Huma 1/72 Gotha GO-145

KIT #: 3002
PRICE: Around $15.00 MSRP or even less
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Treat it as a good short run kit

HISTORY

Developed by a team directed by Dip. Ing. A. Kalkert in 1933-1934, this biplane became a standard Luftwaffe  training  aircraft of World War II, being used for advanced training and  instrument instruction, as well as for schools devoted to training aircrews for radio operation,  gunnery, bombing, and aerial photography.  Approximately 12,000 were built in Germany, Turkey, and Spain. Later in the war, GO-145’s were used for night harassment of Russian troops.  Variants included the following:

GO-145A             Two seat open cockpit trainer

GO-145B              Two seat gunnery trainer

GO-145C              Multi role trainer for bombing and radio operators

GO-145D              Two seater with enclosed cockpit and wheel pants

All of the above versions can be produced from this kit.

THE KIT

The kit is molded in soft white plastic, and includes 42 parts, including two clear windshields and a canopy.  Extra parts are provided for the above mentioned variants.  Casting is crisp with very little flash. The plastic is soft and easy to work.

 Instructions

 The kit includes a four page assembly guide, with two pages of assembly diagrams and two pages of history in German, English, and French. A color sheet gives five different color schemes, including a GO-145A in pre-war civil registration, a GO0-145B gunnery trainer with similar markings, an Austrian Air Force GO-145B, and a canopied GO-145D in civil markings. These civil registered aircraft  were all Luftwaffe planes  before the Luftwaffe came out of the closet.  On the back page is a three view of a grey and green GO-145C in Russian Front markings.  Unfortunately, no history is given about each aircraft for which color information is provided.

 Accuracy

According to the drawings I have, the kit appears to be completely accurate, and when completed, it looks like a GO-145, and I think that is the point. 

CONSTRUCTION

The cockpit includes two seats, control sticks, instrument panels, and windshields.  A floor is provided, but there is no sidewall detail. Without pilot figures, some sidewall detail must be scratchbuilt. I added a bunch of stuff to mine.  Once the cockpit is detailed to the modeler’s satisfaction, the fuselage halves can be joined.  For the gunnery training version, be sure to include the gun mount at this point. The engine insert, which goes behind the cowling nose bowl, should be painted a dark color, with the cylinders silver or light grey. The prop can be installed later.

 After the fuselage halves are joined and the seams filled, the lower wings and tailplane can be attached.  This is a good time to paint the major assemblies, as it would be difficult to do the painting required after the struts and upper wings are attached, unless maybe you are doing one of the silver aircraft. Check the color of the struts on the painting guide. On the silver aircraft, they are silver, but they are  76 on the camouflaged airplane. The tailplane fit is excellent, and the cabane struts are almost foolproof, since they have a third bracing strut which assures the correct mounting angle.  The landing gear looks a bit spidery, but it is also a snap to install.  The upper wing goes on smoothly, and I would suggest mounting the wing on the cabanes only, adding the  interplane “N” struts after the wings are set in the proper position.  The wing is far enough forward that the windshields can be attached after painting and other assembly is completed. 

 Rigging is easy, with two sets of parallel landing and flying wires on each side.  The tailplane is also wire braced.  I used unstranded electronic wire, although stretched sprue could also be used. There is no bracing on the landing gear, and there were no radio antennas on the aircraft I modeled.

COLORS & MARKINGS

  With the kit’s instruction sheet, painting is not really a problem, although with the camouflaged “C” model, you’ll have to follow a set procedure. Before the struts, landing gear, and upper wing are attached, I would do the yellow trim first, followed by the 76 blue underneath, followed by the 75 light grey and 74 dark grey. Colors are given in RLM shades, which is helpful. Unfortunately, I could not find a photo of the aircraft depicted in the drawing, so I decided on a different aircraft, one I did have a photo of.  This appears on page 149 of K.A. Merrick’s single volume,   German Aircraft Markings, 1939-1945.  The photo shows GO-145’s and a solitary AR-96A on a German airfield shortly after VE-Day, with an Army Willys Jeep and U.S. troops conspicuous in the background.  I used a base coat of 76 underneath, with an 02 topside coat heavily mottled with dark greens, 70 and 71.  Two 04 stripes on the fuselage indicate an instrument training aircraft, although no instrument hoods are visible on the aircraft. 

CONCLUSIONS

 I’m admit that I am partial to training aircraft, having spent a lot of time in them, but this kit was a very enjoyable build, and represents an airplane that was as important to the Luftwaffe as the Stearman and N3N were to the American training program.  I just wonder how many of them would have become dusters and sprayers had the Germans not lost the war.  Any collection of World War II aircraft should contain at least one of these.  Get one if you can find one. You won’t regret it. 

REFERENCES

 There are few photos available of these aircraft, but Merrick’s book has one good one, and several are to be  found in the four volume Monogram series on Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings.  I would assume that, given Huma’s reputation for accuracy, the kit schemes are probably correct.

Brian Baker

October 2008

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page 2015