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Blohm & Voss BV 40R

Brengun, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Brengun Kit No. BRP72016 - Blohm & Voss BV 40R

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

One clear and twenty-two brown styrene parts, four resin parts, one PE fret of forty-one parts, and decals for two aircraft.  

Price:

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Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

Good scale finesse engendered by many small PE parts.

Disadvantages:

Some will hate the small PE parts. 

Conclusions:

The BV 40 is an obscure subject, but judging by the previous number of kits released previously, it must have some sort of following. I think those that the subject appeals to will welcome this modern limited-run kit.

This is a good kit the BV 40 with its proposed rocket armament. The styrene parts are nicely produced and simple to assemble. Care, magnification and patience will be needed to manage the PE, but the result will be worth the effort for the added scale finesse it will bring to the model. I accept that some modellers hate PE, but I almost think you could leave the smaller parts off without detracting too much from the finished article.

Aside from my strong doubts about there being rocket-powered BV 40 proposal, which matter little anyway, I am happy to recommend this kit.


Reviewed by Mark Davies


Eduard's 1/72 Avia B.534 IV serie Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The key features of this small and spartan-looking aircraft were a very narrow and fairly heavily-armored cockpit, and two 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon in the wing roots with very limited ammunition. The undercarriage would be dropped after take-off and the plane would later land on a skid. Owing to war-related priorities, the fuselage was constructed almost entirely of wood in order to save strategic materials. The plane was also designed to be built in as short a time as possible by non-skilled workers. By eliminating the engine and positioning the pilot in a prone position, the cross-sectional area of the aircraft was much reduced, making the BV 40 harder for bomber gunners to hit it.

This aircraft would have been towed by a Messerschmitt Bf 109G and released above the Allied bomber combat box. Once released, it would glide at a sharp angle towards the enemy bomber fleet. During its short attack time, the BV 40 would fire its weapons, and then glide back to earth. The idea of carrying a bomb on a cable behind the glider was briefly considered, as was an armament of R4M free-flight air to air rockets.

 

 

The first flight was in May 1944. Six prototypes were completed, five of which flew (although I have read of 19 prototypes being built), but the project was stopped later in the year as the end of the war drew near. A last ditch attempt to resurrect the project was made, with the suggestion the BV 40 be powered by two Argus pulse-jets without success; possibly because the Me 328 project had already adopted this idea.

Owing to the potential dangers for the pilot inherent in the operation of this precarious aircraft; the BV 40 is sometimes listed as a suicide weapon, but it was not intended as such.

Source: Wikipedia & Germany's Secret Weapons in World War 2, published by MBI.


 

Previous 1/72 Letov BV 40 Kits

Despite being a mad idea and a militarily insignificant design, I am aware of no less than seven previous Bv 40 kits in The One True Scale! These are from Airmodel, Hobbymodelbau F Schmidt, KPM Korcise/Airplanes, Victoria Products, all vac-forms; two resin kits from CMR and WK Models; and a single limited-run styrene kit from Warlord.

Given that the above kits are all about as obscure now as the subject they represent, I guess it could be argued that a more modern limited-run Bv 40 is about due. Obviously, Brengun thought so, although it fits with their penchant for Third Reich weapons of desperation, having already given us kits of the Ba 349 Natter and Wasserfall Surface-to-Air missile.

The kit reviewed here has most of the same parts as Brengun’s BV 40 kit, first reviewed on HyperScale here in April 2014.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Misnomer?

The kit box title is:

‘Blohm &Voss BV-40 “R” German rocket powered fighter (project)’

None of my references mentions any rocket power proposals for the BV 40, although as already mentioned, a rocket-armed proposal using R4M’s certainly was made. Part of the raison d’etre for the BV 40 was to provide a simpler and cheaper interceptor to than jet and rocket-powered projects being developed or proposed.  Besides this, the BV 40’s fuselage seems too slim to install a rocket motor and fuel/oxidiser tanks, and if it did the CoG would I think change dramatically.

I may well be wrong on this point, but even if I am right, it probably matters less when contemplating project aircraft.
I first thought that perhaps something got lost in translation from Czech to English, as the kit indeed features R4M rockets. However, the box artwork features rocket efflux discharging form the tail, so clearly Brengun thinks there was a rocket-powered proposal, and the kit does feature a choice two fuselages that appear identical, although one has a simple hole representing a rocket exhaust. (Surely, a waste of tooling effort as nothing could be easier than to drill a hole in the standard fuselage’s tail.)


 

Contents

The kit comes in a small end-opening box with simple artwork on its front, whilst the painting and decal guide consisting of four-view colour plans is on the rear. Paint colours are in Czech and English, and cross-referenced to RLM codes where applicable. The instructions have a parts map and use a diagrammatic format that is easy to follow. There are a few written instructions in Czech and English; but few are required, so simple is this kit. The parts come enclosed in a zip-lock bag, with the clear and PE parts are further enclosed in a small bag of their own. There is one grey sprue of airframe parts with cleanly moulded parts and acceptably small sprue gates, plus a single clear part and a PE fret; both also nicely produced.


The Airframe

Assembly of the kit is straightforward and conventional. It starts with the cockpit interior that that has basic detail for the prone pilot, but I doubt anything will be seen through the very small clear areas. 

The small wings fit with simple butt joints either side of the fuselage, whilst the tailplane sits atop the forward fin braced by two struts. An axle, two wheels and a ski form the jettisonable undercarriage used for takeoff, plus a tailskid. The two cannon breech fairings fit under each wing-root. A couple of curved wingtip out-riggers and the clear canopy complete the styrene parts tally. So far, this will have been a very easy build indeed.

 

 

There are a few small and quite fine PE parts. There are two coat-hanger shaped braces that fit between the fuselage and main wheels, a pitot, towline link, and two small slotted panels that fit behind the cockpit on the top of the fuselage. The remaining PE parts cater for rather a lot of control surface and flap actuators, and flap hinges. Care and patience will be needed with these small parts.

 

 

The only difference between this kit and the earlier boxing is the inclusion of fourteen RM4 rockets and two launching pallets made from resin. These mount as two batteries inboard under each wing.

 

 

Overall, I think this should be a simple and enjoyable kit to build. The images of the assembled and painted model accompanying this “First Look” are from Brengun’s website.

 

Markings

The kit offers two colour scheme options, both obviously of the what-if variety.

 

 

The decals appear to be well printed and include split swastikas.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The BV 40 is an obscure subject, but judging by the previous number of kits released previously, it must have some sort of following. I think those that the subject appeals to will welcome this modern limited-run kit.

 

 

This is a good kit of the BV 40 with its proposed rocket armament. The styrene parts are nicely produced and simple to assemble. Care, magnification and patience will be needed to manage the PE, but the result will be worth the effort for the added scale finesse it will bring to the model. I accept that some modellers hate PE, but I almost think you could leave the smaller parts off without detracting too much from the finished article.

Aside from my strong doubts about there being rocket-powered BV 40 proposal, which matter little anyway, I am happy to recommend this kit.

Thanks to Brengun for the review sample.


Review Text Copyright 2016 by Mark Davies
Page Created 18 January, 2016
Last updated 18 January, 2016

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