Thursday, December 26

Meng's 1/32nd scale Me-163 Komet built up part I - the cockpit

Our man Nic comes blasting out of the box with his build of the new MENG Me-163 Komet rocket interceptor. He wants to add some detail but keep the kit fairly stock so you can see what the kit is really like - is it time to upgrade from your old Hasegawa kit? Part one of this build may help you decide...
Me-163 Komet Rocket Interceptor
Meng Models
1/32nd scale
6 Plastic sprues + 1 Clear sprue,Photo etch, Rubber tyres

Decals for three variants from Cartograf
available thru all of MENG's Distributors Worldwide.

The Hasegawa 1/32 Me-163 Komet has been a very successful kit for decades, and rightfully so; it builds into a nice model of this revolutionary airplane. But times change and it was time for a new Me-163 – few people drive a 40-year-old car, do they? So when Meng surprised with the announcement of a 1/32 Komet, people were anxious to find out how it would be. 

A lovely feature of this boxing is the sleeve which simply pulls aside to reveal the real artwork - 
When the kit arrived at my local shop, acting quick was necessary. Of the first twelve delivered, ten were sold within one day! And I found out why pretty fast: this Meng Me-163 is a little gem! It contains a nicely detailed cockpit, a lot of interior detail; photo etched parts and perfectly printed decals. It is the kind of kit that you drop all other projects for to get started on it right away.

The Cockpit parts we are constructing today..

The surface and interior detail of the fuselage

The Photo Etched sheets used in the cockpit
If there is one thing I like, it is to scratch some extra details on a kit. The problem with this Komet however, is that you really have to look where you can add details. It’s impressively detailed. After checking some reference photos I added little bits in the cockpit and on the spine, but it is safe to say that the boys at Meng did a good job. The only thing that is rather empty: the gun bay areas. But that’s nothing that some evergreen and a punch & die set can’t cure!
The most obvious elements to add in the cockpit are the horizontal bands on the left and right fuel tanks. Carefully cut Tamiya tape did the job. As you can see, only few other details had to be added: a few rivets, some cables and handles.
Closed-up, it looks pretty busy... Knowing that pilots had to fly in between those highly dangerous fuel cells, I guess they must have been glad to get back alive after a landing.
As I said before, the only area that can do with some extra detail is the gun bay. Then again, if you close the gun bays, no extra work is needed. Because I want to build a diorama for it – an abandoned Komet in a hangar – I opened up one of the oval shaped panels, showing the cables behind it. Small effort, nice effect!
The Meng Komet, taped together to give you an idea of the final imprint. Looks pretty good!
A bit of paint makes this cockpit look quite impressive I feel. And it isn’t even done yet!

Dials will go in with some finishing touches - once sealed up it will far outdo the old Hasegawa kit
And the real thing
See the area behind the cockpit? Very visible and when I checked some reference photographs, I noticed I could ad a little cable and some rivets. Basically, it takes you about 27 seconds to do that, but it’ll catch your eye!
Haven’t completely finished the cockpit yet, but for this shot I tried it into the fuselage. For the diorama, I’m going to put some disconnected cables in the cockpit, weather the kit pretty good and put some figures next to it. I’ve got an idea for it, but I’ll leave it as a surprise.
More to come soon!

Nic Deboeck

The Komet is now available thru all of MENG's Distributors Worldwide.