1/72 Hobbyboss Me163

Gallery Article by Greg Kerry on Mar 6 2019



Being such a small simple model, as an Easy Assembly kit, this one's box is almost entirely packing. Still, the kit is fine.

Wanting to improve it slightly because of the crystal clear canopy I did add a very small instrument panel and seat straps. Only other problem was with the decals. As usual, there are two schemes: one Luftwaffe, one captured RAF. With the former, the fuselage markings should be handed ie +13/13+ (easily cut apart to rectify), but also the unit badges' rocket-propelled flea should be shooting forwards each side of the fuselage but the Hobbyboss decals don't allow for this. For the latter, as you might guess, the RAF roundals are inevitably out of register.

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Starting point of this diorama for me was the fact that I had the old Heller Schleuch-Schlepper left over from their Me163 kit of yore.

However, when I started checking a few internet photos of the real machine, I realized how woefully inaccurate this was: hydraulic arms sit too high, coupling between tractor and trailer is simply wrong, wheels are quite wrong, and detail is generally lacking. I tried to correct all these as well as I could - except the wheels as I just didn't have any vaguely correct replacements. If you are out to make a similar model it seems the most accurate Schlepper in 1-72 comes with the Special Hobby kit; only other alternative is from Academy - and their's isn't much better than the Heller example.

For me the most interesting part of this diorama was using up a few old figures. Luftwaffe personnel here are Preiser but the civilians are all from old Frog Trailblazer kits: rather ironically I think Alcock and Brown may be among the crowd here now masquerading as RLM officials or perhaps Messerschmitt company engineers.

Vehicles are Hasegawa.

Base is insulation board with PVA'd tissue and tea "grass".

Paints used were Tamiya acrylics, washes and drybrushing utilized tubed acrylics.

Greg Kerry

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Photos and text by Greg Kerry