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Takom- V-1 Flying Bomb Launch Site

Kit Number:
2152
Scale:
1:35
Published:
Friday, September 9, 2022
Manufacturer:
TAKOM
Retail Price:
96.95 MSRP
Reviewed By:
Brian Campitella

V-1 Flying Bomb Launch Site

To read the first look review of this large kit click on the following link:  https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14996

Building The Launch Ramp sections

Steps 1 and 2 concern the building of the 5 launch ramp sections.  Each section is basically a simple (but large) box beam.  The sides of the beam, J8 and J9 look identical, but they are directional and can be installed facing in the wrong direction.  The same is true for the beam end parts, J3 and J4.  By writing the part numbers on the inside of each piece I was able to lay them out on the workbench and keep the correct orientation as I glued the pieces. The launch piston tube does not close along the top.  There is a gap that allows the piston shoe, attached to the V-1, to travel the length of the beam.  I inserted a section of sheet plastic between the two piston halves to hold the gap open during gluing. The bottom of the piston tube is not visible once it is inserted into the box beam.  I chose not to clean up that seam.

The images below show the assembly sequence for the 5 launch pistons and box beams. Note the gap in the completed piston tube. The ruler was added to give a sense of scale. 

At this point it is worth mentioning the Takom launch ramp is three sections short of a fully sized launch ramp.  The actual launch ramp consisted of eight sections vice the five provided by Takom. (Details for the V-1 catapult can be found at this link -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb .) The addition of the three sections would increase the model's length from 37.5 inches to 60 inches plus an additional 3.5 inches for the steam generator.  Based on the information given at the Wiki site Takom's sections are approximately 1.88 feet too long giving an eight section ramp an overall length of 175 feet vs the actual length of 160 feet. 

The missing sections could be added by cannibalizing another kit, however appropriately sized trestle legs would need to be scratch built.  It would be nice if Takom issued an add-on kit consisting of three additional ramp sections and associated trestle legs to build a full eight section launch ramp.  Even without the additional three sections the completed model is very impressive.

The piston snaps into the top of the beam after it is assembled.  As I learned building the first beam, the tube is a very tight fit.  On beams 2 through 5, I inserted the tube before the glue on the end pieces fully set so I could tweak the ends a bit.

Step 3 concerns adding the trestle legs and the joiner plates that connect the individual beams sections together.  At this point the instructions have you connect the 5 sections together to form the complete launch ramp.  I did not assemble the sections at this time.  I found it would be easier to paint each section individually rather than try to wrestle with a 38 inch long completed assembly.

The ends of each section are very detailed, unfortunately only the end of the last section in the completed assembly is visible.  The image below shows beam ends and the joiner plates between beams. The joiners form a very tight friction fit with each beam so the entire assemble can be tested without glue.  

The image shows the completed ramp with a German Hummel for a scale reference. (Sorry for the bad backdrop and location for the assembled image. The assembled launch ramp wouldn't fit in my photo booth.)

During the test fitting, I realized when fully assembled it would be difficult to easily transport the ramp.  I decided to split the final assembly into three parts.  Part one consists of the first launch ramp section with the steam generator and V-1 glued in place.  Part two consists of the next two sections and part three is the final two sections of the launch ramp.  This made the individual ramp parts small enough for easy transport.  The friction fit of the joiner plates to the beams is stable enough that the three parts can be carefully slid together at the destination site.  I will also insert a 1/2 inch dowel rod through the launch piston tube to eliminate any bending movement in the assembly.

Building the V-1  

Steps 4 through 7 build the 20 piece V-1.  Assembly was straight forward and simple.  A touch of filler was needed on the fuselage and wing seams.  I left this dry overnight and then sanded it smooth.  There are a few areas to be aware of.  The tailplane elevators have a tiny attachment point on the inboard side.  This makes for great scale detail, but they are prone to snapping off.  Pay close attention to the alignment of the ramjet intake mount to the V-1 fuselage.  There is some play in the joint and it could pull a few degrees off perpendicular when drying and even a couple of degrees will be noticeable when looking at the V-1 head-on.

Building the Steam Generator  

Steps 8 through 13 build the steam generator.  This is by far the most complex subassembly in the kit.  Care must be taken to ensure the steam generator frame is square in all three axis. If not, the connection between the completed steam generator and the launch piston will not align correctly.

I deviated from the instructions by going through each step and assembling anything that had a seam line that would need tidying.  These were set aside to allow the glue to dry and then tidied as a group.

In step 8, I would suggest building the initial frame structure without parts 2xN22, 2xN24, Q21 and Q22.  These parts are located on the bottom and top of the frame.  Without these attached, the frame can be assembled flat on a sheet of graph paper which will aide in the alignment of all parts.  I jumped to step 9 and added the back frame beam and set the completed frame aside to dry.  Once dry, parts N22, N23, Q21 and Q22 are added to the frame.  The remaining steps were completed using the preassembled parts.

Prepare each step's required piping before starting any assembly work.  While the fit of all parts is outstanding, a small amount of tweaking is necessary to obtain perfect alignment of the piping.  Once all pipes are added and everything has been tweaked, individually and as a group, the piping just falls into place.  This is a fairly simple process.

Once the frame is completely assembled there are very noticeable joints, on all four sides, where frame pieces interlock.

I plated these over with sheet plastic.

Steps 10 through 12 assemble all the piping and valves for the steam generator.  Takom did a great job of engineering the fit of all the plumbing.  The parts, with a little tweaking, fall into place.

Building the Start Unit  

Steps 14 through 17 build the V-1 start unit.  This nicely detailed subassembly is an easy build.  The control boxes can be built open or closed.  I chose open to show off the controls and air valves.  My only comment is Takom could have included molded electrical cables and air hoses that connect to the V-1.

Painting  

The entire model was primed using an inexpensive flat black lacquer purchased at Lowes.  The ramp, steam generator and the start unit were base coated in Tamiya Desert Yellow (XF-59).  The ramp was masked using Mig Ammo masking putty and Tamiya olive green (XF-58) was used for the ramp camouflage color.  Vallejo European Dust model wash (76.523) was used to accentuate the details on all three subassemblies. 

The V-1 was painted using the Ak Interactive Luftwaffe Camouflage Colors 2 set. The underside was painted RLM 78: camouflage color used for lower surfaces.  I learned this was an incorrect color for late war.  It has a definite blue tone and it should be light grey.  The green is RLM 82: Standard camouflage color introduced in 1944; used for upper surfaces and the brown is RLM 83: Standard camouflage color introduced in 1944; used for upper surfaces.  Vallejo model wash olive green (75.519) and blue grey (76.524) were used to highlight details.

The kit decals for the V-1 are thin, release from the decal paper easily and can be moved around after they are applied to the model.  They responded well to Solvaset. The instructions show Decals 12 and 13 on the wrong sides of the tail. They need to swap sides.  There are instrument decals provided for the start unit.

Conclusion

This kit, or kits since each subassembly represents a different subject: the launch beam, the V-1, the steam generator and the starter unit, is a fun and easy build.  While not a weekend kit, it could be built in a week. I estimate it took 12 hours bench time to build the kit including filling and sanding seams on the V-1 and steam generator parts and another 10 hours to mask, paint and apply washes.  A nice diorama could be constructed using only the fist two sections of the launch ramp.  Takom's V-1 Flying Bomb Launch Site represents a unique addition to your German military collection and will be be an impressive display on your model shelf.

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by Brian Campitella

 

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