single SC 500 bomb in the internal Bombay or a larger SC 1000 bomb underneath the fuselage - In this case however, we see the large 50mm Mk-214 cannon strapped to the port side nose instead.

A plan view of the B&V P.178 without the gun on the nose, notice the single starboard engine that was offset with the fuselage and sometimes weapons like this large cannon.
What if? Seems to be the nature of things as every popular WWII aircraft covered in model form in most of the popular scales. Whilst the Blohm & Voss BV P178 rocket/jet combo fighter-bomber that was only ever made in a conceptual context. We have seen SEVEN kits covering this aircraft in the last year from Bronco models in 1/72nd scale. A torpedo jet bomber, a guided missile bomber, a dive bomber with a 1000 pound bomb strapped to its belly, a night fighter with radar aerials on its nose, a rocket firing tank hunter, a recon bird and now this edition - the P.178 Bomber Interceptor Jet w/MK-214 50mm Cannon.
Some might say that this is milking the moulds a bit, If i was working at Bronco I would be making up plenty more uses for this airframe. Crop-duster, outback cattle herder, network weather reporting aircraft - maybe an aerial chicken catcher? I wouldn't write any of these off and please do let me know if Bronco steal any of my ideas... Good on them for making just the kit that might float your boatIi say. Let's look at the star of the show in this boxing - the Mauser MK-214 50mm Cannon.

The Mauser Mk214 50mm Cannon was developed from the 5cm PaK 38 anti-tank cannon (yes the one that hey roll around on the ground and shoot at tanks with.) This gun had been previously modified by Rheinmetall for use in the Me 410 as the BK 5, the Mk 214 was, in turn, developed by Mauser for use in the Me-262 and foreseeably, in this case, the B&V P.178.
The captured Me-262 with the 50mm Mk214 in the nose...
The small-ish box features some nice artwork of the P.178 in action with large a Mk-214 50mm cannon protruding on the left-hand side of the nose of the aircraft. This made up model looks pretty good, but what about the details of the kit? Let's look a little closer at the box contents and kit.

In the box we found five small sprues, one of which is new, a clear sprue for the canopy, decals and an instruction sheet are all inside the box which looks kinda big compared with the small contents.
The instructions are very simple. Six steps to complete this kit make it the simplest Bronco kit most of us will ever make. Some parts we will look at later explain the lack of construction steps. It makes this kit suitable for beginners or those with not much time to model complex kit while the small size makes it great for anyone living in a small house. 
Grey plastic makes up most of this kit. There is no photo etch but there are decals for seven and not just two aircraft which we will chat about later. The plastic in well moulded with ejector pins out of the way of visible areas (something many companies ignore) and there is no extra flash around the thinner joints of the aircraft. The internal bracing on the aircraft is lightly represented and again the ejector pin marks are either side of these. Neatly hidden away moulding scars and the use of slide moulds make this a great little prospect already.

There is one main sprue housing the larger parts of the aircraft and four smaller sprues that feature the smaller sprue which is interchangeable depending on what aircraft of the family you want to model. These small sprues feature a nose section, the Mk214 Cannon, internal cockpit and nose gear details and main wheel and engine intake and fan.
The main sprue – A
Here you get most of the external surfaces of the aircraft. The fuselage and wings and tail with the engine fairing. The quite simple but realistic Junkers Jumo 004 jet engine Powerplant is seen here with a nicely moulded frontal fan blade section and a rear end spike on the exhaust that gives you a good looking asymmetric engine in its own pod to the starboard side of the fuselage. Tabs secure the wing in place inside the fuselage and these interlock with each other on starboard and port sides.Although undercarriage holes seem to be rather thick the insides of the gear bays are detailed and would look good with a simple paint and wash. You may add some wiring if you wish but no one ever made the original so it’s your choice.
 Although there is no riveting present (and probably should not be either in such a small scale) there are access panels and recessed panel lines on the skin of this kite. 

The surface detail on the fuselage and wings is recessed finely enough for this scale in my opinion.
Sprue CE – has the gear doors and the large rear wheels including details like the oleos and Pitot tube. 
The tread on the wheels should be proud of the surface and not recessed like they are here. That is forgiven when you see the nice overlapping fan detail on the engine intake. The part 5 &6 are the hollow ended solid fuel boosters that fit into the tail.

Sprue CR – Is the single pack of the Mauser MK-214 50mm Cannon
The slide moulds give this a hollowed out barrel that is great for the scale...It's impossible to know if this is the right shape as this aircraft never was made.
Sprue C is mostly the cockpit and the gear bay doors and front gear assembly. This kit’s cockpit has an instrument panel with raised dials that should really have included a decal to cover them, although there is some raised detail on the side consoles the foot pedals are a little too thick, as is the case with the pilot’s seat with only the softest detail on the harness for the pilot. The nose gear is there on this sprue and again the recessed detail on the tyres is erroneous. 
The cockpit is a bit of a let-down compared to what we all know Bronco are capable of. Just make it up! 
The nose section comes separately which enables you to build this aircraft and THEN add the cockpit and nose if you like later. This has allowed for the radar nosed and night fighter variants, the four machine gun nosed kit or maybe in the future or even a glazed nose variant (again wherever imagination takes you.) The external detail is ok and you can see the two tiny gun barrels poking out on the undersides. You could putty these over i think in the case of this kit. The cannon nose gun would not work well with these guns right next to them.
As we mentioned earlier the ribbing of the interior is thankfully devoid of ejector marks. Because this is a tail sitter you need to add ten grams of weight to the nose. Pack it right into the front for maximum usefulness. 
Clear parts: Bronco give you the choice of using a single part cockpit canopy for in flight or the three-part opened canopy option. The clear parts are very clear but a little thick. It is just the scale I suppose. A part is included to add to the tail if you do not use a nose weight to keep this thing from rearing up.     
On a large and a small decal sheet, ( one carried over from the initial kit GB7001)  there are included the markings for two aircraft, but with this extra sheet you can make your own what-if?  You have the possibility of making your kit in Italian, Hungarian and Rumanian schemes which is kind of generous (but also a way of not making another decal sheet with national markings and stencils on it.)
The carrier film is kind of not centred on most of the decals but never comes up short. You should trim it at the edges as much as you can. The whites are not opaque and the printing is in register as well on these matte looking decals. You need not fish for swastikas as Bronco has used two halves of the symbol on the sheet. This saves a bit of foraging and dare I say it any more money to spend on what should be a simple model. The details right down to the finest lettering are almost all legible.

The two (spurious) schemes in Luftwaffe markings are definitely a starting point, but you could really go to town Luft'46 style on this one...
Here is the smaller sheet which applies to the two aircraft in this boxing. A test aircraft and a Yellow Wingtipped Russian front bird.
Colours are given out in Mr Color, Mr Hobby, Humbrol & Tamiya colour codes and in a four axis colour coded illustration are the five aircraft depicted in the markings.

The Blohm & Voss the P.178 Bomber Interceptor Jet w/MK-214 50mm Cannon in 72nd scale – expect this one to sell well as Bronco have a popular scale with a neat looking and well-detailed kit (except the cockpit that can do with more detail). With a simple-as-can-be construction, it is a great place for a quick build or a base for super detailers. It is a rather simplistic but winning combo in my eyes.

Let's see if they take any of my ideas for the eigth kit in this series...

Adam Norenberg

For more info check out the Bronco Models Website.

Here is what the kit looks like from the built up version on the Bronco Website...Pretty nice for such a small scale...