Hasegawa 1/72 Ta-154v3
KIT #: 51215
PRICE: 2500 yen SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1998 tooling


The first prototype V1 with Jumo 211F engines, bearing the Stammkennzeichen identification code TE+FE, made its maiden flight on July 1, 1943. It was followed by V2 with Jumo 211N engines, which was kept at the factory for handling trials. V1 was then sent to Rechlin-Lärz Airfield for fly-off testing against the He 219A and the new Junkers Ju 388. There the 154 reached almost 700 km/h (440 mph) and easily outflew the other two planes, but those were both fully armed and equipped with radar.

The first armed example of the Ta 154 was the V3 prototype, which also was the first to fit the Jumo 211R engines. The added weight of the guns and drag of the 32-dipole element Matratze radar antennas used on its UHF-band FuG 212 C-1 Lichtenstein radar unit slowed the plane by a full 75 km/h, although it was still somewhat faster than the 219. The rest of the 15 prototypes were then delivered as A-0 models, identical to V3. Some of these also included a raised canopy for better vision to the rear.

By June 1944, the Jumo 213 was finally arriving in some numbers, and a production run of 154 A-1s were completed with these engines. Just prior to delivery the only factory making Tego-Film, in Wuppertal, was bombed out by the Royal Air Force, and the plywood glue had to be replaced by one that was not as strong, and was later found to react chemically, apparently in a corrosive manner, with the wood in the Ta 154's structure. In July, several A-1s crashed with wing failure due to plywood delamination. This same problem also critically affected the Heinkel He 162, Ernst Heinkel's "Volksjäger" jet fighter program entry.

Tank halted production in August, and the RLM eventually cancelled the entire project in September (Milch had been removed by then). At that time about 50 production aircraft had been completed, and a number of the A-0 pre-production planes were later modified to the production standard. An unknown number of the planes served with Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, and a few were later used as training aircraft for jet pilots.


It The kit has a pretty decent cockpit though typical of many 1/72 kits, there isn't a ton of detail on the sidewalls. Decals are used for the instrument panels. There are two seats without belts and side consoles for the pilot. The kit has separate gun port pieces that fit into the front of the fuselage sides. Part of the nose gear well is molded on the bottom of the cockpit assembly. There really is minimal room in this one for weight and the short wheel base will ensure tail sitting without it. The instructions show putting 15 grams in each engine nacelle, though frankly, finding something that dense to fit into such a small area will be problematic.

The wing is a single upper piece with two lower ones. Tailplanes are a single piece on each side. The engine nacelles are split vertically with the engine face trapping a polycap between it and the back of the nacelle. A cowling ring fits over that. Exhaust are the tubular type used to dampen flames. Landing gear is a bit complex, but well done. Both front and main tires have flat areas on them to duplicate the weight of the plane.

In the front are the major pieces of the SN 212 radar. The tiny H shaped dipoles that jut forward from each of the four 'x' pieces will have to be added by the builder.  Props are simply pushed in place after all is done. The canopy is a single closed piece that is one of the last items to be attached.

There are markings for one plane, that being the v3 prototype. This one is painted in RLM 74/75/76 with the upper surface greys in a disruptive pattern. The decal sheet is nicely printed but old school with the whites that are off white and difficult to see on the image.


Considering that the only other Ta-154 in injected plastic before this one was the truly horrible Pioneer kit, this is a huge step forward. The type is not all that popular with modelers and you'll find this one pretty easy to find on the second hand market.



January 2017

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