Just Fantasy 1/48 von Braun Interceptor






one aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Resin with vac and decals. Includes trailer



Those of you who have been around M2 for a while realize that I like Luft '46 stuff. There is just something about the desperate designs that came from the various aeronautical institutions that are fascinating. Why it has to be the Germans that get all the interest I don't know as there were many similar (though perhaps not as imaginative) designs that never left paper in Allied countries during the war. Don't recall ever seeing anyone putting one of those to plastic, or resin, or vacform.

Anyway, a rather large number of these types of kits have been done in the various mediums over the years in 1/72 scale. Less visited have been these models in 1/48. Well, from Pend Oreille, comes one that I haven't seen in either scale before. This is the initial design of a VTO rocket interceptor from Werner von Braun.

Von Braun had always been interested in rocket powered aircraft, much of this stemming from research done with a donated He-112 that had been operated on rocket power. The He-112v5 had been flown to altitude (at that time about 25,000 feet) using its piston engine, at which time the engine turned off and the rocket ignited. This successful test (performed in 1937) was followed by several more, all powered by an alcohol and liquid oxygen engine.

Following this, von Braun designed a rocket interceptor that would be launched vertically from the ground and then glide back after it had completed its mission. The RLM was interested, but the volatile nature of the fuels used made the project impractical so it was shelved. Later, when the somewhat safer fuels were developed, the VTO interceptor idea was picked up by Eric Bachem who designed the Ba-349 Natter, a craft that was actually flown, though probably not more than once, before the end of the war.



As it so typical of POMK, the quality of the model is just superb. It makes one wonder why some others are unable (or possibly) unwilling to produce a short run product of this quality. In many respects, it is just as good as what are produced by the 'big boys' of injected plastic, and in some ways even better.

The first thing you notice is that white resin is used. Next you'll not find that particular odor of resin that so many find unpleasant. You'll also see a definite absence of large chunks of resin attached to every part. This is a big plus to me. When you combine that with the somewhat softer than usual resin, you'll find a resin kit that is not a chore to prepare for construction.

Detail work on the kit is really superbly done. It is engraved where it needs to be and raised where that is appropriate. The cockpit itself consists of a well detailed tub, a control stick, rudder pedals and a detailed instrument panel. There is a positive alignment mount in one fuselage half to ensure proper alignment of the cockpit.

No need for nose weight on this one as the kit come complete with a handling trolley. In fact, the trolley makes up about half of the parts in the kit and is needed as the interceptor has no undercarriage.

Wings and tail pieces are a single mold and will be butt joined to the fuselage. The size and weight of these pieces is such that reinforcement isn't needed. However, I'd recommend that the items be drilled for mounting pins as it just makes it that much more sturdy.

The instruction sheet is more than adequate for building the kit. There are exploded diagrams of the various structures to help in figuring what goes where. There is also a parts listing to help guide you. Included is a small decal sheet to be used should you desire.

No painting information is given, but those of you who are ready to tackle a kit like this probably have the basic color knowledge needed. When I build mine, I'll definitely paint the interior and the trailer RLM 66 dark grey. Not sure on the aircraft as of yet, but this is Luft '46 so let your imagination take flight on the camo scheme.



You'd probably not be surprised to know that I started on this kit right after taking photos for this preview. The previous BV P.212 kit was an absolute delight to build and I expect this one to be just as much fun. This is a kit I can recommend for those wanting to try a large scale resin kit for the first time as well as those who just like cool models!

Review copy courtesy of Pend Oreille Thank you for your support.

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