KIT:

Airfix 1/72 Bv-141B

KIT #

3014

PRICE:

CDN$12.95

DECALS:

Two aircraft

REVIEWER:

Olivier Lacombe

NOTES:

1998 boxing

 

HISTORY

The BV 141B was developed when the BV 141A project was cancelled by the RLM, and one of the main reasons of the dropping of the programme was a lack of power.  Doctor Richard Vogt and his team redesigned the aircraft to accept a BMW 801 putting out 1 560 HP, and totally revised the structure, changing the overall look of the aircraft.  The model A was a rather pleasing aircraft with swept leading edges and a clean silhouette.  The B version was more squarely built, and the tail was a totally new design.  In February 1940, the RLM approved the machine and almost a year later, the prototype took to the air.  Blohm und Voss had a contract only for a few aircrafts, but options for more machines were included in the deal.

 Upon early testing, problems arose.  Vibration trials had shown that components needed redesign, and major work had to be done to the tail unit, the landing gears and the controls.  Furthermore, hydraulics were raising their own troubles along with the engine.  Limitations were placed on the aircraft for flight testing, such as a Vne of only 280 MPH, and more problems delayed the whole testing program.  The second prototype (V2) tested a novel feature, an asymmetric tail plane to improve the field of fire of the rear gunner.  Amazingly, it showed no deterioration in handling properties, and this modification was made standard.  Testing went on, with more problems arousing along the way.  The 9th prototype was delivered to the Rechlin test center were it was joined by the V10 in the summer of 41.  The twelfth machine was used for weaponry tests and they found out that the blast tubes were too short and the cockpit got filled with fumes when firing the guns!  Two more airplanes were delivered up to 1943. 

 It was hoped that a squadron of Bv 141 could be sent to the Eastern Front, but the General Staff cancelled this deployment when it was realised that the Fw 189 did the same job very well.

 

THE KIT

In the standard side-opening Airfix box, you get one bag filled with what could be described as four free-roaming grey styrene sprues, along with free-roaming wings and fuselages.  The poor clear bits have to endure the beating of their opaque comrades.

 The parts are cleanly moulded, with little flash for a 1960s vintage kit, but you get loads of rivets.  The interior consists of a detail-less floor with a console for the pilot along with a seat and a stick. The two other stations are without any details.  Three figures;  two seated and one lying prone are supplied.  You also get two machine guns for the crew.    The few ejector marks will be easy to fill.

  Moving up to the exterior, there are no wheel wells, but the engine is nice, with two separate rows of cylinders.  Offensive load is given as 4 bombs, probably SC 50s weighting 110 lbs.  The real fun part about this kit are the clear bits, with somewhat vague panel lines that will prove extremely enjoyable to mask!

 The decals are very nice, being mat and in register.  Two schemes are provided: one is for a test machine, the V10 at Rechlin in 1941 in the standard German splinter of RLM 70/71 over RLM 76 while the other is an overall RLM 02 bird based at Wenzendorf in Germany, in early 1945.  Due to the number of rivets on the kit, I strongly suggest a good coat of Future before moving on with the decals. 

 

CONCLUSIONS

This kit is the only game in town apart form the HiPM 1/48 box (which is rather expensive) and apart from the windows, the kit looks fairly easy to build, and the fact that it never served in an active unit does not limit the possible paint schemes! 

Kit courtesy of my wallet.

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