Sunday, April 12

Review: Bronco Models Blohm & Voss BV P178 Dive Bomber Jet in 1/72

This “Luft 46” concept aircraft never saw light of day – but the fact that there are so many models in this scale out there what can Bronco bring to the table with this Paper plane in 72nd scale? Let’s have a look at this asymmetrical rocket and jet bomber..

Blohm & Voss BV P178 Dive Bomber Jet     
Manufacturer: Bronco Models     
Item No# BRO GB7001
Scale: 1/72nd
initial release - new tooled kit
5 decal options
Price: Circa $35USD
Bronco Models link

The P.178 was an asymmetric designedfighter-bomberr 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 - giving this aircraft an even odder look when loaded for bear.
What if? Seems to be the nature of things as every model is covered 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 see not one but two kits from Bronco models being offered in 1/72nd scale. An Aerial torpedo bomber is on the way but this, the first release in this new tooling is a dive bomber with a 1000 pound bomb strapped to it’s belly. If the concept of a rocket and jet powered dive bomber sounds odd what would the kit be like?

The small-ish box features some nice artwork of the P.178 in action with large bomb under-slung. A shame they didn’t make the box in portrait format like the Airfix Stuka seeing it was a dive bomber.

The instructions are very simple. Seven steps to complete this kit make it the simplest Bronco kit I have ever made. Some parts we will look at later explain the lack of construction steps. It makes this kit suitable for beginners. 
Grey plastic makes up most of this kit. There is no photo etch but there are decals for five 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.

There is one main sprue housing the larger parts of the aircraft and four smaller sprues that feature the smaller sprue which are interchangeable depending on what aircraft of the family you want to model. These small sprues feature a nose section, the 1000 pound bomb, 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. 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 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 it’s 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.

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 sc1000 pound bomb. The tail section is a little thick for 1/72nd scale and I would replace this with plasticard.
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 cockpit is a bit of a let-down compared to what we all know Bronco are capable of. Just make it up! The nose gear is there on this sprue and again the recessed detail on the tyres is erroneous. 
The nose section comes separately which enables you to build this aircraft and THEN add the cockpit and nose if you like later. This hints at radar nosed and night fighter variants 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.
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 open canopy option. The clear parts are very clear but a little thick. It is just the sale 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 Decal sheet there are included the markings for 5 alternative options of colours and markings. 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. 
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.

Luftwaffe – Black green/Dark Green splinter with “Scottie” dog on the nose of I./StG 2 squadron and a Finnish example, with two part blue Finnish markings.
One for the Socialist Italian and the Republic of Hungary
..and lastly a quite colourful version from Romania with yellow wingtips to match the national markings.
You need not fish for swastikas as Bronco have 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. This is the smallest writing I could find on the 72nd scale decal sheet against a 1 Euro penny. Impressive! 
The Blohm & Voss P.178 Jet Dive bomber concept 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.

Looking forward to the torpedo bomber that is on the way soon as well.

Adam Norenberg

For more info check out the Bronco Models Website.