Tuesday, March 22

Preview: 1/35th scale V-1 Flying Bomb w/ Interior from Takom

A few people lost their minds this week when Takom released the hypersonic DF-17 Missile of the PLA in 1/35th scale. We wonder if this will be as controversial? Takom's new 35th scale V-1 Flying Bomb with a full interior is their latest release. We look a little at the missile a little of what we know on the kit in our preview...

Preview: 1/35th scale V-1 Flying Bomb w/ Interior from Takom 

V-1 Flying Bomb w/ Interior
From Takom
1/35th scale
Kit #2151
Designed in collaboration with Snowman Studio.
4 marking choices are included in the kit
The Subject - the V-1 Flying Bomb
The V1 - known as a Doodlebug or buzz bomb because of the noise it made. The V1 didn’t have a pilot and was a flying bomb powered by jet engines. V1s were launched from catapult ramps or aircraft. As soon as the droning stopped, people had 15 seconds to escape from the blast that followed. Many V1s fell short of London into the sea while others fell in the countryside.

A cutaway of the V-1 showing the insides, just like this new kit from Takom
The V-1 flying bomb was developed by Germany during World War II (1939-1945) as a vengeance weapon and was an early unguided cruise missile. Tested at the Peenemünde-West facility, the V-1 was the only production aircraft to utilize a pulsejet for its power plant. The first of the "V-weapons" to become operational, the V-1 flying bomb entered service in June 1944 and was used to strike London and southeastern England from launch facilities in northern France and the Low Countries. When these facilities were overrun, V-1s were fired at Allied port facilities around Antwerp, Belgium. Due to its high speed, few Allied fighters were capable of intercepting a V-1 in flight.

From the Australian War Memorial, shows the V-1 on a makeshift scaffold trolley (not the proper one in this kit).
The idea of a flying bomb was first proposed to the Luftwaffe in 1939. Turned down, a second proposal was also declined in 1941. With German losses increasing, the Luftwaffe revisited the concept in June 1942 and approved the development of an inexpensive flying bomb that possessed a range of around 150 miles. To protect the project from Allied spies, it was designated "Flak Ziel Geraet" (anti-aircraft target apparatus). The design of the weapon was overseen by Robert Lusser of Fieseler and Fritz Gosslau of the Argus engine works.

Below: Fiesler Fi 103 flying bombs being manhandled at a launching site. The bomb on the left has been placed on a conveyor trolley following servicing and is awaiting its move to the non-magnetic building (Richthaus) for course setting. The bomb on the right has been secured for transport on a site-handling bogie. The background of the photograph has been obliterated by the German censor.
Refining the earlier work of Paul Schmidt, Gosslau designed a pulse jet engine for the weapon. Consisting of a few moving parts, the pulse jet operated by air entering into the intake where it was mixed with fuel and ignited by spark plugs. The combustion of the mixture forced sets of intake shutters closed, producing a burst of thrust out the exhaust. The shutters then opened again in the airflow to repeat the process. This occurred around fifty times a second and gave the engine its distinctive "buzz" sound. A further advantage of the pulse jet design was that it could operate on low-grade fuel.
Gosslau's engine was mounted above a simple fuselage that possessed short, stubby wings. Designed by Lusser, the airframe was originally constructed entirely of welded sheet steel. In production, plywood was substituted for constructing the wings. The flying bomb was directed to its target through the use of a simple guidance system that relied on gyroscopes for stability, a magnetic compass for heading, and a barometric altimeter for altitude control. A vane anemometer on the nose drove a counter which determined when the target area was reached and triggered a mechanism to cause the bomb to dive.

Development of the flying bomb progressed at the Peenemünde, where the V-2 rocket was being tested. The first glide test of the weapon occurred in early December 1942, with the first powered flight on Christmas Eve. Work continued through the spring of 1943, and on May 26, Nazi officials decided to place the weapon into production. Designated the Fiesler Fi-103, it was more commonly referred to as V-1, for "Vergeltungswaffe Einz" (Vengeance Weapon 1). With this approval, work accelerated at Peenemünde while operational units were formed and launch sites constructed.
While many of the V-1's early test flights had commenced from German aircraft, the weapon was intended to be launched from ground sites through the use of ramps fitted with steam or chemical catapults. These sites were quickly constructed in northern France in the Pas-de-Calais region. While many early sites were destroyed by Allied aircraft as part of Operation Crossbow before becoming operational, new, concealed locations were built to replace them. While V-1 production was spread across Germany, many were built by the forced labour of enslaved people at the notorious underground "Mittelwerk" plant near Nordhausen.

Operational History
The first V-1 attacks occurred on June 13, 1944, when around ten of the missiles were fired towards London. V-1 attacks began in earnest two days later, inaugurating the "flying bomb blitz." Due to the odd sound of the V-1's engine, the British public dubbed the new weapon the "buzz bomb" and "doodlebug." Like the V-2, the V-1 was unable to strike specific targets and was intended to be an area weapon that inspired terror in the British population. Those on the ground quickly learned that the end of a V-1's "buzz" signalled that it was diving to the ground.
Early Allied efforts to counter the new weapon were haphazard as fighter patrols often lacked aircraft that could catch the V-1 at its cruising altitude of 2,000-3,000 feet and anti-aircraft guns could not traverse quickly enough to hit it. To combat the threat, anti-aircraft guns were redeployed across southeastern England and over 2,000 barrage balloons were also deployed. The only aircraft suitable for defensive duties in mid-1944 was the new Hawker Tempest which was only available in limited numbers. This was soon joined by modified P-51 Mustangs and Spitfire Mark XIVs.

A well-known photo of a Spitfire "tipping" (more like creating turbulence
in front of the V-1) to throw the bomb out of control
With the loss of the V-1 launch sites, the Germans were forced to rely on air-launched V-1s for striking at Britain. These were fired from modified Heinkel He-111s flying over the North Sea. A total of 1,176 V-1s were launched in this manner until the Luftwaffe suspended the approach due to bomber losses in January 1945. Though no longer able to hit targets in Britain, the Germans continued to use the V-1 to strike at Antwerp and other key sites in the Low Countries that had been liberated by the Allies.

Over 30,000 V-1s were produced during the war with around 10,000 fired at targets in Britain. Of these, only 2,419 reached London, killing 6,184 people and injuring 17,981. Antwerp, a popular target, was hit by 2,448 between October 1944 and March 1945. A total of around 9,000 were fired at targets in Continental Europe. Though V-1s only struck their target 25% of the time, they proved more economical than the Luftwaffe's bombing campaign of 1940/41. Regardless, the V-1 was largely a terror weapon and had a little overall impact on the outcome of the war.

A German crew prepares a V-1, 1944. Shown on much the same stand that is provided in this kit...
During the war, both the United States and the Soviet Union reverse-engineered the V-1 and produced their versions. Though neither saw combat service, the American JB-2 was intended for use during the proposed invasion of Japan. Retained by the US Air Force, the JB-2 was used as a test platform into the 1950s.

The kit from Takom
The new 1/35th scale V-1 Flying Bomb w/ Interior kit from Takom is designed in collaboration with Snowman Studio, like many of their recent kits. there are four marking choices included in the kit, which also includes a stand for the rocket.
That is all we have on this kit so far folks!

That is all we know about this release for now. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page