Saturday, November 1

Review build: Zoukei Mura’s 1/32nd scale Horten Ho 229 – We stick in our Small cockpit and Big wheels…

We are charging along with our Horten Ho 229 in 32nd scale from Zoukie-Mura – and today we offer up some more parts to place inside the frame we constructed yesterday – today we are looking at the cockpit and wheels in our continuing build.

Review build: Zoukei Mura’s Horten Ho 229
1/32nd Scale
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.

So we have the frame in place - the wings made up and both painted. We have squeezed the engines inside our kit as well as the guns. Before we can seal the kit up we need to look at the cockpit and some of the largest front wheel landing gear you have ever seen (it is MONSTEROUS) - with all of the other bits before it is ready to seal up.
The Cockpit 
Ok we start with the cockpit and go back in the instructions now. We have already put a fair bit of it together in this build in our strive to glue as much together unpainted as we can. The pipe structure for the cockpit (the areas the pilot could see) should be in the late war colour RLM 66 grey.
The cockpit is not made up by much more at the point in the aircraft’s genesis that just that – cockpit frame, the ejector seat and instrument panel. We also have a gunsight in this kite – but I will leave that off till later as these always get bumped off broken or lost – best to leave it till the final detail stage.

The Ejection seat:
Now the cockpit frame is together the thing that we can easily do without getting in the way of the build is actually placed right near the end of the build. The two ejection seats that can be used in this build are mentioned right near the back of the book on page 41. Step 3-7.D shows you that one cof these ejector seats ha a moulded in harness and one is supplied without – so I suppose you can sit in your own pilot in a quasi- space suit like this chap:
This was the actual pressure suit created for the aircraft and worn by test pilot Erwin Ziller in the Dräger pressure suit for Ho-IX Go-229. The Horten prototypes did not have cabin pressurization the Horten Brothers never really found a final solution to this, their way of handling it was by testing a prototype pressure suit. A figure wearing this pressure suit is included in the extras from Zoukei-Mura on their website.
The seats simply slide into two rails either side of the chair as they would in real life. The good thing is they can be changed at any time even after you have built the kit so you have the choice of a pilot or a seat. If you have a pilot you may want to include and aftermarket seat harness for the ejection seat.
 - I painted it in RLM 66 with high and low-lights like the rest of the pit and a little wear with silver scrapes.
Here you see the no-harness for including a pilot (or your own aftermarket harness)
The harness moulded on which is easy to paint and have ready to go quickly without any threading of paper.  The straps were a concrete colours while the seat cushion was a stencil shade - both Vallejo shades.
I placed on the headrest as well. I thought a leather headrest would be nice – and so I used a dabbing method of four Vallejo colours – darkest to lightest to make the dotted texture of worn leather. The rear of the seat is the same RLM66 of the cockpit frame like it was not covered in leather.
And here she is all installed - I like the colour and it may be a little worn – but I wanted to show an in-service kite. You can see here on the right console wall the decal for the switches on that side is placed on the frame and the throttles, joystick and aircraft controls easy to see with bright red knobs.
I would have liked different coloured knobs (I know there is a joke in here but im not touching it) but I copied these knobs from the instructions and this picture of the NASM example.
instrument panel:
3-3.C  shows us the four options you can choose for the cockpit. The first is to use the decals on the front of a raised surface on the plastic instrument panel. The second way is to apply the decal of each instrument on each instrument. Third way is to paint your own IP which some might like. These three methods do leave you with an easier way to makes a good instrument panel but the fourth method – to use a supplied clear instrument panel with the whole IP decal attached to the rear sides (the front of the panel masked and painted) sounded a little more interesting to me. That is what I went with.
I got some Mr Masking fluid and gently dobbed a drop on each of the instrument panel glass bezels. These were cleaned up a little as they sometimes ran onto each other and a little care was taken to get this right.
I then painted the IP in RLM 66 in a MR color acrylic paint. I used the Daco Products strong decal setting later when sticking the decal to the rear of the IP. You can see here I have removed the blue Mr Masking fluid with a wooden toothpick and cleaned the circles up after this shot as the removal did not go 100% cleanly. The use of a wooden toothpick saves you scratching the bezels.
The decals were applied to the rear of the I.P. and then the Daco Setting solution worked very well on the rear with no damage to the decal. You could use any solution but this one I find works the best. 

