Fly 1/72 Bf-108B 'Taifun'
|PRICE:||$25.00 plus shipping|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Two full kits. Resin.|
Originally designated the M 37, the aircraft was designed as a four-seat sports/recreation aircraft for competition in the 4th Challenge International de Tourisme (1934). The M 37 prototype flew first in spring 1934, powered by a 250 PS (247 hp, 184 kW) Hirth HM 8U 8.0 litre displacement, air-cooled inverted-V8 engine, which drove a three-blade propeller.
Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37's overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics.
The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the substantially larger, 12.67 litre displacement Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for "typhoon") was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well-known German pilot, and was generally adopted.
The Bf 108 was adopted into Luftwaffe service during World War II, where it was primarily used as a personnel transport and liaison aircraft. The aircraft involved in the Mechelen Incident was a Bf 108.
Production of the Bf 108 was transferred to occupied France during World War II and production continued after the war as the Nord 1000 Pingouin.
For decades, the only real option for a 1/72 Bf-108 has been the Heller kit. It is a nice kit, but is a bit simplified in some areas. Thankfully, Fly models has produced this kit in a modern tooling that also includes resin parts for additional detail. This particular boxing has two full kits and a killer decal sheet.
The resin bits are for the engine face, oil cooler, aileron mass balances, pitot tube, prop hubs, and several interior items. The interior has two front seats and a rear bench seat. Control sticks are resin and the rudder pedals are molded onto the forward bulkhead. There are side panes with nice detail and you are provided a nice instrument panel with raised detailing. After installing the rear quarter windows, this is all trapped between the fuselage halves.
In front, the resin engine face fits into the forward cowling piece, You are provided three props. One is a plastic single piece wooden prop. Others have metal props with one having a vaned spinner. The instructions provide no information on what prop is used on what option. You also cannot tell from the markings guide.
With the fuselage closed, the canopy section is added as well as the wheel well inserts in the lower wing. The wing is then assembled and attached. In the back are the tailplanes and their struts along with the rudder and the tail wheel. you have to fill in part of the rudder hinge line. I guess the one there is for the post war French builds. For under the wings are the aileron mass balances, landing light, and pitot. An exhaust piece fits in the lower fuselage. Wheels and struts have nice detail, unlike the toy-like ones with the Heller kit. The gear doors are the last thing to install.
Instructions are nicely drawn and provide color information using the AK line of paints (which I'm sure everyone has). The paint chart is on the side of the box. I won't go into the full list of markings options as you can see these in the accompanying image. The decal sheet is very nicely done and will provide a good source of markings for your Heller kit. Note that rudder and tailplane stripes will have to be painted as will the red tail band on the early German civil markings. I would have liked to have seen more Luftwaffe options as many units had at least one of these as a hack. However, Fly has a dedicated Luftwaffe boxing along with several others.
I'd have to say that if you want a fairly accurate Bf-108 with more detail than the Heller kit, then this is the one for you. The double boxing is a read bargain as the single boxings are selling in the $19.00 range. Worth the wait to get one from an overseas retailer.
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