Tuesday, May 2

Bruce build guide: Bronco's 72nd scale DFS230B-1 Light Assault Glider

In today's build guide Bruce takes on Bronco Models new 72nd scale kit of the DFS230B-1 Light Assault Glider. It is pretty detailed for its small scale as you will see in our his build that there is lots to like about this new small scale glider…

DFS230B-1 Light Assault Glider
Bronco Models
Product No# GB7008
1/72nd scale
available in September from Bronco’s Distributors worldwide

Adam first took a brief look at this kit here in a preview for TMN a month or so ago, but now that its been released let's take a look at what comes in the box, which comes adorned with some nice art which draws your eye to the long wingspan of the aircraft.

CAD images of the kit and marking options are shown on the sides of the box top, whilst the box bottom is made from stout cardboard.

The instructions are a colour printed affair that is easy to follow - and there are only fourteen steps to follow so not much chance of getting lost here.

Markings are provided for five schemes, three German and two Romanian. Colour and marking wise, there’s little variation amongst them, differences being mainly confined to door and window configurations, which are clearly called out in the instructions
Parts are moulded in a mid-grey hard plastic. Mould seams are quite fine, the only flash evident on my kit being around the barrel of one of the rifles. The sprue gates, to my way of thinking, were a little heavy, some of the finer parts needing very careful clean up.. Ejector pin marks were confined to places where they would not be visible on the finished model. The finer parts exhibited lots of moulding tags, but this is a necessary trade-off for parts moulded to scale thinness. The grey parts are logically grouped together over four sprues.
 The interior is braced with pipework just like the real thing.
 Posable control surfaces
The wing ribs may possibly be a bit overstated, but I found it really hard to find decent images of the real glider to compare them to. they may indeed be correct, in any case, the modeller can always reduce them by sanding. The wings and fuselage are moulded with the finest of texture to represent the fabric covering.
Bronco has included the tubular steel framework around which the real aircraft is built by moulding it integrally inside the fuselage halves with separate parts for the top and bottom. 
Floor, seats and pilot controls are included with the troop seat supports and seat backs being added from photo etch parts. The PE fret even has a gunsight for the MG15
All the modeller needs to add are seatbelts for a complete interior. Interestingly the initial CAD images showed seatbelts.

Bronco even includes three rifles. The actual glider could carry 8 troops. Eight very cramped troops though from the looks of this image

Transparencies look nice and clear, with the framework sharply defined, the canopy having both interior and exterior frames moulded.

So, let's start cutting plastic...
Assembly starts with some very tiny parts glued to the floor. The seat, part A21 could do with its sides being sanded down to about half their width to better match the finesse of the other parts.

The seat supports, both PE and plastic took some fiddling and cursing before I got them secured, as did the seat grab rails. Bronco even gives you three KAR98 rifles to add to the floor. I added mine, but pretty sure they would not be stowed this way, the troops probably hanging on to them for the whole flight.

The floor and cockpit was then painted in RLM02 with seat pads being picked out in green. Simple seatbelts were added from masking tape

As I was going to leave the rear door B22 open, I went to the effort of adding a false ceiling out of plastic card to hide the top centre seam, which would be visible through the door opening. OK, maybe a little bit over the top, but it's easily accomplished by temporarily taping the fuselage halves together, marking and cutting a piece of thin plastic card to shape, then adding it through the open door once both fuselage halves are glued together

Stage 4 has you adding the floor framework to the starboard fuselage side. Prior to this though, ensure you add the bottom insert cb3. The instructions don't really make it clear its a separate part. Adding it before the floor framework part Ca23 allows you to get the best possible joint. Im not sure why these are moulded as separate inserts. I can only assume it allows Bronco to release different versions in the future.
 I then painted the fuselage interior RLM02 and picked out the framework in a light grey. A dark grey wash was then stopped around the framework. I wasn't particularly careful removing it as very little of the interior can be seen.
The framework on the windows was also carefully painted in RLM02 so that it shows from outside and the various windows then added, all being good fits with the framework marrying up nicely with the integrally moulded fuselage framework.
If you have not decided yet which of the kit schemes you will be doing, you are now forced to as each of the schemes has a differing window and door configurations. Stage 6 and 7 clearly indicate which configuration applies to each scheme. Well done Bronco.