The instructions show the control column going into the steering veins i had already placed and painted in place as well as the front windscreen frame which was also ready to rock.
I think that the I.P. looks pretty good when compared to the black and white picture of the original…
The cockpit now from all angles – I like the simplistic effect and the fact that you can remove the seat for two options as well as being able to secure the front landing gear later proved a highlight. The I.P. pleased me with the final result too. A little Vallejo (harmless) black wash around the instrument bezels sealed the deal.
So to keep you up to date as well as the wings being ready to seal up we are here..
The wheels and undercarriage: or “Landing Gears! is next if we follow the instructions logically for a change.
In 3-4.A we put together the landing gear for the rear of the aircraft. These wheels fit together well but they are not weighted so anyone after weighted wheels might have to look on the ZM website for the “extras” to upgrade their kite. Our rear wheels were made from ten parts of plastic so a simple but detailed constructions. 
Two things you must watch out for are to make sure you place the brake line holes on the inside plate of the wheel facing forward as the think moulded plastic brake lines pipe into these.

The other thing you need to make sure of is that the sockets on the airframe and the rear legs themselves are not coated with paint at the securing points. Not that they need any glue as they fit in only one way and very, very tightly. On all of these landing gears there is a slight seam you will have to get rid of which otherwise will be painfully visible. Not too-hard a task though and once done your gear should look great.
Before putting my gear together I first painted the wheels in a black-green colour from AK Interactive’s new “AIR” range of corrected RLM colours. We might use these on the kite a little later on as well. This is over the black Mr Surfacer undercoat – sprayed at an angle so as to create the depth in shadow you see here.
Then we dipped in the Metallic polishing “Steel Type” from Uschi van der Rosten´s Metallic powders range. Because this is a new product I thought I would check it out a little further – you can see on the wheel on the left here is simple black green – but on each side the darker metal tinge of the steel polished in just a little to create a different tone that is a little more realistic and not so clean. When you see them on the tyres they look great.
To further accentuate the depth in the wheels I used the AK Interactive Landing Gear wash from their new line. IT gave a nice black shadow and accentuated the white tyre pressure decal that was placed on each of the wheels.
Here is the rear wheel with the gear. The tyre is an RLM 66 with a lighter drybrush (be careful to cut out the “O” shape in the “Ontinental” to a “C” shape as per our review. The metallic/ dark green wheels and the RLM 02 landing gear.
The front wheel is made up in a similar simple method – It comprises of eleven parts all in all – here you can see it has the same colours and treatment as the rear landing gear. I used a shade of darker/mid and light RLM02 to shade the mudguard and several parts of the gear. With the undersides and the inside guard in the darker shade and upwards and forwards facing surfaces the lighter colour.
The materials I used to paint and shade the gear with a few bits we have already talked about.
The gear in the front of the nose is so big it almost looks like it is the wrong scale – the installation is shown in steps 3-4.E and D. The instructions show off the place inside under the oil tank which the rear support for the front nose gear is attached to as well as the angle of the gear once installed.
It is a bit of a wiggle – but this is a picture to try to help illustrate it - you can swing the front nose gear back to help locate it. Note the darker shade – black and RLM 02 mix – that I sprayed the undersides of the aircraft frame.
Once the support is in place you can secure the front nose gear into it’s (massive) slot. By taking out the ejector seat by sliding it off the rails you can see in the cockpit floor where it locates and how thick it is. 
Also using Uschi’s Polishing powders I touched up the engines. With all the handling they had deteriorated a little – my own fault – so I polished up the centre sections a little more until the shine was present but not dazzling. I like these and I will continue to experiment in the future to work out their limits. 
I placed the control columns for the drag chute in at this point as well. – The silver plate model master paint needed a touch up as well.
So here she is – the Gear on, the cockpit, engines, guns, controls – a touch up of paint on some of the parts I had either weathered too much or not enough and the engine especially made this a lot better looking. 
So next is the skin – give me a day or so and I will write up on how I went. I hope this is helping you out with your own Horten. I aim to show a gallery of the skeleton frame fully finished and the clear version as well as a painted up kite in service over the next week so keep tuning in..

Adam Norenberg

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!