Sunday, June 25

Twin Construction Guide: Andy's Rheintochter 1 Launcher & V1 missile launcher with E-100 Body in 72nd from Modelcollect

A bit of a bonus today - as Andy not only gives us his build guide of the 1/72nd Rheintochter 1 Launcher with E-100 Body - but also the boxing of the same scale and brand's V-1 launching platform as well - See him blast off into his build in today's story...

Rheintochter 1 Launcher with E-100 Body
Manufacturer – Modelcollect
Kit Number - UA72076
Scale - 1/72nd
Price - ¥2,480 • $23 • £17 • €20 from Hobbylink Japan

V-I Launcher with E-100 Body
Manufacturer – Modelcollect
Kit Number - UA72071
Scale - 1/72nd

Price - ¥2,480 • $23 • £17 • €20 from Hobbylink Japan

Modelcollect's new E-100 with Rheintochter looked like it was going to be a fun little build after going through the sprues in the in-box review, and I was really looking forward to seeing how well it went together. This will actually be the first 1/72 armour kit I've built since I was about 10 or 11, and things have certainly moved on a bit since then, particularly in terms of the amount of detail, and ease of construction that modeller wants to see now. Time to see if the E-100 fits those requirements then.

Constructions start with the lower hull, which is built up from a base and two side panels. The panels only have a couple of small tabs to align them but, as long as you take your time, the fit is excellent. I added a little extra texture to the edges of the panels with a course sanding stick.
The wheels are up next, and here there's a small issue with the part numbering. The wheels come in the usual front and back halves and trap a small plastic sleeve between them. As there are two styles of road wheel, you get two types of front and back half. For some peculiar reason though, Modelcollect have given both types the same sprue number; D1 for the two wheel front styles, and D2 for the two back ones. As long as you check the illustration in the instructions though, they're pretty easy to match up.
With the wheels ready, the single part suspension units can be added to the hull. These are a real time saver, as they just drop into place, and look just as detailed as they would had they been made up from multiple parts. On mine I needed to open up the holes slightly on the hull, as they were a little too small for the pegs on the suspension units.
Surprisingly, you get a full engine included with the kit. Not something that's very common in this scale. The engine block, radiators and fuel tanks are nicely detailed, although you could certainly add more if you're going to have them exposed. I won't be using them on this build, as I'll have the engine deck closed up.
The upper hull drops on next and, at this point, the E-100 is nearly done. I left the side skirts off, as I wanted to paint and weather the lower hull before adding the tracks, and you can't get the tracks on easily with the skirts in place. This later turned out to be a bad idea, but more of that later. I removed the front half of the right hand skirt with a razor saw to add a bit of visual interest to the build.
I left the most delicate bits until last, namely, the photo-etch parts. The engine grills go on very easily, dropping perfectly into place, and there's plenty of gluing surface beneath to attach them to. The tiny lifting hooks on the engine deck are a little trickier, as there's no groove or indentation for them to sit in. As long as you're patient, and have a good pair of tweezers, you should get them on in the end. You can also see here that there were a couple of sink marks on the launcher base that needed filling, together with the two holes from the base's bayonet mounts.
With the tank finished, I built up the launcher. This is a pretty simple, although well detailed, construction, with the launch rail made up from two halves, which required a smear of filler on the join. The rail is then trapped between the two sides of the platform, the sides then having some additional detail parts added. To my eye, the platform looked a little simplified compared to the few reference images I could find (actually, just photos of a 1/35 Rheintochter platform), so I added a few extra details from scrap plastic and some bits from the spares box. These aren't entirely accurate, but help to busy the area up.
The last thing to build is the Rheintochter missile itself. In truth, this is actually the first step in the instructions, but I decided to leave it until the end. Again, this is a very simple construction, with the main body being made up from two halves, to which a total of 14 fins need to be attached. Before adding the fins though, I made one small modification to the missile body. The second stage rocket nozzles are represented as small moulded blobs, which don't look very convincing. I decided to slice these off and drill out an opening, after which I glued short lengths of brass tube into the holes to represent the nozzles. They're a little simplified, as they should really be conical, but they're better than the kit detail, and look okay in this scale.
I thought the fins would be a nightmare to align, but they actually went on very easily and were lined up with little effort. It was easiest to work from the bottom up, adding the four large tail fins first, and the small nose fins last.
The missile simply sits on top of the launch rail, and won't stay in place unless permanently glued. To make the connection a little more secure, and to allow the missile to be removed, I inserted a short length of wire into the bottom of the missile and drilled a corresponding hole in the top of the rail.
E-100 with V1 missile launcher
While I was working on the E-100/Rheintochter combo, I saw another version produced by Modelcollect, this time with a V1 flying bomb mounted on the launcher. As I was enjoying the first build so much, I decided I had to order the other one as well, and it turned up just as I was finishing the build of the first one (good timing).
The kit is actually identical to the first version, even including the sprues for the Rheintochter missile, as those sprues hold parts for the launch platform, which is also used for the V1. There's one additional sprue in the box holding the parts for the V1, which comes as simple upper and lower halves to which a two-part engine casing is added. This sprue comes from Modelcollect's regular V1 boxing, which includes a partial launch ramp, the frames of which can be seen on this sprue.
The rest of the box contents are identical to the Rheintochter boxing, with one exception. The flexible tracks for the Rheintochter version were packaged in a plastic case to keep them flat. The tracks in the V1 version were loose in the box and, as a result were badly distorted. I don't know whether they don't include the protective case due to space restrictions because of the extra V1 sprue, or if it was simply a factory slip-up. Either way, it's a shame, as the tracks will be hard to straighten. Hopefully, Modelcollect will invest in some styrene link and length tracks for future E-100 releases.
I didn't build up the second E-100 hull for this review, but I did put the V1 together, and it's just as well detailed as the Rheintochter. Since you get the Rheintochter missile with the V1 boxing, you can build both and swap them out as you with. Pretty good value really, since the two kit's cost about the same.
I'm looking forward to getting some "what-if fun" with the painting in the final part of the build.

Andy Moore

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