u m m a r y
||USD$49.96 from Squadron.com
|Contents and Media:
||41 parts in cream coloured resin, 1 x
vac form canopy
||Its different! Simple construction;
minimal cleanup for major parts; major characteristics are present.
||Sketchy instructions; some soft
detail; challenging alignment for some parts (eg getting five wheels to
sit flat on the ground); solid clamshell doors for stabilising wheels.
||Recommended for experienced
resin modelers with an interest in "Luftwaffe '46".
The very existence of models of projected German WWII aircraft
seems to get some people worked-up.
Even so, there is a strong market for these "Luftwaffe
'46" kits. Taking a flight of fancy with a unique-looking model that is not
subject to the same reference scrutiny as production aircraft is certainly an
appealing idea. It is also fascinating to see some of these amazing designs leap
from the draftsman's table to a three-dimensional model.
Planet Models have firmly planted their flag in the Luftwaffe
'46 camp. Their latest 1/48 scale offering is the remarkable Focke-Wulf
The Triebflügel was a concept for a Vertical Take-Off and
Landing (VTOL) high-speed fighter originating in September 1944. Three
wings ringed the mid-fuselage. These acted as a giant propeller for the
fighter, with initial rotation provided by one Walter rocket on each wing,
and controlled thrust then applied from three Ramjets. The pilot sat in a
fully reclined position when the aircraft was on the ground and during
take-off and landing. Putting this aircraft on the ground would have
required a remarkable amount of skill and nerve!
Although the concept seems fanciful, the 1954 Convair VTOL
XFY-1 "Pogo" possessed many of the characteristics of the
Triebflügel, and did undertake extensive testing before being abandoned
due to piloting difficulties.
Planet Models' 1/48 scale Triebflügel comprises only 41 parts
in yellow resin, and one vacform canopy. The resin is flawless. The major parts
include a one-part rear fuselage, one-part forward fuselage and a central ring
to mount the rotating wings. These large castings are almost ready to use
straight from the box. Virtually no cleanup is required, although I had to thin
down the inner sidewalls of the lower fuselage to permit the insertion of the
components dry-fitted only. The parts should align perfectly
The cockpit is spurious, so it is unfair to judge it for
accuracy. However, I found the omission of a gunsight surprising. I also
thought the detail was also a little soft and understated on side consoles
and the instrument panel. A trip to the spares box will address these
issues for anyone who wants a busier cockpit.
The cockpit tub fits perfectly inside the forward fuselage
once a small casting plug has been sliced off the left side console. The
tub includes an integrated rear bulkhead that plugs the back of the
Each "wing" is supplied as a single part. These
are also perfectly cast and demonstrate a subtle twist at the trailing
edge. The locating stubs will need to be trimmed of waste before they are
inserted in the fuselage mid-section, but the holes are adequately deep
for a secure bond. The pitch of the "wings" was variable, so the
modeller can suit himself as to the angle of attack - just make sure all
three are at the same angle!
The Ramjets are a simple three piece assembly that
butt-join to the end of the wings. The four stabilisers are equally
simple, but alignment of these parts will be tricky as they are also
simply butt-jointed to the bottom of the fuselage. These stabilisers have
to align with each other at 90°, and also must be perfectly level at the
bottom or the aircraft won't sit flat on the ground.
The stabiliser wheels are cast in one piece with the legs.
That is good news for stability but a little oversimplified from the
detail viewpoint. However, careful painting should disguise this
I strongly recommend completing the four stabiliser wheel
assemblies before adding the central main wheel. It will be far
easier to adjust the height of the main gear leg last than to fiddle with
the smaller fixed stabiliser legs. The connections between the rods on the
stabilisers and the legs are very flimsy. I'd also recommend two-part
epoxy glue to provide the strongest possible bond. The clamshell doors for
these four wheels are disappointing. They are moulded solid, which will be
very obvious as the doors are wide open.
The final major assembly will be the main gear leg,
separate main wheel and (thankfully separate) clamshell main gear doors.
Add the vacform canopy (but be careful - there is no spare), the DF loop
and antenna and you have your 1/48 scale Triebflugel.
The instructions are marginal. They comprise a short
history and marking guide on one side of the sheet and a single exploded
view diagram on the reverse side. Granted, the kit is simple but there are
a few pitfalls (as discussed above) that would be nice to note in the
Markings are supplied, and even information about the
pilot and units during late 1945 and 1946 but these are, of course,
fictitious. Planet Models have even attached one of these fast fighters to
a bomber unit, KG 200!
Planet Models' 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Triebflugel will
appeal strongly to "Luftwaffe '46" enthusiasts and is
appropriate for modellers who have already built a few resin kits.
Thanks to Squadron for the
Planet Models 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf "Triebflugel" is available online from
Review Copyright © 2001 by Brett
Page Created 20 May, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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