I wasn't particularly happy with how the floor sat on the lower framework. There seems to be no positive location where the floor lines up flush with the door openings. I could only get mine to sit above the door opening which I'm sure is not correct. It's a trip hazard for a start, and no doubt would have generated many HIAs for the Fallschirmjager OH&S Dept. if it was like that on the real machine!

Stage 8 has you closing up the fuselage. You may need to trim the top and bottom framework slightly to get the fuselage halves to mate nicely. Don't forget to add the spar Ca2 ensuring you add it the right way up. The location tabs are on the top side. The instrument panel is also added at this stage. A decal providing the dial faces.

The rest of the kit assembles with no problem. Adding those long graceful wings certainly brings home the fact this is a glider

Of course, adding the machine gun now is not a good idea. Even though I saved it until the last, I still managed to mangle it, so no MG15 for my glider!!You might find it beneficial leaving off the wings struts until after painting. I added mine at the stage called out in the instructions then managed to snap one of them off as the location pins are quite fine.

Before you know it, you are at the painting stage. Quite a wingspan! The doors were tacked on with white glue ready for priming. That damn centre line seam refused to disappear, despite repeated filling!!!

To add a bit of colour, and yellow being my favourite colour, I decided to do one of the Romanian schemes, so the yellow areas were painted and masked off. then the lower surfaces painted RLM 65 Light Blue. I added some shading between the ribs, however, they were far too subtle with the result they disappeared under the final flat coat.

Xtracolour shades were used as I wanted to use up my remaining enamels. Xtracolour used to be my favourite paint until it became very hard to source in Australia, which served to hasten my shift to acrylics and lacquers.

With the undersides done, Blu-tac sausages and tape were used to mask off the lower surfaces, the use of Blu-tac ensuring I would still get softish demarcation rather than a hard line.

RLM71 was then sprayed, and when dry 48 hours later (no wonder I went away from enamels!) the areas that will remain RLM71 were masked off.

Opening my tin of RLM 70 revealed a coagulated mess, so I simply added some black to the RLM71 to make a schwartzgrun. Don't tell the colour police!

All the masking was then removed and the mottling added using my trusty Badger 150

Once all paint had hardened for a week, the decals were added. It was only at this stage whilst looking at the marking guide I realised I had glued the tail skid on backwards. Damn it!!

The decals look well printed and in register on the sheet, however, this is not the case when it comes to the Romanian Crosses. All are out of register with a thin white outline surrounding the arms of the cross on one side. This becomes apparent after you place the first one.

I had no choice but to slice them away using a news scalpel, then carefully trim right up to the outline on the remaining crosses. This mis-register only applies to the Romanian markings so I can only assume they have printed a white layer under the yellow to ensure opacity. As the Romanian schemes only call for 8 markings, decalling proceeds quickly. Broncos decals are thin, but a little “grabby”, so use plenty of water if you need to move them around. I did not use any setting solution as the decals had no complex surface detail to conform to.

Final assembly now took place adding undercarriage, pitot tubes, doors and canopy. Finally, the masking was removed from the transparencies. That left just the machine gun to mangle with my fat fingers, and she was done.

What I liked
Intelligent use of photo etch
The quality of moulding is excellent
Interior looks very complete for this scale
clear steps as to which configuration applies to each marking option
Overall presentation of kit

What I didn't Like
I felt better attention could have been drawn in the instructions to show what order to add parts, Out of Register Romanian crosses
Not sure that floor sits properly on the bottom framework

All in all, this was a nice kit to build. It would look terrific placed on some groundwork with 72 scale German Paratroops leaping from it, or perhaps boarding it getting ready for an assault

Bruce Anders

Thanks To Bronco Models for sending this kit to Bruce to Review & Build